Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vision Loss Redux Part XIV - Fateful Week

Visited Wizard #1 on Friday...nothing exciting to report except there are two additional spots in my right eye and the pressure in that eye is double what it ought to be. However, after the flourascein test, there is no activity, so I reduced the pred from 60 p/day to 40 p/day...which makes me edgy and not a lot of fun to live with...though my wife would never say that I'm sure!

SO, back tomorrow to check the pressures. If they remain above 30, then I will have to go to Philly to a glaucoma specialist for possible laser treatment. I didn't know this previously, but the definition of glaucoma is having pressures in your eye above 20. High pressure damages the optic nerve, and without treatment, blindness ensues. My pressures have been playing in the 30s and were over 40 on Friday. He sees some damage, but is confident that if we can get this under control, because I am young, it will heal with not problem.

All this because of that darn cortizone shot!

On Wednesday, we head back to Wiz #2 at Georgetown U. Hospital to get the verdict on whether on not he believes I have Susac's Syndrome. I haven't heard anything from him, so I anticipate an interesting visit. It seems to me that some major treatment decisions will need to be made soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

RIP Tim Russert

One of the few very respectable journalists who truly pursued truth in politics. Watch the video below for an inspiring tribute to his life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Who is the largest single producer of nuclear energy in the world?

Improbably enough, that would be . . . the United States. Even though the development of new nuclear plants stalled by the early 1980s, the country’s 104 reactors today produce nearly 20 percent of the electricity the nation consumes. This share has actually grown over the years along with our consumption, since nuclear technology has become more efficient. While the fixed costs of a new nuclear plant are higher than those of a coal or natural-gas plant, the energy is cheaper to create: Exelon, the largest nuclear company in the United States, claims to produce electricity at 1.3 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared with 2.2 cents for coal.

We have much untapped potential in this area and people are starting to wake up from their Fonda-induced stupor. Even if it's being induced by a Gore-induced stupor...I'll take it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Vision Loss Redux Part XIII - Susac's or Not?

Visit to Dr. Brown (Wizard #1) on Monday

The vision loss mentioned in my last post was actually not vision loss at all, but happily was merely a pool of blood in my eye. So, nothing substantial has changed with my vision.

Visit to Dr. Cupps (Wizard #2) on Wednesday
Traveling to DC in record time -- (made it from Leesport to the Capital Beltway in 2.5 hours) we wended our way down Connecticut Ave to Georgetown U hospital to see the newest wizard. Using the superb navigation skills of my wife, we cruised right into the proper parking area, right next to the proper building, went up the proper elevator to the proper floor and immediately into the proper office.

Got to hear DC slang--if you've not heard it you don't know how to say it--but the secretary said about a particular desk utensil, "I heard that joint rattling in there." I haven't heard the proper slang pronunciation or usage of "joint" for 3 years!

Anyway, a nice woman input all my medical information, which took awhile...

"What medicines are you taking?"
"How much time do you have?"
"This is a new computer bear with me..."
"I'm on 80 mg of prednisone"
" here...and, no, wait...oh, I have to go, here it,'re on what now?"
"ok...pred...ah! there it, how much?
"80 mg"

...and so it went for all 6 of my meds. But she was very nice and told me that her kids had attended Clinton Christian (a neighbor school to my former school) before moving to Springfield.

Then I met Dr. Cupps and was immediately place in a slightly warm room with a med student...a very nice med student, but a med student nonetheless. So, we went over my long and sordid medical history, reviewing my progressive deficiencies starting with almost exactly three years ago...the day I packed up the U-Haul to move to PA, my ears started buzzing.

I had brought all of my records to give to the wizard for his inspection. After a thorough examination, the wizard entered and we had a good conversation about a lot of things. I appreciate when a new wizard asks me questions I haven't been asked, did you ever go to the chiropractor or have a neck injury? Funny I was never asked that when it was assumed I had coratid dissections.

He did indicate I have an abnormality on my latest MRI, so he's going to sit down with experts and go over all my tests.

Also, he has treated 2 Susac's patients in the past and has had success with them.

I go back in about 3.5 weeks, and if it is determined that I do indeed have Susac's Syndrome, he would like to me start Intravenous Immunoglobin to try to stabilize me. It is said that Susac's lasts for 3-5 years, then typically goes away. Well, I'm at three and it's still going strong!