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FRIDAY, 11/12/10: 2PM appointment with Chin, which the secretary says I'm the THIRD who showed up for that time WITHOUT it being recorded anywhere. But he calls me in about 2:05! 1) I show him my list of prescriptions and he asks who told me increase my folic acid and glucosamine, and I told him the neurologist Alla Mesh. He says to cut back to one a day on each of those; continue taking no extra vitamin C; stop Dexilant, since it doesn't seem to be helping my hoarseness or cough at all; and my dizziness getting the pills out from under the stove on Wednesday was probably due to Tamsulosin (Flomax), which I could try stopping to see if my dizziness goes away. 2) I show him my swollen calf, and he says that's normal, as is the pain in the groin at the point of injury, since my system is rebuilding my broken blood vessel. 3) He again waves his arms about orthostatic hypotension, saying I just have to live with it. 4) Tell him my last bloodwork was 4/5/10, and he'd said "toward December," so could it be now? He says it should be MID-December! I leave in about ten minutes.

MONDAY, 12/20/10: Dr. Sai calls me in about 12:15PM for my noon appointment, and says that I should NEVER have another drink: "It's just POISON; it'll harm your liver, your kidneys, your heart, your stomach, everything; NEVER drink again." No room for argument, and when I leave she says she's "glad you're not so angry this time." On 1/4/11, Marcy Blair generates a check-out report, scheduling me for a Doppler Echo Cont Wave; Complt, Cardiology, on 1/19/11 at 8:30AM, and also underlines making an appointment in 6 months to see Dr. Sai.

MONDAY, 1/6/11: 1:45PM appointment with Dr. Chin. I get to the new offices at 200 Montague Street about 1:48, and get my vitals measured in a small room at 1:58, with weight of 205 and blood pressure of 130/80. I wait in the same room until Chin comes in and stands talking to me 2:05-2:13: 1) bloodwork slip will be put in, go in fasting, 2) spot on right belt-back is just a keratosis; I can cover it with a bandage to stop rubbing it, 3) neck pain is due to spinal cord touching nerves, spine changing due to arthritis: use a heating pad or take Tylenol Arthritis for relief, 4) No Palgon replacement seems to be needed, 5) persistent itchiness of lump on left side of leg above left knee: he looks and says I should use a moisturizer for dry skin, 6) craving for food and sweets; I should just lose weight, 7) reddish tinge above ankles: "From standing too much as you get older; keep your feet elevated as you sleep." 8) Bernstein's prescriptions? He give me a phone number that he should call. 9) foul-smelling farts depend on what I've eaten, like milk and cheese. 10) He doesn't need to write renewed prescriptions, CVS will call him and he'll tell them to renew them.

WEDNESDAY, 1/19/11: Leave at 8:05AM for 8:30 appointment, getting there early at 8:21 to sign in, two ahead of me. Called in my Indian woman who I THINK is Sai until she asks who my cardiologist is, and I say SHE is, and she says she isn't Sai: "She wears glasses; I don't." She digs in with the echo probe, and I hear the familiar swish of my heartbeats from 8:45-9AM. Ask what my ejection fraction is, and she says Dr. Sai has to calculate it and send the results to Dr. Chin's computer in 2-3 weeks. I need to make an appointment with Dr. Sai in 6 months, but I can only MAKE it 21 days before the visit, so that'll be July 19, making the reservation date June 2, but I'll see if Chin has the results in ONE week when I visit him on 1/25. Out at 9:05 and take the bus back home with a free transfer.

TUESDAY, 1/25/11: Chin's appointment at 11:30AM. It's snowing, so I decide to leave early, at 11:18AM, NOT dressing for Alto afterwards. There's a line at the desk, but I sign in at 11:23 and get called in for my vitals at 11:25, weight 207 clothed, blood pressure 130/70, and to the next room at 11:29. Blood from 1/7/11: Urine, kidney, and liver normal, and no anemia. Sugar at 107 is normal. Cholesterol is 127 (4/5 158), HDL is 34 (4/5/36) (needs to be 40: lose weight, more fish), LDL is 69 (4/5 89), good. He says he WILL give blood AND cardio results over the phone: tell him the name of the person who says you can't and he'll talk to him! Call for cardio next week. For the back, he accepts that I can have a dermatologist take it off. Head lumps are normal for aging, and the tongue will get better with a bridge. Out for Brenda for my dermatology appointment, and a clerk tries to do it, but gives my form to Patient Relationships who says he has a meeting and will call me back with the appointment. I say he can leave it on my answering machine. Out of building at 11:45, almost stopped snowing.

MONDAY, 2/7/11: 9:06AM: Chin calls back with my echocardiogram results: "no heart trouble, heart is normal, normal-low ejection fraction if 50, my ejection fraction is 60; it was 45 a year ago when I was told to stay off alcohol and prescribed enalapril and carvedilol. I'm absolutely delighted!

