Dr Sunshine tries out the couch

20131010_150908 Moved into new digs!!  First order of business for Dr Sunshine is a little nap on that couch.  Goodness knows Dr S can power-nap anywhere, and has.  Although the implication is one could sleep here overnight, I don’t think so.  The charms of Somerville hoteliers are not to be denied.

After a somewhat leisurely start, made some big time progress … unplugged from IV drip, a little bit of chit chat, can walk to the WC with help, nibbled on a saltine, chuckled at some uproariously Sunshiny pronouncement.   Mostly though continuing rest/silent meditation.

I did learn that the morphine is cut off at 24 hours by policy,  and they were holding off on oral meds waiting out the nausea … so there was a little stretch there of no pain meds, then some tylenol.  Imagine that, 2 days after the having your skull opened and closed, but this was acceptable on the Norwegian pain scale.

Getting back to the hair front .. the best way I can describe it is imagine some Seattle dude with a 4-inch x 7- inch mohawk.   Take the complement of that, and you’ve got Kristine’s do.   Not sure really the best hat for that.

Dr Sunshine applauds verticality

Upon returning from a run to the coffee bar, found a very nice Physical Therapist in the room. Was encouraged to watch as Kristine practiced standing, and then sitting in the comfy chair. Passed those milestones with flying colors!

If you didn’t know, to watch her from across the room you might think she just finished harvest, poured a glass of the good stuff, and sat down in front of a Mariners game. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Probably in the worst case she could work with Garth and Sarah to come up with “comfy chair yoga”, so this seems like a mighty fine step. Keep those GI meditations coming — y’all know she doesn’t have the caloric reserves I do!

Dr Sunshine reflects on MR imaging

Back in the day, when Dr S worked in nuclear medicine, there was talk of this guy who thought MR imaging was possible, but in every talk, the only thing shown was this reconstructed fruit. 30+ years later, had a free moment to lookup the story of that guy> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Vahan_Damadian There is a long line of paradigm-shifting physicists, math wonks, engineers, investors etc that followed, some who succeeded, and others crushed.

There is so much to chew on here. Starting with How can creation be so magnificent. How can the human mind be so powerful as to mentally visualize spinning atoms and magnetic fields at the atomic scale and devise ways to manipulate that? Yet be so frail as to fret in a general sense over attribution, reward, medals, etc. As a group how can our species admire and reward entertainers way more than folks who unveil the universe. Maybe others want to add to this list?

One wonders about the “citrus pictures” of today, stuff that seems unlikely, over-hyped, hard-to-imagine, and which will become reality that our children look back on in another 30 years.

(PS .. imo the answer could be “none” if we don’t collectively get our heads straight and focus more on educating our children and less on target-marketing them)

Dr Sunshine Thurs AM

Today, if everyone could just focus their meditation on calming gastrointestinal images, I think that would cheer everyone up in the NICU. Not much else to report at the moment, I’m afraid.

The night before surgery, Kristine and I had a nice walk around Harvard Square, reminiscing. As many know, Kristine did a lot of running back in the day, and one of her favorites was the Pack Monadnock 10 miler in New Hampshire. The fun feature of this race is shown in the elevation map, especially the last 2 miles > https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=345130218866273  See also> http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/1/1_39/3665.shtml

Dr Sunshine has a strong memory of standing in the rain under some sort of shelter watching dozens of runners go by blowing snot as they ran uphill; wondering “Yes, but why?”.

Of course, now we’re familiar with the WSU 100k, which has a similar uphill leg from the river, but my understanding is it’s over a longer distance. Again, why? Maybe Willma or Mr Riley or Mr King knows the answer to this.

Anyway it occurs to me this has metaphorical possibilities; running along just fine, then hitting that fierce uphill, but rewarded with a nice view and bowl of pasta at the end. On the other hand, one could just drive up, so I think the metaphor might need work ;- )

Dr Sunshine bedtime snack

So it looks like another night in the ICU — but only because there are no beds available on the regular neuro ward. Also they wanted to do a post-op MRI scan and MRI was swamped today into the evening.

A bit less monitoring going tonight which allows more mobility, and I heard that Physical Therapy will come by tomorrow and give the chair a try. Will be fun when they realize Kristine’s physical strength.

Those with an “space design” bent may find this interesting> http://www.massgeneral.org/about/newsarticle.aspx?id=2771 The building Kristine is in is really quite remarkable. A lot of attention paid to human friendly spaces, and LEEDS Gold certification. Though I’m inclined to think a lot of the greenery is not real, and you know, can’t touch the vista from Kamiak 🙂

Dr Sunshine ; something to chew on

Along with the neuro questions, Kristine is regularly asked “how bad is your pain, like on a scale of 1-10?”. Y’all know that Kristine is always motivated to give a correct and precise answer, but for one thing she’s stoned out of her mind on morphine, so why would one believe whatever she says 😉 Anyway, I was reminded of this radiolab> http://www.radiolab.org/story/314056-plotting-pain-scale/

which is super interesting, especially the 3rd part wherein the woman assigns “10” to the pain of being dragged by a chain behind a truck, and therefore under-reports her pain. I’ll have to listen again, wouldn’t surprise me if she’s Scandinavian.

Dr Sunshine Weds #2

The brain is mystery organ. Having a bit of trouble on what year it is. But quite unexpectedly in walks Rebecca Spencer, MD PhD, anesthesia resident, who is Kathy’s niece, and a delightful detailed conversation ensues! Upon reflection I guess relationships developed earlier in our history than did numbers, time and dates .. maybe back with tree shrews … but it does seem to this engineer like those things would have more complex neural representation!

In other news, they repositioned Kristine & I got a good look at the hair situation. Let’s put it this way, it’s less like the Palouse highway and more like I90 through Bellevue. But only visible from the back, so I’m thinking jaunty beret would be the way to go!

One of the neuro team just came by, and I’d say the muscle-strength part was unremarkable. So, even if the year continues to be elusive, I predict no problem with downward dog.

Dr Sunshine Weds #1

Dr Sunshine passed out in a hotel bad and awoke to a beautiful Boston October morning. Yesterday we were overrlooking the Charles River and for a brief moment the thought occurred to me that maybe rowing would be pleasant. That passed.

Kristine continues to have the mother of all headaches and is well-medicated. Probably the next milestone would be to get beyond the nausea and start eating.

Before I arrived Kristine was visited by my 2nd grad school roommate who is a pediatrician here. He and his wife used o sit in the pew in front of me at the Harvard Sq UCC church and in fact was the one who suggested I get to know the seminarian. Probably would not be unreasonable for our kids o drop him a thank you note.

I got a peek at Kristine’s incision. There is just like a 1 inch strip running north-south. On the outside everything is glued shut, no bandages all.

21st century The icu room looks like it should be in the Starship Enterprise. Kristine happily ate a lemon ice which is not as good as cannoli but feels good after 8 hours of intubation. Did I mention she still has most of her hair?