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TUESDAY, 9/26/06: 10:40AM: Finally went to SEE Chin on Monday to get my prescription-script for switching to CVS, and FINALLY got my test results (compared with 2/3/06 figures): stool-text negative; Cholesterol: total 167 (was 174, now better), LDL 94 (was 102, now better), HDL 34 (was 35, now worse, should bring up by taking fish oil or eating more fish. Triglycerides 193 (was 184, worse), Sugar 110, OK.

FRIDAY, 1/12/07: 8AM: Look at leg and find varicose veins inside right calf!

SATURDAY, 1/20/07: 2AM: First reflux since 7/07/05.

MONDAY, 1/22/07: 8PM: Hit just below right elbow on chest-drawer. Bruise?? 2/16/07: No, but started ARTHRITIS pain there!

THURSDAY, 2/1/07: 3:40PM, after waiting 100 minutes for 2PM double-booked appointment with Dr. Palgon, the ENT specialist: looked at throat, "Nothing suspicious; don't use Q-tips; see back on 3/29; sorry for double-booking."

SATURDAY, 2/24/06: 1:30AM: Reflux, followed by sitting up for ten minutes.

FRIDAY, 3/30/07: Blood test: results: cholesterol 198 (was 167, worse); HDL 31, was 34 (worse); LDL 117, was 94 (worse); triglycerides 250 (was 193, worse); but PSA normal, thyroid, kidney, potassium all OK, but sugar 119 (was 110, worse, and diabetes is over 127), so he said get another test in 2 months. Too early to check 9/11 dermatology revisit with Special Services; he'll order me a Shingles shot; check CDC website for malaria in Central America, and Downstate good for angioplasty and he SAYS LICH just got a full-time facility.

TUESDAY, 4/3/07: Dermatologist Avran: check 1) forehead (froze), 2) left-thumb knuckle (froze), 3) other tabs and blobs would laser at COST! 4) foot fungus!

SATURDAY, 4/28/07: Reflux about 2AM after Beard, not very serious.

THURSDAY, 5/3/07: 2:17AM: Anal pain, but nothing when I try to shit to 2:26.

MONDAY, 5/7/07: 5:30AM: Intermittent pain last night on going to bed seems to concentrate in an area in my lower right abdomen to make me think "appendix!"
This day described in detail in NOTEBOOK.

THURSDAY, 5/10/07: Finally get shingles shot from Chin.

THURSDAY, 5/17/07: Put the "task chair" together: difficult because it was heavy, I put the arms on backward at first, and one screw had to be laboriously pried loose, and I ended up very tired, and SLIGHTLY NAUSEOUS, which I didn't like AT ALL!

FRIDAY, 5/18/07: Got about 35 pounds of groceries and my hands hurt lugging them back from Key Food, but the worst thing with the fatigue was the SLIGHT FEELING OF NAUSEA, like yesterday, and I really started WORRYING!

WEDNESDAY, 5/23/07: 8:50PM: Peed on my fingers before, and felt constricted on the shaft of my penis when peeing later, and then at 3:10PM today I peed, saw a dark spot in the darkened bathroom, and turning the light on saw a CLOT OF BLOOD in the bowl, with pink water around it. Went to the gym and took a shit, but noticed no blood in the dim toilet afterward, but when I came home after seeing Sharon, I peed again at 6:45PM and it STARTED with drops of blood. DAMN!

THURSDAY, 5/24/07: 7AM: Decide to call Donna at 9AM before leaving for John for Iris Garden at 9:15 to make appointment at 6PM today for big-list of FIVE, but it turns out he has some kind of meeting tonight, so I see him tomorrow:
1) 5/16/07: Sharon: psychologist's appointment for memory test administration, 2) 5/21/07: Shelley: get angiogram and stress test; and chest x-ray for sarcoid, 3) 5/23/07: Me: blood-clot in urine 3:15 and 6:30; last 11/27/93"not unusual," 4) 5/24/07: Me: can you tweeze hair or brush bristle from lower right tooth?, 5) 3/30/07: Chin: results from test 3/25: Get another sugar test in 2 months.

FRIDAY, 5/25/07: Chin at 9:45AM, partly influenced by my session with Sharon on Wednesday, 5/23, when I said I was "ashamed to call Chin because I don't think of myself as a sick person," and she said I should call him for tests just to make SURE I'm the well person I think I am. 1) Complained about blood in urine twice at 3:15 and 6:30PM on 5/23, but not later when I peed at 9:15. Checked to see that my last hematuria was 6/8/05 after too-tight cum. The last clot I recorded was 11/27/93. But Chin mumbled something about "twice" and told me to go to Special Services to get an appointment with Surasi, the urologist, for hematuria, which was made for 6/13 at 11:15AM. 2) I asked him if he could tweeze hair from lower tooth, but he said he didn't have the proper needle-nosed tweezers and I'd have to see my dentist, but in a few weeks the hair seems to have vanished or dissolved. 3) Blood test: when I got my results from my 3/25 blood-test on 3/30, he said sugar was high, so I should get another test in two months, so he set me up on the computer for a fasting set of tests that I didn't take until Monday, 6/4. 4) He set me up with Dr. Elkins on 6/13 for my Mini-Mental test, 5) He pooh-poohed Shelley's idea of a chest x-ray for sarcoid, but said I could have an EKG that morning: saw Chin at 10:25, out at 10:32, sit for EKG at 10:48, and finished by 11:25, said the results would immediately be sent to Chin, so at 11:40 he says "I'll see you next" and reports that the EKG is perfectly normal, so he says that rules out an angiogram and stress test because I seem not to need them. Add to note to I call him 6/29 and see if anyone can check cat-scan for osteoporosis.

THURSDAY, 6/7/07: Check blood test from 6/4: urine normal; sugar normal at 100, MUCH better than previous 119 he was worried about; cholesterol 158, MUCH better than previous 198. HDL 32, tiny bit better than previous 31; LDL 72, was 117, FANTASTIC down, probably because I made sure I didn't have any heavy Beard (or anywhere else) alcohol for at LEAST 4 days prior; triglycerides 268, was 250, high, but he didn't seem concerned.

WEDNESDAY, 6/13/07: 9:30AM: Saw Dr. Elkins, psychologist, only in one day a week behind Chin's office, says she'll get the Mini-Mental for me next week, but after taking a background and interview, she says I'll have nothing to worry about. 11:15AM: See Dr. Surasi, chaotic office, he sends me to Special Services, saying I should leave urine, which I do, but then competent, attractive Nicholas says I also need blood readings for Bun and Creatinine before he can make a cat-scan appointment, but since I was at the Beard last night I wait until Monday, 6/18, for that test.

WEDNESDAY, 6/20/07: 9:25AM: See Dr. Elkins, who gives me the Mini-Mental, which I ace (even SHE doesn't know "the name of the building we're in," since it's no longer the HIP Center). But she says that's good only for "moderate to severe" Alzheimer’s, which would be 5-7 on a scale of 1-10, while I'm worried that I'm at 2 and possibly progressing to 3. She recommends checking Google dementia or if I want to know more about worrisome symptoms.

