Checking Mami’s Bones and Boobs

Drove my mom to her double appointments today, first for a bone density test followed immediately by an annual mammogram, fortunately both in the same office in the Moores Cancer Center building in La Jolla.

After successfully completing her two exams we once again went to The Cove, Thornton Hospital’s really good cafeteria. This time we just had side orders. She ordered fries and I had the fried zucchini.


Cleaning Mami’s Choppers – Episode 2

Took my mom for her second teeth cleaning of the year. Exciting, I know.

This time I got Heather, the cute hygienist, to let me really get in there and capture the excitement. (She couldn’t stop giggling about it.)

I have no plans on taking my mom to see a proctologist.


Topped One Million Individual Flickr Views

Sometime overnight the view count for my individual Flickr photos topped one million! As long as there were no pirates or Walking Dead governors checking our my images, it’s actually more like two million since everybody has two eyes and that means each eye views it. Bazinga!

Lately my numbers have been on an increase, averaging over a thousand views a day. As usual, it’s mainly thanks to Comic-Con. Whatever the reason, I’m grateful for each and every gander.

Flickr Million Views 12-17-13

Brenda Calling

I had a really nice Google+ Hangout with my bestie, Brenda, this evening. It was filled with fun, frustration, frivolity, and even a bit of the usual disbelief at some things said.

During the chat she shared her screen with me so I could watch a cute, little video she made about her dogs, Lucy and Jackson.

It was an enjoyable chat.


Last Haircut Of The Year

Got my final haircut of the year, once again by Sylvia, my best friend for almost thirty years.

It was a windy day.

Haircut03 - Before and After 11-25-13 lo-res

Proof of Brain

Drove my mom to a scheduled brain MRI today at Thornton. It almost didn’t happen because after we checked in and the nurse saw that I had written down that my mom previously had heart valve replacement surgery. They needed to know the make and model of the valve to make certain the powerful magnet in the scanner wouldn’t adversely affect it

Obviously I had no idea what make and model number her valve was from more than thirteen years ago. Just as we were getting ready to leave to try and contact a different hospital to get the information, the tech in the MRI room called up front to ask where my mom was. He told the nurse that he had my mom’s information so she immediately took us back.

The scan took about half an hour, during which time I picked up an old edition of Entertainment magazine and read about what’s in store for the final season of Dexter, which ended a couple of months ago.

After the MRI we walked over to the cafeteria to have breakfast, which for me consisted of scrambled eggs, hash browns and bacon.


Coffee Break With My Mom

After my morning flu shot I took my mom to a local Starbucks to get her out and into public a bit. She really enjoys these types of easy, social outings.

We also split a slice of their always delicious lemon loaf cake that goes so well with coffee.

With all of her recent medical appointments, it was a nice change for her to get out for something that didn’t involve talking to doctors, nurses or technicians.


Politely Stabbed By A Stranger

Got my annual flu shot at a local Costco, this year by a pharmacist named of Simon. This was first time that I can remember being inoculated by a guy. No innocent flirting this year.

This time the needle seemed to bigger than in past years and the serum itself burned more. Wasn’t painful and the burning sensation didn’t last very long, but it was noticeably more uncomfortable than before.

Costco Flu Shot01 11-12-13 lo-resCostco Flu Shot02 11-12-13 lo-res

As i was leaving I came across a beautiful 1957 Plymouth Suburban Sport that was in really good condition. I love running into classic cars like this in the wild.

Costco Plymouth01 11-12-13 lo-resCostco Plymouth02 11-12-13 lo-resCostco Plymouth03 11-12-13 lo-res

Nature’s Realm Turns 2

My Tumblr blog turned two years old today!

Reminded me that I actually have to do something with it again. Got plenty of my images to share and other people’s stuff to repost. Now to just remember to do it.

A gift of cotton is appropriate.

Tumblr 2nd Anniversary 11-09-13

Best Forgotten

Took my mom for a regular appointment with her primary care doctor just to make sure she was doing ok and to see if her meds needed any adjusting.

After her brief exam my mom was given a memory test to compare the results with one she took six months ago. Unfortunately the nurse gave her a wrong, more complicated one and it just ended up frustrating her to the point where she refused to even finish.

We left there with her in a pretty dejected mood.


Google Plus Me

Finally received my long-awaited, custom, vanity Google+ URL before another Peter Csanadi claimed it. (I’m looking at you, Director of Global PR for adidas!) Only took a little over two years to get it.

I am now an official Google somebody, along with about a million others.

Just wish some of my close friends also belonged. Gets a little lonely in there sometimes.

Google Plus URL 10-30-13

Follow-Up With Heart

Drove my mom to a follow-up appointment with her cardiologist at the recently opened, new cardiac center at Thornton Hospital to discuss the results of her CT scan from yesterday. The doctor gave her the good news that her aneurism has remained stable since her last scan about a year ago.

While there a nurse also gave my mom an EKG that the doctor ordered on the spot to make sure her heart was operating normally. It was.


Scannning A CAT

Took my mom to get a CT scan of her aortic aneurism to make sure it hasn’t changed since her last check. Since it was so close to Halloween there were a lot of spooky decorations around the hospital. It was cool they did this but seeing a black skeleton hanging on a door may not be the best thing for a patent to come across in a hospital.

The radiology tech wouldn’t let me get a shot of my mom on the CT machine, even though I’ve been able to take it before, so that taught me that I need to just take the shot instead of asking first.

