Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Renal Scan #9 and Other Medical Thoughts and Result

I LOVE the song, Mambo #5!

(See my good news at the bottom of this post :)

And for some odd reason ...I always think of it when I am about to get a renal scan. Renal scan #9 has an especially good ring to it. Of course ...so does #5! :)

These scans are important and yet for some reason, I feel a little levity connected to them. I don't feel levity in my spirit when actually having the scan. Well ...unless the tech gets me to laugh about something ..or ..I think of Mambo #5.

Before I go on ...I just want to say that I really do believe I am healed once and for all of this. I know those of you familiar with my history are probably skeptical. I understand. I've prayed before. Others have prayed for me. And then ...I relapsed. I know.

I also know that surgery has been the ongoing recommendation. You have no idea ...how HAPPY and GRATEFUL I am to have been given this one last chance to heal. I have my reasons ...but I really do believe my ureter IS healed and will no longer scar closed. I thank my urodoc for working on me and WITH me ...supporting me through this while working to facilitate healing in me. I thank God for healing me.

I had a follow-up renal scan this week and so awaiting the results, which I believe will be good. My urologist was pleased that my creatinine level was almost as good as when I had a ureteral stent in me this past winter, which would be indicative of urine flowing without obstruction ...just as it should be. I did experience discomfort, which passes a few minutes after the Lasix is administered. It's not a good feeling and that could be concerning ...except that that just might be the norm for me because my right ureter is naturally more narrow than most people's ureters. I remember a morning back in the 90s ...before I ever had a kidney stone damage to my right ureter, that I had experienced almost immediate and intense pain after I took a new water pill. It was like my kidney was being squeezed and wrung out with this heavy crushing feeling and then I really had to void. And I was alright. I think that was because my narrow ureter couldn't handle the large volume of urine created by that diuretic pill. (But ...no one knew about my narrow ureter back then. Heck! i didn't even KNOW i had a ureter ...never mind TWO of them! My left kidney was fine. I am guessing it must be a normal width. Needless to say ...I never took that med again!

Okay ...medical people are about to laugh and roll their eyes now ...but since 1975 (when married), I have always slept on my right side. I wonder if there is any chance I crushed it down somehow? Yes ...I've pondered that. :)

Anyway ...that incident reminds me that any discomfort I feel because of the Lasix during the scan may not be indicative of any ureteral stricture forming. I don't know why, but it always seems the techs leave the room at that point and because I don't feel right ...I wish they didn't. But, I never think to say it until after they are gone and I am experiencing the pressure. This is because with the first one, I felt I would become ill and needed a basin. Now ...I don't feel nausea, but it is an uncomfortable ...heavy pressure that is not only in kidney but seems to travel to low back and front. It is just not a good feeling all around. But ...I've never had the really bad experience since the first time I had the scan.

Anyway, other than that moment during the scan ...the rest of it is uneventful. I am always trying to figure out the little kidney galaxies I am watching on the screen. Interesting to see.

I had an odd thing happen while lying on the table during the scan. I got the weirdest taste in my mouth ...almost Windex like or something strong like that coming up in my breath from the back of my throat. He said it's the saline. I never had saline do that before. If I told you what I thought it was ..you'd crack up. Because it's not connected other than being in the same body.

When the test was finished, he placed the foley bag on my bladder. 1800 cc worth of glowing whizzie winkles in that bag. less then my higher outputs. That is either because I've lost weight and/or drank half the amount I usually did in the past.

Anyway ...with the foley bag in place over my bladder ...just before he took the picture ...I asked him if I should smile for the picture. "Wait! Should I smile?!" ;)

Oh ...the tech got the IV in first with the first stick, except ...it was the WORST one I ever had in my life ...because he must've hit a nerve. PAIN shot right down my arm and into my hand which felt numb and then turned to feeling prickly for awhile. And my arm got little pricks in it on and off today, but seems to have settled down. He later took a picture of my arm and I could see traces of the nuclear substance up and down my arm. (Now it is Friday afternoon and I am still getting little prickly sensations intermittently in hand or forearm.)