FRIDAY, 6/22/07: Day of my first CAT-scan. Nicholas said my appointment was for 9AM, but Thursday I got a call "confirming my 9:30 appointment," so I asked what time my appointment WAS, and first woman said it was at 9:50, but I had to get there early to fill out forms. OK. Then about 6:30PM I got a SECOND call confirming, and I said "I've done that," and she says "We confirm THREE times!" Sarcastically I said "Then your system isn't working, this is only the SECOND call." AGAIN I asked what time I should be there, and THIS time she tells me I should be there at 9AM, since I have to drink barium ahead of time! I again snottily say that it's about TIME I heard about this, since it's the first time anyone mentioned it (though maybe it's standard for CAT-scans?). Spartacus bitched at me for not knowing WHERE on Bond Street it was, but I said I trusted Nicholas who said it was just off the Fulton Mall. So I left at 8:40AM, nice cool walk in shade on Fulton, getting to JAMMED office at 8:55, giving my HIP card and the sheets given to me by Surasi's secretary. Sit and look at "San Francisco from the Air," and at 9:04AM given forms to fill out, noting that my bun=13 and creatinine=1.0. Give forms back 9:14 and go back to book. Get big glass of white apple- (not raspberry-) flavored barium, and pee. To inner waiting room at 9:31, now reading O'Conner: The Grand Canyon. 9:38, go inside, remove all but shorts and shoes and put on gown, clothes in locker, put on gown, sit reading New Yorker at 9:44. Into CAT scan 9:54, one without iodine IV until about 10AM, then they find a good vein in my right arm and gives me the IV with another scan until 10:06. It's cold in room, have to hold arm up, then above head, and change back at 10:09, out at 10:13 being told that it's "3-5 business days for results." Pee to 10:16 and spot is bloody.

MONDAY, 6/25/07: 2:15PM, get blood pressure of 130/80 before seeing Dr. Furqa Tejani, from Pakistan, who says my blood isn't good, but don't stop Zetia yet, take a prescription of 2 GRAMS of fish oil per day, 4 capsules, a 30-day supply of which costs $138!! He schedules me for an echocardiogram, given to me the next day by phone for Monday, 7/2, at 11:30AM, at 345 Schermerhorn, between Nevins and Third, which I can take a subway to. He pooh-poohs the idea of my having a Stress Test: "If you can walk indefinitely, have no chest pains, have good health, why would you want something that might raise questions no one can answer?" He'll prescribe further after my echocardiogram.

TUESDAY, 9/11/07: Re-see Avram, the dermatologist, for whom I SHOULD have gotten another referral, but the secretary calls and Special Services OKs my visit today. 1) Acne gone from back of head? Practically nothing left, though I keep being ITCHY back there. 2) Still lump on forehead, which he freezes a bit on the right side, as well as two patches inside my right forearm, one of which blisters is gone my Sunday, but the other is still high and liquid. 3) Feet STILL has fungus, so he prescribes LOTS of Ertaczo, saying I can renew 7 days before month-end, so maybe I can get more before Ukraine trip. No talk about a return checkup.

WEDNESDAY, 9/12/07: I go in at 10:04 for my 10:15AM appointment with Surasi, but they say it'll be at least a half-hour and maybe as long as an hour because there are five people ahead of me. I say I'll be down in Chin's office if they can take me before Chin can. Register as a walk-in with Chin at 10:06, then go out and buy batteries and pick up two volumes of the stamp catalog. Also get HSBC balance. Finish reading BOTH magazines I'd taken along, and finally at 11:48AM Chin calls me in. 1) NO earplug in my ear, but my eardrum is scratched and I sheepishly admit digging around for the "earplug" with tweezers, but he dismisses it and says "It happens all the time." 2) He clarifies that if the referral is IN the building, it doesn't have to be gotten again through Special Services, but it DOES have to have another referral if it's outside HIP. 3) Blood results from last Thursday, compared with 6/7/07 results: Cholesterol 182, up from 158; HDL 34, up from 32; LDL 119, WAY up from 72; Triglycerides 144, WAY down from 268, so the fish oil IS working, but I should continue with Zetia, since that's supposed to lower LDL. 4) No more nurse-practitioners on staff. To Surasi 12:02: "Still have last patient on screen," he huffs when I ask him a question. Told him I went for the 6/22 scans TWICE. My current BUN is 18, Creatine is 0.9. He doesn't have ABDOMINAL CAT scan, so the pelvic, which he has, is useless, though everything in the pelvic area is OK. Nor did he have the urine cytology report from the lab. 12:11PM: "Wait now; I'm not here next week." Called back in at 12:31: abdominal scan lost, need another, so "get form from Tiffanie" at 12:41, get the form, go to special services at 12:48 and out at 1:28 with another Doshi appointment of 9/19 at 9AM, home at 1:37, MAD!!

WEDNESDAY, 10/31/07: 2:15PM: Got in for Mallett appointment at 12:05PM to find SIX people on sign-in list before me for Mallett! But he calls me at 1PM, says I can stop Proscar if my prostate is small, my urine is OK, and I'm missing my testosterone; but says I have to GO to Doshi to get REAL FILMS. Also, the Lab nurse had to come up with a FORM to fill out for my CYTOLOGY of the urine, which seemed not to have been reported before. Nurse said she'd call me for my cytoscopy appointment. I called Doshi to make sure they had the three scans, and she finally said the DOCTOR could call them and have the films delivered TO him! "Our guy is out delivering all day." Call HIP, but Mallett's number doesn't pick up, so I hang up and wait for aide to call with my Cystoscopy appointment!

WEDNESDAY, 12/19/07: Realize at 1:30 that I had a 1PM appointment with Mallett! Got in at 1:50 and saw him at 3:10. Tiny STONE on CT scan. CYST on outside of right mid-kidney, about 2.5cm (1 inch!), just a water pocket, indicating NOTHING. He said HE'S had one for years. He said that it was good that I stopped Proscar. I'll get appointment for cystoscopy in HOSPITAL after February 4, before March 17, and she'll call Friday with appointment. I call her THURSDAY, 12/27, and she says she'll do it tomorrow and THEY will call me!

FRIDAY, 1/11/08: Blood test results, compared with 9/12/07 results: cholesterol 195, up from 182; HDL 32, down from 34; LDL 124, up from 119; triglycerides 196, up from 144; so since EVERYTHING was going in the wrong direction, he suggests that I stop Zetia and fish oil and start on Sinvastatin 40 mg, but I decide to start AFTER I get back from trip AND finish Zetia, so I start that on 2/6, which I was SURE I'd noted in datebook, but it wasn't there, so I had to COUNT that I had 22 left today, which meant I HAD to have started on 2/6, and DO write that in the datebook. PSA was 0.6, and the last recorded reading (disregarding an interim "normal") was 0.49 on 7/13/06. Asked Chin (now academic, since I'm off fish oil) what was the IMPORTANT component: the DHA+EPA mgs or the FISH OIL mgs, and he said that the DHA+EPA was "the good stuff."

