Last treatment Thursday. Dr. Sanfilippo says the coming week may be the worst; then expects me to feel better “from week to week, not from day to day.” Likely to have a voice about three weeks from now. He suggests having Dr. Sulica scope me about a month from now, when the inflammation has died down. Predicts that the tumor mass will have disappeared entirely, leaving nothing to biopsy.
Indeed, I’ve felt fairly rotten the last couple of days. I seem to be feverish, and yesterday when I took too many pills too quickly they came back up. On the other hand, I’ve now had two nights of undrugged sleep, the first time I haven’t needed sedatives in nearly a month. Got a good night’s sleep last night, woke up, had breakfast, checked my email and Twitter … and went right back to bed for another few hours of sleep. The deficit must have been profound, but right now I’m fully alert and comfortable. Tomorrow may be the time I try some exercise.
Still no results reported from my blood and urine test. Definitely crossing LabCorp off my list. I’m told they specialize in workplace drug testing.
As promised, the radiation oncology team let me keep the custom-made mask that was used to keep my head from moving during the treatments. Having a genuine North American piece on my wall will diversify my collection, which otherwise is entirely West and Central African. For a people with a relatively limited tradition of ritual mask-making,the North Americans show a great deal of promise. I greatly admire the combination of portraiture with high abstraction, reminiscent of the best Lobi work,or the early Cycladic figurines.
Ritual Healing MaskN. American, early c. XXI.
4 thoughts on “Medical Journal: 10/6/18”
When I nearly cut through a finger tendon fitting the last little piece of parquet in the bathroom in Strasbourg, I became a customer of the specialist hand surgery unit in a clinic run by Protestant nuns. (See: separation of church and state in France in 1905, non-application to Alsace-Lorraine in the Second Reich at the time, and general indifference to the issue in 1918 when they rejoined France). It had the most efficient appointments system I’ve met anywhere. Another memory is the area like a large kitchen where experts (I’ve no idea what their trade is called) made bespoke splints from thermoplastic mesh like that in Mark’s life mask. The sinks looked ordinary – but don’t touch the hot taps, they run boiling water.
How did the appointments system work?
Sorry you hurt your finger though.
I don’t know. It just did. Guesses:
1. Hand surgery doesn’t have much of an emotional content, it’s high-grade plumbing repair. So patients show up and doctors know how long they will need. Counselling the afflicted doesn’t arise.
2. Protestant nuns don’t kowtow to doctors and design the appointments to protect their precious time by devaluing that of the time of patients.
PS: I’m embarrassed to accept your good wishes for my old and minor injury, especially compared to Mark’s issues. It was fixed almost perfectly (they put a stitch inside the damaged 1 mm tendon). The fingertip won’t bend as much as its mates by 20 degrees, but since I’m not a concert pianist it’s not any kind of problem.
Hand surgery is spectacularly efficient economically: it often makes the difference between going back to work normally and job-losing disability. We hear a lot about the burden of expensive medical procedures, but these are offset by others that save huge amounts of money, like vaccines, hip replacements and antenatal care. This is one reason why universal coverage is cheaper than you’d expect.
It is cool, almost luchador-y. But it needs a hat.
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