Archive for the ‘HEALTH’ Category

Lasagna, an alarm and a Geranium!   1 comment

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1) It is so great to have an Italian neighbor—an Italian neighbor who loves to cook–an Italian neighbor who loves to cook and is a good cook–an Italian neighbor who loves to cook and thinks of her neighbor!! Yes, that is Cathy and just today she brought me a HUGE pan of lasagna–enough that I may even Allen half–(he is just lucky that my primary doctor said my potassium is a little too high and she wants me to come in for a lab test next week and that I should watch what I am eating–she has no sense of humor because she didn’t laugh when I said that I always WATCH what I am eating whether an apple or a carrot cake!)

2) Talking about my primary and doctors and labs–after close to 20 years with Aetna I switched my Medicare Plus insurance to  Health Sun because of the many benefits including a free ’emergency response system’–after my ‘falling’ off my recliner in December I’ve been looking into an alarm system–this one wouldn’t have helped me because you have to push the button to get help and I was out cold for about an hour and a half but this is at least a start–I can wear it around my neck (as in the picture) or like a wrist watch. I’ve been wearing it around the neck without any problem when I am in the apartment and in bed. I am trying to be careful as I walk around but…….So far, so good!

3) A little brightness near my computer–the sun shining on the Geranium giving it a white look when it is actually a mix of red and pink–love it!Now to MY lasagna!!!

Posted May 18, 2022 by greatmartin in FOOD, HEALTH

Canary/Canari Melon and an update on my meds   1 comment

1) It is no secret that I love food and will eat anything (except oyster plant!) at least once if not more.  Going to The Pantry once a month is like having Christmas once a month—the Christmas of Santa Claus. They receive goods from Trader Joe’s and from other stores, which is passed on to us from beef, chicken, veal, fish, vegetables, fruits, salads, breads, desserts, etc., and, my favorite time there is the ‘extra room’. You are allowed to pick two items from the shelves as there aren’t enough of these items to give to everyone and I, eventually, got the idea these items came from local stores/groceries that dealt with foreign goods like Italian Torani sugar free classic caramel syrup or local Tarazi Falafel mix and Mike’s Huli chicken dippin’ sauce–those weren’t even the exotic items!

When I got home last Wednesday and emptied the boxes I saw a Canary/Canari melon and after putting everything away (including a Cookies & Cream bar cake made with Oreo’s)  I googled the melon and then decided to go for it so I cut, sliced, peeled off the rind and ate a few chunks. It was a little bit more white than honeydew and tasted a little bit and found it to be sweet with sort of a pear taste. I then remembered in google it said something about acquiring the taste of fruits around it and it had been in the bin with pears! I haven’t tried it yet with other fruits but then again I don’t think I would buy it.

2) I had an appointment with the Infectious Disease doctor with a list of questions and without going into too much detail, just a reminder or if I didn’t tell you: I was in the hospital for about a week after falling in my apartment and it seems I got infected blood from a cut in my big right toe. I was given a IV in the hospital of anti-bionics and when I came home it was continued until the end of January when I was switched to 2 pills a day, Minocycline,  which the doctor said I would be taking the rest of my life.

Among the side effects, aside from the crazy schedule of taking one every 12 hours I couldn’t take them 2 hours before or after eating and/or taking other medicines and/or vitamins, I was itching and scratching all over my body, my skin was drying up from head to toes, I wasn’t sleeping well but the craziest part was that I had lost my appetite for 2 weeks in early February and though I liked losing weight I had lost over 20 pounds since I started taking the medicine I was getting concerned because since I got my appetite back in March I was eating like I did 40 years ago, and I mean EATING, and I kept losing weight. I never thought I would complain about losing weight but I continued to lose a pound or 2 a week and, no, I am not fading away to nothing but I am still above my old Weight Watchers goal and my own goal but it doesn’t make sense and I am worried health wise.

Long story short—I start a new med tomorrow taking 3 tablets a day and I don’t know about side effects yet though she did warn me about diarrhea and that I should stop the pills and call her immediately!!

I have all the fun!!!

Posted March 23, 2022 by greatmartin in FOOD, HEALTH

February 2022—The Bad—Part 3   1 comment

(In Fort Lauderdale no day is completely bad, with our weather!)

