Monthly Archive: September 2006

Sep 29

The continuing health saga

Wednesday morning I went for the CAT scan to see what was going on with my sinuses. Thankfully, this was much more pleasant than the last time I had a CAT scan, which was in the 6th grade when they thought I had a brain tumor. (1) At that time, they had to use these giant bolt things to hold your head in place (not *into* my skull, mind you, but pressing on sides) and they had to use an IV solution to provide some sort of contrast. Then you got stuck in what felt, at the time, like a giant washing machine, whirring and spinning, for what seemed like hours (but was probably only 45 minutes)(2). This time, by contrast, I got to rest my chin on a little cushion (no bolts) and the giant washing machine was more like a small torus (much less enclosed and scary) — and best of all, no IV!

I got to take the scan image with me, so of course I spent an hour and a half scanning it and fitting the pieces together last night (probably a 15″ x 20″ image, too big for a single pass) so I could print it out and get an annotated version from Dr. Clarke (I knew I’d have a use for the white gel pen!!). If you’re curious, here’s my brain (warning — biggum image!!). I’ve annotated my digital copy for your viewing pleasure… the takeaways are that:

  • my sinuses are normal (yah!)
  • I’ve got a deviated septum (not so yah, but fixable. And, in a way, nice to know one of the factors that’s been causing my persistant left-nose stuffiness)
  • this doesn’t help explain why I’m coughing or the persistant bronchitis thing is happening
  • I need to have an esophogeal scan thing next week to make sure it’s not GERD (reflux nastiness that’s making my throat irritated)

So, more steroids (like 18 days more!) — and more attendant puffiness — and more voice restrictions.

(1) No they didn’t tell me why I was having the CAT scan at the time. I’m pretty sure that was a good idea.
(2) They may still do all that for certain kinds of CAT scans, but they didn’t this time. (whew)

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Sep 28

New India pics

here. Including one of her… in a dress.

I’m sorry! It was Isaac Mizrahi at Target and I couldn’t resist.

It’s awful. I know. You don’t dress dogs. It’s silly. I know.

I couldn’t help it.

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Sep 28

Very cute (in my biased opinion)

Little Cesar dog food commerical with a very cute Pom in it and — here’s the nifty bit — a (relatively obscure) song called “I Need a New Heart” by the Magnetic Fields that I adore!

(One of the best concertings I’ve ever had was a three-night, in order, live show of the Magnetic Fields 3-disc set “69 Love Songs” that I went to see with David at the ArtsCenter).

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Sep 27

I am on voice restriction


Anyone who has spent time with me in the last month or so has heard the Cough of Doom. Or anyone who saw me in April. Or December of last year. Or August of last year, etc. Apparently, I have a triannual cold-that-turns-into-bronchitis thing. I finally realized the periodicity of it this time around (OK, I’m sorta slow when it comes to recognizing health patterns), so I made an appointment with an Ear, Nose & Throat guy (Dr. Clark).

My appointment was this morning… here’s the re-cap:

1) We are still not sure what’s causing the quarterly bouts with bronchitis. The suspicion at the moment is that it’s a persistent sinus infection. I’m having a CAT scan this afternoon to see if that’s the case. I see ENT again on Friday; however, the bronchitis part of it is really not his field, so I’ll probably end up working with my GP on that one. I was tempted to suspect the newest “nasal variable” in my life (India, my puppy), but this has been going on for at least five years (my first one was right before Larry & I went to Iceland in 2001). They do seem to have gone from biannual to triannual though

2) As far as the constant coughing that comes with every round of bronchitis (and won’t leave — even with Advair), apparently the combination of coughing and talking on long calls and in speakerphone situations and over background noise (etc.) has irritated my vocal cords (“caused an ‘insult’ to them, as he put it). They are puffy and don’t close completely. (He stuck a camera down my nose! I asked if I could watch so they set up a monitor for me! Ew! Cool!).

The irritated vocal cords are what’s making cough. And coughing is irritating the vocal cords. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. (Fun.) (As an aside, this explains why it gets so much worse on days where I’m back-to-back on calls, as opposed to, say, Saturdays.)

So, I am starting Prednisone today *and* going on vocal restrictions (yep — you “heard me” correctly… not anything above conversational tone: no conference calls, no speakerphone, no talking above ambient noise) and trying reduce talking as much as possible. Once my vocal cords are more happy and less irritated, the coughing should stop.

Anyway — so I figured I should write this rather than tell you ;-)

May the torture begin.

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Sep 26

Oh my — must watch for all geeky types

Weird Al — White & Nerdy

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