Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sleep Test

Sleep Test

I have a primary care Physician but I have never met him even though he was my PCP for 20 years. During my last trip to my Dr.’s, who really isn’t a Dr. but a PA, I was informed that they were changing my PCP to my former PCP’s son but I don’t get to meet him unless it is really important? It’s OK with me because I have a new PA also. My last PA was good and I really liked him but I guess he wasn’t good enough because he went on vacation and didn’t come back. At least he didn’t come back to my Medical Clinic. Maybe he became a free agent and somebody else snapped him up. Sorry for the initials but that’s medical-speak and I want to sound official. My new PA and I were visiting, for some reason or other, about my sleeping habits. It came up that sometimes I had strange dreams that I was drowning or in a tunnel and it was collapsing on me. Not very often, mind you, but enough to alert my New PA and cause him to have tribulations about my sleeping. He proceeded to set me up for a “Sleep Study” at Mercy Hospital, over in Springfield [10 miles away]. We have a very nice hospital of our own, here in Westfield but a lot of the procedures and tests happen at Springfield hospitals. Our hospital, Nobel Hospital, has been recently purchased by Bay State Hospital in Springfield for some reason or other. The medical profession is not very straight forward, at least not out here it isn’t and it doesn’t even help that I am trying to explain this to you in Medical-speak. This is about as clear as my Dr.’s signature on a prescription, however I really wouldn’t know that for a fact because I have never met my Dr. I also have a Cardiologist and I have seen his signature and the generality holds true.

Enough trivia as I am telling you about my sleep test. I wouldn’t bother to relate this story but I couldn’t find anyone to tell me about sleep tests before I had mine the other night. Therefore I would generalize that very few people have to go through them and I figured you all should know. My test started at 9pm in the evening and ended in the morning at 6am. There were two windows registering people, when I arrived, and the other window had a man and his girlfriend registering and at the other window a very nice lady signed me up and gave me a whole pile of forms to sign. One of those forms was permission for the hospital to tell people I was in the hospital when someone called to inquire. For the life of me I could not understand the necessity of that form and inquired of such with my lovely register person. At about the same time, the other register person was asking her couple the same question and they declined to sign the form. My register person then said “Case in point as some people just don’t want people to know where they are” as she shrugged her shoulders.

I advanced next to a room upstairs and met Haley who told me “this is your bedroom”. I went to “My” bathroom and changed into my PJ’s [non medical-speak term], for the hookup. Haley then proceeded to wire me as she said “we monitor everything while you sleep”. I think she noticed the panic appearance I had taken on, and added “well almost everything”. This is a picture of a test dummy and I had more probes on me.

She put three different elastic bands around my chest. Some held equipment and some just probes. There had to be 20 probes on my head plus about 5 just on my chin area. All of the probes were held on by tape and the head probes were causing some consternation, as I know from past experience that tape and hair means goodbye hair and I have very little that I can spare. A double oxygen breathing type of thing was taped to my nose. Haley even put a probe on my foot. All of these probes were then plugged into a mini switch board about 6”x8”. It reminded me of the switchboard the old time telephone operators use to sit in front of, only a lot smaller.
For the record this is also not a picture of me but one stolen from the internet.

I half expected her to say “Number please”. I needed to take a pill, earlier, and I had a choice of about 4 different drinks. I chose water and she came back with a cup that looked like a Styrofoam soup cup filled with ice and water. Haley left to go into the control center and test my switchboard and I got a drink of water. That was a real challenge because it was so big but I had to hold the wires away from my mouth with one hand and hold the cup with the other. I wondered what would happen at 1am when I needed to get a drink from the cup? Might be interesting as I will be lying down also. When the wires were all tested out Haley left for the night but turned me over to Fletcher for the evening.

I got to watch TV for a while at bedtime and that relaxed me as the Red Sox were playing in Anaheim and were not losing yet. I fell asleep with ease and that surprised me. At 1, I had to call Fletcher because I had to pee and didn’t have a clue how that might be possible but Fletch came in and unplugged my switchboard and I was off and running. He also said the Sox were winning at the bottom of the sixth. Fell right back asleep and then the test was over and I found out the Sox won one. Fletcher was good removing the tape and it didn’t appear I lost very much hair.

I think this was the first time I have been to a hospital or even a Dr’s office that they have not hurt me somehow and everyone was nice to me. I would recommend this test to everyone. I have noticed that it is very hard to write a good posting when everything works out good. Before the test I was looking forward to the test because of the material it would provide me for a good posting. I got good material when I had my Nuclear Stress Test and when I had my Colonoscophy but not on this test. Just a nice test with some very qualified people. Yawhn!.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Blueberries are in!!!!!

Fresh, wild, Blueberries just hit the farm stands so I had to stop and pickup a few quarts. Blueberry pie tonight and maybe some of my Mother-in-law's recipie for Blueberry Buckel for tomorrow. Really a great pie. Just as fresh and as sweet as you can imagine. We have wildblueberries here in the cemetery but they needed a couple of more days. I'll take a look tomorrow. They are amongst the poison ivy which keeps people away. Have to watch out for the bears.

