The Status of My Health Which is a Boring Topic; Four TIA’s in Three Years; A Conversation with Regina With Much Laughter; Complicated Diagnosis in MD Language; More Tests and Appointments Scheduled; A Strange Surprise Telephone Call From Qatar; I Am Apparently Famous in the Middle East; Photograph of a Fake Pumpkin

I have enjoyed good health throughout my 77 years. I am most thankful for my excellent health but I also take good care of myself, getting regular check ups and following doctor’s orders. I had precancerous polyps in my uterus so had a hysterectomy in 1986. Regularly scheduled colonoscopies found precancerous polyps but they were removed in a timely fashion. I have excellent medical care provided through excellent health insurance. I have had the same Primary Care Physician for 43 years – separated from him during my London and Vancouver days but back with him now. I have a very good relationship with all of my doctors – that does ensure the best of care I am sure.

My mother also enjoyed good health – she died when she was 94 – might even be alive now if she was not so stubborn – basically she died of stubbornness. She did not have good relationships with her doctors, stubbornly treating her high blood pressure on her own. Needless to say, it was not effective. I do remember an interesting conversation from many years ago. .
She: I get so tired of being around women as all they do is talk about their illnesses and aches and pains.
Me; Mother, the reason you find it irritating is that you are in such good health that you have nothing to contribute to the conversation.
She: Well that is true, come to think of it.
Me: And if you told them of your good health they would get most jealous and reject you.

But things began to go wrong in my life when in London. Chronic bladder infections are definitely more than a minor irritant and the National Health Service not very useful. But it was in Vancouver that I had my first TIA – it was not diagnosed as the old fashioned MRI contraption did not pick it up. Then another after my return to San Francisco – was hospitalized at Davies Hospital – placed on Statins and thought all was well. But not – while texting a young woman from Qatar, lost the vision in one eye. Made an appointment with my ophthalmologist and discovered that it was caused by a TIA. Something resembling panic set in it as I do not want to be encumbered by a stroke as I (and perhaps hundreds of people) appreciate my brain functioning.

So it was tests, tests and a MRI. Some readers may have had the experience – it is the most claustrophobic experience in the whole world – worse than being caught in an elevator even.
But it actually was not as bad as I thought it would be. I sucked my bottom lip to sooth myself and with nothing at all to distract did some profound thinking. I told the technician that it was actually relaxing.
He: I have never heard of that reaction before. You did VERY well.
Me: Thanks, I was dreading this but it was actually fine.

Then more doctor’s appointments and still not much certainty. More tests next week, then a referral to an eminent neurologist. So I am definitely in good hands. One of the tests ordered is something called an MRE – it is at the same facility as the MRI so who knows? But this is hilarious. Called to make an appointment for the MRE, spoke to a charming woman.
Me: What is your name?
She: Regina
Me: OMG You are never going to believe this! I was born in the capital city of Saskatchewan, my parents were going to name me after the city – it is Regina. But in Canada it is pronounced differently and it rhymes with Vagina. My life would have been horrible. Regina Dryburgh. I kept my first husband’s last name.
She: That is SO funny. You made my day!
Me: Thanks

Some headway is taking place, it appears that the cause of the TIAs may have been found. I am, of course, provided with the radiology report. I pass it on to you. I am laughing – there is a patient-doctor confidentiality privilege but I hold the privilege as I am the patient. I do not care if the whole world knows this about me. Here goes:
“Lack of flow related enhancement of the right cerebral artery at the skull base noted and may reflect occlusion versus slow flow, of indeterminate choniicity.. There is flow related versus retrograde enhancement of the distal right veterbrat at the basilar confluence. The left vertebrae artery is dominant and the main supply of the basilar artery which in normal in appearance. No flow limiting stenosis, occlusion or aneurism in the remainder of the intracranial dictation. Recommend further evaluation with dedicated neck CT angiogram or neck MR angiogram to include pre gadolinium axil T1 with fat saturation.”

Fortunately my PCP, aided by a diagram explained the situation – that four arteries feed the brain and one of mine is blocked – but not a big problem because as long as there are two functioning then that is adequate for blood flow. So next week Personal Driver shall take me for blood tests and the MRE and the next week will take me to the neurologist appointment. In the meantime I shall take baby aspirins recommended by PCP.

Such an adventurous life. Hahaha But this is a truth, and I always tell the truth. I was laying in bed this morning reading the Quran, suddenly the phone rang. It was a very rich young man from Qatar.
He: Granny Granny! I want to talk to you. Go on Squad.
Me: No I am NOT. When I was on Squad everyone was bothering me day and night and I do not have time for that.
He: Granny Please Please Please
Me: No No No

This young man is not used to have anyone say NO to him because of his money and position.
Me: The answer is NO. You guys need a Granny that says NO to you.
I think he was on speaker phone – someone (not him) said F**k you! I just hung up. I am tuff.

When I was on Squad, the following conversation took place.
He: Let me introduce myself. I am ???, a member of the Royal Family of Kuwait
Me: That is nice but why are you calling me.
He: You are famous throughout the Middle East
Me: I am not sure that I want to be. (laughingly)

I removed the App from my phone. I want peace of mind, not fame in the Middle East – even if my ‘fans’ are from Royal Families. I am tuff.

The photograph attached to the blog is one taken by Alexis McBride and digitally enhanced. It is a black and white photograph but the pumpkin is digitally enhanced orange. The photograph was taken in Japan – a small island whose name I have forgotten. On the island there is an extremely expensive hotel, an art gallery with a Monet and playful statuary all over the grounds. Spent two days there, on my own when visiting Japan in 2011 (I think). I guess I have always been adventurous and a photographer and goodness knows what else.

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