Archive for the ‘HEALTH’ Category

UNBELIEVABLE!!   1 comment

When I woke up Monday morning I was sort of concerned about my right where they had put in a stent to open a blocked artery last Wednesday.It was red, swelling, felt warm, painful and because I am taking 3 blood thinners I wasn’t really concerned about a blot clot but ?????????????

Took Allen to the airport and asked Rion to come along as I wanted to go to the ER on the way back and I was concerned about driving if they gave me some muscle relaxer, pain killer or antibiotic that may make me drowsy.

We got there about 9:30 AM and at 11 AM they put me on a bed in the hallway in the ER section. A little after 12:30 PM they took me for a 10-15 minute ultrasound and said the results should be fairly quick and finally at 1:30 PM I went to the nurses station and asked if they could find out anything and within 10 minutes ‘my’ nurse handed me a batch of papers–well 11 to exact–and said I was discharged and should see my primary doctor within a week to 10 days–at 2:08 PM (see bottom, right hand corner of  photo!The diagnosis was ‘puncture wound’ followed by a list of home care, mainly the possibility of pain killers or antibiotics and then came the ‘kicker’—seek photo below with has “When to seek medical advice” or go to the second sentence in this post!!!

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted June 15, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH

Hospital June 8-10, 2021   1 comment


Won’t go into the whole story but I went into the hospital on a Tuesday at 9 AM for a test and before I knew it, or was told, I had a stent put in just above the wrist area, into a clogged artery and woke up to be told not to move my right hand! And that I would be in the hospital overnight which turned out to be 2 nights so what to do?

Sure, take pictures of the food, the room, the menus, the outside view, the nurse’s chart and the arm!

Here I am 5 days later and don’t understand why the arm is redder, more swollen and hurts more than it did Wednesday! I have been given an additional blood thinner making 3 I am taking so, sensibly, at least to me, I reason that I can’t have a blood clot!

Was thinking of going to the ER but for a couple of reasons–illogical ones–I will wait and call the doctor tomorrow.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are having our early evening rain which will make the humidity rise and going out means fogged up glasses!

And how are you doing?? :O)

Posted June 13, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE

From my apartment & along the walkway   Leave a comment

After getting the notice about the Heart Catheterization and Ventriculography test being changed from Monday to Tuesday I had to call to change the transportation and, not that I was rattled, but when asked for my address I told the schedular to wait a minute at which I point I had to look at my address card for my address!! Of course, at my age, the immediate thoughts of dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc., quickly pass through the brain and so I did my ‘cure’!

I sat at my dining room table looking out the window for an hour and then took a walk down to The Point and all was well with me!No matter what time of the day–or night–Mother Nature calms me down! The full moon disappearing behind the leaves of ‘my Wilma Tree’ was the best meditation! Also, if you look at and count the people in the canoe in the next to last picture you will see 8 people without an orange floating device around their neck, or on them, you realize we live in a crazy world of crazy people!  By the way in the picture before that, you see a motorboat tugging another canoe back to the landing they came from—at least the last guy in the crowd is wearing a floating device around his neck.

Heck, a test where ‘a tube is placed in your heart to look at the blood flow to your heart and how well your heart is pumping’ is nothing compared to how people put their lives in danger every day! LOL

Posted June 6, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

Doctors, appointments, Insurance, rides and more!   1 comment


I really thought things would start looking up today as I had an appointment with the ‘cardiovascular surgery team’ to set up the day I would go into the hospital for the aorta heart valve replacement of the 13-year-old pig valve I have that is really not working up to par which is why I was getting short of breath very quickly. They were to give me instructions of what to expect including an overnight stay, cutting out the blood thinner for a few days before, recovery time, etc. WRONG!!

It seems because of the delay in meeting with them—not MY fault!– the insurance referrals not only ran out of appointments with them but they would need to redo the CAT SCAN and another test as insurance would not approve this procedure based on the ‘old’ (March29!) tests! Yes, we have to now schedule the 2 tests before we can schedule the aorta operation because that will decide whether they will enter through the thigh, the chest or the heart with the balloon. They will call me with the appointments for the tests at the hospital–you know–the hospital that lost my bridge that I still haven’t had the new one fitted properly.

I was then handed a pamphlet and wouldn’t you know the first page I open to is page 20 which is entitled “What Are the Risks?” and the first listed is Death, followed by major stroke or major vascular complications, life-threatening bleeding event, heart attack and on and on and on. All that doesn’t bother me because the 14-15 meds I am taking already list the side effects that I can die, among other things, from taking them!

So far I have accomplished 0 and to add insult to injury I had arranged a free ride with my HMO. The driver picked me up at 10:30 AM for the 11:30 AM appointment and I was there by 10:45 AM.  I won’t get into having to be up in the middle of the night so I would be ready but the injury added to the insult was that I was finished with the ‘team’ at Noon and my ride didn’t come to pick me up until 1:30 PM and I finally got home at 1:50 PM!!