So ...you see ...the timing of this test was just perfect ...because now I can glow with the fireworks at night on July 4th! Confuses the lightening bugs tho. ;)

This firefly pic (above) looks something like a renal scan.


Update, Wednesday: I have GREAT news! An M/A from my urologist office called to tell me that urodoc wanted me to know that "Her kidneys are GREAT!"

I don't know specifics yet, but I sure LOVE the GREAT in reference to my kidneys!!! :)

Thank you Heavenly Father!

Thank you urodoc!

Thank you! :)

*I could've had this news last week if I turned my cell phone back on after last Wednesday night. I really have to be better about keeping it on and charged. I know that most people live by these phones.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mammo Talk and Bilateral Post -Mammo Pancake Protrusions

About a month ago ... a few hours after my mammogram, I was inspired to write this post ...but alas ..could not type it up, because of my newly acquired ...albeit temporary (Thank God!), physical obstruction to the key board. Some years are worse than others and I think that is determined by the preferences/training of the tech doing the test. I shall explain.
Men just have no idea what we have to go through with these mammograms.

Earlier tonight, while in the middle of "the mammo", compressions (No ...NOT CPR to the girls kind of compressions ...although they must think they need it when finally removed from the machine), an idea occurred to this wincing with a little desperation mixed in (OWWWWWW), SeaSpray. By the way, it seemed to me that this tech would've compressed my girls all the way down to China if I had not eventually whined "OWWWWWW." I tried to take it ...I really did. So when she did the second one ...sure enough ...she kept compressing until I again whined, "OWWWWWWW." (Mental note made - whine earlier next year ...wincing in conjunction with whine particularly effective ;)

Epiphany moments are interesting. Mine came to me tonight as the mammo compressor facilitated the morphing of said girls into ...oh I don't know ...PANCAKES!

I began to think about how they (said girls) would not fit back into my bra or blouse. I decided that the radiology center should supply women with post mammo attire, i.e., more accommodating clothing and bras better suited to the varying pancake shapes women sport afterward. It's so awkward walking out in public with this altered breast shape and ill fitting clothing. This is the real reason we are told to leave the gown open in the front. We all know that we can just lift the gown up to proceed with the test. But, they KNOW the girls aren't gonna fit under it after the mammogram. This would be a much appreciated courtesy extended by the mammogrammer & radiology center to the novice mammogramee ...until they get with the program (remember to bring appropriate post-mammo clothing and bra) like us veteran mammogramees. It would also help the forgetful mammogrammees.

Perhaps it would help if the radiology center provided something like a Madonna bra gone pointy pancake. Well ...unless you are more the melon type ....then cantaloupe gone pancake. You see there are the strawberry girls and then there are the cantaloupe girls. That's all I'm gonna say about that. Otherwise, the common denominator is pancake.

Anyway, this SeaSpray knows to bring a really stretchy bra, fortified with an under wire made of steel that can extend or shorten if necessary (It all depends on how hard the mammo breast compressions were), with attached thin under shelf for the additional support ...also made of steel. (I designed it myself :) I mean ...obviously ...well assuming I could even get the bra I came in with back on ...obviously the cups would be extremely ill fitting considering I would hardly be needing much of a 3 dimensional fitting bra cup. Talk about puckered material - sans depth to fill it and painful compressing back in, well it just would not work! because the cups would now be too short. It's simple math really. Take the depth of the girls and smoosh them as flat as possible and ...well everyone knows that same compressed matter has to go somewhere ...thus extends outward ...far ...far outward and sideways. They spread out and around just like breakfast pancakes ...hence post-mammo pancakes. And it doesn't matter what cup size ..even Band-Aid sized girls will need a steel support bra once they've been flattened to protruding mammo pancakes. We all know that air is not conducive to support ting objects of any kind. Has something to do with the law of gravity.

Any woman who has lived through a mammo can verify this. Actually ...anyone witnessing a mammo patient exiting her mammo appointment can also bear witness to the altered appearance post- mammo appointment..

