Monday, January 28, 2008

Door Mat

I came into my office last week and found this doormat, a gift from another canine-loving friend of mine. I think it adds quite a bit of class to the office!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Gail and Beau

Gail and Beau
Originally uploaded by gr8what
Our friends adopted 3 (!!!) little two-month old Blue Tick Coonhounds! I can't imagine anything sweeter in the world. They are all legs and ears, and they haven't figured out how to use their legs very well yet. In honor of the Louisiana heritage of Blue Ticks, they are named Beauregard, Savannah, and Julep.

We spent several hours just sitting and holding them, smelling their puppy-breath, and playing with their ears. Those are probably among the best hours of any of our lives.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Where in the World?

There is a cool web site where you can check off all the countries you've visited, and it will map them for you. Now this is an anal-compulsive travelor's dream-site!

I checked all my countries, and the map is pretty impressive. It is misleading, though, because the whole country shows up even if you've only been to one part. I've been to parts of both Canada and Russia, and it looks like I have traveled the entire top tier of the world.

Clearly, I need to head south of the equator! Just as soon as we get Gail's spare parts installed!!

You can fill in your map here:

Now where do YOU want to go?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dinah Shore

I actually was named for her. My mom was in bed listening to the radio with my dad when she started having contractions. The story goes that Dinah was singing when my mom's water broke, so they named me after her.

Personally, I liked Carol Burnett a lot better!


My name has always been a trial. People always are confused...Dina? Donna? Diana? Dana?

For many years, I could say, " Like Dinah Shore," and people would know who I was talking about. But all good things come to an end, apparently.

Yesterday, I was talking to a guy who looked to be in his 30's, and he was asking how to spell my name. When I gave him my standard response, it got no traction with hims whatsoever. He had no idea who Dinah Shore was.

I reminded him that she used to date Burt Reynolds, and he said, "Who didn't?"

I could feel my life dripping out between my fingers.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

UCSF Again

We went to UCSF on Monday to see the surgeons again. Everything was fine, and it was pretty much the formality that we expected it to be.

We saw Dr. Hirose again, and he did tell us one interesting thing. The US is divided up into regions, and each region gets organs within its region and disburses them to residents of its region. But, if a kidney patient is a perfect match of all six factors, that patient gets the kidney no matter what region the organ or the recipient is in. Which is good for the recipient. But, the transplant center that gets the organ has to donate another organ back into the national system. Somehow over the past year or so, UCSF has developed an organ debt, so they have had to give up some organs that were procured in their region.

Because of this, UCSF only did 19 kidney/pancreas transplants last year, when they usually do about 30. That probably kept Gail from getting called.

Dr. Hirose thinks this is not fair and disadvantages his patients. He is trying to get this system changed.

I don't think Gail was particularly upset by this. Both of us were just relieved to learn more about the process. And it does provide a better answer to why she hasn't been called yet. So that is good.

When we left UCSF, we both felt like it may be another year before she gets her transplant. We mentioned that people had suggested that we move to other regions where the waiting list for new organs are shorter. He thought about it, and said that he thinks we should stay here. Another transplant center might not take her because of her age, so he thinks it is better for us to stay with UCSF, which we are happy to do. He said if we were waiting for a liver transplant, though, he would recommend that we move to another region. That was pretty shocking. I guess because without a replacement liver, you die. Whereas with kidney failure, you just go on dialysis.

We have never seriously considered moving; but it was interesting to get more information about it.

We met her new nephrologist today, and we liked him a lot. It sounds like he will be following her mainly by seeing her at the dialysis center, which will be good for her. But it means I won't be there as much and may not know as much about what is going on. But I guess that is OK.

He asked her why she wasn't doing peritoneal dialysis. She hasn't considered it because a transplant has been immanent for the last 13 months. If she doesn't get a transplant in time, I guess that will be an option for her. But we are still hoping for the transplant.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Weirdly Wrapped

Weirdly Wrapped
Originally uploaded by gr8what
The surprise package turned out to be this wonderful industrial strength juicer! It made a great bird, huh?

Wrapping Weirdness

Wrapping Weirdness
Originally uploaded by gr8what
This was one of the presents from Robin and Sachi. Neither of us had any idea what could be inside this weird bird!

Coughing in the New Year

After my last posting, Gail and I both got really sick. We had already planned to take the first week in January off because we badly needed a vacation. Unfortunately, we were both too sick to do anything but stay in bed and sleep. I hate wasting vacation days being sick.

She got so bad that I took her into Urgent Care yesterday, during the worst rain and wind storm in years. We saw a doctor who is a friend of ours, who is very good and kind. He sent her for a chest x-ray, and it looks like she may have been developing pneumonia. He gave her some high-powered antibiotics, and she felt much much better this morning.

I was so sick that I didn't go into the EOC during the rain storm. Chris went in my stead and did a great job. Thank goodness!

We have an appointment to go to UCSF Monday to meet with the surgeons again. We don't expect any difficulty. She is still a good candidate for a transplant, so we think it will be pretty much a formality.