Archive for the ‘HEALTH’ Tag


At 7 PM on a Saturday night your vascular surgeon calls to tell you that results of your c scan  shows your carotid artery is now 80-90% blocked.
Since I can’t handle MRIs he will arrange to have aCTA (I think?) but knowing me he said he wouldn’t tell me not to worry as I wouldn’t anyway! 
If another doctor called me on a Saturday evening I would be concerned but I know he does all his paper work and patient calling on Saturday.
I know IF it was an immediate concern he would have told me to check into the hospital.
The main problem here is that the blockage of blood to my brain (See! I do have one!) could cause a stroke and/or death. Since I have no plans of dying the latter doesn’t concern me while the stroke is another problem.
His nurse will call me, or if I don’t hear from her I should call her, either Monday or Tuesday about the test. I have a feeling I will wind up in the hospital this week.
I do have complete faith in this surgeon so meanwhile as I wait to see what happens I am back to planning my gala 20th Leap Year birthday party on Monday February 29, 2016.

Posted August 30, 2015 by greatmartin in HEALTH

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It took 2 weeks and a day but the wheelchair that the doctor ordered for me finally arrived. I was lucky that a neighbor had a spare wheelchair–doesn’t everyone?–that I could use

Though I find it easier walking than maneuvering a wheelchair I am not suppose to put any pressure on the knee. I really never knew how hard it was getting around in a wheelchair, just getting it from point A to point B even if it is a straight line. I have really come to admire people who use a manual wheelchair.

It seems wheelchairs come in all sizes and shapes for all sizes and shapes! People have to be measured and weighed to make sure they get the right chair. Then you have choices of fixed or detachable arm rests, fixed, swing and elevating leg rests. There are wheel locks, flip up footplates and we haven’t even discussed colors yet!!

For those who have asked–thanks–I really am not having pain in the knee. All the ‘pain’ comes from having to keep the leg stretched out straight and without going into details there are some things extremely difficult to do. The cast is not the old fashioned white casts that were built around your leg. They are now Velcro and metal casts that can come off and on with ease–well at least until you get to the two bottom attachments and it is almost impossible to keep the leg straight to bind them.

The only time I am suppose to take the brace off is when I shower. Surprisingly I have no trouble sleeping with it. The brace covers from above the knee down to the ankle. The metal bar that goes down the whole back can dig into the top of the foot and the bottom of the thigh so I have sort of ‘lined’ both with a wash cloth!

I fell on May 26 and the Orthopedic Doctor said it would take 6 weeks to heal and then I would have to go into rehab–have no idea what the latter entails or for how long. I suppose I could google it but I will wait. Meanwhile I have an appointment to see him July 6 which would make it 6 weeks–24 days from today-not that I am counting but…

All I keep hearing is that I was lucky that I didn’t break my hip when I fell so that is one positive way of looking at it!

23 and a ½ days to go!

Thanks to Allen, John, Shirley, Irene, Barbara, Bob and Christine for making this ‘adventure’ a little easier!

Posted June 13, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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Yesterday the Gateway Terrace apartments had what is becoming an annual Health Fair for the mainly senior residents. Now we are dealing with many people in their sixties, seventies, eighties with a few in their nineties and health care is an important part of their life.

It was a beautiful, sunny Fort Lauderdale day and a few activities were held outside such as busting balloons, knocking over beer bottles, a dunking tank which two of the maintenance guys volunteered for though would have been a lot more fun if the office staff have volunteered–well, maybe next year! LOL

Inside the community room various medical companies set up tables and were giving blood pressure tests–more about this in a minute–giving out pill boxes, pink bracelets, pens, cloth bags and at one table they were giving out mini cupcakes and brownies while at another lollipops.

Let’s talk about the food served at the HEALTH fair. Remember these are seniors with heart problems, circulatory and breathing problems, people who take blood thinners, some use walkers and wheelchairs while other need oxygen tanks so what choices of food do they get? Okay popcorn isn’t too bad but right next to the popcorn machine snow cones are available. At the next table are various cookies, packages of 1 serving pretzels containing 350mgs of salt and 35grams of carbohydrates. There were hot dogs in buns with relish and let’s not forget those mini cupcakes!

