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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cardiology Update (The Beat Goes On -- sort of)

Kim and I spent most of this afternoon with Dr. Santolin, a cardiologist with Sacred Heart Hospital. He told us that there are two procedures he wants to perform on me before considering a pace maker. So on february 24, I report to Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire, at 7 AM. the first procedure is a TEE: (googled below) He wants to do this to check for blood clots in the sacs surrounding the heart because if there are blood clots, the second procedure would kick them loose and cause stroke. He diagnosed me with Atrial Flutter (googled down below)

Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE)

There are several ways to create an image of the heart and how it functions. The TEE is one of these ways. It will show the heart structure and the blood flow through the heart. This procedure can detect heart problems such as blood clots, aneurysms, valve dysfunction, septal wall defects, backflow of the blood through the valves, infections of the heart valve and cardiac masses.

What exactly is a TEE?
Transesophageal echocardiography is a painless ultrasound imaging exam. The instrument used is inserted through the mouth and passed into the esophagus. Because the heart and esophagus are close together, and there are no bony structures between, TEE can provide a clear image of the heart.

The TEE probe is a long flexible instrument with an ultrasound sensor located at the tip. The probe is passed through the mouth, down the back of the throat, and into the esophagus and stomach. This allows the doctor to examine the heart and valves through ultrasound images. No biopsies (tissue samples) are taken from the heart during the TEE.

The exam is extremely well tolerated with little or no discomfort. The probe does not interfere with breathing. There is no risk of heart damage from the exam.

Atrial flutter is caused by a reentrant rhythm in either the right or left atrium. Typically initiated by a premature electrical impulse arising in the atria, atrial flutter is propagated due to differences in refractory periods of atrial tissue. This creates electrical activity that moves in a localized self-perpetuating loop. For each cycle around the loop, there results an electric impulse that propagates through the atria.

In my case the flutter makes my heart rate appear to be very slow and at times causes it to actually pause - the longest pause I experienced this past week in testing was a little over eight seconds. Dr. Santolin cannot be certain because there are too many variables, but the sleep apnea may well be at least one of the causes. The two 8 second pauses both occurred at around 5 AM - so he wonders if it may be happening as I am coming out of REM sleep.

At any rate, he does not want Kim to leave me unobserved until they can run the above procedures. The Mexico trip scheduled for March 1 - 6 is very much in doubt because of all of this - we will decide soon so that Kristi can get money back for paid flights with letter from physician.

So we move forward under a cloud of not knowing until testing is completed.



Management Course

Lesson 1:

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.

The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs..

When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor..

Before she says a word, Bob says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel.'

After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.

When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, 'Who was that?'

'It was Bob the next door neighbor,' she replies.

'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?'

Moral of the story:

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your share holders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Lesson 2:

A priest offered a Nun a lift.

She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg.

The priest nearly had an accident.

After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

The nun said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again.

The nun once again said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest apologized 'Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.'

Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way..

On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, 'Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.'

Moral of the story:
If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Lesson 3:

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.

They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.'

'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk. 'I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.'

Puff! She's gone.

'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.'

Puff! He's gone.

'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager.

The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'

Moral of the story:

Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 4

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing.

A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, 'Can I also sit like you and do nothing?'
The eagle answered: 'Sure, why not.'

So, the rabbit sat on the ground below th e eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:
To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson 5

A turkey was chatting with a bull.

'I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree' sighed the turkey, 'but I haven't got the energy.'

'Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?' replied the bull. They're packed with nutrients.'

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.

Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudl y perched at the top of the tree.

He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:
Bull Shi t might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.

Lesson 6

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.

While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.

As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out!

He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.

Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:
(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.

(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.

(3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth shut!



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