Doc's Progress Notes
Week of August 21, 2000
Last Updated: 8/27/2000 at 9:14 PM PDT
I'm back! It has taken me two days to recover from my birthday which is what happens when you turn ancient as my wife and daughter reminded me all day Monday. Actually, yesterday was Stephen's birthday and he decided to have an attitude problem last night because he was not getting to have his birthday the way he wanted to. Now, he had two practices yesterday, finishing the last one at 8:10 PM. We then had dinner for him with an ice cream cake afterward with the main celebration planned for Sunday as I mentioned this past Sunday. His plan was to be able to spend some of his birthday with some of his friends and get more presents other than the trip. With his misbehavior this summer we had already told him that he was having a low key birthday with family only and we were not going to change our minds. He then began complaining about the cake so he was sent to his room without cake with his Sunday trip in jeopardy. Unfortunately he has always been this way, at Christmas if he did not get exactly what he wanted he will sulk about what he got and say it is "stupid". It is certainly a battle of wills with him but we are not going to change and be the "perfect" parents who do everything the way HE wants it done. He tries to make us feel guilty by saying his friends' parents would not do things this way but that doesn't work. Maybe some day he will learn that he cannot manipulate us. So this discussion with Stephen eliminated any chance that I would get a post up yesterday.
Monday began with a Leadership Council meeting at 7 AM so I dropped Stephen off at football practice on the way in. Delanae and I then took Stephen to a counseling session at noon so we had a couple of hours to kill. We ate lunch at Country Folks Deli here in Longview. I had a pineapple chicken salad sandwich and was surprised by a chocolate covered brownie with a candle on it and the waitress and my wife singing Happy Birthday to me. When I got back to the office, the staff there had a chocolate cake and pie there for me so I had to eat some of both later in the afternoon. After running and picking up Stephen from his late practice, I got home for dinner and another chocolate cake which Delanae had made for me with Stacey's help. I really overdosed on chocolate Monday but am still alive to tell about it. Before I forget, my family gave me a DVD player for my birthday. It is a Panasonic DVD-C220D and can hold five DVD's at one time. I am going out later today to get an S Video cable and a coaxial digital audio cable to connect it to our TV and surround sound receiver respectively. We also joined Netflix.com which is an online DVD rental service that provides unlimited monthly rentals for one monthly fee. We figured that we spend more right now on video rentals per month than their one fee for an unlimited number of DVD rentals. We will try it for at least a month and I will be reporting on our experience with this service. I can't wait for our first DVD movie to come so I can play something on the new player.
Now back to something medical. The patient I had admitted Friday afternoon with the blockage in his left leg artery has had the blockage opened up with the intravenous blood thinner so he will not have to have surgery this week. He went home yesterday afternoon to see how he will do walking and working taking only aspirin as a blood thinner. If he has too much pain to work then he will need a bypass surgery to get more blood into his leg. He has several problems including his out of control diabetes which we will be dealing with over the next few months. He is one who I will send to a diabetes specialist since he has many complications already from diabetes at age 51 and will have many more problems as he gets older. He probably has coronary artery disease as well since he has the blockage in his leg arteries. That will need to be addressed also. All in all, he is going to be spending a lot of time in various specialists' offices over the next few months.
Today, I have no one in the hospital but will be going in at noon for a meeting. After that, I will take Stephen to his one football practice this afternoon then go run my errands to find the cables. Tonight is grocery shopping night as well as my night to cook. I will probably fix leftovers since I will be on the run and won't have time to properly fix a meal. Today is Stephen's last practice without pads, tomorrow they put on full pads for the first time this year. Unfortunately, I will probably miss both practices tomorrow because I am on call tomorrow night. I will try and make a little of his late practice if the patients are cooperative and not needing to be admitted to the hospital tomorrow night. Hope everyone has a nice day and thanks to all of you who sent birthday greetings to me.
Short post tonight since I am on call. Very busy day at work today which is typical for my Thursdays. I don't know why that is but it has worked out that way. I also found out today that I will be on call Thanksgiving this year but that also means I will not be for several years in the future. I will be off Christmas and will probably take some time off then also. I will have to work the week of New Years but will not be on call over that holiday.