True the HEALTH fair probably wouldn’t have been as much fun or, maybe, not even had gotten the turnout they did if fresh fruits and raw vegetables were served but that may be something the committee might want to rethink next year.

All in all a good was had by the staff and residents and some of the latter may even have learned some health tips that will help their daily and long term living.

Take a look at the slideshow of the events and the goodies–I did add 3 from last year of the dunking tanks as they were better pictures–and think of joining us next year.

Oh yes, today they are having a flea market–no rest for the weary seniors who thought they would have nothing to do and retirement would be boring!


Posted May 9, 2015 by greatmartin in HEALTH

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IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR!   Leave a comment

Some people look at the calendar and think, “DST”, others “Spring”, quite a few “Easter and/or Passover” while others might have plants on their mind or Spring cleaning but I doubt very few are like me and think “IT IS DOCTOR TIME!”

My outlook about doctors might be different from others because I have a family member who is a doctor and one of my best friends in the 1990s was a doctor. Also I never really paid attention or went to doctors on a routine basis until the weekend of New Year’s Eve 1999/2000 when I had congestive heart failure and all of a sudden I found myself surrounded by specialists of all kinds, 14 bottles of pills and a long list of ailments! Over the past 15 years doctors have not only kept me alive but gave me the opportunity to enjoys these years.

I did find two things annoying about specialists and the first was they were always handing me a prescription and their saying, “See you in 5-6 weeks,” Well I’ve battled the pill bottles down to 11 and, unless I was feeling bad and my body was giving me messages, I decided to see specialists only once a year and my primary every 4 months for blood work. I was sent to the hospital once for internal bleeding and once for ‘overdosing’ on coumindin, a blood thinner, due to the home machine giving wrong readings. Instead of the INR level being between 2.5-3.5 it was up to 50 but the machine didn‘t indicate a rise!

I did have stents put into my legs, an aorta valve replacement, cataract surgery on each eye and a couple of scares over the past 15 years but except going to the dentist twice a year for cleanings I saw my specialists once a year and looking at the calendar I knew it was time to book the following: cardiologist, dermatologist,, podiatrist, vascular surgeon, NET, pulmonary, ophthalmologist, neurologist, urologist and, along with them, my primary for blood work that I could bring copies to them plus the dentist. Over the months of April and May I have 6 Mondays, 6 Tuesdays and 1 Wednesday–all afternoons–going to and from doctors and really not being able to do anything else those days mainly because of transportation problems but I do get a lot of reading done!

I am grateful that all 12 of these doctors are keeping me going to get to the theatre, see movies, try new restaurants but when they say, “See you in 5-6 weeks,” I will smile and just say. “Same time next year,” and start getting ready for Monday, February 29, 2016!

Posted March 30, 2015 by greatmartin in LIFE

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“THEY” ARE OUT TO GET ME!   5 comments

Nobody can tell me otherwise–IT IS A CONSPIRACY! In November I did a post about being diagnosed with diabetes2 and two weeks later my friends Terry and Chuck sent me 25 assorted brownies from Zest of Memphis who make the best brownies! Okay they are my heirs and maybe they want to get rid of me to get their inheritance sooner but I told them I have already spent their inheritance.

It seems the supermarket I shop at heard about the diagnosis because they have been having sales on all kinds and shapes of carrot cakes since. I am going to have to put on blinders before I go into the store because they are right in front as you enter and turn right!

Then I thought I had a no Christmas gift exchange pact with someone but then I got a HUGE package of all kinds–name it and it was in the box–of dried fruits which are loaded with sugar and four packages of different kinds of nuts. Now nuts are healthy for you but 10 at a time, not a package at a time or eating all four packages at one time! They will remain nameless but they know who they are!

I love where I live. It is a senior citizen community with a lot more women then men and even though I am gay and it is known at this time of the year they all do baking. Who do you think get most of the cookies and cakes? Right! The men! My neighbor across the way makes miniature pound cakes and the neighbor downstairs bakes a cake and always gives me a big chuck. All kinds of cookies are left in bags on the door knobs of my back and front door. I LOVE IT but I have to start behaving myself because after the first of the year I have to go in for sugar levels!