Furthermore, our girls are compressed so far down (to get a good picture), that it gives new meaning to the expression "flat chested." And "routine" mammo? Let me tell you ...there is nothing "routine" about having your breasts compressed down to oddly protruding pancakes. There is just something so unnatural about it.

It's so obvious really.

So you see ...and you probably have ...you can recognize all the mammographied (I know not a real word, but I like it anyway:) women as they exit the center because they are the ones with their girls pointing straight out and flat as a pancake. There is one perk to it all though. Well ...technically speaking ...2 perks. ;) But, the perk I'm referring to is that they also make convenient shelves for awhile once you get past the inconvenience of not being able to see anything underneath them. Like a full term pregnant woman trying to see her weight on a scale ...mammographied women can't see anything beneath their girls for a while after the test was done. So you just make the best of it and appreciate the temporary functionality of having two shelves jutting out from your body. There is that convenience factor.

A word of caution though. Be careful not to stand too close to these recently mammographied women while their girls are so prominently jutting outward in their flat chested state (Oxymoron - I know :) ...because if they make one quick turn in either direction and you are too close ...you're going D-O-W-N! That's if they left the mammo appointment wearing their stretchy, yet steel supported under wire bras. Admittedly a wardrobe hazard ...but every woman wants good bra support you know, no matter what shape she is.

Thankfully, the girls usually return to their pre-mammo state within a few hours.

But, another word of caution: Even though, individual breast size determines the rate of return back to normalcy, i.e., the pre-mammo state ... if the post-mammo pancake breasts remain in the mammographied protrusion state for more than 4 hours, it is recommended that the ordering physician is called for further direction regarding your unresolved bilateral mammo pancake protrusions. Even if one mammo pancake protrusion returns to the pre-mammo state, but the other one remains jutting outward flat as a pancake, do not assume the other one will return back down to it's pre-mammo state. Therefore, it is still recommended that the physician is called. Otherwise a woman runs the risk of remaining that way (1 normal breast and one protruding mammo pancake breast) for a long time ...if not permanently. (Then just try and find a well fitting bra and/or clothing for the rest of your life) Also, if the ordering physician is not available, then it is advised to seek out the nearest Emergency Department physician for assistance.

Flat as a strawberry or cantaloupe pancakes I tell you.

Maple syrup anyone? ;)

PS - Please be advised that while the main content of this post is fictional (you knew it was ..right? ;), if you or anyone you know does suffer from sudden onset of post-mammo pancake syndrome and do end up with a mammographied protrusion state for more than 4 hours, you ore they really should call a physician or go to the closest emergency department for evaluation and assistance.

PPS - Women, please get your mammograms whenever you are supposed to. It could SAVE your life!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

To Anonymous 8:44 - Fellow Ureteral Stentee


This post is for Anonymous 8:44, a fellow stent patient.

By the way Anonymous, I am guessing that since you used the word "loo" ..you are from across the pond. :)

I have been tied up with things and so have not been able to respond quickly. Thank you for your comment. I have often wished I had other uro patients to commiserate with, especially when my journey into uro world began. At least now ...there is more info on the web. And I know the drill now. :)

Thank you for sharing and I again wish you the best - total healing the first time around. :)

I answered your comment and here is the link to that uro post.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Jewish Bra


I haven't been following politics as closely as I usually do. It feels better taking a break from the news every so often. Instead ...I have been watching sitcoms. Last weekend, I watched as much of the M*A*S*H* marathon as I could ...including the 30 year reunion. I appreciate the show more now than when it was on CBS. Brilliant show!

Another favorite of mine has been "The Nanny", played by Fran Drescher. I just LOVE that show! I never got to see it when it was on, because I worked every Monday night. But, I think I have seen them all now and still watch the repeats. She reminds me of my close friend Iris ..if my friend were to have big hair and wear a lot of makeup and be flamboyant. They really could pass for cousins or sisters. I just love the butler too. Cute, endearing show. She really made a difference in every one's lives for the better. Scenes in the show also remind me of "I Love Lucy", especially between the nanny and her friend Val and the nanny and her boss ..like Lucy - Ricky dynamics. They Obviously intended that. Oh and I love her whole Jewish family ..especially her senile grandmother. She used to play Laura Petry's next door neighbor Millie. In one scene ..the nanny's grandmother is standing in front of the stainless steal refrigerator ...waiting for the elevator doors to open. Too funny. The whole cast is great.