WEDNESDAY, 2/20/08: Cystoscopy "at last." Set alarm for 5:45AM, wake at 5:30AM and doze to shut off alarm that I barely hear through earplugs, and leave apartment at 6:33AM after breakfast. To train 6:38, off train at Nevins 6:44. Sign in at Admitting at 6:55. Sit with dozens of others waiting in corridor and finish 2/11 New York magazine at 7:50 AND get called for Dr. Mallett. Asked why I had to be there at 6:30, and she said, "You must be here two hours before; you can't just walk in off the street to have a procedure done." It's now 7:55AM. Sign notice at 7:56 and copies of release papers. To Day Surgery department, on 3, with forms, at 8AM. Nurses and attendants arguing. Sit in chair at 8:01, in room 6. Dr. Mallett comes in and talks to me to 8:09. Pee at 8:14 and drink water for cold-dry throat. 8:17 undress and put on two tops, inner one open in back, outer one closed in front "like a bathrobe." Lie on a table with a clock above my head that I can crane my neck back to see that it's 8:45 when they say they're administering a local anesthetic to my penis with a gel, not a needle, which is a relief. There's a small twinge of pain, then they pause and talk, then say I'm bleeding and they'll have to postpone the cystoscopy to next Wednesday! I get up to see MORE blood than I expected on the white napkin: eight or nine spots that are between a half-inch and an inch in diameter, blood still seeping from my cock-tip so that I have to walk around with the napkin applied to my cock. They ask if I've had blood thinners, and I mention (which I'd not mentioned in my list of "medications" where I listed Simvastatin, vitamins C and E [which they mark "do not take"], folic acid, and fish oil) the quarter-aspirin that "everyone takes to prevent heart attacks," and they say I should NOT take that, nor vitamin E, during the next week. Nurse gives me a phone number to call Tuesday between 1-3PM to verify my appointment time next Wednesday. I'm out at 9:15, pee blood, ask for condom, get surgical sponge that I jam into my shorts. Dress by 9:33. 9:37 to elevator down to 2, escalator to 1, pass a bus stop, get on, and home at 9:58. 10:06 call Mildred to 10:28, and SHE still insists I never listen to anyone, should take calcium CITRATE for absorption. My blood pressure reached a maximum of 155/98 when I was most stressed with the anesthetic. Leave word with Carolyn and Shelley at 10:29, then talk to Marj and Spartacus. Still bleeding in afternoon, blood going through three sponge-sheets to sully front of shorts with inch-wide spots of bright red. Try aloe on evening, whine to Sharon at 5:30-6:15, pee without blood in evening but still wear toilet paper inside shorts to bed, but wake without having stained toilet paper, and there's been no blood since, even after masturbating (with unusually great ejaculate) Thursday evening, not without difficulty because of my FEAR of causing more blood. No blood since, typing now at 1PM on Saturday.

WEDNESDAY, 2/27/08: 7:15PM: Pat called on Monday to say that my appointment at the hospital for my cytoscopy was at 7AM, so I didn't bother to call the hospital on Tuesday, which I should have, because when I went in at 7:07AM, they told me at 8:05AM that "I'm not on schedule. Dr. Mallett can't be found. I'm waiting for ten minutes for a call-back. You'll just have to wait, there's nothing more I can do." I'm PISSED, to sit and read and wait, at 8:10. 8:25 to "reschedule." I try NOT to shout when he says, "It's not MY fault." 8:34 pee and drink water. 8:37 he refers to yellow form again: "Just a few minutes." 8:50, in his office, he asks for my social-security number. 8:57 the forms go to nurse, fill out more forms. "They're ready." 9:02: new forms, sign, new nurse comes on duty. At 9:06 I get a wristband, this time spelled right. 9:09 to third floor, taking the wrong elevator at first. Secretary apologizes in correct elevator. 9:12 to Day Surgery. I stand at desk, no one approaches me. At 9:14: "Dr. Mallett was looking for you. Just have a seat and wait for him." At 9:17 I'm in to the same room 6 to undress, leave my watch and everything in locker 8 in room 1, and sit for a while and then fill out more forms about what I've eaten, one nurse panicking when I said I'd had oatmeal at 6AM but then realizes I'm only have local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia. Into same room, hotter water for washing, legs into stirrups, the initial pain of the anesthetic, then even MORE pain when the catheter goes in. I roll my head back and forth and make only the slightest noise when he finally says, "It's just about in now, the worst part is over." He probes and probes, changing angles as I wince, and seems to see nothing wrong, which is great. Takes it out, cleans me off, tells me to stand up, and I see blood on one of the towels, but the tip of my penis is clear of blood. Back to room 6 to dress but find I'm now bleeding from the tip, so ask for more surgical sponges, which she gives me, saying I'll have to call for a two-week appointment with Dr. Mallett, and it's Pat's fault that I wasn't scheduled. Get my watch back and get out at 10:33, get two prescriptions for prostate and antibiotics, which I have to be sure to finish. My blood pressure this time went up only to 138/78, and I leave the third floor at 10:57. Home at 11:22, DRAINED. Call Pat and she blames in on Lindenwood Hospital for not making the appointment, and says I can come in at 12:30PM on March 12. Call Marj for sympathy. Pee painful blood the next three times, shorts spotted all over with blood. Awful process!

WEDNESDAY, 3/12/08: 2PM: Mallett seen in record time: got there at 12:32PM for 12:30 appointment, four people ahead of me, got out at 1:34PM! Bladder perfectly OK; HE didn't tell me to stop fish oil (turns out that Dr. Chin did, on 1/11/08), that I should probably continue to take it; reports generally say Avodart is "less testosterone affecting" than Proscar; should get a six-month sonogram of my kidney cyst, which was found on a CT scan (NOT a sonogram, which I only did for ureters on 7/14/04) on 6/22/07, with a second go-around on 9/19/07, so he'll schedule me for another kidney sonogram: Special Services will call me when the appointment is, but if they don't call, I can always check with Pat.

MONDAY, 4/28/08: 2:55PM: Chin calls with results of my 1) stool sample for parasites and ova, which is clear, and my 2) blood work (with 1/11/08 results for comparison---ALL IMPROVED!): cholesterol 148 (was 195), HDL 34 (was 32), LDL 77 (was 124!), triglycerides 185 (was 196). GREAT!!

WEDNESDAY, 5/21/08: Sometime before this I phoned Chin to 1) get a new Diazepam prescription, 2) be told that if my nose bleeds AGAIN to see about checking it out, 3) be told I could come in and get my knee x-rayed, which I might have done on this date, but haven't checked results before Iceland.

FRIDAY, 6/13/08: Appointment with Chin for 3PM taken at 3:10PM: 1) knee x-ray showed arthritis, not serious enough: take Tylenol to relieve pain; 2) got Ambien, 21 tablets for $5; 3) right-neck pain: tendinitis: use warm water and massage, no real problem, maybe tension; 4) sonogram results not on computer yet; contact Pat to have her add it, since Mallett probably signed off on it and it's on his desk; 5) right-side pain may need liver testing; he set up tests on computer; see lab anytime; 6) ask about old CHEST x-ray results, from April 8, and he said results were "normal."

6/23/08: 2:20AM: Sharp long-lasting cramp in right shin and foot.

6/25/08: 3:14PM: Mallett calls and says the cyst is "about the same size," so I have nothing to worry about. I ask him about "fatty liver," and he says, "You have to ask your doctor and gastroenterologist."

6/26/08: 3PM: Get an eye exam, and find to my delight (and the optometrist's wonderment) that neither my distance prescription nor my reading prescription has CHANGED since my exam two years ago. She says I must be doing something right, and I suggest it might be that I'm reading fewer books over long periods of time, just magazines, puzzles, and computer screens. Order a pair of reading glasses to help me with looking at my Dell laptop screen, and I'm actually told they might be available in two days! 4:10PM: Chin calls to say my liver tests were completely normal.

7/1/08: 6:14AM: Brief left back-of-thigh cramp. Several heart "murmurs" on a number of mornings as I lie in bed, and maybe even at the gym. Worrisome! Check that my last EKG was 5/25/07, over a year ago, and leave word for Chin to call me, leaving on the note for him that I think I have a "murmur."

7/28 - 7/29/08: Wear Holter device for 24 hours.

10/27/08: 12:50PM: Checked SEVEN things with Chin at 11AM, getting there at 11:05 and getting out at 11:20AM! 1) Colon: small and large diverticula, so I have diverticulosis: need more fiber and vegetables and fruit. 2) Blood work (compared from 4/28) [and 10/08 SHOULD BE]: cholesterol 169 (148) [below 200], HDL 40 (34)[above 60], LDL 89 (77)[below 100], triglycerides 198 (185)[below 150; though Chin says below 200]. 3) Bone density scan: take pictures while lying on a table, done at Doshi on Bond Street, went to second floor and Nicholas Howard said he'd get an appointment after 11/22: he'd call me or I'd call him. 4) Orthotics are improving, but not perfect. Chin said "Takes time, there might not be a COMPLETE cure." 5) Forehead "Will keep growing." 6) Penis, just an irritation, can use Gentamicin once a day if recurs. 7) Valium prescription renewed.

