4/06/2009

Update

*sigh* Six weeks since the last post?

Not that much exciting or interesting to post about lately, combined with the unexciting or trivial taking up too much time.

1) Hilde is still having trouble with her hearing. She's seen one of the Ear/Nose/Throat specialists at Mayo, and been referred another level up the medical-specialty tree for an appointment next week, where the recommendation is likely to have tiny tubes inserted into her ear canals to relieve the persistent pressure there since her respiratory infection earlier this year.

2) There was something else... interesting... in health concerns recently, but I hadn't mentioned it before because it was one of those matters where "interesting" is equivalent to "terrifying". An MRI on Hilde several months ago showed some indications of pressure on her spinal cord at the top of her spine, where it hooks up to her skull. This was scary because it might have been an indication that the hardware (bolts and screws and cables, and chunks of hipbone to replace shattering cervical vertabrae) holding her neck together since 2000 was starting to fail, and if her cervical spine was starting to fall apart again, it was one of those things that can lead to unpleasant side-effects like, ohhh, quadriplegia, brain damage, and, y'know, dying. (Back in 2000, Hilde was told that without the neck surgery, her life expectancy was about two weeks.)

Further consultation, with the neurosurgeon who performed the 2000 surgery, proved reassuring. The spinal cord constriction showing on the MRI was apparently an artifact of the neck hardware, and the hardware and Hilde's neck are, in fact, still stabilized. (This was particularly reassuring because Hilde has already beaten the odds by a considerable margin. Not only was there a 1-in-7 chance of dying on the operating table in 2000, but the average post-surgical life expectancy among people who've had the surgery is only two years. Hilde's already gone more than eight.)

3) On my own front, I started working night shifts last week, 9PM to 7AM, four nights a week. This was occasioned by a reduction in contracted hours at the worksite, which meant a reduction in hours for almost every employee there, drastic cuts in some instances. I'd been working 45 hours a week, but I'm one of the few employees still getting a full 40 hours a week. Adjusting to a night schedule is an ongoing process, but the four 10-hour shifts also mean I get an additional day off each week. (And just today, because of that extra day off, I finally got the leaky filtered-water spigot by the kitchen sink replaced. Next, replace the worn-out drawer slides in the kitchen cabinetry.)

And that's about it for now. Will try to post an occasional link to interesting stuff elsewhere on the internet, like the customized My Little Ponys in the last post here.

2 comments:

Will Shetterly said...

Man, I'm sorry for the troublesome news. The only possibly helpful thing I have to offer is a suggestion you prob'ly don't need: I hope you're researching sleep issues and how they relate to working nights. You're carrying a lot of weight now, so sleep matters.

As always, hoping for the best for you and Hilde!

mjlayman said...

Yikes. I'm glad the surgery is still stable!