By the time the scan was finished my mom and I were both pretty hungry so we stayed for a late lunch over at the cafeteria. I ordered the lemon chicken with green beans and rice, and my mom had a grilled cheese sandwich, always a favorite of hers. We also split a plateful of fries and each had some frozen yogurt for dessert.

UPDATE: My mom’s scan showed that her aneurism is stable and has not grown in the last two years.


A Flu Shot, A Blood Draw, A Breakfast And An Iron Lung

My day started out with taking my mom to get a flu shot at the Perlman Medical Offices at UCSD Thornton Hospital, where her primary care doctor has his office. The inoculation was administered by a very friendly female doctor who we’d never seen before. Except for a bit of waiting in the reception area, the procedure went very quickly.

From there we walked over to the Lab, located in the same building, to get some of her blood drawn to check her levels before her upcoming CT scan on Friday. That also went extremely quickly and without incident. For me it was a surprisingly relaxing morning.

By the time we finished in the Lab it was late enough in the morning that we both decided it would be nice to visit “The Cove”, the hospital’s cafeteria, for a nice sit-down breakfast. The cafeteria had been recently remodeled and is always clean, the staff friendly and food pretty good. Today was no exception. I ordered a veggie omelet, feeling the need to be healthy since I was in a hospital (which was completely nullified by two strips of bacon), and my mom ordered a large, round waffle covered with blueberries and strawberries and smothered in whip cream. She also decided to add some syrup to her heap. She got stuck twice by needles earlier, so she deserved it.

We ate out in the uncovered patio area, surrounded on all sides by the very tall walls of the hospital. Unfortunately, the incredible noise from the construction of a much taller building right next door was bouncing off every wall we were surrounded by and making conversation practically impossible. We ate without speaking.

As we were finishing our meals I noticed a weird, cylindrical contraption, almost steampunkish in design, about the size of a desk through the glare of glass doors across from me and in the main waiting area of the building. After a brief time of trying to figure out what it was, and with people starting to gather around it, I noticed that one end of it started moving back and forth, almost as if it were pumping something.

Once we were done I headed straight over to see what it was. As I neared it I recognized it as an iron lung machine. It seemed to be very old, but in perfect working condition. I found out that it was on display for today only, and only for a few hours, for Respiratory Care Week at the hospital. Apparently they have this every year and bring this body tank out of storage to show off.

While it was my mom’s turn to wait for me, I chatted for quite some time with one of the nurses staffing this exhibit and she told me that it was built in the 1920s and used primarily with patients suffering from polio during the 30s, 40s and 50s. The patients were paralyzed from the neck down and therefore couldn’t breathe on their own. Their bodies would lie on a thin, uncomfortable mattress on the inside of the pressurized tube, while their heads protruded on the outside. The air being sucked in by a motorized pump underneath would cause the pressure inside to rise, compressing their chest and lungs and making them exhale. When the pump switched to blowing the air out it caused a negative pressure which expanded the chest and lungs, forcing the patient to inhale.

It was a really simple design, but fascinating to watch in action after they turned it on. I asked the nurse if any of the staff had tried it out and she said yes, before they brought it out. She said that it actually felt very natural and was much less likely to cause bodily harm (being non-invasive) than today’s newer, more mobile machines. Huh? She explained that today tubes are placed down patients’ throats, which increases the possibility of trachea or lung damage, and air is then forced in (positive pressure). On the modern day positive side, the patients are much more thoroughly and accurately monitored with many levels being watched. With the iron lung there were nurses eyeballs and one pressure gauge on top. That was it.

The nurse opened it up for me so I could take pictures inside. She described it as a mini submarine, even told me that being inside is referred to as “diving”.

They had an old hospital photo which showed a room full of these iron lungs with all the patients’ heads sticking out. The nurse (I really wish I would have gotten her name, would have been much easier than writing “the nurse” every time…from here on she will be known as “Betty”) told me the hospital even had one large, pressurized room filled with polio patients. All their bodies were in this room but their heads stuck out of a wall on one side. Every patient would breath at the same time with the room’s pressure rising and falling. Even the nurses had to breath in rhythm whenever they entered that room to clean and turn the patients.

I asked “Betty” if the patients had trouble speaking, since that requires breathing. She said that it wasn’t a problem, but they did have to learn to time their speaking to the increases in pressure that caused them to exhale. Then I asked her about the patients needing to go to the bathroom. She said that since they were paralyzed they just went inside the chambers. There were openings on either side of the chambers that allowed the nurses access to either quickly clean up any patients (they had to work very quickly since opening the little doors would immediately depressurize the chambers which meant the patients weren’t breathing) or to turn the patients to keep them from getting bed sores.

Above each patient’s head was a movable mirror that they used to chat with their neighbors in their own iron lungs.

Next to this contraption they also displayed a respirator from the 60s as well as one from today, both allowing a lot more mobility for the patients as compared to the original iron lung.

It was an extremely fascinating look into medicine’s past.  An ingenious breathing machine which, although delivering a terrible quality of life for the polio patients, it at least kept them alive.


Finally Reached One Million

It took a few years and I can mainly thank all those out there interested in my female cosplay photos, but I finally passed my one millionth view on Flickr. True, it’s a combined number for photos, sets and collections, but I’ll still take it.

Plus, my total for individual photo views is not far behind!

By the way, that zero view drop on October 9 is just a Flickr glitch. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

One Million Flickr Views 10-23-13

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