12/5/08: Chin calls: there's NO sign of osteoporosis in my bone-density scan!

2/20/09: Call at 9:25AM and get appointment for 1:45PM. In about 2:05 and try to show him medications from trip, but he just suggests I get a chest x-ray to find if my condition is just congestion or something worse. He suggests I get Mucinex-DM 3/day. He says I can STOP Avodart and get a PSA test in two months to check prostate. He gives me a prescription for Viagra at 100 mg for 20 for $329! $16.45/pill! Out at 2:20 and down for chest x-ray to 2:37, being told "you can go" at 2:44. Check in a week. But when I call in a week, they say it takes TWO TO THREE weeks! I complain and Chin gets the results on 2/26: no problem; it'll just take time to clear out the congestion.

3/11/09: DiMatteo does four x-rays, and a fifth for the root of my rightmost remaining upper tooth, which she says has a pocket which reached to the root, but there's no decay, and the tooth's had a root canal, so there's nothing to be risked by just leaving it go and taking care of it as I always have. She also noticed a tiny crack in the filling in my lower left first bicuspid, and again said, "We'll just have to watch it," when I come in in six months.

3/23/09: Paul panics me into seeing Chin at noon today: 1) give blood for hemoglobin measure, 2) no cardiac pill or beta-blocker for tachycardia while climbing, 3) away until 4/27 OK for PSA test after stopping Avodart on 2/20, 4) unknown pink marks on pillowcase, 5) try hematologist tomorrow for EPREX or iron supplement, 6) gives me 30-day supply of Diamox (acetazolamide), for headache from altitude, nothing to do with red blood corpuscles at all!

3/24/09: Dr. Rafia, hematologist, at 11:30, says my hemoglobin level is 15, which is GREAT! EPREX and iron supplements absolutely not to be taken because of great constipation as side effect. We talk about Yellowstone!

5/1/09: Call for a walk-in for Chin at 9:15, and they call back at 9:42 to say I can come in now. Get there at 10 and taken at 11 for three things: 1) Tingling in my lower legs and hands. He looks at my feet, observes they're neither red nor swollen, and both have "very good circulation." He says it's probably something due to my heat prostration, but will gradually clear up, but he gives a blood test for kidney function just to make sure. He takes my blood pressure at 130/80 and says that's very good. 2) He also puts a PSA test on the computer for which I give blood to see if my going off Avodart harmed my prostate. 3) He refills my valium prescription, which the CVS clerk says "Still isn't covered, but it's only $10.37. Do you want it?" You betcha! Now I have to note to call back for results.

5/26/09: Got results before, but summarize them now: kidney and blood are OK, and the PSA is 0.518, compared with 1.17 on 7/3/96, 1.05 on 5/30/02, 1.14 on 9/19/03, and 0.49 "good" on 7/13/06. NOW I have to check lipid readings!

6/8/09: Results from 6/2 test (compared with 10/27 results): Cholesterol 138 (169), HDL 32 (40), LDL 79 (89), trig 133 (198). Sad ONLY that HDL went DOWN!

6/30/09: Start getting a cough. 7/1/09: Report to Sharon that, since I've gotten all caught up, NOW I'm getting SICK! She says that's normal: pushing to finish something weakens you, you succumb to sickness. Cough gets so bad that I take a Cipro that night. 7/2/09: See Dr. Okoh at 11:45AM promptly. Donna Bennett now there. Since I TOOK Cipro, he PRESCRIBES Cipro, but puts me down ONLY as Upper Respiratory Infection, NOT as flu. Cough awful rest of day; survive Beard dinner. 7/3: Cough lessening, feel awful, survive Gatopardo and MoMA movie with Ken. 7/4: 9:21 hours sleep this morning, cough easing, feel bad, fireworks from Ken's roof. 7/5: Awful sleep this morning; sell books to Barracanos, manage to get two files to Tris, feel NAUSEOUS: Cipro?/ 7/6: Awful sleep again this morning; call Okoh: continue Cipro for TEN days. 7/7: Over 8 hours sleep this morning; survive Bolle "Romeo and Juliet" this evening. 7/8: Sharon not on; survive Russian Tea Room with Ken. 7/9: Survive Morton's Steaks with Shelley and Kahns. 7/10: Make Okoh appointment for Monday; struggle through "Romeo and Juliet" with Cornejo. 7/11: No Met Museum today; finish Pynchon book; decide to STOP Cipro after Denny reinforces nausea from it. Cipro "schedule": 7/1[DAY 0]: 1) 10:45PM (ambien); 7/2[DAY 1]: 2) 11:10AM; 7/3[DAY 2]: 3) 3:24AM, 4) 10:50PM (ambien); 7/4[DAY 3]: 5) 3PM; 7/5[DAY 4]: 6) 8:30AM, 7) 9:23PM; 7/6[DAY 5]: 8) 3PM, 9) 11:30PM; 7/7[DAY 6]: 10) 8:40AM, 11) 11:12PM; 7/8[DAY 7]: 12) 4:30PM; 7/9[DAY 8]: 13) 4:48AM, 14) 6:15PM; 7/10[DAY 9]: 15) 4:55AM, 16) 1:50PM; 7/11[DAY 10]: 17) 4:25AM. Decide to stop, for nausea. 7/12: Do nothing all day, hoping to feel better, and not feeling it. 7/13: See Okoh for 2:30 appointment, getting there 2:40, getting seen at 3:10: asking questions: 1) Cold sweat?: Cover up. 2) Cipro continue?: No. 3) Exercise?: Rest. 4) Swab?: Not flu, only Upper Respiratory Infection. 5) Trip in week?: OK. 6) Hungry?: Good. 7) Pneumonia/lungs?: Get chest and sinus x-rays 3:31-4:34PM, now Doshi on third floor. 8) Jock itch?: Prescription. 9) Marj vs. me?: No real answer: Rebound Effect. See Chin September 1 for X-ray results.

8/25/09: 11:05AM: Sign in with podiatry. Take care of Chase and Customer Service. 12:17: 7 ahead of me. 1:50 to Odinsky; 2:10 to Radiology for feet. To Odinsky, no problem, see GP for diagnosis. Out at 2:55PM. Soak/vinegar; lotion.

8/27/09: 11:15: Okoh: stop soaking feet; get foot sonogram on Monday.
9/1/09: Results of 8/28/09 tests (compared with 6/2/09 tests): Cholesterol 142 (138), HDL 34 (32), LDL 75 (79), Trig 164 (133), PSA 0.8 (0.518), sugar 101 (under 150 OK). Urine OK. Sonogram and chest/sinus X-rays, call him on Friday. Since PSA is OK and I have no prostate problems, no need to check size of it. Flu shots only end-October. A-One-Cee test is only WITH diabetes. Stop taking water-retention pills: my little added salt on HH meals the past two weeks MAY have caused my foot swelling! Use Ms. Dash or other no-sodium salt substitutes. Also, from chest X-ray, I have a BIT of scoliosis, for which Shelley said maybe my orthotic could be changed to make my hips level!