WEDNESDAY, 2/9/11: Get to Dr. Frelich's office just around the corner on Pierrepont from Henry Street just after 1PM to a crowded inner and outer office. Sit and read until 1:55, when I complain about the wait, and finally taken at 2:40, when he takes at least ten minutes to complain about how he has to see so many people to just barely pay his way to come into the office: the HIP payments haven't gone up in seven years, but expenses have gone up as the number of patients has grown that he just has to handle. I'm embarrassed that, again, as with Dr. Sai, they take their valuable time (which I just complained about them spending so much on OTHERS before me) to tell me their untenable situations which they must endure, as must I. He tells me to take off my shirt, and sees something else in the very middle of my back that he must treat along with the problem on my right waist. I lay on the table and mash my face into the paper sheet to muffle my pained gasps as he needles what I take to be anesthetic into the two spots on my back, and then he scrapes the cells away painlessly, putting on ointment and giving me a sheet that says to change the dressings twice a day after hydrogen peroxide and bacitracin. Then he liquid-nitrogen sprays five or six spots on the back of my left hand, the same on the back of my right hand, and then maybe as many as a dozen spots in a tiara across my forehead: three to five on the left; concentrating on my "horn" in the middle, where I really feel the burn; and three to five on the right. He says I don't have to cover these at all, but the red spots are very visible even a week after, as I type this on 2/16. Got Spartacus to peroxide, bacitracin, and two-band-aid both spots Friday evening, and have him take the band-aids off before I go to the gym on Monday, and when I feel them this morning (Wednesday, a week after), they're slightly raised scabs that itch slightly but feel solid enough to withstand the pressure of movement under clothes without band-aids.

FRIDAY, 7/7/11: Get to the office at 9:40AM, happy to see there's almost no one in the waiting room. But people come in, time passes, and at 10:30 I complain about waiting for almost an hour. Finally Brenda calls for me at 10:35 and I'm into the examination room to find that my blood pressure is a surprisingly low 110/70, my temperature is 98.4°, and my height (in shoes) is still six feet! My pounds, with shoes, are 207. Into the second room at 10:42 for Chin. He suspects my right-hip pain is arthritis, but recommends an x-ray to make sure. I tell him about my orangy, slimy, smelly, "pre-diarrhea" bowel movements, and he asks when I've last given a stool sample, and puts me on the list for one. I tell him about Ken's suggesting I have a neurological workup, and Chin readily says I can get a neurologist appointment! He calls the scar on my back a keloid, and says it looks OK. He goes through my vitamin list, looks at my multi-vitamin ingredients, and suggests I take one pill EVERY OTHER DAY! And he reduces my folic acid back to ONE/day, saying that everything else looks OK. I get my neurology appointment for 8/16 at 11:04, take a copy of that, mistakenly, to x-ray and have to return to Brenda for my x-ray sheet at 11:07. Wait there, finishing my New Yorker at 11:45AM. Finally called to get into my gown at 12:05PM, get three x-rays of hip which "will be available in 3-4 working days," and dress at 12:21 and leave with my stool kit at 12:29, having taken three hours to do a "simple" appointment.

WEDNESDAY, 7/13/11: Into Freilich's office at 10:45, about eight people ahead of me and the secretary says "they're not in yet." So I leave to pick up a stool-sample packet at the HIP lab and get back at 11AM to find the waiting room full. Into examining room at 11:58AM and told it will be "a few minutes more." Doctor's in 12:02-12:04PM and jabs my keloid with a needle to let out serum and blood, I guess, because he puts on a huge pad that I find wet and vaguely red when I take it off. He says to return in a month. I find it greatly relieves the itchiness and soreness of the keloid.

MONDAY, 7/25/11: Into Dr. Sai's crowded waiting room at 10:03AM, reading New Yorker until I'm called back to Dr. Sai at 11AM. She's pleasant, saying it was good my ejection fraction went back up to 60 from 45, not knowing whether it was my abstaining from alcohol or the medications, which she insisted I'll be taking forever. Told her about my temptation to have beer with a meal on my trip, and she astounds me by saying that WINE would actually be RECOMMENDED, since it will raise my HDL and help with cholesterol! AND it's better than BEER, which she characterizes as "you drink one bottle, then another, then a third and fourth," which I don't bother to contradict, but says that 4-6 ounces of wine is GOOD, and I can try it on the trip and then see how it works out when I come back for my Doppler on 8/18 and my visit with her on 9/12. My blood pressure is a very good 120/80, she says, and I'm out TRIUMPHANT from her office at 11:14 to schedule the two following appointments. I guess better readings will make even the most ardent anti-alcoholic have pity on a poor gourmet who enjoys wine with his dinner!

TUESDAY, 8/16/11: Sign in for Scicutella at Neurology at 9:08AM for 9:15 appointment, fifth on list, and he's "not in yet." A good-looking young dark-haired man enters office at 9:28. I'm called by him at 10:34AM and out by 10:46AM. He said there's another test I can take "a few blocks down Jay," and "someone will call me in the next few days with an appointment to test my aortic arteries to make sure my brain is being supplied with blood, but if not, call the number he circled." He said I could re-do this simple test in a year. He did an arm scratch twice, a finger flip while I looked forward, and a knee-jerk reaction. He asked me to remember three words: general, mountain, and penny, and asked me for them at the end of the session. He also had be subtract 7 from 100 a number of times, down to 65, and then asked me to add 16 and 17. My friend (Ken) was probably being mean when he suggested I needed help, and was probably worried about his own state. He said I had reasonable concern because my mother and grandmother died with Alzheimer's, but I was in VERY good condition for 75. I phumphered a bit on Dexilant, but he said he'd never even heard of it, and these names WERE hard to remember. Felt good about him and the tests.

