About Me

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Cedar, Leelanau County, Michigan (near Traverse City), United States
I am a 76 year old (born 7/4/1937) retired Public Radio Engineer from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Happily married to the love of my life, Teddy (nee Teddy Schlueter). Teddy is a retired Medical Records Clerk from Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin. Two children, Michael and Lon. Lon passed away in 1994. Michael is married to his wonderful wife, Toni and lives in Appleton, Wisconsin. For photos click on link below or visit our photo site http://www.flickr.com/photos/igboo NOTE: Click on photos for full-size images.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pacing my Heart


One of the problems of owning an older car is parts wearing out. If it is a part that you don't really need like a cigarette lighter or rusty fenders then you don't have to fix it; you can just ignore it and get by just fine. However, if it's your timing belt or spark plugs then you have to either get it fixed or junk the car to the boneyard.
Well, the same is true of the human body. For many years I got along just fine with all of the parts that I was born with but as time went by I began to discard several parts that didn't work anymore or I didn't seem to need. At first it was just small things, my tonsils, and foreskin were the first to go followed in my youth by my appendix. Then in my 20s by my wisdom teeth. After that for a long long time everything seemed to be operating as designed until 1994 when my prostate gland after many years of faithful service had to be discarded. And, of course throughout the years, hair follicles here and there but mainly on my head began to die out. Fast forward to 2006 and it was my right knee, in this case I had a new one installed as I decided that it would be difficult to get along without one. The following year, without warning, my gall bladder quits...so bye bye gall bladder. And a few years back, I disremember exactly when, my engine began to miss, something to do with my fuel injection system which my doctor treated with the fuel additives Sotalol & Coumadin. Well...things seemed to be progressing pretty much OK until Tuesday morning, February 9th when the ol' engine began to really sputter and I ended up in the local hospital here in Lake Havasu City.
That afternoon around 5pm my heart briefly stopped entirely for several seconds and then spontaniously restarted. It was really exciting to see all of the people running into my room with the "crash cart" and a bunch of other machines that go "BING"! Then, happily, (well happily for them as they got to see it in person) it did it again two more times. I, of course, sort of blanked out briefly during those times so I don't remember it all but I do remember that it was sort of like an episode of the TV show, "Greys Anatomy". Apparently clinically speaking, I was briefly dead for a few seconds a couple of times with no pulse. I didn't get to see any angels though as both sides (both up & down) rejected me and sent me back. Then that night and the following night my heart would slow down to 20 BPM and they would have to rouse me. I asserted that naked nurses might do the trick but then when they volunteered a male nurse I recanted. 
So... on Thursday afternoon my cardiologist Dr. Pareed Aliyar installed a shiny new Boston Scientific Altrua pacemaker in my chest. So now, I am home and happily beating along at 60 CPS right in tune with the house current.

Oh... I almost forgot, yesterday my other knee gave out so next summer... well… you get the picture.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Rocks

Teddy has a continuing interest in Archeology and Geology. The second weekend in November the Lake Havasu Gem and Mineral Society held their annual show and she attended.  Vendors had set up sales booths featuring faceted and cabochon jewels, fossils, tools, books, findings, slabs, finished jewelry and gifts. Members for fun and competition set up display of handcrafted jewelry designs and collections of unusual minerals, fossils and rocks. Teddy loved it and subsequently at their November monthly meeting she joined the club. Since then she has been accompanying the members on their Saturday field trips.
They meet at an agreed to parking lot here in town and share rides in 4WD vehicles sometimes one to two hundred miles into the uninhabited desert. Off she'll go at 8 a.m. with her hammer & chisel, a bottle of water and lunch, not returning sometimes till dark...minus the lunch, toting great quantities of what look to me as just so many rocks. She will then spend hours cleaning and sorting said rocks..discarding some and keeping some. I will admit that once she points out what the the various specimens are it is quite interesting. She has found quartz, agates, silver, garnets, hematite, barite, jasper, epidote and other minerals with unpronounceable names. I joke with her that it's getting to look like the classic Lucy & Desi comedy, The Long Long Trailer.