Where to start with the telephone calls?  3 hours talking to people (8-10!!!) and being put on hold with 4 of them only to be disconnected after talking to one for 16 minutes and another for 22 minutes? I would like to think it was technology—either on their end or mine–but I don’t think so. Then, of course, you have to call back and you never get the one you were talking to and I always wonder, what about “This will be recorded” announcement? Or the fact they have my number but don’t call back.

First it seems that my insurance company changed the way they do referrals and were waiting for me to give them the date of the appointment (which I did) but the doctor’s office never got it. Add to that for the first time in 22 years I didn’t call and book a ride so I would have to take uber, lyft or a yellow cab which could be anywhere from $25-35 each way, depending on time.

As it turned out the insurance couldn’t send the referral in time so I would have to change the appointment day/date which I did immediately, got the insurance team to send the referral NOW and I called and made my ride appointment.

As I said all the calls took 3 hours and I forget how many different people I had to talk with. And, oh yes, after the second disconnect I was getting a ‘little’ testy so I started off the rest of the call apologizing to whoever answered to the effect, “I know it isn’t your fault and I am not angry at you but you answered the phone so I apologize if I come across angry AT you!” You would be surprised how that can change a conversation! :O)

In any case I have an appointment with my previous cardiologist on Wednesday, March 9 at 3:30—his office has the referral, I have the rides booked and, maybe, just maybe, I’ll find out what is going on with the body of an 86 year old with the mind and attitude of a 21 and a half year old!

So far March has been good!

Posted March 2, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS

ER horrors start at home!!!   1 comment

Wish I could have video taped the day I came home from the hospital walked into my apartment, saw all the IV bags stored in my refrigerators along with all the accessories needed including the IV pole—only one thing missing AND THAT WAS THE NURSE WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO HOOK ME UP TO GET THE NECESSARY ANTI-BACTERIA TO FIGHT THE INFECTED BLOOD!!
I was told it was necessary that I get the IV every 24 hours without fail (though I was never told what would happen if I missed a period.) Who goofed up? The Cardiologist who was supposed to get it set up? The social worker? The Head nurse? The insurance company? At this point it didn’t matter as I had no idea what to do after I called everywhere to find out that those who could help me were away for the rest of the New Year’s week.
The only decision I could come back to since I couldn’t find a doctor to admit me to the hospital was to go to the ER!Oh what a mistake that was though I still don’t know what I could have done instead! For 5 days I spent between 8-10 hours in the ER room seeing people being taken care who had come in way after me not matter what time I arrived.
Logically I could see the degree of emergency would enter the picture upon who was taken first but after 5, 6, 7 hours sitting, reading, listening to people literally groaning out loud, seeing people coming and going knowing your treatment would only needed 30 minutes things started to build. Add all the ‘discharge’ papers you gave to go through, the waiting for wrongs that never came, getting home around 11 PM and Midnight only to have to immediately go to sleep and once again arrange a ride back to the ER.

I had to go to my HMO insurance transportation to get a ‘early trip’ ride and sometimes they didn’t have a ride for me or even arranged one but no driver showed up and as had already mentioned there was always the Uber $46 one way ride.
I won’t get into the amenities, or should I say the lack of them in an ER, but one doesn’t except luxuries though it would be nice to have a little comfort, not  very hard chairs, better, quicker attention paid to patients!  It was the unbearable wait, the not knowing how long before YOU will be taken care of, paid attention to, some recognition.
No, I wasn’t in pain but after 6-7 hours waiting I was ready to walk out and that was only the first day!!
I will say the doctor on duty and 2 of the nurses got to know/recognize me and the last day they took me in almost immediately, gave me the 30 minute IV and even dispensed with the multi-page discharge papers that I already had 5 copies!

Posted January 7, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH

and then it got worse!   1 comment

On December 28 I was discharged from the hospital with the understanding that on December 29 a nurse would come to my apartment and set up a IV machine to continue to blood testing to get rid of all infected blood so my aorta valve wouldn’t get infected and cause dire problems.When I got home the IV med was delivered, the IV pole was delivered, various hoses and ‘doodads’ were delivered but NOT a nurse in sight nor would there be one before January 3 Monday!There was not a doctor, a nurse, a medical office open. available due to the New Year’s Weekend. Not having a single person to help intercede gave me a hopeless feeling I never felt before!