WEDNESDAY, 8/17/11: Signed in for Freilich at 11:05, and he's not in yet, and I say I'll be going out, which they say is OK. Go to Grand Canyon for a lovely bacon cheeseburger for an early lunch. Back at 11:55AM, being told "You'll go in soon." Get to inner room at exactly noon, read, and he comes in at 12:23PM and we chat VERY amicably about eastern Turkey, and he says the back looks good, and sprays a dozen spots on my forehead, face, and backs of hands, saying I could come back in three months, but I'll have to get clearance from Chin. I'm out at 12:32, feeling good about THIS one, too.

THURSDAY, 8/18/11: Dr. Sai's Doppler completes my trilogy this week. Sign in at 8:13AM for my 8:30 appointment, one person ahead of me, who's taken in at 8:18 and she comes out at 8:41. I'm on the table at 8:46, entertaining the technician with my travels to eastern Turkey, while she keeps referring to Greece, and I hear what I now characterize as dog-barking sounds from my heart valves as she presses her instrument into various parts of my torso, lying more or less on my left side, which puts my heart against the table, seemingly harder to access, rather than on my right side with my heart "in the air." Finished at 9:03, and am told to call Chin in two weeks for my results.

FRIDAY, 9/2/11: Dr. Chin finally returned my call to answer my questions: 1) My cardio sonogram showed that the pumping function was OK, but that a valve had thickened, which he said was normal with age, requiring no additional medication or operation. 2) He said I should call the front desk to ask them to fax the referral to Dr. Freilich's office, which I did, noting that Steve did it at 3:55PM 9/2/11, but I still think I'll call to make sure it got registered there. 3) He said he'd fax a Cipro prescription to CVS, and when I stopped in, I got it. 4) Didn't bother to mention Ken's insistence on a neuroPSYCHOLOGICAL test battery.

THURSDAY, 9/8/11: Had an 11AM appointment with Dr. Ascher 718-283-7957 at 903 49th Street in Brooklyn, told to take the D to 50th Street, changing to the D at Atlantic-Pacific. Leave at 10AM, LONG wait for D at Pacific; sign in at 11:03AM after LONG walk. 11:32 she Xeroxes my VIP card. In at 11:38, she presses the sono probe to six sites, three on each side of temple, under chin, and base of neck, and told that results would be on Chin's computer on Friday. Out at 12:05, pee to 12:10PM, and note that D trains came at 12:16, 12:24 when I was shopping for a coin purse and not finding it, and 12:32, which I took. No wait at Atlantic, on at 12:46PM and home soon after. Phoned Chin on Monday, got a message "What was this for?" at 6PM on Monday, and phoned back Tuesday at 9:55AM for Chin to get back to me.

MONDAY, 9/12/11: Arrive at 11:37AM for my 11:45 appointment to a JAMMED office, and EVERYONE has to be seen before I'm called in at 1:20PM, after making a LARGE fuss about the over-one-and-a-half-hour wait. My ejection fraction is now 65%, I'm encouraged to have ONE glass of red wine a day, and my functions are fine except for pulmonary hypotension: my valve has THICKENED, but that's "not uncommon with age." Out at 1:24:54, less than FIVE MINUTES after waiting ONE HUNDRED AND THREE minutes---couldn't this have been done by telephone??

MONDAY, 9/19/11: First spot-fort (2:40-3:20PM, after computer) since 11/17/00!

THURSDAY, 9/22/11: 6:57AM: Wake lying on my back covered with only a sheet in the 68° warmth and sense that my heart is beating VERY irregularly, so that I lie for a few minutes and think about the possibility of having a heart attack, but then get up to pee and type this by 7:14AM, still breathing.

MONDAY, 10/3/11: Reviewing: on 9/14 I left word with Ascher's office that they must FAX results to Dr. Chin. Talk to them again on 9/15 and at 9:40AM they say they'll fax it today. On 9/29, 9:20AM, Millicent in Dr. Chin's office will check and get back to me. At 8:40PM Brenda calls to say they don't have an answer yet, will call me back on Friday. They don't. I decide to call for a flu shot and get an appointment with Chin at that time. Get there at 3PM, get an appointment for 4PM Friday, 10/21, and get FINALLY seen by Millicent at 3:32PM for my flu shot, saying that I'd HOPED to get to the gym. Ask her about the sonogram results from 9/8, almost a MONTH ago, and she said Chin had phoned me with results. I said he hadn't. She goes to see him and says I can see him NOW! He smiles and says there was no obstruction. I told him Millicent said he had called me, and he smiles again and says someone ELSE had called me. I didn't get anything. "You know we would have told you if there was anything wrong," he smiled at me. OK. Finally THAT task is finished, at LAST!