I know, as a rule, the drivers are great at picking you up early enough for the appointment but they are bad news as far as picking you up to get your home! Allen would have gladly taken me but I figured there was nothing major and their parking situation is horrendous but I didn’t want to bother him and knowing the driver might be late to take me back I had a book to read while I waited but, come on,  3 hours and 50 for a 30-minute appointment!??

I may be a patient but how patient is a patient supposed to be? (Okay, I thought that was funny.)

Now I wait, patiently, for one of the team members to call me with the test dates–I may be breathing regularly by my 22nd birthday!

Posted May 10, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

Storm and health update!   1 comment

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The picture was taken this morning and it was like this until about 4 PM and we got a light rain but now the sky is darkening with clouds so who knows what the evening will bring. We fared pretty well but a lot of areas near us were flooded. As usual, the entrance and exit to Gateway were swimming pools but never had that stairway waterfall that I thought we were getting–the water stopped right at the edge of the first step. The water on the property dried up pretty quickly and now those dark clouds are leaving! Bette Davis, our weather person, says showers for the rest of the evening but drier days ahead–and Bette wouldn’t lie!

I went for a chest/lung X-Ray on Monday and took the disk to my primary. He said he couldn’t be 100% sure until he gets the report but my lungs look clear. Now I have to wait until the 30th and see what is causing the blood in the phlegm.

He looked at my foot and says it looked better–less red and not as swollen. If he says so! I am taking a new antibiotic, bathing the foot in Epsom Salts and, in the evening, keep it raised while I watch TV though the later the day gets the more swollen and redness appears. The doctor did say it would take a total of 10 days to really show major improvement—not that I am keeping count but today is day 7!

All in all no complaints–well one–the schedule of the new antibiotic. I take it every 12 hours and it has to be either 1 hour before eating anything or 2 hours after eating. I don’t have any problem with the latter but waiting to have coffee, orange juice and an apple for an hour after waking up can drive me crazy! I can’t even go back to sleep as I am not supposed to lay down for 10 minutes(!) after I take the med. Then I have another med that I have to take before I take any other meds in the morning and I have 12 other meds I have to fit in during the day! Got my chart made! :O)

As I said, all in all, no complaints as all these meds are keeping me alive, in good health and none are debilitating!

Posted November 10, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH, MOTHER NATURE

PAD—Part 3–the end   Leave a comment

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(Last full-length picture of me in shorts–5-6 years ago!)
I don’t remember the first time I had to stop completely walking to the Gateway Theatre as the pain in my calves was just too much! Each time I walked to or from the theatre I had to make stops because of the pain though it lasted very briefly and I could walk again but, eventually, it was taking too much time and pain to walk the mile.Since 2001 I had been going to see Dr. Arison every 6 months and he would make me come back the following week to have a scan taken of my legs and then would call me the following Saturday to say everything looked the same. Every 6 months he would ask me about how far I was walking before I felt pain and he would say that I should just walk through the pain!  (I won’t say what my reaction to that was!) Little by little, it would be less and less until 5 weeks ago, I decided to actually count how many steps I was taking before the pain hit and I was really surprised that it was only 200 steps! I knew I had an appointment with him on August 10 and decided to wait until then to discuss it.I told him what happened with my counting of steps, my finding it a chore to walk down to Karen Bay, not feeling any pain except when I was walking, even in my apartment, along with panting for breath when I walked, especially walking upstairs. He had a trainee with him and he had her take all the vitals and at times I wasn’t sure whether he was talking to me or her but finally after all that was done he started talking directly to me saying that he didn’t think it was the aorta valve, which I had brought up, and that when I went to see my primary doctor in September he could check it out.Dr. Arison then said I had 4 choices starting with losing some weight–he had noticed I gained weight since I first started to see him 19 years before though he knew I had lost 16 pounds that January. The second choice was to start walking every day and no matter how bad the pain to just keep walking as soon as I stopped and the pain went away. The third choice was to go into both legs and either replace the stent(s) or move them around to get the blood flowing more freely. The last choice was to do nothing and he said eventually that would mean amputation either of one or both legs. He said that wasn’t to scare me but to let me know what was ahead. He added that if either or both legs experienced pain when I was just sitting or when I was sleeping or increased to such a point that I felt I couldn’t walk anymore that I should call him immediately.What struck me as odd was that for the first time he said nothing about doing a scan and why I didn’t ask him the reason I still don’t know! He said that choices number 3 and 4 were ones he didn’t want to do and wouldn’t do number 3 because of what was going on in the hospitals in South Florida right now and at my age it was even more of a risk. Regarding number 4 it was not an option as far as he was concerned. Obviously that narrowed my choices down to number 1 and/or number 2.
I have been walking every day down to Karen Bay and back to my apartment at 2 in the afternoon and sometimes in the late evening. It is not really enough steps but it is a start. I am also aiming to walk back and forth to the Gateway Theatre whether it opens again or not. I have started to lose the extra pounds I have gained aiming for a half to a pound a week with a number in mind that I want to weigh when I go see my primary doctor on September 23.
When you look at me doing whatever I do whether walking or not you would never suspect that I have PAD, COPD, diabetes, a valve replacement, Afib, now and then attacks of gout, ED, etc., and take 15 meds a day but thanks to them and the squad of doctors taking care of me at the age of 84 I really don’t have a complaint in the world. Okay, so I don’t like the color of my legs or all the ‘bruise’ marks I show on my arms and upper torso due to the blood thinner but that is all ego and I can live with that–more often than not!!
All I have to do is get up every morning—well, late morning–and I am a happy guy!

