Saturday, October 15, 2011
May we always do for others, and let others do for us.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I remember waking up, cold and aching, on the floor of the crew connex box at Prudhoe because Logistics had blown my camp booking. I was puzzled to see that my email inbox had exploded, but with the stalled dialup connection, I couldn’t see why. Back at camp, I saw people standing twenty deep around the large-screen TVs. Besides the East Coast situation, news came of a Korean Air jet headed to AK and transponding the code for a hijacking. The rest of the crew were stuck in Anchorage so I did the field work alone. I remember sitting in the truck, eating an egg salad sandwich and listening the radio discussing the target potential of the oil pipeline over which I was parked. I felt extra alone because just a week before, the final death knell had sounded on 13 years of loving someone who didn’t care if I lived or died. I wondered what would happen to my dogs if I didn't get back home. Three days later I was in the first group to fly out. We were the guinea pigs for new security measures, and the two-room airport in Deadhorse had become a military installation.
A few years later, I stood at the temporary memorial at Shanksville, near where I was born. Down a dirt road past a junkyard with old refrigerators and dead Pepsi vending machines, there was nothing but a length of pink tape to separate us from the view of that scar in the land. I hooked an Alaska keytag to the sections of chain-link fence that served as a makeshift memorial cache.
My only contribution to the story of that day was later on, to write the "Hero" television PSA, which touched many people across the country and won some recognition. Mostly I just remember worrying about my family a couple hours west of NYC, and I remember eating that sandwich out on the tundra.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
- Dental cleaning, but no excisions because the ones that needed to come out fell out during the exploratory; abscesses under treatment
- Ear flush to get rid of a lot of debris and infection; Saylor has no left eardrum and only partial right eardrum; infection under treatment twice daily
- Bloodwork has high AlkPhos but nothing else remarkable. Thyroid okay, so problems with thermoregulation are probably due to the constant exposure of tongue and mouth tissue.
- Full body x-rays indicate no other particular concerns
- Bloodwork basically okay except high AlkPhos
- Dental cleaning, removal (and a cosmetically beautiful removal) of gum tissue overgrowth which does not appear cancerous
- Ears were actually rotting from the inside, despite constant treatment since October. Doc was amazed at the amount of impacted debris that came out and says he can't wait to show me the video. Luther has evidently had serious ear problems all his life; ear canals are scarred and are only 25% the width that they should be. Both eardrums are gone. Ears were not surgically closed at this time because we need to treat them further first; they may not actually have been completely cleared despite all the time spent on them. This boy has been miserable for a very long time with no complaint.
- Left lung cloudy and scarred, possibly from a serious aspiration at some time in the past
- Heart is enlarged and elongated, but cardiac blood values were ok. Not sure what this may portend for him, if anything
- X-rays revealed shot pellets around his ribcage
- The most recent, large hot-spot-that-doesn't-look-like-a-hot-spot isn't a hot spot, it's a deep pyoderma. On high dose Cipro to see what that gets us. Ron felt this whole area should probably be excised, but after spending so long on the ears and knowing that was going to be painful and traumatic for some days to come, he said he didn't want to send him home with a 6 inch incision to manage too. This may have to happen at the same time as the ears get closed up. They tried some laser therapy to see whether that might help. Looking at it 24 hours later, I think it may have.
- Now the real problem. Spinal x-rays show severe spondylosis encompassing lower thoracic vertebrae, all lumbar vertebrae, and sacrum. Large bony growths at the lumbar/sacral junction. Causes? (age, trauma, overcompensation - did he get hit by a car and lose the leg as well as bust his back?) Arthritic hips but the issue of intermittent lameness in the right rear leg is diagnosed as neurological due to spinal degeneration. None of this has a good outlook (will his leg quit before his back finally snaps?, etc). He'll be on pain meds for the duration now.
Luther came home from the doctor acting like nothing had happened, but is rubbing his ears a lot. Saylor had a few hours of post-anesthesia psychosis and we just weathered that until he was done and we all got a small amount of sleep. Both boys seem to feel relatively well today and soldiered up for their ear cleaning tonight.
Followup in two weeks. More surgery for Luther likely. Discount on all services and drugs, and they did the laser treatment for free. (I love my vet.) My client and friend Dr. Kufel will take a look at Luther's radiographs to see what he may be able to contribute to his comfort. (I love my chiropractor too.)
Peg and kids