Number Four Grandchild graduated from high school with honors, fifth in his class of nearly two hundred. Come fall we will have four grandchildren attending four different colleges in three different states, with two more grandchildren close behind.
All our chickies were gone at one point. Number One Son's bunch went to Michigan, where, among other activities, they saw three of the five Great Lakes and crossed from the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula on a very big bridge. Number Two Son's bunch went to Guatemala where, among other activities, they climbed to the top of a volcano and narrowly avoided being affected by an earthquake. Only Daughter's bunch went to Baltimore, Maryland, where, among other activities, they rode in a water taxi from the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry, the site of the battle with the British in 1814 that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner."
The old folks, a.k.a. Mom and Dad, a.k.a. Nana and Grandpa, stayed home. They did not go to market, have roast beef, cry "Wee, wee, wee" all the way home, pass GO, or collect $200. Nevertheless, their time was not uneventful.
Dad/Grandpa had adventures of his own. A semi-annual cardiologist appointment revealed that it was time for another stress test, it having been four or five years since the last one occurred. Your correspondent allowed as how he didn't care if he never saw another treadmill. The cardiologist pointed out that there are nuclear stress tests now that involve having a radioactive isotope injected into one's veins to speed up one's heart rate in lieu of the aforementioned treadmill and then one's being surrounded by an MRI-like machine for a few minutes, during which time a geiger counter-like apparatus checks out one's heart. One protested feebly but ultimately agreed to such a procedure.
One got home from this procedure to discover that a medication, isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, a vaso dilator), had been called in to one's pharmacy. One was a bit alarmed, as one's newest buddy in the medical field, an ophthalmologist in the next county, has been injecting bevacizumab (Avastin) in one's right eye monthly since March, the purpose of which is to shrink, not expand, the blood vessels in one's eye as a treatment for what is called "wet" macular degeneration. It seemed to one (moi) that the Imdur and the Avastin might work at odds to one another.
Subsequently a heart catheterization (British, catheterisation) was recommended and your brave correspondent reluctantly agreed to be subjected to this barbaric procedure also. They didn't like what they found. One was informed that the large artery that enters the heart at the bottom is 80 to 90 per cent blocked, plus there are several smaller blockages that require insertion of "three or four" (forsooth) stents, and heavy blood thinners will be necessary for at least a year.
The heart guy stopped the presses at this point until he could confer with the eye guy. Said conference has now been completed and the verdict is that everything is just hunky-dory for the stent insertions to proceed. I am now waiting to hear from the heart guy's office as to when to report for
Wish me well. It seems Number One Son's bunch are not the only ones in the family crossing a big bridge.
(Photo by Justin Billau, used in accordance with CC-BY-2.0)
Crossing a big bridge and narrowly avoiding being affected by an earthquake have a lot in common. In light of this astounding revelation, please rise for the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Can I tie everything up in a neat bow, or what?