9/8/09: Signed in with Odinsky at 9:25PM for a "10AM add-on" appointment. Went to Chin's office and at 9:55AM was handed results from Doshi Diagnostic: 1) Doppler ultrasound venous system both legs: "Vessels are normal. There is normal compression and augmentation. Vascular flow is spontaneous. No evidence of deep venous thrombosis is identified. Popliteal and calf veins are normal." 2) X-rays of both feet: "No fracture. Normal mineralization. Degenerative changes. Soft tissues are unremarkable. Articular surfaces are preserved. No significant hallux valgus deformities are identified. Calcaneal (on the BOTTOM of the heel) spurs." 3) X-rays of paranasal sinuses: "Ethmoid sinuses are well pneumatized. Mucoperiosteal thickening within the maxillary sinuses. Evaluation with CT may be of benefit." 4) Chest X-ray: "Heart size is normal. No acute infiltrate or pleural effusion. Mild increased lung markings. Cervical trachea is midline. No mediastinal or hilar adenopathy. Visualized bowel gas is unremarkable. There is a scoliosis. Follow-up studies are recommended to document stability of the findings." Back to Odinsky at 10AM and MANY people went in until I get in at 1:20! He found my progress good, said that my rest "broke the cycle of pain," and that I CAN continue to exercise and walk, since the cycle is broken. Continue to use lotrimin on my feet. No scoliosis change seems to be needed. I left his office at 1:44PM!

12/28/09: Physical with Chin: (compared with 9/1 readings): Chol 158 (142), HDL 36 (34), LDL 89 (75), Trig 167 (164), PSA 0.8 (0.8). The orange urine tested before had protein and a bit of blood in urine, so he had me leave another urine sample. He told me to check at the counter, and they said the person who gives the Holter monitor would be out until 1/11, and I should call then, to be given it to be worn for a day, since it can't be used "intermittently," as I'd hoped.

1/3/10: Small pain in lower-left abdomen; it passed in a few hours as I moved.

1/4/10: GREAT pain starting at 5AM. Debate going to LICH emergency, but figure maybe my urine test results with Chin, who comes in at 8:30AM today, will tell what's wrong with me. See that the Lab is open at 8AM today, so I can sit in there and wait for Chin. Leave at 8:07AM and get to 4th floor to be told by the guy behind the desk that, EVEN THOUGH CHIN IS IN, I have to get clearance from the 2nd floor. Down to find NO one there except a young woman handling the mail, who gives me a form to fill out at 8:30. When I complain to her that Chin's UPSTAIRS and I'm waiting HERE, she tells the guy in the Administrator's office, who seems to be the Doctor on call before the HIP Center opens, who leads me to a nurse who takes my blood pressure at 190! "Because of the pain," she says, at 8:40. Up to 4th floor to wait until 8:50 for Chin, who listens to the area with a stethoscope, says it's "active," and says it's either diverticulitis (for which I'd need IV antibiotics) or kidney stones, and I need a CT scan. If I go to DOSHI, it'll take a WEEK to get the results back, so I should walk to LICH Emergency, where they have a CT scanner right there. Get out at 9AM, the pain much less, and sign in to the Emergency at 9:15. At 9:25 my blood pressure is 192/90. Told at 9:26 to sit outside and wait for my name to be called. At 9:35 I'm ushered to a bed in Area 11 of the inner room. At 10:20 Dr. Aloa palpates my prostate, finding it "normal size," says that there's "no blood" in my prostate and GI tract after inserting a finger, and orders that I take an EKG. At 10:45 my blood pressure is 178, "down." At 11:20 I get into my gown (stuffing my coat and bags under my bed) and complain that the pain has gone BACK up to 5 (it was worst at 7 around 7:30AM, when I felt I might vomit, twice in maybe fifteen minutes). At 11:40 I hand in a pee sample, and am told to have NO water and NO food, and get a shunt in the back of my right hand, and the pain dwindles to 2. At 11:45, after just resting, I start reading my New York magazine again. At 12:45 my temperature is 99.8° and my blood pressure is 153/84. At 1:25 I'm pissed, bored, and finishing everything I brought to read, and complain, "If I don't get the CT by 2PM, I'm LEAVING." Say it quite loudly, and at 1:26 I get shown to a chair in the hall outside the CT room, which is occupied. I'm IN the scan 1:50-2:06, and have to "wait 15 minutes for results." I FINISH "Children's Hospital" at 2:52PM. At 2:54 I inquire and STILL don't know if I have to STAY! Reading New Yorker magazine at 3:11PM. At 3:30 decide to rest: what if I finish all I have to read? And immediately comes an announcement that all visitors must leave. At 3:50PM I get the Urology report: I have a 1mm store in my right kidney and a 5mm stone in my left ureter, which should pass today or tomorrow, MAYBE with no pain. I urinate a few times after the CT scan and am THEN given instructional sheets which tell me to LOOK for the stone. They say they usually give out strainers, but have none, so give me a bent urinal so that I can inspect each outflow. My creatinine level is good, but I have to wait for the GASTROINTESTINAL results. At 3:57 Dr. Irwin, my contact Urologist, will be "down in 15 minutes and wants to meet me." At 4:50 Irwin says I should call if I have pain, that I should cut out all Vitamin C, and that I need three prescriptions: for Flomax, taken at night for easing urine flow and enlarging ureters and passages; for Hydrocodone for possible pain, and Cipro for five days (twice a day) for possible infection. They give me a sample bottle of Flomax, and I leave at 5:05PM to walk over to CVS at 5:30 to get the two prescriptions, leaving at 5:50. Keep wondering if the pain will return; maybe I've already PASSED it? Get a SMALL twinge Wednesday morning, but nothing definitive. Save a bit of urine from Wednesday morning which seems to have blood floating in it. Type this Sunday evening at 6:30PM, having scanned all my urinations to find no stone, and having had no pain, but I feel "faintly nauseous," slightly sick, maybe like having a low-grade fever. Decide to print this out to take with all my papers to Dr. Mallett on Wednesday at my 2PM appointment. Maybe he can blast it in his office?

MONDAY, 1/11/10: Get Holter monitor at 11AM; wear it until 11:15AM tomorrow.

TUESDAY, 1/12/10: PASS STONE PAINLESSLY AT 12:48AM this morning! GREAT!

WEDNESDAY, 1/13/10: DiMatteo tries to refill lower left tooth, but says it needs a root canal. Goldberger does TWO branches 1:20-2:30PM and says I have to come BACK to finish it! What was that white powder around his nose?
Also WEDNESDAY,1/13/10: Mallet congratulates me on passing the stone, saying I should give it to Montague Street lab to minimize its chances of getting lost.

WEDNESDAY, 2/3/10: Mallet says the stone was calcium oxalate; the best prevention from additional stones is HYDRATION; and I should ask Chin or an endocrinologist about the balance between stones and calcium and vitamin C.

FRIDAY, 2/5/10: On waking on stomach, "vein-pains" at back of left thigh, about 3-4 inches above knee, and TINGLES all below as WELL as in hands---AS IF clots CAUSING it.

MONDAY, 2/8/10: Chin suggests I could have a leg x-ray, which would show a possible clot, but says that since my cramp there on Sunday at 7:30AM hasn't been repeated, it doesn't seem serious. Neither Holter nor echo results are back yet: I should call him on Friday, when they should be back. He again denies me stress test. I tell him I take vitamin C at 750 mg/day and calcium at 2.4 g/day, and he checks my blood-calcium readings and says they're normal, so I can continue taking both, not needing to consult an endocrinologist. Get in at 10:10AM, taken at 10:20, out at 10:25, and go for eye exam for DMV form for new eight-year driver's license.