Meanwhile I have to get rid of all the cookies. NO! Throwing them out would be a sin and not eating them will be an insult to all the ladies who slaved over a hot oven just for me. (Well and a hundred other guys!) I have to get serious about this diabetes thing–tomorrow.

Oh wait! More! Allen bought me a carrot cake! Is he in cahoots with Chuck and Terry for my money? And then I got a catalog from North Carolina for—are you ready for this?–VALENTINE COOKIES!!! People haven’t gotten rid of their Christmas trees and I’m getting Valentine cookie catalog! It is a conspiracy friends!

Posted January 12, 2015 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Monday, Memorial Day, May 26th I was in such pain I called 911 and went to the hospital.

The following Monday I was back in the hospital and had 2 stents put in my left leg. After a week of arguing, cajoling, yelling, sweet talking between insurance company, doctors, surgeons, nurses and the hospital I was able to get an appointment to get stents put in the right leg.

The procedure was scheduled for Tuesday, June 10, at 7 AM and then I got  a call Monday asking if I would be okay with a 7:30 appointment and I said fine. I was up at 6 AM to get ready for the ride to the hospital which I had already arranged for the earlier time and didn’t want to change it as they could mess it up.

The ride came at 6:50 AM, left me off at the hospital at 7:05 and by 7:30 I was in the pre-op room getting prepped checking my Warfarin level, taking complete blood work, getting an IV put in my arm, getting undressed and put in one of those open air hospital gowns—all these years and this is still the best they can come up with?–and got into bed and waited—and waited—and waited! Finally the surgeon, who I do like, came in and asked a answered some of my questions up to a point. He had brought a chart in with him and without going into the whole thing he basically said that he wasn’t going to do the right leg because, like my left leg, there is a small blockage in the main vein but that subsidiary veins were carrying the blood down the legs. He said he could do an operation on both legs hut there was risk involved in the surgery and I could wind up in worse shape. He felt that as long as I could walk a few blocks without pain, and wasn’t planning to run a marathon—he doesn’t know me!!–he felt I should wait and see how things develop.

I called Allen at 10:50 AM and he came and picked me up and we went for a Cuban Sandwich—more on that in another post.

The kicker is folks that I still have the pain on the side of my lower left foot that I have been complaining about for two months, that my primary says are spurs and my podiatrist says is gout!!

My next move????? Stay tuned!!

Posted June 10, 2014 by greatmartin in HEALTH

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HERE’S TO 2014—THE GOOD AND THE BAD!!!   Leave a comment


2014, like any other year in life, started off both good and bad but I think the good far outweighs the bad!!! From dinner at the Dubliner Pub to seeing “The Wizard of Oz”, seeing that old Ford in front of my doctor’s office to going out for lunch today, plus the usual Thursday shopping at the Dollar Tree and Winn-Dixie. Also today was Pantry Day and that place always amazes me. We got fried turkey rolls, baked ham, Dal with chaunk—I have no idea what that is but I’ll let you know!–in addition to banana nut muffins among canned goods.  The best part of the Pantry are the lovely women who work there!

Going to see “August: Osage County” tomorrow and next week in the first of 3 winter concerts with Seth Rudetsky  on Thursday. this one starring Megan Mullaly who played Karen on “Will & Grace”  and starred in 3 Broadway shows. I have never heard her sing and am looking forward to their interplay.

Along with all the good there is that bad. On Monday I go for pre-op work at my primary doctor as Wednesday I have an appointment at 8 AM  (UGH! That means I have to get up at 6 AM!) for an out patient procedure. I don’t quite understand what is going to happen but he will go through my groin to scrape plaque off my veins to ease my walking. That will take about 30 minutes but I will have to stay in the office for 3-4 hours for him to check on healing. My main concern–okay so I am crazy!–was whether I could go to the theatre the next night and he said no problem. And yes, I would have canceled the procedure to the following week!

February we will be seeing the touring companies of the Broadway shows “Memphis” and  “Once” . We saw the former last year in Miami and enjoyed it. I have seen the movie “Once” which got rave reviews but I was not a fan. The Broadway version won 8 Tony Awards, including ‘Best Musical’ and a Grammy for ‘Best Musical Theatre Album so I look forward to seeing this version! Oh heck I just love going to the theatre!