An aside before I get to my week of ER horrors!! I’ve looked over the hundreds of discharge papers and no where did I see the name of 2 procedures I went through one of which involved a tube down my throat to take x-rays but also left my throat very sore for several days and I was unable to eat, swallow and/or chew food! That was followed by a procedure first with clear liquid and then a vile liquid that caused me vomiting and diarrhea for 3 days and my introduction to adult diapers.

Oh yes, have I mentioned that I don’t have a car and have to depend on my HMO transportation, TOPS which is a city transit option and such things as Uber,  Yellow cab and Lyfte. In the case of the first you have to give 48 hours notice and in the second 24 hours so when you need to go to the ER neither is really an option!

How about, after 9 hours hanging around an ER and it is close to midnight, you are exhausted, tired and need to get home calling Uber and they are only charging $46 for a one way trip that normally costs $10.45!

You can always call for your HMO ride and then be put on hold for 1 hour 18minutes and 4 seconds (see picture at which point I hung up! and took a Yellow Cab for  the $10.45!)


Posted January 6, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH

Hospital wasn’t THAT bad but then….   Leave a comment

(Who has the sense to take pictures of their bloody floors when bleeding all over?  Thanks for cleaning the place Julie!)
It all started Sunday December 19 falling off my recliner (I think?) and then I found myself in Broward Health Center on Monday and spent until Tuesday December 28 in room 3034. The nurses, starting with Ashley who put my robe/gown on—first time I ever remember a nurse doing that as I always remember struggling tying the robe/gown in the back.Ashley was the start of a super line of nurses who were to help me–now if only I could say the same about the doctors but more about that later! (Also, why hasn’t someone made the gown/robe easier to get in and out of with Velcro instead of snaps and cords?)In any case even though I have always admired nurses the conditions they are now working are almost impossible. Many are working a 55 hour 3 day shift! They are short of equipment, short of help and always entering the room with a smile on their face.
Now on the  other hand I seldom saw a and/ or my doctor–I was never quite sure what I had and/or what I was being treated for but on Monday when my doctor said I would be going home in and hour and a half I couldn’t but help and smile. I was also told I would be visited daily by a nurse. I WAS NOT discharged in an hour and a half and in fact didn’t get out of the hospital until the next day at 3 PM but that was just the start of a horror I am still going through tonight at 7: 30 PM!!
I hope NO ONE has to spend going to the ER 4-5 days in a row or ‘live’ what I am going through now. I am, basically, an optimist but I am having a real hard time lifting my ‘spirit’ right now.

More to come.

Posted January 5, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH

The Invasion Begins!   Leave a comment

The villain–the big toe–that started it all!! Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream. It can occur spontaneously, during certain tissue infections, with use of indwelling genitourinary or IV catheters, or after dental, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, wound-care, or other procedures.

Bacteremia may cause metastatic infections, including endocarditis, especially in patients with valvular heart abnormalities. Transient bacteremia is often asymptomatic but may cause fever. Development of other symptoms usually suggests more serious infection, such as sepsis or septic shock.

OR  What diseases are associated with Streptococcus?

Group A streptococci (GAS) can cause various diseases, including strep throat, skin and soft-tissue infections (eg, pyoderma, erysipelas, cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, myositis, osteomyelitis, pneumonia, abscess), severe systemic disease, and long-term nonsuppurative complications (eg, rheumatic fever, acute glomerulonephritis)

I do know I have a ‘bad’ blood infection but right now that’s all I know and so I am on an IV which is a whole story itself and problem is if it gets in to the aorta valve it could be lethal!

Posted January 4, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH

Take a poll: Choose 1 or 2   2 comments

1)  In the 3rd picture I am still trying to figure out which is the  string beans and which is the  beef?!? This is a Broward Health Center liquid diet sample. (I did lose 16 pounds in the hospital but…..)


2)  “Your Diagnosis”


Elevated WBC count

Lactic acidosis


Acquired stenosis of aortic valve




Fever and chills


  More about the diagnosis tomorrow–I might become a doctor after all!!!


Posted January 3, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH

QUARTERLY HAIRCUT!!   Leave a comment

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I went to see my primary doc yesterday and we had a fairly long talk as he patiently listened to my moaning and groaning about the previous week with the cardiologists and hospital. He changed the bandages and said the incisions were healing nicely. Then he asked me for my ‘list’ as he knows I always bring a list of questions when I come to see him and this time was no different!

