Down the hatch we go!

I went for my first bronchoscopy this morning. Apparently these invasions will be a regular part of my health regime – bimonthly for the first year, tri-monthly during the second year, then as directed, such as when illness occurs. It’s the primary means of collecting information on the status of the donor lungs and is thusly a very necessary evil. The upshot is that the lungs are accessible through existing bodily channels, unlike say, a liver or a kidney; collecting tissue samples for biopsy is quicker and far cleaner.

I only had a cursory knowledge of what a bronchoscopy entails, so I was hesitant. Anything that goes down my windpipe had damned well better be or digestible, that’s my motto. The whole process, barring complication, takes little more than twenty minutes. I was administered a dose of a sedative known as Versed, which is known to induce fugues. Throughout the process, I’m told, I was never comatose, I just have no memory of what happened after they told me the Versed was going in. They could’ve stripped naked and danced to “Love Shack” for fifteen minutes, for all I know. Continue Reading…

Day … What Are We Up to Now?

And we have mobility! Another pair of those annoying chest tubes were pulled from my sides this morning. The gaps were quickly sutured up and dressed, and the results were immediately noticeable. With the new freedom to expand my ribcage, I felt worlds better.  More significantly, however, this meant that two of the clunky, oblong drainage containers could be cast away. It is infinitely simpler to manage one fluid collection box than three, while also holding onto a cardiometer and an I.V. pole. It also gave me the freedom to wear civilian clothing – a loose shirt – rather than the embarassing and drafty hospital-issue gowns I’d been wearing until now.

Things are slowly improving. My appetite is returning and I cannot wait to indulge in a proper meal. I know there’s nothing wrong with hospital food but it still feels somehow “wrong.”  My days are spent watching whatever non-election coverage I can find on television (none), playing my Gameboy, or engaging in various rehabilitation exercises. They like to take the patients out of their rooms for walks. When you consider that the majority of lung and heart transplants are in the elderly, a long walk could be pretty challenging.  So far, it hasn’t been a challenge at all. Perhaps I’m not asking to go far enough or do enough things. If they’d like to walk me, a trip to the cafeteria for to pick up some snacks would be a great idea. I’ll have to inquire about that. Continue Reading…

Delphi in Washington Post article

Here’s the article:

An Industrial Town Stares Change in the Face
Woes of Auto Parts Maker Threaten Wages

By Sholnn Freeman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 12, 2005; A01

LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Like a lot of people in town, Pam Mondello can feel the American dream slipping from her grasp.

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Night Owl report

Well, the midnight shift is getting to be pretty routine. I won’t say I feel like I’m getting enough sleep, but then I wasn’t before either. But, it’s a lot easier to get up and go to work when your body says it’s time to, than when your body is saying “SLEEP – I want more SLEEP!
Continue Reading…

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