THURSDAY, 10/6/11: Haven't included DiMatteo in MEDICAL for a long time, but TODAY I confessed I traumatized my teeth last night so "I wouldn't have to confess being human," by having imperfect gums. She said the "fragmenting" tips of my lower teeth would be more trouble than it was worth to try to prevent worsening, which it probably won't, so if I don't mind the sensation, I can just let it go. She also puzzled about something wrong with my TOP front teeth, until we BOTH realized I'd complained about the surfaces being CORRUGATED, rough to the tip, and she said that it might have gotten BETTER, and AGAIN there's nothing to worry about. She probes with her prong and at last says there's NOTHING wrong with my teeth, see me again in April! GREAT!

FRIDAY, 10/21/11: Sign in at 4:02PM, and get preliminaried at 4:10: 210 pounds, 98.1° temperature, 120/80 blood pressure, oxygen uptake 97% of 100%, great! Chin's in at 4:16, saying 1) I should lose weight to ease pressure on bones suffering from arthritis, 2) I should take Prilosec once a day for a month to stop the "invisible" reflux that's causing my hoarseness, 3) I don't bother to mention that my left hip used to be itchy, and I showed him 4) the hardened pimple which he said was a cyst, and it wouldn't go away, and I would never want to squeeze it like a pimple. 5) For the scrotal enlargement, he made me an appointment with the urologist, Dr. Mallett on 11/9 at 4PM. 6) He asked when the last time I had a chest x-ray was, and I said I didn't know. Turns out it was 3/10/10, over 18 months ago. So I went to x-ray at 4:40, waited until 4:54 to take shirt off, and took front at 4:56 and side at 4:58 and left at 5PM.

MONDAY, 11/7/11: 9:26AM: Bottom bed sheet wet with a few drops of urine!

WEDNESDAY, 11/9/11: My "lateness" is accepted and I'm called into a waiting room at 11:37AM---I'll have to do this AGAIN in the future to avoid long waits. Freilich's in at 11:55AM, does a painful back-of-neck biopsy and another behind my right ear. Both deep scabs come off 17 days later on 11/26! Then he liquid-hydrogens MANY spots on the backs of my hands and on my forehead, saying some will cause scabs, and I should wash and use hydrogen peroxide and bacitracin, which I don't. He THINKS he really blasts keratitis "stub," but he actually MISSES it. He says to make an appointment in a month for two more burn-offs around my left knee. When she makes my next appointment, the secretary says they gave me THREE MORE referrals to them.

MONDAY, 11/14/11: Wait a while after 2PM for the Doshi sonogram, and I even FORGOT about the prior testicular exam when the sonogram nurse thinks that she's done this before, and I only LATER remember the hematoma after the Rwanda gorilla-split. She covers my penis and probes and probes and says the results will be available next week. I leave her at 3:12 and go to the lab, where I give blood for what turns out to be a PSA test.

WEDNESDAY, 12/7/11: Ophthalmologist appointment 2PM: Looked at chart, perfect, at 1:59PM. Glaucoma OK; blurring drops in at 2:50: "blurry for 2-3 hours," dermatologist told me later there are DROPS they can put in that ELIMINATE blurriness! Red eyes after exercising are results of "Valsalva maneuvers" of exercising, harmless. On bus at 4:10, late for dermatologist's appointment at 4PM. Sign in at 4:23PM. More KIDS come into office at 4:50PM! Into examination room 5:03 after I finished THREE magazines! Get DEEP biopsy above left knee. Examination perfect, and back home 5:15, tired.

WEDNESDAY, 12/14/11: Stopped into CVS after gym, but told I had to wait 15 minutes for third prescription. Went around the corner to Freilich to find NO patients waiting in office: they're about to close! Say I want my biopsy site looked at, and they tell me to wait. Into room around 3:45 and Freilich looks and says he's GLAD I came in: have infection, get prescribed Azithromycin antibiotic for five days and Mupirocin for ointment better than Bacitracin. "Infections in leg biopsies are 3-4 times more likely than in upper body. I've gotten them myself." We chat about former Olympic-sized pool at the St. George when I say I just came from the gym. He tells me to come back in two weeks, and secretary says I have to get more referrals from Chin.

WEDNESDAY, 12/21/11: Dr. Mallet's appointment was changed from 3PM to 6:15PM to 1PM, none of which were good, so I left here at 2PM and got there at 2:35 and was taken into his office at 3:35 and left at 3:37 with the old news that I had old hydroceles which weren't bad enough to be extracted---not as big as an orange or lemon---and my stone was now in my LEFT kidney, .4cm across, not very big. I shook hands with him twice---oh, and my PSA was 0.5---and said I hoped I wouldn't see him again for a long time.