TUESDAY, 3/2/10: Could I have done my last EKG when I got the Holter on 1/11, as Sarah seems to remember I did just before she hooked me up to the Holter? Is THAT why there MAY be an EKG result for 1/11, but nothing for 2/17, when I have NOTHING medical on my calendar? Anyway, I'm in to the second floor office across from the Montague HIP Center at 10:13AM with only a few people waiting, but they all seem to be ahead of me for Dr. Sai. Read New York magazine and finally get called in at 11:08AM. When I complain about the wait, Dr. Sai said there were computer problems that prevented her from looking at the results she needed to talk with the patients. She starts talking about what she calls the "muscle fraction," which Ken suggests, and the later printout proves, is really the "ejection fraction." Normal is 55 and up, but my 2007 echocardiogram was down to 50, and the one from 2/1/10 is down to 45, which she calls a "hardening heart." A MILD problem is 45-50, a MODERATE problem is 35-45. She says a stress test will be OK, but next month, after I take some of the prescriptions she gives me, noting that I should take 1/2 Coreg/day for the first three days, then full tablet with food, breakfast. She says I have reduced systolic function so the valves close loosely, but still mild, NOT leaky valves. Then she says I should have NO wine or alcohol at ALL, which means I have to quit the Beard. She says the office will phone me today or tomorrow when they make the stress test appointment, and then I should call for another appointment with her 6-8 weeks AFTER the stress test. I'm depressed about the "no wine" stipulation, but, though she's HEARD of bidis, she doesn't say I should stop them. I'm out at 11:40.

THURSDAY, 3/4/10: Had pain in my HEART AREA last night, after taking two days' worth of prescriptions, when I note that Coreg has TWO/day on the label, when I'd noted that Dr. Sai said ONE/day. So I phoned HIP to try to get her, to find out if this is a possible side effect (though the pain lessened through the day after a night of being troubled by how painful it was to take a deep breath), and they said she wasn't in, but they'd relay my message to Joel Cohen, who'll call back sometime today. But he doesn't.

FRIDAY, 3/5/10: Call HIP again, and now only Dr. Gowda, somewhere ELSE, is available after 1PM, so I'm to wait for a call from HIM. He doesn't call.

MONDAY, 3/8/10: Call HIP and ask to talk to Dr. Sai. "She's with a patient; she'll have to call you back." SHE NEVER DOES!

TUESDAY, 3/9/10: At 9:45AM I sit outside the Public Relations office, having put my name about sixth on the list. Some jerk takes up BOTH officers with his crazy request for some other patient's CANES. I shout angrily that he's sure taking up time even though others were waiting for services BEFORE him. Finally get called into the office at 10:13, where he KEEPS answering the phone and handling other business. I fill out a complaint form, he tries to find my tests on the computer but has no luck, and finally at 10:43AM he says that I have an appointment with Dr. Sai (who is the only one who can ask for my cardiovascular stress test---after they asked me WHAT KIND of stress test, as if my seeing Dr. Sai would be anything OTHER than cardiovascular!) at 10:30 tomorrow at 447 Atlantic Avenue at Nevins. I continue reading to 11:20, when Sarah says she'll redo my EKG which she can't find when she said I'd taken it on 2/17, which may be a mistaken date from 1/11. Sign up for the EKG at 11:24 and then try to get the Lab to look at my dots from the bed this morning. They only test blood and urine, so I should try to find an exterminator to evaluate these things. I think to go to Court Street, but then leave it with the office for 101 Clark's exterminator to check on Saturday. Continue to page 108 of New York magazine, finally getting to the EKG room at 12:43, test to 12:53, I THINK my heart jumping around appropriately. So I'd been at HIP EXACTLY 2.5 hours! Home to call Marj at 1:15 after I schedule exterminator in the office, then stop at 1:45 because I'm starved for lunch, and then talk 2:25-3:20---then go to the gym---but this is NOT MEDICAL!

WEDNESDAY, 3/10/10: Leave at 9:53AM for subway to Nevins, then walk to the Atlantic Avenue center by 10:15, and they call the HIP Center to verify my appointment and get my story. I get called in by Sai, who recognizes me as she comes to the desk, at 10:49. She did NOT get any message to call me on Monday, blaming it on the poorly organized Message Center. She verifies that the 55 is the ejection fraction, and that my pain was NOT caused by the prescriptions, but that IF I have pain in the chest area in the future, I should go to an emergency ward IMMEDIATELY for treatment for a possibly dangerous condition. She HAD the "abnormal" EKG from 3/9: a T-wave inversion IS serious, and I should carry a copy of my EKG on trips with me. I had one PAC: premature atrial contraction. At 11:14 she sends me to the lower level for a chest x-ray, where I'm told that there's one person ahead of me. At 11:35 they give me a HIP "OK" form to fill out for the x-ray, to which I'm called at 11:54, glad that I brought the Temple Grandin book; otherwise, I would have probably finished any magazines I brought to read. Two pictures to 11:58, and with them back to the fifth floor (where the secretary expresses surprise that I was trusted to bring the x-rays up, usually she has to go down to get them) at 12:02. Back to Sai's office, get indications that my Cardio stress test will be on 4/28, but I'll be mailed appointment slips for that and for, I think, another CT scan, and at 12:31 she sends me to have my blood taken, and I get number 61 and get to THAT station on the ground floor at 12:43: she uses the inside left elbow and the spot bandage has lots of blood on it afterwards. Give blood at 12:56 and leave at 1:02, getting home at 1:23PM, this "day at HIP" taking THREE and a half hours, compared to the TWO and a half hours yesterday.

TUESDAY, 3/16/10: 8:27AM: Rather severe pain three or four times in my left MIDDLE-lower (as opposed to LOWER-lower pain from stone in lower ureter in January) abdomen between 12:30-1:15AM while typing this morning before going to bed. Woke two times to pee (peeing twice the second time, about 7:45AM), and felt small twinges in the same area, so I took a hydrocodone at 8:20AM, seeing from the brochure that it's better "at the beginning of the pain, since it doesn't work so well when the pain is intense." As I type at 8:30AM, there's a similar kind of twinge from my RIGHT middle-lower abdomen, "implying" that the cause is THROUGHOUT my colon, rather than localized in a kidney (which would be higher?), ureter, or appendix. Debate calling Chin and asking if my THORACIC CAT-scan on Thursday couldn't be extended "south."

WEDNESDAY, 3/24/10: Get to Nevins early at 1:20, give my card in and get photo taken at 1:30, read New Yorker, and in at 1:53 for TEN probes to be attached to chest. Amazed that RESTING blood pressure is as high as 159/86, but Dr. Sai says that's typical. Onto treadmill and slowly build up heartbeat, breathing hard, saying "No problem" when he asks how I'm feeling, then says it's just a bit more to 85%, and I say that I feel like I'm rehearsing for my next trip. Could have gone on longer when he says I can stop, and I lay down for my readings to be taken, with Sai examining my heart. Ask about ejection fraction and mitral valve, but she says it's a left ventricle function---though Dorland's shows the left atrioventricular valve as the mitral valve serving the entrance to the left ventricle. Ask what the 85% is based on, and he says it's 85% of 220 minus age, so mine would be 85% of 147, or 125, which doesn't seem THAT high, but it's what they go by.

MONDAY, 4/5/10: Phone HIP at 8:50AM to be told that Dr. Sai is at Nevins Street today, contrary to the fact that my confirmation telephone call on Thursday said she was at Montague Street. In at 9:25AM and read until I'm into her office to complain about the long wait at 10:47. She explains laboriously and I wished I hadn't brought it up. We start at 10:51AM. My CAT scan was normal: no aortic abnormality. Sugar in blood was 119, should be closer to 100. My stress test showed decreased anterior wall function, a sluggish system, and lack of blood supply on exercise. I have mild spinal atherosclerosis. My EKG was the same at 2008. I should do an angiogram. My blood results: cholesterol 158, LDL 89 (should be lower), HDL 36 (should be higher) same as 12/28/09 test. Sugar on another measure was 6.1, should be below 6: stop having so much sugar. My echocardiogram showed GLOBAL systemic decrease, but only mild; pulmonary pressure normal. My walk was 3.44 minutes to 88% of rate, higher than 85%. A bit of sinus arrhythmia. Only FAIR exercise tolerance. She'll schedule a cardiac catheterization at LICH to check for any arterial blockages with Dr. Gowda. I should have a blood test: request on computer. I leave at 11:09, sad that it took so long. I tell Marj about it.

