376) August Clinic Visit

August 8, 2009

Morning Musings: The dog wakes me up at about 6:30... wanting to go out. It is the nicest time of the day here in Austin these days... I stand on the back porch waking up and watch her busying herself about checking all her "places", seeing if there are any early critters out there to grab before they fully wake up... then its off to her other places: where she 'does her business' before inspecting the fence line. I decide its time to water our new hillside plantings, telling myself, "new plantings can be watered on our off days" and I haven't watered ours since last Sunday. I'm also thinking about my dad and hoping he is getting better. He still hasn't contacted us since getting out of the hospital, and based on our last argumentative conversation, I am letting him heal in peace. I heard yesterday from Katie that his computer is "goofy" and so I realize he might not be following this blog or reading the soft emails of cheer and healing I've occasionally sent him. Namaste Dad. Coffee aroma brings me back to the present... got to get a cup...

Last Clinic Appointment: Liz and I went for my clinic visit last Wednesday, after my labs on Tuesday. I had forgotten my lab appointment on the 28th and didn't even realize it til Bernadette called later, asking what happened. I chalked it up to post-vacation brain drain, or, as Kim continues to say, my post operative fuzzy brain. At any rate, it slipped my mind so I went in Tuesday instead. Maxine the LVN brought me into a treatment room and did the weighing and BPing and I have lost 4 pounds since last visit so I was pretty happy about that. My BP was good and this time she didn't give me copies of my labs and I didn't ask.

Dr. Lewis came in and reviewed my labs and did his exam and he continues to think all is going quite well in my healing and adjustment to this foreign kidney. I asked him if he'd read the recent NewYorker article about people who donate kidneys to strangers. This stopped Dr. Lewis up short. Yes he read it and No he didn't like or agree with it one bit. His disagreement went beyond mine: mine being focused on the author's portrayal of dialysis as "a kind of death-in-life" and "gruesome" caught me as one-sided and simplistic and I wondered how many dialysis patients she had really interviewed. Sure, there are lots of people who HATE dialysis, but there are, in my experience, just as many who have adjusted to it and accept it as a necessary part of life on the planet... and who make the best of it as we do with any chore we don't really enjoy. Certainly this blog has tried to put the most positive spin on dialysis and how people can integrate it into their lives as an educational and enlightening experience that helps them appreciate every minute they have on the planet... similar to a near death experiences impact.

Lewis' take? He scowled that the whole thing was "yellow journalism" and that it was representative of what magazines publish these days to sell their copies. From his perspective, the references to antiquated research from the Victorian era of psychology, back in 1967, using "free-associative interviews, dream analysis, and Rorschach and thematic apperception tests" was completely unnecessary, given the amount of more recent research about kidney donation. I agreed wholeheartedly with this, and at the time mentally criticizing myself for being too blindly acquiescing to writers' verbiage. I want to be more thoughtful in reading and compare writings to my own ideas as I am reading rather than data entering them and somehow subconsciously debate them later as the synapses are having difficulty hooking onto them.

Anyway, Lewis made some good points that I agreed with and I came home to reconsider everything the author had written with a new filter. The rest of my appointment went fine. Lewis is concerned by some coughing I have right after meals sometimes, so referred my for a "barium swallow and gastric emptying study"! Sounds impressive, huh? Doc says we should check into it and he referred me for the test and then I make an appointment with a gastroenterologist (Dr. Poreddy) they work with. All my lab work was excellent again, and we are getting ready for busting my 6 month anniversary, on September 9th! We set our next month's appointments for lab and clinic, and I later set appointments for the BSGES and gastro-doc.

All is well.


dennis said...

That's a very interesting perspective that your doc has. I guess to a certain degree he's got it right.

This leads me to wonder what do articles like that really do. Do they make people look up to the characters as heroes and try to emulate them, or do they take is as some 'interesting read' and go on with their lives.

Jack Nowicki said...

For one thing, I love that my doc is more than a neutral, in the "system" type doc who doesn't say anything because of that "Doctor's Professional Distance Club" thing that many of them adhere to.

And, I think that there are many writers out there who do write about all the "blood and guts" and elaborate on their particular spin rather than try to present a fair, impartial picture of the situation. Of course, many of them just report what they see or hear, without considering whether the audience can consider their writings with a critical eye.

I many times forget to do that myself when reading... and my biggest point in that post really was to accentuate for my readers my own weaknesses in blindly falling into writers "story", without really questioning my own agreement with it as I am reading it.