WEDNESDAY, 12/28/11: Check in for Freilich at 2:14AM, get told this is an early day, and get called into room at 2:38, maybe an early record! I feel again for the scab at the back of my neck and it finally comes loose, and it's rather surprisingly pale rather than dark blood. He comes in at 2:50 and says he'll take the scab OFF! I shout "NO," he backs away and says he'll do as I ask, but it really will be better if it comes off. He explains that the scab prevents the skin healing underneath, again remarking that sores on the leg take three times longer to heal than sores on the upper body, and at the end repeats that "leaving a bandage on a new wound for 2-3 days is just an invitation for infection." I feel terribly guilty. I let him take the scab off and it's a REAL PAIN. He insists that I should change it twice a day with the recommended treatment: hydrogen peroxide to clean it and Bacitracin to soothe it. At first he says I should leave the bandage off, but I ask what I should do if it's still bleeding, and he says of course I should put a bandage on. But he implied I'd KNOW when it was stable enough to leave the bandage off. He said that a sore on the arm, under a light shirt, could EASILY be left without a bandage, but a sore on the leg, with tight or rough pants, COULD use a bandage, "There are no hard and fast rules." I'm wretched as I walk back to the apartment.

SATURDAY, 12/31/11: Heather is now officially Dr. Goldberger, though DiMatteo remains on her door. She doesn't even look into my mouth as I report on the initial temporomandibular joint ache and click, Dr. Chin's agreement with my thought that it might be caused by some change in my jaw as it adjusts to my bridge, but says that it might just be "ordinary" arthritis in THAT joint, as in others. He also suggests that a dentist might inject cortisone for temporary or even permanent amelioration of the condition. She says that SHE doesn't inject, that it would have to be done by a TMJ specialist, but warns me AWAY from any of those: "They're like orthopedists: once you see them they never stop finding things that you can continue to work on." She also confirms that there's really nothing that can be done, and it can be very painful, and laughs when I note that Mildred said one of her friends committed suicide because of the intractable pain caused by it. She hopes that I have continued improvement and wishes me a Happy New Year as I leave at noon, forgetting that I left my jacket and magazine in her office rather than on the outside coatrack.

SATURDAY, 1/21/12: Decide to rip scab off wound, started on 12/7/11, OVER SIX WEEKS AGO!!

MONDAY, 1/23/12: Leave at 11:08AM for Freilich's office, signing in at #5 at 11:14AM. Get called into room at 11:25AM, Doctor in at 11:35: he says I should use LITTLE antibiotic salve, apply it with a Q-tip, and looks at the back of my neck, gives me a few shots, and writes a prescription for folliculitis which I drop off at CVS and pick up two days later and don't use by 2/2/12. He says to return in 2 weeks, for which I'll need another referral. By 1:25PM 2/2/12 I haven't found the appointment slip yet.

MONDAY, 2/6/12: Sign in at 11:59AM with only two people ahead of me: "Everyone's sleeping in after Super Bowl yesterday." Into room at 12:37PM, and he's in at 12:48, pokes at my scab, which bubbles at the side when he puts peroxide on it, and says the red at the sides is just part of the scab. "You should be a little rough with it; this scab will fall off and a smaller one will form next. But it's healing nicely. How's your neck?" He looks, gives me a few more shots, over which I hold cotton to stop blood, and asks if I need more medication. I say no, NOT telling him I haven't used it yet. I confess to showering "every other day," and he says that's fine in winter so the skin doesn't dry out. He expresses interest in my coming trip to Italy and says to come back in a month.

MONDAY, 4/23/12: Incredibly, the wound is STILL SLIGHTLY SCABBED OVER!

WEDNESDAY, 5/2/12: I sign in at 11:30AM, only two people in waiting room! Into room and told to undress at 11:40, and Dr. Ebede is a personable young black woman who 1) freezes the "pimple" on my right cheek, saying that I should put Vaseline on it when it crusts, and if it's still there in three months, she'll biopsy it, 2) says I have a foot FUNGUS, and have to have a liver test before she can prescribe pills that I'll take for three months that will get rid of the flaking skin and the white fungus under my right big toenail, 3) says my folliculitis is GONE, but she'll give me a prescription for a GEL which is easier to apply than the liquid, 4) says that the knee is "a scar of a scar," or a keloid, and will remain as is, 5) says that skin tabs, like the bauble in my left groin, aren't covered by insurance and will remain, and 6) mentions that finasteride is ALSO good for thinning HAIR! She talks from 11:45-11:57AM, when I go to the lab 12:03-12:10PM and she takes blood for the liver test, which will be available tomorrow. Prescriptions sent to CVS. My current referral will include my three-month follow-up, which it occurs to me I didn't get yet.

THURSDAY, 5/3/12: Leave apartment 8:05AM to get to platform to see that next #2 train is in 13 minutes! Many 3's pass, full, and I get on #2 at 8:24, to get off at 9:17AM, fearing to be VERY late, but cross the street with others running to catch the Bx21 bus waiting for us. Ride bus 9:20-9:28 and get off at hospital at 9:30, signing in at 9:33AM. A finger prick gives my glucose at 110: below 90 is normal, above 126 is bad, so I'm in the middle of being impaired: the blood test will be more precise, but it looks good for me being in the group. I ask her about incidence, and she says about 50% of those in the group will have impaired tolerance, and that percent will increase with age, though she says only about 20 have actually been in the test so far. She points out that for six weeks we get resveratrol/placebo, then rest for three weeks, then for next six weeks get the OPPOSITE to see how BOTH affect our systems, which seems intelligent! Woman takes blood from left ELBOW for liver at 10AM, and then I take the glucose drink, sweet with an unpleasant tang. Start reading at 10:09, finishing 4/16 New Yorker at 11:10, starting next magazine, and phlebotomist at noon looks at left elbow, left back-of-hand, and right elbow, and decides on right back-of-hand, and covers my hand with blood from a "blow out": the needle enters the vein, but the blood doesn't enter the needle, but blows out into the surrounding territory---all over my hand. They tape me up with purple non-stick tape in three places: left elbow, right hand, and right wrist, where they FINALLY get blood, though slowly---and I hope they don't disqualify me from the tests because of THAT problem. I leave at 12:15, on Bx21 bus at 12:29PM, off at 12:39, onto subway at 12:47 and off at 1:40.