Stephen had his first practices in pads today and is not too sore tonight. He says no major injuries so far. I did not get to see him practice any but should be able to tomorrow evening and two practices Saturday. Saturday marks the end of their two-a-days.
Yesterday's expedition was only partly successful. I did find an S-Video cable but no coaxial digital audio cable here in town. No one really knew what I was talking about. I settled for a high quality analog cable with RCA connectors. I will look in Portland next time we make a trip down there, surely someone there has that type of cable. We have not received any DVD's yet but have gotten E-mail confirmation that four have shipped with two expected either tomorrow or Saturday. If one does not come tomorrow we will have to buy or rent one from a local store to watch tomorrow night.
Let's see, I need to catch up on three days now. First off, call Thursday was very quiet, I had no admissions to the hospital. That is unusual and especially to have no more phone calls than I had. I am not complaining because I will have many nights which more than make up for this one.
Friday was busy at the office. Actually, both Thursday and Friday were although Thursday was more rushed for some reason. I sent one man home from the hospital Thursday night then admitted one patient to our hospice care center Friday afternoon. He is going to die of his metastatic renal cell cancer (kidney cancer) soon and has had to be hospitalized for pain management since he has the cancer spread to his spine and brain. We had a tough time finding it until he was sent to the University of Washington where they found it in his spine with a special MRI scan. He was having pain which we could not readily explain and with his history of the cancer already in his left shoulder we knew it was possible that it could also spread elsewhere. It will not respond to treatment now and he just wants to be kept comfortable. He may or may not be able to go home to die but hopefully he will be able to. After all, that is what hospice is for, to allow patients to die at home of their terminal disease with the help they and their families need at the end of their life.
Friday night we got to see our first DVD on the new DVD player. The first two DVD's came from Netflix.com so we watched "Enemy of the State". I am very impressed by the picture and sound even without the coaxial digital audio cable. Now I need to get our rear surround speakers wired in which I will do this week. The DVD's were in good shape and it is very simple to use the rental service, they come with a postage paid return envelope so I will just drop the first two in the mail tomorrow and they will send us two more when these two are received by them. Of course, my ISP's web server is down right now and so I can't get onto the internet to send this update or order a couple new DVD's to rent. Hopefully, the server will be up tomorrow so I can check my mail also.
Yesterday was the last day of Stephen's two-a-days. I spent most of the day playing taxi service for him and stayed and watched the second practice yesterday afternoon. His team was obviously tired and today's day off will help them be fresher tomorrow I'm sure. School doesn't start again until Wednesday but they will be practicing only once a day starting tomorrow. Stacey also starts volleyball practice tomorrow so both kids will be practicing during the day.
Today we went to Seattle to the Experience Music Project. It is quite a place with awesome computing power. The only way to describe it is to see it for yourself. If you like music from the sixties on you would love this place. A visitor can even try his own hand at making music which I did on both the bass and drums. I have never learned to play the drums but would love to have a kit. Anyway, the computers are all from Compaq and feature 19 inch flat panel LCD monitors which have awesome resolution and make my 17 inch non flat screen LCD monitor look bad. If you are ever in the Seattle area and have the time go by the Seattle Center and see EMP. You can't miss it, it is right at the base of the Space Needle and it is wrapped around the monorail tracks.
Driving back to find Interstate 5 in central Seattle, we saw the home of Onvia.com which turns out to be an old warehouse with a brand new big, lighted sign announcing Onvia.com. While driving to Seattle, somewhere just north of Tacoma or around SeaTac(which is an incorporated city, not just an airport), I saw a brand new office building with InternetFree.com on it. Seeing these two signs today just reminded me how many dot.com type companies are located in the Northwest and, at present, contributing to the economy here. I have not seen Amazon.com's headquarters yet so I have missed out on the biggest dot.com company in this area.
Now, I must go and get ready for tomorrow. I do not know when I will be able to FTP this since my ISP still cannot get out to the Web. I will keep trying tonight and first thing in the morning. Have a good week everyone.
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