Sunday, November 20, 2011

Things are going to be slow for a while ... I hope!

I have to wait until December 14 before the transplant can happen because they want a four-week checkup on my heart. In the meantime, the medicines the cardiologist gave me keep my blood pressure so low that I'm like a teenager when I stand up. I never know when I'm going to come close to blacking out. This coming week, I'm going to call the cardiologist, ask what I'm allowed to do in the way of exercise, and see if I can talk him into cancelling a couple of the meds.

My blood counts were almost the same on Friday, so there will be no spinal tap on Monday. They want my platelets, the cells that make our blood clot, to be over 50 before they go running a three-and-a-half-inch needle into my back. A count of 150 would be the low end of normal, and my platelets are at 39, which is a jump up from the 26 they were on Tuesday.

So Tuesday it's back to the hospital, check my blood, and if my platelets are over 50, then the spinal tap is scheduled for that afternoon. I've learned my lesson, so I'm going straight from the spinal tap to the back seat of the car, then straight to the floor when I get home. Vanderbilt really doesn't provide a place to lay around for four to six hours, which would be best, so the car and floor plan will have to do. It worked okay last time. I'll follow that up with a couple days of laying around; I don't care to go through any more two to three week long sessions of headaches every time I sit up.

Hopefully, it will be a nice break. My mom was out here visiting at the end of last week, my two oldest sons came on Friday, and we got a visit from friends of ours, a couple, today. I don't really dare go back to Rose Creek Village right now, as there are too many sick people, so getting visits from the healthy ones will have to do. We'll see most of my wife's family this week, and we'll have family for Thanksgiving, too. Waiting around for the cardiologist appointment December 14 could be a pleasant time. I seem to have my headaches under control. Between what was left over of the spinal taps, the potency of the last round of chemo, and dry sinuses from a couple separated weeks in the dry hospital air, plus autumn's reduced humidity—between all of that, it was difficult to figure out what was causing the headaches. Today was great, so maybe that's all under control.

Okay, that was all medical stuff, so here's some free interesting stuff ...

Covered in the Dust of Your Rabbi

The following video is part 1 of a teaching I found incredibly interesting. I don't want to take credit for some of Rob Bell's more liberal ideas, but there's no doubt he's an interesting teacher, and this subject—Covered in the Dust of Your Rabbi—is absolutely captivating for those that have read and re-read the Gospels. It will answer a dozen questions you didn't realize you've been dying to ask. (You can click over to Youtube and see the rest of the videos.)

One caveat. The original teaching was done by Ray Vander Laan, and Rob Bell does not get everything exactly right. There's places where Bell says all students, when Vander Laan just said some students. So tone Bell down just a bit for accuracy, and this will be one of the more moving teachings you've ever heard.

Ray Vander Laan has a completely different style from Rob Bell, and his DVD is expensive (in my opinion). It's shot on location in Israel, but for the serious student, it gives the background of Bell's teaching, and the on-location video adds another dimension to the teaching. (If you use my link to get Vander Laan's DVD off Amazon, I get a small commission; I'm supposed to tell you that.)


  1. I can't help asking said you feel like a teenager bc you're never sure when you stand up if you're going to black out or not. what the world? have you known a bunch of teens with really bad orthostatic hypotension??? I didn't know that was common to teenagers. :)

  2. I keep forgetting this happens less often (or not at all?) to girls, but if you get a room full of males over the age of 15, at least half of them will be able to tell you about a long period during puberty when standing up was an event. For me, it lasted about a year. I was forced to make it a habit to stand up, then wait. I didn't dare take a step. Often, I would completely lose my vision before enough blood got to my brain to reverse the effect.