Posted August 17, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH

PAD—Part 2   1 comment

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I have always loved walking whether it was in New York city strolling from Greenwich Village to Central Park or Miami Beach going from First Street and Ocean Drive to 23rd Street and Collins Avenue.

I am bringing this up because my first meeting with Dr. Arison really wasn’t a good one as he explained I had claudication in my legs and seeing my puzzled look added that it meant too little blood flow through the arteries in my legs. He went on to tell me what Peripheral Artery Disease, better known as PAD, was which was plaque building up around the arteries in the legs caused, mainly, by smoking and, in addition, high blood pressure and cholesterol caused by foods and lifestyle. He then went into what all this caused including in some cases inability to walk. After that I sort of spaced out until he gave me his card and told me to call his office and make an appointment to talk to him more about what was going on and what could be done.

By the time January 31, 2001, came around I had lost 16 pounds, taking 15 medicines from blood thinners to bringing down my cholesterol, blood pressure, inhalers for COPD, pills for prostate, fluid retention, diabetes, potassium replacement, to name just a few and, oh yes, back to Dr. Arison, stents in each of my legs.At my first appointment Dr. Arison explained to me what was going on, what could happen and what he would like to do which was to put me in the hospital in the morning, put stents in both legs and I would be on my way by the afternoon which is exactly what happened. I am not sure how many stents he put in each leg but I know over the next 15 years and, up to today, I have had 6-7 stents total in both legs.

Instead of my trying to explain what a stent is, and does, let me quote this from wisegeek.com  “A leg stent is used to open blocked blood vessels in the leg. The device is typically placed in the artery after a balloon has been expanded to clear out the blockage. This procedure is called an angioplasty. The stent widens after the balloon is blown up and then the balloon and the wires that guide the process are removed from the blood vessel. The stent will then fit snugly in place and the blood is able to flow through it.”

After the first operation I felt immediate relief and I could walk to the Gateway Theatre–about a mile–and back without any problem. Without having to look it up, a couple of years after the first stent insertions I remember having it done again. It wasn’t until about 3 years ago I started having problems with both legs.(To be continued, and finished tomorrow!)

Posted August 16, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH

PAD = Peripheral Artery Disease   3 comments

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The New Year’s weekend from December 29, 2000 to January 2, 2001  was one of my most memorable though I only remember half of it! Somehow I had called 911 and was taken to Broward Hospital (or was it Holy Cross?) where it seems I had congestive heart failure and, as one of the nurses told me a day or 2 later I kept complaining that I couldn’t find my flip-flops!  

From my diary: “December 20, 2000, diagnosed with atrial fibrillation–whatever that was—Doc said I could have a stroke–should, but probably won’t, stop smoking (that would happen 8 and a half years later!), change eating habits (I did lose 16 pounds in January), was given Coumadin and Toprol XL  to take. My calves are killing me, can’t walk without pain–what if I can’t work? On December 26 I had an echocardiogram and on the 27th I was given a holster heart monitor. In hospital all New Year’s Weekend!”

By the way, I suppose I should add that early December 29 I had eaten a 5-pound ham, 2 liters of diet cola and half a carrot cake— mmmm–wonder why I had congestive heart failure?

Up until that New Year’s weekend, I wasn’t really that doctor or hospital oriented. Oh sure I had the childhood diseases but as an adult, I didn’t go to doctors regularly and I think the only major operation I had was when I had my appendix taken out sometime in the late 1980s, early 1990s. I do know it was a Thanksgiving week because I was working at the Fisherman’s Wharf and I was concerned I wouldn’t recover enough to work Thanksgiving Day and weekend and make the money I needed. I did.