FRIDAY, 5/25/12: Check-up with Chin described in NOTEBOOK:5/25/12.

THURSDAY, 6/21/12: Readings from Kim at Einstein for resveratrol study: blood pressure is 107/76, cholesterol is 121, HDL is 28, LDL 58, and triglycerides 100. My last HIP test 1/7/11! Chol 127, HDL is 34, LDL 69.

FRIDAY, 7/13/12: Check into office at 1:18PM for 1:15 appointment, waiting until 1:50 to get into the room for a weight of 204.6, clothed, oxygen in blood at 96%. But AGAIN my blood pressure is 102/70, which is EXACTLY what it was two months ago that made Chin say I had to check BACK in two months. He measured me, at my insistence, at 106/72, still low, and told me to hold off on the enalapril, one of my two blood-pressure medications. He asked if I'd felt light-headed recently, and I had to say I had more postural hypotension than before. To my buttock soreness he said it probably WAS due to scoliosis, so I had to adjust my position, maybe with pillows, to accommodate it. He looked at my thigh, said it wasn't red or swollen, so it was OK, not infected, and the bandage wouldn't DISSOLVE, but FALL off, maybe in as long as a week. He noted, but couldn't say anything about, my increasing peripheral neuropathy, except to put in a blood test for calcium and phosphorus, for which I went to the lab after complaining about HIP not taking appointments two months ahead: "People forget them at a much higher rate---not you, of course, but we did it for that reason." Oh. Wait in the almost-empty lab until taken 2:27-2:33PM by Suarez, who palpates and eventually goes into my right elbow, successfully. For some reason the first nurse sends me "out" in the wrong direction. Scribble my name in the lobby, to no great note.

SUNDAY, 8/5/12: Call Marj with double vision and trouble speaking at 1:32PM and she recommends that I phone my emergency number, which I do, getting no answer, and finally calling the REGULAR number and getting the 195 Montague location at 2:10PM as the weekend emergency clinic. Go there, signing in at 2:22PM, feeling somewhat better, but reading New York on sex, which is NOT linear, any of it, is NOT very gratifying to me! Finally get to clinician at 3PM, who takes my temperature, does my blood, and calls for the doctor. She takes my blood pressure at 138 over 80, good, and then tells me I should go by ambulance to LICH. I say it's just down the road on Montague Street (it's not, it's down the road on ATLANTIC AVENUE!) and I can walk. No, because it's hot. "Think about it," she says, and leaves me. At 3:29PM I write the following in my New York: "Not feeling BAD, but concerned by DOCTOR'S concerns. Feeling HUNGRY. Nurse and doctor want me to go to hospital---eat and MRI, and care to PREVENT coll---" Can't read the scribbled last word. So I say I'll sign letter. They show me letter, but keep talking about how concerned they are, so I agree to LET them call ambulance. I sit until about 4, and GREAT-looking blond guy comes in, more talk, and I go down to sit in back of ambulance while second guy, dark-haired and quiet, takes my card, notes address and phone number, and blond does a number of readings, taking blood pressure TWICE, one on right: 128/80, on left, 138/82---saying left is higher because it's just off heart. Then talks of some "Cincinnati standard" grip test, which she DIDN'T do, didn't even KNOW about, which he said was STANDARD. I do it, and it's OK. I keep saying I'm hungry, and finally he just lets me go, after I sign one paper that I didn't read---is THAT going to be important?? I'm out of ambulance by back door, shaking his hand heartily, and walk down to Grand Canyon and have a burger, peeing, drink lemonade, have bill of $10.30 on credit card, adding $1.50 tip, and walking HOME, pausing at corner to go to Key Food and buying grapes, six on-sale yogurts for 2/75¢, and two quarts of fat-free milk, getting three messages, putting stuff in fridge, calling Spartacus for short talk since he's going to Bob's till 11PM, Marj for LONG talk to 5:35PM, and then finish this to 6PM, done at last.

MONDAY, 8/6/12: I get a PERSON, who said I can have an appointment with Dr. Mirsakov, 2PM Friday, at the Grant (emphasized after I say Grand) Avenue station, then five long blocks away. That's at 232 Linden Boulevard. I get out the subway map and find Grant almost to the end, but find it's only 7 stops. Call Marj at 11:05, talking in AGONY to 11:30, she INSISTS I was at death's door, LOVES talking about it, and then PANICKING when she HAD to call Spartacus at 4:15 or so yesterday, and I can just LISTEN to her and TRY to say it's all OK now, as she REPEATS and REPEATS the information I gave him and she TRIES to make her point of view heard. Then I call Spartacus and we AGAIN talk about how she and he HAD to be concerned about me, and that goes to 11:40. Find out from Rena that I can "slip" two weeks from the original date and she'll send out the medicines; so I can call her late Friday or early Monday with the cardio results.