TUESDAY, 4/6/10: Cynthia calls from Dr. Sai's office to say my LICH is 4/13 at 8:30AM. Then someone ELSE changes it to 7:30, then Tuesday, 4/13, to 6:30AM!

WEDNESDAY, 4/13/10: Leave at 6:24AM, barely light and warm out, and get to admissions at 6:39, being told I have to wait five minutes for an admissions office. In at 6:42 to get to elevator 6:45, and go through MAZE of corridors and elevators and closed wings to 6:53! Undressed at 7AM and get IV in back of left hand, which they say they put an opiate in and "you may go to sleep if you want." Tape my right wrist to a board and paint it blue, and shave both sides of my groin and paint IT in case they need an alternate entry-point. Some discomfort, like stinging heat, four inches above my right wrist and down into my right palm, and then I feel nothing. Two doctors, behind a plastic-shrouded lead-glass window, murmur as an X-ray in a canister swivels and wheels above my head, sometimes lowering to almost touch it, getting different views of my arteries perfused with dye. I really feel that it's an OPERATION. It goes from 7:30-7:50: they said it might take a half hour, but if I had a 65% closure, they could insert a stent right then, which might take an hour. They say they're CLEAR when I ask how occluded the arteries were! Get an EKG at 8:20 and told I'll have a two-hour recovery. Read April New Yorker pages 41-65. At 10:10 Jason lets some air out of the wrist-cuff, which has caused a bit of pain in my right arm which eases somewhat as I raise or lower the hand. He says I'll have two or three more ten-minute phases of letting the air out to see if the artery has been sealed from bleeding. Bleed at 12:12, so he has to increase the pressure again for ANOTHER hour. The guy next to me, having followed me, leaves before I do. Read to page 76, then rest my eyes, tired, and he leaves more air out at 11:30, this time to no bleeding. All this time I have to straighten my RIGHT arm when the automatic blood-pressure cuff inflates every fifteen minutes. More air out at 11:52, thankfully no bleeding. He says there might have to be three more. More out at 12:15, at 12:25, and at 12:35 he takes the cuff off and washes my bloody right wrist. Then he takes out the IV needle from the left hand and says I can dress. As I dip into my plastic bag for my clothes, blood drips from under the bandage on my left hand, even though he had been VERY careful to swab the blood and apply pressure when he took the needle out. "Jason, I need some swabs," I call out, and he passes a pad with which I mop up the blood. Having finished New York magazine also, I mark that I leave the hospital at 12:52PM.

TUESDAY, 4/27/10: Follow-up appointment with Dr. Sai. Got to office, filling with people waiting, at 12:03PM. Called in at 1:25PM. She shows me list of eight people's appointments which have been made with her today. She says my left-hand numbness and left pointer fingertip soreness obviously has nothing to do with my clear arteries. The echocardiogram measures my EF. The band of pain across my middle back may be a pinched nerve from arthritic (scoliotic?) spine: maybe wear a corset; ask Chin for orthopedist or neurologist. She takes my blood pressure at a perfect 120/80, but says that ANY alcohol will damage heart. "Wait for phone results." Out to wait at 1:33PM. Finish reading New York Magazine at 1:46. Back in at 2:02 to be told "Everything's normal." Out at 2:04PM, HUNGRY.

THURSDAY, 5/6/10: Dr. Chin, check in 2:58, in 3:17-3:27: 1) get prescription for valium; 2) hoarse, persistent cough? polyp in throat? ENT with scope; 3) sore back, urologist; 4) sore nipples? low testosterone: larger breasts, sore nipples as get older; 5) pee, drink, pee again, check prostate, urologist?; 6) periodic stone clearance, lithotripsy, urologist; 7) neurologist for pinched nerve test appt. All made for when I get back from trip.

WEDNESDAY, 6/2/10: Dr. Mallett, urologist at 12:45. 1) Sore back could be from arthritis OR pinched nerve, for which I would have to see a neurologist. 2) Pee, drink, and pee again; could be prostate enlarging. He probes, and says it's not VERY enlarged, but he prescribes Avodart (for shrinking prostate) and Uroxatral (to relax ureters and prolong time between urinations). 3) Lithotripsy isn't done for 2-mm stones.

FRIDAY, 6/4/10: Dr. Chin at 2PM, sees me at 2:03PM and I'm out at 2:07PM; he just listened to my stomach, said it sounded normal, and that the diarrhea would probably pass normally. Yes, he agreed, Ken's drinking probably killed the germs that my abstemiousness permitted to live and infect me. If it persists, I should get back to him.

TUESDAY, 6/8/10: Leave three stool samples at the lab at 4:35PM, having gotten there just after 4PM and been made to WAIT, while I wanted to SHIT!

FRIDAY, 6/11/10: Took notes on the back of my library slip for "The Pesthouse." In at 10:47AM. Fill out FIVE forms to 10:57. In at 11:40, with Alla Mesh, who asks questions very rapidly to noon, Says I should take TWO chondroitin pills, TWO folic acids, NO zinc, NO extra C (only in winter). Then takes me into the next room for an electrical gizmo that tests the velocity of my nerves, printing out the results, which she hands me, saying Left Median Motor nerve had decreased conduction velocity (49.0 m/s), and Left and Right Median Motor nerves showed reduced amplitude; and the Left and Right Ulnar Anti Sensory nerves showed reduced amplitude. All remaining nerves were within normal limits. All F Wave latencies were within normal limits. All examined muscles showed no evidence of electrical instability. Impression: Evidence sensorimotor axonal peripheral neuropathy in the arms. Says I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to 12:30, takes other tests on neck to 12:40, and I'm out at 12:54. I make a follow-up appointment for 9:15AM on 7/14/10, and take an X-ray at HIP. I get to X-ray at 1:20, fill out forms to 1:22, in at 1:40, and out at 1:52, having taken two shots of my lower spine. At 2:16 I sit for EYE exam, which I get, and select new frames for my bifocals, which comes to $54 at 3:14PM! I'm starving by now!

WEDNESDAY, 6/23/10: Leave 8:40AM for 9:10 appointment; to office 9:20 (after waiting for TWO R-trains at Clinton before it dawned on me I had to go to Pacific for the N-train); fill forms to 9:31; to office 9:39; woman takes history, looks into left ear, clarifies medications that I take; she leaves 9:45. Palgon in 9:48, does laryngoscopy, says I have thickened vocal cords, but no lesions or cancer in throat or esophagus, gives lots of Dexilant, and a sheet describing laryngopharyngeal reflux. I'm out at 10:18 with an appointment in August and a prescription for Dexilant.

THURSDAY, 6/24/10: 2PM appointment with Chin: 1) Spine x-ray from 6/11 showed sciatica caused by arthritis enlarging bone near nerve; OK to take Motil for pain; but won't do any good to wear girdle, and don't climb stairs. 2) Carpal tunnel: no wrist splints OK. 3) Salmonella remains in stool test from 6/8; I think undoubtedly from Breslin Caesar salad on 6/3. 4) MAYBE pain from new medicine caused nausea on reading last night; keep taking it; body will adjust. In about 2:15 and out about 2:19.