From January 1, 2001, to this past Monday, I have been seeing all kinds of doctors on a regular basis and on January 1, 2001 I would meet a vascular surgeon Ron Arison and it was him I saw on Monday and the reason for this ‘report’ and PAD!(To be continued)

Posted August 15, 2020 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE EVENTS

Finally! (And a rant!)   1 comment

Virus test finally

In order to live in the Gateway Terrace apartments, you have to be 62 plus (though there are a couple of exceptions). I believe there are 260 apartments mostly 1 person per apartment except for the 2 bedroom apartments for married couples. (Now that I have never understood–are they so sick of each other by the time they have been married 30+ years they need separate apartments?!! LOL)  The total of people living here is about 300 with 99% over 60 with a lot in their 70s, 80s, a few in their 90s so when the CORVID-19 virus came along the immediate thought was how long before someone here gets it.
 
2 weeks ago we got a notice that ‘someone’ had the virus and they—whoever ‘they’ may be–was in quarantine in their apartment by doctor’s orders. Needless to say the rumors started on who and where the virus was! Supposedly it is against the law to tell anyone who is not a family member if someone is sick, has the virus.  Whether it is or isn’t we weren’t being told.
 
Last week we got another notice that ‘several more persons’ in Gateway tested positive. My immediate thought was for management to arrange people who live at Gateway tested. Though there are places to be tested most are drive-through and many don’t have cars plus those places you can walk to are out of reach as public transportation is not readily available.  Most had the requirement that you had to have symptoms of the virus so our thought was “Sure, get the virus first, go to the hospital and die” so many here were unhappy.
 
Finally today we got the notice that on Friday testing will be done between 8:30 AM to 11 AM (which you know doesn’t thrill me but……). That’s a small-time frame for 300 people if all show but who cares as long as we get tested! Or will we??? Okay, okay, no negativism here—I’ll get up at 8:30 AM.  Of course, it seems many people who have had the test say it takes 2-3 weeks to get the results (coincidence? The problem is being talked about right now on the TV news with the laboratories not having the capacity for all the people being tested) while others say it only says you don’t have the virus that day.
 
Bottom line? I am getting up early (so if I am grumpy you know why) getting tested and will wait for results to know if I have the virus, had the virus or maybe, am symptomatic. Whatever the results I will be happier getting it.
 
40 years ago I wasn’t concerned about having AIDS because I had a lot more control of whether I had and/or would get it. COVID-19 is another story as a lot is still not known about it and a mask is not a condom but why a man won’t wear a condom is as puzzling as to why a person won’t wear a mask if it will help someone else! We don’t have a vaccine for AIDS nor one for cancer so why does anyone think a vaccine is around the corner for COVID-19???

Posted July 7, 2020 by greatmartin in GATEWAY, HEALTH, LIFE, Uncategorized

This hasn’t happened in decades!   1 comment

A little background first—I don’t remember when I started drinking diet colas but I do know that I was drinking them in 1969 when I joined Weight Watchers and since then have been drinking a minimum of 5 cans and/or 2 litters every day for 49 years!

There was a study done last year that showed drinking diet sodas could add weight to your body or at least hinder it from losing weight. That is all I had to hear and I stopped drinking them–cold turkey–last September or October. I am good with coffee–regular before 2 PM and decafe after–and water. I, also, started experimenting with tea not really liking green or other similar ones so I started with the herbal teas settling on Chamomile, which I could buy at the Dollar Tree for $1 a box of 20. Every night before I am about to go to sleep I put 2 bags and a Sweet ‘N Low in a cup, pour hot water in and then cover the cup for about 5 minutes.

An aside:  I didn’t lose an ounce giving up diet sodas.

Also, for a month, I have been having a CBD gummie bear which I don’t think has done anything for me, if it was supposed to!

Now for what this is really about! I don’t and very rarely have any problems going to sleep. Yesterday was a regular day–nothing out of the ordinary for a Friday–got up at 11 AM after going to sleep around 3 AM–went to the movies and then had lunch at Big Louie’s, came home, read mail, answered emails,  posted my review of “Cold War”, did some work on the Internet, watched TV, had dinner, read a couple of magazines, had my tea, and about 1 AM was a little sleepy so I went to bed. I remember getting up at 10 AM, looking at the clock and the next thing I knew it was 12:45 PM!!

I haven’t slept that many hours since I was a kid! I wasn’t stressed about anything, didn’t do anything exertive, have been drinking the tea late at night for months now, didn’t have a gummie bear as I used them all up the night before. In any case, I don’t have nor can I find any reason for sleeping such a sound sleep for almost 12 hours. I have heard the older you get the less sleep you need or the less sleep you have at one time which is why old people nap.

I find it almost impossible to nap nor do I fall asleep reading, watching TV, etc. I try to nap but as soon as my head hits the pillow my eyes won’t close!

Maybe instead of researching diet cola they should research me!!

❛When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.❜

Marcus Aurelius

Posted January 26, 2019 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, Uncategorized

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