All in all the year is starting off good–I am not asking for much except, even with the medical problems I had last year, I just want 2014 to be as good as 2013.

It is a wonderful life folks!

Posted January 9, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL   Leave a comment

My life is better because of your calls, your e-mails, your snail mails, your comments, your posts, your presents, your presence , your thoughts, sharing your life, your information, your knowledge, your kind and positive remarks.

I am lucky that I have EVERYTHING I need: a roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes on my back, friends, people I love and who love me–nothing else is important to me. Yes there are things I want but I don’t need them.

I will not make any resolutions except to remain as happy, positive, smiling and as fabulous as I was in 2013!!!


Posted January 1, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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ODDS AND ENDS OF 2013 PART 2   Leave a comment

I have been having trouble with my right leg since Thanksgiving Eve finally getting to my primary doctor on December 2 who sent me to a minimally invasive surgeon on December 5 who immediately sent me to my vascular surgeon. He in turn sent me to the Memorial hospital for 5 days where on the 5th day he cut into my leg to get some of the blood out. (I will not get into the fury I felt having to miss the opening night of the touring company of “We Will Rock You”–hey you have your priorities and I have mine! LOL)

So far it has been diagnosed as: 1) a blood clot  2) cellulitis  3) a hemotoma and now 4) Lymphedema–the latter for which I will have to buy compressed stockings which run around $83 a pair! Can you see me taking pictures modeling those?!?!

In the meanwhile the left leg started to swell up which didn’t make me happy! I was now home with a big bandage around the leg and feeling a little funky so I wanted to take a shower but I had to keep the bandage dry. Ladies you always read in the Ladies Home Companion to greet your husband at the door just wrapped in Saran wrap–well I hope it works better than wrapping clear wrap around a bandage to keep it dry!

Living in a residence for seniors I put out a cry for help–heck there isn’t a person among the 299 others who haven’t been through something you will go through! Very quickly Shirley replied with a “Seal tight cast and bandage protector”. She had used it when she had a cast on her arm but as you can see it works fine for a foot, too. (And, no, it does NOT look like a big condom, as some have suggested!!) It is/was a perfect gift for anyone who has to take a shower and still protect an arm or leg. It works/worked fine–Thanks again Shirley. Talk about Christmas gifts!!! I don’t know how much longer I will be needing/using it but it is available to anyone who finds themselves in the same kind of jam!

Wait til you see the other ‘gifts’ I got for having a bad leg.  If you would be interested in getting in touch with me personally in the future please make note of my email address.

Posted December 29, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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This is looking up at the ceiling while having a CT done–one of the pleasant touches at the Memorial hospital.

As someone said–“You are the only one who can get a 5 posts out of a leg injury (if that is what it is!)” In any case going to do some rambling here and then drop the subject and get on to other things.

Have to give Allen a special thank you for all the running around he has been doing for me with this whole leg thing–and Wednesday he has to take me to see the vascular surgeon. Well I did allow him to squeeze in his heart doctor’s appointment tomorrow–see it isn’t all ME! ME! ME!

That turkey quinola vegetable soup is GOOD!

Something I have noticed lately, especially in the hospital, is that nurses are wearing HUGE watches–no, not the video, Internet kind, but just time telling watches.

 Where things stand now: my left leg is swollen and tender to the touch while the knee is very sensitive  and hurting—the right leg seems to have gone a bit down in the swelling department but is still swollen, red and seems bloated. Most, not all, of the black has disappeared from the toes. Right now there is a patch of blood showing through the bandage Jennifer put on Saturday and I am waiting for her to come over now (this is being written in afternoon so depending when I post this I may have more to add.) I, also, need her to help me wrap the leg so I can take a shower without getting the wound wet.

Along with bad news there is always good news and I forgot to mention that I got another royalty check last week for one of my old published books. I always get a laugh that they withhold tax from it. I, also, got a Social Security raise starting January 1 and I don’t know where to spend it first!! Oh yes one third goes to Gateway Terrace, and, along with the gift card I got for Christmas, I might be able to spend the rest on a sub at Subways!

The best news is that I lost 4 pounds since I have been home from the hospital–I knew it was the IV making me fat not the food!


Posted December 16, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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