It just feels good to kick back and laugh. I also like "Frasier" and "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Oh and "SCRUBS"! :)

Anyway ...it's hilarious how her Mom tries to heap guilt on her or they get upset over the slightest things and so I automatically thought of "The Nanny" when a friend (Thank you Linda :) recently sent the following joke via e-mail:

The Jewish Bra

A Jewish man walked into the Lingerie Department of Macy's
in New York.
He tells the saleslady, 'I would like a Jewish bra for my wife size, 34B.'

With a quizzical look the saleslady asked, 'What kind of bra?'
He repeated, 'A Jewish bra. She said to tell you that she wanted a
Jewish bra, and that you would know what she wanted.

'Ah, now I remember,' said the saleslady. 'We don't get as many
requests for those as we used to. Most of our customers lately want
the Catholic bra, or the Salvation Army bra, or the Presbyterian bra.'

Confused, and a little flustered, the man asked 'So, what are the
The saleslady responded. 'It is all really quite simple. The Catholic
bra supports the masses. The Salvation Army lifts up the fallen, and
the Presbyterian bra keeps them staunch and upright.'

He mused on that information for a minute and said, 'Hmm. I know
I'll regret asking, but what does the Jewish bra do?'
'Ah, the Jewish bra,' she replied, 'makes mountains out of molehills.'

Okay ...Sarah ...I just could not let this go. :) Suffice it to know that your comment about wearing an atheist bra has inspired my next post! And I will be adding a pic of me from when I was 14. Thanx! :)

I am also looking forward to Fran Drescher's new show beginning on TV land on June 15th. :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Birthdays in Heaven? Mom's Birthday Today


Happy Birthday Mom ...I Sure Do MISS You.

I thought about you often throughout the day Mom. June 3rd. Iris and I were together earlier today and she remembered it was your birthday too.

We would've had your birthday party here. The kids were here earlier. Well ...except for Chris because he had to work. We had dinner and then took the wee ones outside to play. Wrenna just loves it outside. It's so cute seeing her run through the grass with a ball almost as big as she is. When I think of Wren ...I always remember her smiling. And she is beginning to really talk a lot now. Devan was showing us her soccer moves and making wand bubbles for her sister. She is still an avid reader, devouring large books so quickly. She has a delightful sense of humor and is a wonderfully, loving big sister. I can hardly believe she is 10 already! And Myles ...well he was just taking everything in. He is always so happy. He reminds me of his dad when he was a baby because he has the same happy disposition, often smiling with bright eyes that light up with such joy. You have THREE beautiful great grandchildren, but maybe you already know that now. I can imagine if your new great grandson grabbed onto your finger ...you'd tell us all, "He has a SCOTSMAN"S grip!" He sure does. :) You would be proud of them all. We sure are. :) They are all so well behaved and a joy to be around ...precious for sure. Oh and I just know you would adore our new dog, Faith. She'd love you too. And your cat, Peachy ...is still going strong. Hard to believe he is 20 now. No doubt because of all the love you gave him.

Well ...I just wanted to tell you I love you...

I miss you...

and Happy Birthday Mom. :)

I assume you can celebrate birthdays in heaven (since our life there is a continuation of who we were here on earth, but better) and I imagine the most amazing food and birthday cakes ever. Heavenly for sure! :)

Noncaloric of course. ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where I Really, Really, Really ...Wish We Were ...




...in a beach house on the beach at Manasquan ... balmy breezes, salt air and sea spray... and so much more.

Too bad physicians can't write a script for vacations that would be reimbursed by insurance. vacations being good for spiritual, mental and physical health and all. I'm just saying.

A SeaSpray can dream. :)