TUESDAY, 8/7/12: Dr. Chin, seen at 4:30, says I MIGHT have had a TIA (transient ischemic attack), to mini-stroke, and I SHOULD have gone to the hospital, and should in the future, because I can't DEPEND of it being over in a few hours. Get another EKG, good and heart-strong, she says, with BP of 120 over 80 on BOTH sides. Told to get an MRI at Doshi.

WEDNESDAY, 8/8/12: I phone Doshi and get told I can have a 9:30AM MRI, getting there an hour early for paperwork. OK. Take the subway, which comes almost instantly, to Nevins Street, and then it's a long walk back to Bond, but get in there at 8:55AM, having WALKED up because ONE elevator was out of service, but it turns out that three others WERE working, and wait until about 9:30, reading Hollinghurst, when I get told to put stuff into a locker which remains LOCKED until she shows me to push UP on the button, and it opens. Into MRI room and put bridge onto napkin, head down into form-fitting brace, towels around head to prevent movement, earphones SAID to be her, but though I heard things VAGUELY through them, I really didn't HEAR her. LOUD noises, place SHAKING for the last series, and out at 10:17AM.

THURSDAY, 8/9/12: Dr. Chin says that my MRI showed I HAD a stroke, so he sent a Coumadin prescription to CVS for me! Two pills each of first three nights, then one pill per night; more neurological tests. I call Rena to say I'm taking Coumadin and so won't take the rest of her study! SAD, SAD, SAD!

FRIDAY, 8/10/12: Get subway toward Grant Avenue at 1:25PM. Off at 1:45, walk to south end, I guess, of Grant, and then turn through park, ending on Lincoln that leads me to Linden Boulevard, and walk, say, east before checking that address is 2832, rather than 2532, as I'd thought, so I have to RETRACE about four long blocks, then crossing Linden, and at last getting to enormous parking lot for 2832 Linden, past the Cineplex and past the MacDonald's. Check in at 2:15PM, saying I'll never come HERE again! Polish "nurse" checks me in, and then beautiful, thin, high-heeled Dr. Nina Mirsakov takes charge, doing the "hand-press" that tells her that my left side is slightly weaker than my right side! She sends me to the nurse for my third EKG in eight days, and then a secretary who starts being annoyed with me, and then makes three appointments, one of which I had to "make" with the window in Area A, who sends me back to Area C because I don't have the "authorization," and the nurse marks the number UP TOP, and the window in Area A then says I just PRESENT the papers to Doshi for my "Duplex Scan Extracran Art, Bil -" for "recent CVA (cerebrovascular accident!)." Hospital can administer TPA: Tissue plasminogen activator. Secretary tells me to take the B15 bus to #3 train-end at Newlots Avenue, which I catch at 4:05PM, getting to station to get train on platform 4:15-4:45PM.

MONDAY, 8/13/12: Get the call from the woman on Friday, saying I have a 2PM on Thursday at Nevins Street with neurologist Dr. Tishik. Get the Holter Monitor by 11:43, told to bring it back at 11:45 tomorrow, and get back on bus to Joralemon and walk back to no mail yet at 12:10.

TUESDAY, 8/14/12: Get Doshi appointment 8:50-9:08, way out on Ralph! Can't find receipt for Holter! Out to RIP skin from bandages at 11:50AM, my receipt's AT office! Leave EARLY at 12:40PM for Ralph Avenue appointment at 2PM, but train delays, transfer to B after crowded Q passes, but it's not THAT long to King's Highway, 15th is right near exit, and walk to 13th to arbitrarily turn LEFT on 13th to get to Ralph: she's mis-spoken the directions! In at 1:55, but fill forms at 2:10, finish Scientific American at 2:45, and Edmund White "Jack Holmes and His Friend" at 3, and FINALLY get taken 3:25-3:54 for ANOTHER carotid artery duplex scan, last one was 9/8/11, LESS THAN A YEAR! Home at 6:40PM!!

WEDNESDAY, 8/15/12: Get out to 3 train at 10:30AM, having it STOP a couple of times, down to wait for B15 bus to 11:15AM, and it TURNS three blocks before Center! Out and walk, complaining to secretary, particularly since I'm not taken by 1PM. No blood-draw today, either! My heart is read 1:07-1:18PM, and BUS goes crazy, in rain. Just have neurologist's appointment tomorrow!