WEDNESDAY, 7/14/10: 9:15AM appointment with Dr. Mesh: 1) She OKed my not wearing wrist splints, though she said they may be necessary eventually. 2) She insisted that I have to do the stretching exercises. 3) She said I might have pain when I stop my 21-day prescription tomorrow, but I can take a pill for pain if needed, and I can renew the prescription once; but if the pain persists, I should call her and get a shot to prevent the pain. 4) I could make one more appointment with her, since Chin approved three meetings. 5) So I don't need to make another appointment now. Left at 10:27AM.

WEDNESDAY, 8/25/10: Palgon enters at 8:49AM, fusses at his computer for a long time, and looks into my ears, up my nose, down my throat, and then sprays me with a local anesthetic for his laryngoscope. I tell him I'm a lot less hoarse, at least as reported by people who talk to me on the telephone, but it's worst in my therapist's office, so it might be anxiety related. He says that may be so. I say I'd been increasingly hoarse for a few years, but now a cough has been starting for about a month. He reports that my vocal cords are still swollen---he can't tell if they're any different from two months ago---and my throat is dry, so he suggests I try Mucinex (OTC), but to talk to Dr. Chin about it. He says to continue dexilant, of which the nurse hands me three free packets, 15 tablets, and to follow-up in four months, making an appointment for 12/22/10 at 9AM. I leave the office at 9:07---it's still raining---and get home at 9:55AM. So I should leave 50 minutes for the trip.

THURSDAY, 9/9/10: Get to Dr. Chin's 5:30 appointment at 5:22, and am taken in for basic measurements at 5:23! Blood pressure astoundingly high at 150/90, and she asks if I'm having any anxiety, and I say I guess I am. Weight is 208, but she marks off three pounds for my clothes and shoulder bag. Chin calls me in about 5:32. I have many notes: A) travel vaccines: 1) meningitis: he says to call Mr. Baker tomorrow to see if the center has the shots [I call at 9:15AM Friday and they do, scheduling me with Dr. Chin at 12:30 on Friday, 9/24 for meningitis AND tetanus, which the operator checks to see that the center ALSO has and scheduling me for], 2) typhoid, which comes now in a pill form, and CVS calls to say that my insurance doesn't cover it, so it'll be $60. What can I do? 3) malaria, CVS says I can only get a prescription for four at a time, so I have to refill my prescription for another four on the day I return from my trip, which would be when I should be taking my fifth pill, 3) hepatitis B, which Chin says I should have had as a child, regardless of the fact that I don't think I'd ever heard of it, and Ken says he's probably wrong about that, but he sends me to the lab for a blood test to see if I have the antigens: the results will be available Monday, 4) tetanus, which I'll get on 9/24. B) Cough: yes, I should take Mucinex, which is $24.99 at CVS for 36 pills, of which I take the first Thursday night, and feel jittery most of the early morning on Friday. C) left lower-eyelid tic he also says something about tension and shrugs it off. D) blood work, last done 4/5, he says would be done next "toward December." E) next EF check would be another echocardiography, but not until a year from the first one on 2/1/10. F) I don't ask about my burning feet wanting oil and massage. G) I don't ask my last note: Whatever happened to WHOLE-BODY physicals? I can ask that on 9/24 when I get my two shots. To lab at 5:45 and out at 5:52, happy with day.

WEDNESDAY, 9/15/10: To Mallett's office at 11:38, one person sitting ahead of me, Pat greeting me. Mallett walks in at 12:05PM, wearing a dynamite charcoal-gray pinstripe suit. He takes woman ahead of me, then I'm in at 12:13PM. He orders me to take a urine test, phones CVS with a flomax prescription that will be cheaper than uroxatral, and says that I should get another sonogram later. I'm out at 12:18 and to urine lab at 12:20. Leave there at 12:23 and find Mr. Baker, who says that maybe the flu shots will be available next week. He tries to find the schedule for taking the four typhoid pills at 12:25, and I sit and start my THIRD magazine, but decide to leave when he seems to forget me by 12:50PM.

FRIDAY, 9/24/10: In at 12:34PM for 12:30 appointment. Nurse takes me at 12:40, saying no flu shots yet; weight 208, blood pressure 125/75, GREAT! In at 12:45, Chin says nurse will give me shots, I can take flomax right after eating; the half-hour wait isn't necessary; they've "proved" that physical exams DON'T HELP, so they're NOT GIVEN: if I have a specific rash or complaint, I can have it looked at, but NO one will "look me over to see if I have skin cancer on my back." Out at 12:55 and around corner to area C, where they say "Mr. Baker's on his way here." He comes in, says, "Follow me, young man," and says I don't look more than 50 when he incredulously hears I'm 74. He gives me the meningitis shot on the left arm and the tetanus shot in the right arm, rubbing them strongly "to make sure they're in." He signs my yellow form and is then delighted at his computer system: "You can prove you've had these shots anywhere in the world." Monday I'll get Hep B#1 from Nurse Walters, and the second one on 10/27 and the third five months later. I leave at 1:13PM.

THURSDAY, 10/21/10: Horrible pain in left groin when I slip in gorilla mud.

FRIDAY, 10/22/10: Little evidence of bruise in morning, but awful at night.

SATURDAY, 10/23/10: Bruise area enlarging, can't wait to see doctor Monday.

SUNDAY, 10/24/10: Call HIP and find they have an emergency room on the fourth floor of 200 Montague from noon. Sign in at 2:06PM, fourth on list. Later, my blood pressure is remarkably low at 120/70! Doctor Ahmad prescribes promethazine and amox for cold and cough, and Voltaren (diclofenac) for bruise rub. 3PM out of HIP and 3:04 into CVS, and by 3:21 get three prescriptions filled: Promethazine, amox, and Voltaren.

MONDAY, 10/25/10: Call for Chin emergency appointment at 8:05AM to be told the earliest is 11AM Tuesday, so I just walk in as already described in JOURNAL:10/25/10.

WEDNESDAY, 10/27/10: Get to Nurse Baker's area, 4C, at 10:02AM. He's giving flu shots, but sees me, takes the next person, then calls me. He gives me the HB #2 shot, saying the next is in five months. Then takes one look at my scrotum after I tell him about the development of my bruise, and he goes to look for a nurse, and comes back with the Center Director, who Directly handles my ball sack while Baker cringes in the background, later saying that he won't even let HIS WIFE touch his sensitive "family jewels." The Center Director crisply announces "Sonogram; STAT." So at 10:21 Baker takes my HIP card to Chin while to I go to the third-floor radiography room, almost empty, fill out the form to 10:31, and in a few minutes ANOTHER woman calls me in to take off my pants and shorts and cover myself up; "Hold up your penis," she whispers, as she greases me up and probes my scrotum for some minutes, taking in the side area that I mention right at the groin, but saying it would do no good to look at the area in the back "since there are no organs there." She says she'll send the results to Chin. I dress at 11:17AM and get home at 11:30AM.

FRIDAY, 10/29/10: Phoned to find Chin in at 9:30AM. Had breakfast, leave home at 10:45AM, drop of Sharon's umbrella in her office, and at 11:07AM went to the 4th floor at HIP, where the secretary found no sonogram report on Chin's computer. "That's why he didn't call you." She phones the technician and finds that the report is available, but she has to go down to get it. Does so, returns and gives it to Chin; asks him if she should give a copy to me and he says Yes. I get the copy and am told to wait for a second doctor at 11:13AM, who never shows up, so I in ten minutes I go down to the 2nd floor and wait for an Interaction Supervisor who says the next possible appointment with Chin would be Tuesday morning. I show him my copy of the sonogram report about "bilateral hydroceles, varicoceles and spermatoceles, and right epididymal cyst," and ask if HE'D wait four days to determine whether this was serious or not. He phones Chin, talks for a bit, and says at last, "He's right here," and hands me the phone to talk to Chin, who says that this is all normal for older men, I have nothing to worry about. I thank him and leave.