I seemed to be growing double nails at the tips of each nail plus they are cracking, splitting and are not only very brittle but are turning red! He explained that can happen when someone has heart trouble which was also the reason for my skin being very dry.

I, also, told him that I wanted to change my cardiologist(s) plus I didn’t want to deal with any doctors working out of Broward hospital unless they also had access to Holy Cross—the much better hospital in my opinion!  (In my old age I am becoming an expert on hospitals, doctors, treatments, etc.!)

When I asked him what hospital he was working out of he threw me a shocker by telling me that the Senior Medical Associates were recently bought out and that they did not want their primary doctors to be associated with any one hospital!!

Seems like I have to start doing a lot of research, starting with talking to my insurance company.Oh yes, at the same time my insurance company has changed the dental network they are providing which means I have 6 weeks to get everything done with my current dentist and he has been adjusting my new partial  bridge since April!!

PS My barber wanted to know what happened to my hair, what I was using, as it has turned a white white–ah, some more research. How can anyone say they are ‘bored’ being retired?!?!??

Posted November 23, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE


On July 21, 2008, I stopped smoking just before I was wheeled into the operating room to receive a pig aorta valve to replace the one I had and my only thought was “Why a pig valve in a Jewish boy?” In any case I haven’t smoked a cigarette since that day!Everything was going fine though I would think that Jew/pig and, also, I had read that the ‘lifetime’ of a replaced valve was about 20 years but really didn’t spend too much time on either though I will admit a conflict about pigs as it was the 4 pound ham I ate one night over New Year’s Eve that caused my going to the hospital with congestive heart failure and a relative of THAT pig provided the valve I needed to save my life–so I cut back on eating bacon and pork, not completely.I won’t get into the whole story about the ’10 year lifetime’, 2021 being 13 years, dealing with 2 new cardiologists, their not mentioning the valve but starting to ‘push’ a pacemaker and after referring to an expert in that field I didn’t hear anymore until I was told I was booked into the hospital for a aorta replacement in August but that was cancelled because ‘the machine was broke’–what machine? The Coke machine?
In any case it was at that point I started to think of the cardiologist that had done the pig valve replacement operation and that I should try to get in touch with him as I was very comfortable with him and he spent a lot of time answering my questions but I kept putting it off.I would bet that I dealt with and spent more time with the Nurse Practitioner of the 2 new cardiologists then I did with both guys but that was okay because she is great! I won’t go into everything because I have no one to blame but myself for not following through looking for the original cardiologist or asking any and old questions of the new guys.I went in knowing very little of what would happen before, what to expect during the operation and what to look for after the operation—THE LATTER WAS A HUGE MISTAKE!! Won’t go into details but I have never experienced any kind of fear when it came to my body whether the congestive heart failure, the pig valve replacement, having my appendix taken out in my 50s. etc., etc., but I was terrified, horrified, waking up in the middle of night in the hospital this week bleeding, and in pain, from a place I never excepted or warned that could happen.I don’t remember seeing either doctor before, during or after the operation except when it came to discharge time and that in itself was an additional horror. (Oh yes, the doctor did say I wouldn’t have any problem with breathing–BUT I DIDN’T BEFORE THIS DOCTOR!!)
I got home Wednesday afternoon and though I could walk and didn’t need help doing anything I am floored that for 3 days now I have slept from 1 AM straight through to 1 PM without waking once which is very odd for a guy my age plus I who have never been a ‘napper’ find myself napping 2-3 times between 1 PM and 1 AM!!!I have zip energy–took me about 3 hours to type this–and made the decision to NOT go to the ER and to wait until Monday to call my Primary doctor for advice and to call my insurance company to track down my ‘old’ cardiologist and see if I could come to his office.
This is really the first time I have had  uncomfortable experiences/feelings with doctors and will be the last.  A word advise from an old man:IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR DOCTOR, IF HE/SHE DOESN’T ANSWER QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD HAVE OR WON’T LISTEN TO YOU PLEASE, PLEASE GET ANOTHER DOCTOR!!!PS With all my moaning and groaning (and, yes GAINING 12 pounds the 24 hours I was in the hospital!!!) as you can tell I am well enough to smile, take selfies and I talked about getting a my semiannual crew-cut and shave with our local barber!!

Posted November 20, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE EVENTS

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