Thursday, August 13, 2009

Listing to Starboard

I check on the fish regularly. I feed them when I come home from work and in the morning before I leave. I try to feed them smaller amounts more frequently: Koi don’t have stomachs so there is no loading up and then chewing the cud like bossy.

The two in the jail cell seem to have been doing pretty well this week, but day before yesterday I noticed the escape artist sort of slowly rolling to his right, then he’d catch himself and get square and plumb, only to do it again a few seconds later. It worried me, I thought perhaps he was suffering internal injuries from his big jump, but he and his cell mate are doing a pretty good job of cleaning their plates up after every feeding and loss of apetite seems to attend almost every piscene ailment.

So I put a slice of orange in the tank with dinner last night. Turns out Koi enjoy (when given the chance) a varied diet. The folks where we got this guy said they were regularly putting orange slices in the tank and he and his pals would go after them like piglets. The orange slice was pretty gummed up this morning when I fed before work. It does not mean he’s out of the woods, he could still end up fertilizer for the garden bed but I have the satisfaction of knowing that if he kicks, it won’t be from starvation. Meanwhile:

Cystic Fibrosis!?

I was up in Seattle seeing a pulmonologist on Tuesday. When your doc says “The tests show, without a doubt you definitely do not have such and such", it evokes a certain response. When he says: “It’s highly unlikely that you have Cystic Fibrosis” it provokes an entirely different response. You’d think it would be almost the same response since the pronouncement is almost the same, but it’s really a very different response. Sort of like when someone says: “The chances are a million to one that your house will flood two years in a row.

So the good news is that I probably don’t have CF, or some other similar ailment with a vey technical moniker, something about cillia. He’s back on the possibility of some form of immune deficiency; wants to run a bunch of blood tests but first another CT scan (had that this afternoon).

This doc is a real nerd, seems like he should have been a research scientist. Great for me, I don’t need bedside manner, I need technical competency and this guy oozes that, and doesn’t even know it. He also seems a little bit intrigued by my case. Again lets here it for the geek with curiosity, he's got the basic ingredients of a good Randonneur.

He had me do some exercising, we ran up and down four stories worth of fire escape stairs a couple times while I had an oxygen saturation monitor on my finger. He’s running along beside, staring into the CRT. No problem there, my fingers are getitng plenty of oxygen and and my ticker didn’t peg the meter, I did however do a fair amount of hacking. Then came the lung capacity test: I blew about 115% or predicted normal for a geezer. He was a little puzzled so we talked about hobbies and physical activity. That lead to the Rando conversation and we were off on that long, odd story for 10 minutes. I told him PBP comes around again in 2011. ”Oh good” he says, "we’ve got some time”. “Not really” I replied, I’ve got to get back in shape and that’s not happening until something changes. He got it.

This was at the Group Health Coop Hospital up on Capital hill. Boy what a trip down memory lane that was. Actually the little three story white terracotta hospital I remember as a kid is nowhere to be seen. In its place is a multi block medical ‘campus’. But driving up Madison, and 15th, and Broadway brought back some memories. I was amazed to see Dicks Drive in still there on Broadway. Bet you don’t get a hamburger for 19 cents there any more. And Seattle CC does not look like the old Broadway HS anymore.

Once when we were kids, my sister and I had to go in for annual physicals up at 'the hospital'. My older sister was the boss of the kid pack and so while we waited for the old man to get home from the mill, we went to the local vacant lot (now a multi story high rise just west of Harborview) and swung on the rope swing hanging from the big ole maple tree. She always had a dare and this time was no different. “OK, now who’s gonna swing out with just one hand?” I’m usually a sucker for these things, but even then I was not entirely stupid. This tree was on a pretty steep hill (my sister christened it ‘Gals Miniature Mount: How’s a guy supposed to get his arms around that?) and it seemed like that rope swung all the way out over Elliott bay. no thanks! “OK, I’ll do it!” she said triumphantly. Of course she fell, skinned her knees, hurt her arms, both of them, and she got her dress all dirty.

She came home crying, tears streaking the dust on her cheeks. Mom was mad as hell, gave us both a swat on the butt and sent us in to the bathroom to clean up. She kept whining about her arms, I figured it served her right (I don’t know why I figured that.) Mom just told her to shush, we were headed to the doctors office anyway. After her exam the doc came out and announced that Judy had two broken arms.

That must have been pretty embarrassing for the folks.

She got stuck with casts up to her elbows on both her arms in the middle of the summer. I figured it served her right. (don’t ask me why, a brothers love I guess.)


  1. GHC on capital hill brings back memories. Back in the 60's, my dad was a doc there. On Sunday mornings, we'd drive across the 520 bridge, and drive through the arboretum in his TR3 with the top down. I'd hang out in the Dr.'s lounge and watch TV while he did rounds. I'll always remember the lounge was always filled with cigarette smoke. Probably where I got my lung issues.

    Chili Waffle

  2. Codfish, get well so you can get back on the bike! Regarding your sister...