Cookie this one is for you to make up for the fresh corn photo.

I didn't make this story up.

This story is copied [scanned] from page 3 of Saturday News Vol.75 No.32 Westfield Ma 01085 August 5, 2006

Friday, August 04, 2006

A rose is a rose??

I have chosen to not try my tired brain trying to publish a trip back to whatever and merely pursue the trip I have been on for several days as in Bees and more bees. For your edification I select the topic of roses. Not just any rose but roses that turn different colors and roses of many colors appearing together on the same plant. I discovered this anomaly this morning in the garden by our back door. I quickly grabbed my camera and produced the picture you now see below. The roses are showing the strain of our 100 degree heat and high humidity. I planted the roses in this garden, weeded them and watered them but I never saw this. I knew that I had photographed this rose plant before and I retrieved that photo as you now observe posted below. Nice picture I might say myself.
Tonight, when my wife and I returned from supper, we checked the plant out and much to our surprise this is how it looked.

Beats me???

Thursday, August 03, 2006

and more bee stories

Rather than let the subject die, I will offer up one more posting on the general subject of BEE’S. Every afternoon I close and lock three of our 4 gates at about 5 PM. At dark I come on back at dark and close the remainder gate. Our “back gate” as it is referred to by the crew has, at times, been a source of problems because wasps tend to create mini-colonies in the horizontal supports. They seem to do this rather quickly, at least so my research on the subject tends to show. A queen leaves a nest and takes a few various wasps with her to form a new nest. Well that is exactly what took place today as I was shaking that same gate this morning taking the lock off but the wasps were not there. She picked a spot inches away from the padlock that locks this gate, sometime during the day. They didn’t bother me as I unlocked the padlock but instead got me as I removed the short cable it was attached to. One of the little buggers got me on the left outside, fleshy part of my left hand. When that happened I noticed I had four or more hovering around my head and I chose to withdraw and assess my options. There was only one option available and that was to kill the little bastards so I can retrieve my padlock and finished the job. I opened my bed box and retrieved my trusty can of bee and hornet killer but I found it to be empty. There didn’t seem to be an abundance of little critters around and perhaps, using my trusty baseball cap [a genuine Red Sox cap it is] as a wasp killer, I could attack and kill or run them off and finish locking the gate……Naaa. I went to the shop and got another can of spray and that was the end of the story.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More Bee stories

My Son-in-law Michael [part timer for us} and Lou were weed whacking a couple of days ago and I drove up to drop Michael back off from a side trip. Lou had just picked up a sawhorse and moved it so he could chop of the weeds below it. As he sat it down and took a quick swipe with the weed trimmer, I noticed an, ever growing, plethora of bees congregating around him. Lou didn’t see the bees but quickly walked by me, in the pickup, when they attacked. Four of about 1000 had decided he needed to be punished. All four attacked at once stinging his upper body and inside his T shirt. He was hollering and ripping off his shirt and I looked back and noticed that Michael had walked into the saw horse area with complete abandonment. He did not realize there were thousands of bee’s swarming at his feet as he was too engrossed watching Lou tear off his shirt and holler. I yelled at Mike “Bees all around you, get out”. For once Michael listened to me and beat a hasty retreat and without getting stung. Why only 4 went after Lou and why none stung Michael we will never know. It was as if they knew that 4 could handle Lou without a problem and they knew that Michael was not a threat.

I could just see someone else come along and sit down on the sawhorse or something. I didn‘t want to leave it for chance and chose to eradicate the colony. I flipped the horse over with a broom handle, beat up the nest and stood back and sprayed the entire swarming mass with one of our powerful bee and wasp killers. The nest was about 6” wide and 8” long. Sometimes, when we find nests, we have to hire an exterminator to come in and eliminate the problem because the nests are so large. Our hardest ones to eliminate are those that dwell under the large stones or build their hives in the ground. We have to watch out for our guests.

When I first started into the construction business I had a 10 house subdivision going out in South Dakota. I had a job trailer there and we stored our extra materials along side in a fenced in area. I pulled up in my pickup just when one of my laborers, who was working on the fence, came crawling out from under the trailer. I got out and started walking toward the trailer just as he came running by me hollering “Run Bees!” Just as he went by, one of his attackers flew up my nose and got wedged. It was the left nostril, yes it was. At that point I figured out what was going on and fully realized that I was probably going to get stung in my left nostril, by a hornet, and that was probably going to really hurt. Well I took off running also, lest more hornets attack me, and as I ran I tried to blow that sucker out my nose. Hhnnh, hhnnh, hhnnh I went as I jumped over a pile of lumber and passed the worker that gave me the hornet problem in the first place. I felt like an idiot, hhnnh, hhnnh, and I was the boss but the damned hornet would not come out. Finally I recovered enough to think the problem out. I stopped, no sting but the hornet was still there, I put my right finger on the side of my nose and blew as hard as I ever had in my life. The hornet came out like a bullet and I didn’t get stung. The hornet was probably flying around wondering “What the hell was that all about?” What I did notice was most of my crew, now gathered round, some of them going hnnh, hnnh, and the other laughing hysterically.