The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Organ Recital, and Other Scintillating Stuff

Okay, I lied. The last time I said it was hot? I was lying through my hot, sweaty teeth (if you doubt that teeth can sweat, come sit in my upstairs with me for a few minutes. Monica is right--no air conditioner.) Today it is hotter than a truckload of $5 Rolex watches--over 90 degrees in Seattle, land of the liquid air. The cats have melted over the furniture in hairy puddles, looking for all the world like the clocks in the Dali painting. I am busy wondering if it is sick to shove a bag of frozen green beans down my scrub pants, in lieu of the ice cubes I keep forgetting to purchase the trays to make. Probably is. I may do it anyway. Point being, of course, that it is an abomination against nature to be scintillating in this kind of heat and you'll have to put up with "vaguely upright and sort of coherent".

First things first: Angie, dear--I'm so sorry to worry you. I can't say "don't worry" because I don't know yet if it's worth worrying about, but I promise I'm in good hands. It's not a very interesting story (feel free to skip ahead--there's a wonderful story about a child coming up) but it goes like this: remember a few months ago when I was pissing and moaning about my doctor doing that weird little "estimated" test and saying I had to have a truckload of tests to be sure my kidneys were okay? Well, I went to a kidney specialist who completely and utterly agreed. She said she was sure I was fine and agreed that the truckload of tests were unnecessary and just had me do one that would tell us one way or the other. And it did.

It it told us that I've lost nearly 50% of my kidney function. It should be a number over 120; it's 65.

We don't know why. We don't know how. We don't really know much of anything. And, since we know that the numbers can't be brought back up--kidneys being sort of a "lose 'em and they're gone" kind of thing--we're just "watching and waiting" right now (I like that phrase from my doctor almost as much as I like "Now, this might be a bit uncomfortable..."). And keeping me on a diet low in fat (kidney patients typically die of heart issues long before their kidneys finish failing, so we have to keep my heart extra happy--you know, bring it all the half-naked slave boys it could possibly want, feed it grapes...), low in salt, low in protein, and low in potassium. All of which should give my kidneys the organ equivalent of a vacation in the Bahamas...with or without half naked pool boys. In November, we'll test again and see if the numbers stayed the same, or strayed into kidney disease territory. There's really not much to do in the interim but knit. Especially since eating my body weight in ho-hos is apparently right out.

See? Boring. Enough of the organ recital and on to the good stuff.

I'm finally at the point where I not only don't hate my job, but actually enjoy it most of the time, and have moments of real love for it. One of those moments was today, when a 7-year-old asthmatic girl came in. Bright girl, and very confident and chatty. I liked her at once. At one point, I had to do a test on her to see how well she was breathing. It involves blowing into a tube and you have to do it a certain way, so it can be tricky for the little ones. I explained it to her carefully; then, when she said nothing, I said "That's a lot of directions, isn't it? Is it too much to remember?" Imagine my delight when she turned a very solemn face up to mine and replied, "No, it's not too much. I read books, you know."

Well, of course.

In spite of the horrid wet-army-blanket-for-air weather we've been having, I have persisted in knitting my blue birthday yarn sweater, mostly by throwing open the exercise room windows at 5:00 am and knitting on the exercise bike. Who says knitters aren't incredibly adaptable? I'd show it to you, but it hasn't changed all that much. Picture it the way it was last add about six inches.

By the way, I feel that it is quite possible that the weather is my punishment for thinking that I could tempt the gardening fates who, apparently, are every bit as temptable (read: nasty little bastards) as the knitting fates. Because it turns out that there is nothing a bunch of new plants enjoy quite as much as a heat wave with no water--and they demonstrate this enjoyment daily by laying their limp little heads down on the earth so I can panic when I get home and try to water an acres worth of plants at once and inevitably soak my scrubs and grind mud into my pristine white nursing shoes into the bargain. 'Cause, of course, nothing improves your standing in the neighborhood quite like running around the yard like a soggy, mud-footed, pajama'd lunatic, shouting things like "Oh, for wool's sake! Stand up and grow a pair of roots, will you???"

