Friday, November 13, 2009

Good News & Bad

The power was out in our neighbourhood from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. the day Brian got his x-ray done and the day before he had his CT scan done. We had several hours in the dark, in the evening, to play crib & read & vaguely worry about something the Doctor had reassured us there was nothing to worry about. (You know how that is.) Shelley had talked with her oldest daughter in Canada that day on G-Mail audio & had told her about the various tests being done on Brian & had commented on the wrinkles that were now appearing in her (Shelley's) face these days.

"Start putting on night cream now!" Shelley instructed her daughter.

"I'm only going to be 30" her daughter told her. "You're funny Mommy" her daughter said laughingly.

"I'm not kidding. Start putting on night cream now!"

Between the x-ray & the CT scan, Brian asked our Doctor 7,365 (only an approximation) questions. The Doctor patiently & professionally answered each question thoroughly. During the course of the questioning the Doctor commented: "I can certainly tell you're from Canada. A patient here, in Ecuador, would not ask so many questions." The Doctor was not complaining; he was merely commenting & went on to say Canada was in the top 5 in the world for quality of medical care. He told Brian he appreciated him taking on the task of asking the questions and being in charge of his own health. He said it was a refreshing change.

The next day Brian got up early to be at his CT scan appointment for 8:30 a.m. Shelley & Fredi stayed at home. Brian couldn't eat breakfast before he went (a requirement of the scan) and he told Shelley after the scan he'd wander the neighbourhood, get a bite to eat, and then wait until 11:30 to see the Doctor again.

"I won't be home probably until 1:00 o'clock" he told her.

At 12:21 p.m. Shelley started to worry. "He's fine" Shelley told Fredi as Fredi waited anxiously at the door and peered out the balcony window looking for her Papa. "He's fine."

Brian arrived home at almost exactly 1 p.m. with good news & bad news. The CT scan showed minor scarring on his lungs but nothing cancerous.

"The scan was like science fiction" Brian told Shelley. "Just like Gray's Anatomy!"

Brian was diagnosed with low grade emphysema & chronic bronchitis. The Doctor prescribed puffers for 3 months and said this should take care of the bronchitis. He also gave him a shot to prevent pneumonia. Cost for shot ($17.94) & prescription for puffers ($164.70). The emphysema should not get any worse as Brian has quit smoking and once the bronchitis is cleared up he should notice a marked difference in his wind. As Brian is into the home stretch for turning 70, and as he smoked for 40 years, things are looking "not bad". His heart is healthy, his cholesterol is fine.

"On the scan you could actually see my aorta" Brian told Shelley.

We're still awaiting results from a couple of the blood tests, but all in all things seem pretty good.

The power was out from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday and from 7 a.m. 'til 11:00 a.m. Friday. With the help of a friend of ours "retiredpoppi" on we've finally found a schedule on-line at (click on link to: Programacion de Ahorro Energetico). This really helps to co-ordinate our days. (In particular our microwave schedule!) We're not finding the outages remarkably onerous but knowing when they're going to happen is really handy. No power for us Noon 'til 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. We do believe we're actually starting to get the hang of this!

Friday we ventured downtown to see if Brian's shirts were ready for pick-up and they were. They both turned out just as well as the first two we'd had made up and we were very pleased. Off we ventured to the market and picked up some potatoes & tomatoes and then met up with a couple of friends and had lunch at Ricky's on Av. de Las Americas. Shelley was going to try the cuy pizza but changed her mind and had a vegetarian one instead. Brian had the Ricky's Special pizza and our friends both had breakfast for lunch. It was all very good and we really enjoyed catching up with each other! We showed our friends Brian's new shirts & gave them the business card for the tailor. They're thinking of trying him out as well. When we got home we got a phone call from another one of our friends who has been out of the country for several months. It was wonderful to hear from them and we're looking forward to seeing them again.

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