I'm thinking of putting Cialis in the plant water. If the ads are true (and Mr. K used to work for the company that invented Cialis, so I'm pretty confident that they are), then all my plants should be perfectly perky and upright for at least 48 hours.

Or, you know--"whenever the mood is right".


  • At 8:08 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Oh dear...I hear you on the hot and humid, but then we DO have AC here...for good reasons.
    I hope it cools off soon, gets back to more normal temps.

  • At 10:56 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    I see Florence , I am sorry to hear that. It was discovered Jeff has high blood pressure after his hospital stay. I can't say I am one for salt in cooking but it is amazing how many things have too much.He liked soy-sauce fact I think his diet is bland but he loves it. Flavouring with herbs is great . I guess high perc. cocoa choc. is still okay ? Look after yourself and as you are as bright as a button I need hardly tell you to drink plenty .Last time it was really humid here a friend drank a lot , so he went slighty mad from de-hydration and had no idea who he was . I keep some small bottles of water in the freezer which I revolt all and sundry by holding between my thighs to cool me down .I also have some gel wine -coolers which I slip on a wrist for short times.

  • At 11:47 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    It's even hot up here, which is really saying something... but not as humid as you lucky ones. :0)

    I love the story about the little girl... I read books, too!

  • At 4:35 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    102 in Portland Tuesday. About the same Wednesday. Beat ya! ::ducks and runs:: (I could do without beating Seattle in this category. Really.) Maybe camping out at work? But then there's that pesky taking care of wilting plants, wilting cats, and no doubt wilting hubby thing.

    Tell your kidneys we're getting an organ drill sergeant to get 'em fell in and marching right, hup-hup, one two, one two. Probably a Marine from Parris Island.

  • At 8:45 AM, Blogger Faren said…

    So sorry to hear about your health woes, I'll keep you in my thoughts.
    I'm also sorry about the diet restrictions, I know they can be a complete bummer and I only have to avoid corn products!

  • At 9:33 AM, Blogger Heatherly said…

    my daughter has HSP which attacks the kidneys. the dr increased her omega 3 doses to safe guard her kidney a bit longer. i think it is suppused to be 192mg per kilo. and now they doubled it. so find out about it. we found one with no fishy aftertaste. :-)

  • At 10:15 AM, Blogger Heatherly said…

    OOPS 27 MG PER KILO! :-)

  • At 11:27 AM, Blogger ambermoggie said…

    puts a whole new connation on stir fry beans:)))
    Seriously keep knitting, using the beans and hope all goes well for you

  • At 12:26 PM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Ugh! Hate the hot weather...but you guys seem to have gotten your heat wave about the time ours broke. I'm guessing you don't want to hear about 70's and sunny and going to the zoo. ;o) We had our spell of 90's last weekend and our humidity was quite a bit higher than yours, so I can definitely sympathize!

  • At 12:43 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    Send the heat this way...we could do with a change from rain, sorry to hear about your organs, but at least you are in good hands, hope you can get to the bottom of it, and keep that good heart healthy in the process!

  • At 9:02 PM, Blogger Kali said…

    Glad to see your organ recital is following a plan. Good luck! --- BTW, I think that using Cialis for gardening limpness is a stroke of genius! How can I score some for my garden? :-)

  • At 10:43 PM, Blogger Angeluna said…

    Sorry about your heat. With the humidity there, I can well imagine what it feels like. Whereas in Texas we are just now getting out of the 80s (in freakin' July). And with all the rains, the air is drinkable and the bugs are amazing. Who turned the world upside down?
    So sorry about your organs. Weird huh? Take care of yourself. I love your humor.

  • At 2:13 AM, Anonymous Kathie said…

    Sorry to hear about the kidney problems - here's hoping for good news in November.


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