THURSDAY, 8/16/12: See Tishuk, whose name I got miraculously right the first time, who's from Belarus and starts pronouncing my last name the POLISH way, and sees me to 1:55, pushing and pulling and testing, showing me my MRI SPOT in the left-center of the brain from my mini-stroke, saying that the atrial fibrillation will CAUSE clots because of the churning of the muscle, as opposed to the straight stroke. Not the best news. He tells me to come back in two weeks after an MRA at Doshi. Secretary says first Doshi slot is 8/30, which means my Tishuk has to be in THREE weeks. I bridle, but there's nothing to be done, EXCEPT that when I get to lower floor to schedule, she says it can be ANYTIME, so I make it for MONDAY, but secretary on third floor says he'll CALL me if there's anything wrong with the MRA, and my appointment with him can STILL be on 9/8.

FRIDAY, 8/17/12: Call Lisa at Lab, 9:58-10:09AM, woman insisting there IS no Lisa in Lab, only Elizabeth, and when she finally connects me to Elizabeth, she protests she IS either Lisa or Elizabeth, and has to call me back after she talks to Dr. Lee, who's in for Chin who's out till 9/3. She calls me back about 10:30, and I tell her I love her, and says I'll need my next blood test for my Coumadin level in TWO weeks. Great! Now my next appointment is Monday!

MONDAY, 8/20/12: To Doshi on Bond via Hoyt, long walk, in at 12:25PM, sign forms, to back room at 12:39PM, into MRA machine 1:04-1:26PM, loud noise ALL the time, and out of Doshi at 1:28PM. Find Metro card is blank from MRA!

THURSDAY, 9/6/12: To Tishuk just after noon, and she can't read my name. So I give it to her again, sulk reading, and get called in about 12:30, when he tells me that the carotid artery was closed by 33% with plaque, but that's near a normal figure---if it were 45-50% it would be a danger. The heart and brain were normal, so my "only" problem is atrial fibrillation. If nothing more happens to me, I'll not need to see him again, since Dr. Chin will take care of all my prescriptions and dosages of Coumadin.

TUESDAY, 10/2/12: For my appointment with Dr. Chin at noon today, I checked in at 11:56AM, long wait for "form to give vitals-taker" and a form for my flu shot. Nikkitha calls me in about 12:20PM, gets 190/90, or something similarly horrible, for my first blood pressure, then gets 149/81, or similar, that she says is OK. Weight is 193#, an impressive loss registered, and heart is 60 beats and oxygen is 97%. We talk about her name, she's impressed when I ask what island she's from, and I am impressed when she says Grenada, which I want to visit, and she says it's so small you can circle it in a day, but it's very beautiful and a great place to visit. Chin comes in about 12:25PM, saying any scoliosis test is only for children, that adults won't get any treatment. He smiles when I tell him I'm already scheduled for a flu shot. He says that my next blood test is scheduled for the end of October, and that I should see him again in 2-3 months, so I make a note to call on 12/2 to schedule for 1/2/12. He says that all four prescriptions will be at CVS, and that turns out to be true when I go there at 3:37PM after the gym and before getting a house special egg foo yung at China Wall. A new male nurse for Chin tells me that the measure Chin said I was 2.2 out of an acceptable range of 2-3 was called the INR, a measure of blood clotting. Got the flu shot from him at 12:35PM, saying there was no blood spot at all, but I got a bandage anyway, which I removed before starting the gym.

WEDNESDAY, 10/10/12: N.P.Fritzer due at 1PM; I have question list and prescriptions waiting for him. Call to check at 1:20, and he arrives at 1:52PM, having had trouble finding a parking spot. He asks a LOT of questions, copies out my medication list, says I have edema because spots on my calf STAY without filling in. He does a BP of 130/81, and accepts my scale's reading of 193.4#. He looks at my left buttock and says I should call HIP for an emergency appointment: it might need medication to not get infected. He's also very impressed by my background as an indexer: I can even show him my book! He gets me to sign that he saw me, and Montalimant Fritzner from Haiti, who'd been there after the earthquake, takes off for 22B, his next visit.

THURSDAY, 10/11/12: Stand in front of the receptionist 3:57-4:02PM, get signed in, and the nurse smiles and recognizes me from two weeks ago, saying she couldn't believe to see me sitting there. My blood pressure is high, 140/81, but she dismisses it. Weigh 193# and she's willing to take off three pounds for my clothes. Blood-oxygen is 97%. We laugh a lot together and Chin comes in at 4:20, takes a look at my butt, and dismisses it as a pimple, but says that he'll send an antibiotic prescription to CVS that I can pick up and use for seven days. Out so quick I decide to try to see Sharon at 4:30PM.

FRIDAY, 1/4/13: In late at 10:35AM, getting pissed at having to sign two more sheets of forms. Good nurse checks me in with blood pressure of 122/70 and a weight of 191#. Start my wait at 10:40AM and Chin comes in almost immediately to say my cholesterol is perfect at 145, I need another blood test in two weeks, my INR is 1.6 and my Prothrombin Time is 17.0, which indicates I should immediately return to 5mg Coumadin from 4mg. My HDL is 40, just on the borderline of OK, and LDL is 90, OK being under 130. Triglycerides are 75, well under 150. 6/21/12: Readings from Kim at Einstein for resveratrol study: blood pressure is 107/76, cholesterol is 121, HDL is 28, LDL 58, and triglycerides 100. My last HIP test 1/7/11! Chol 127, HDL is 34, LDL 69. So HDL is much better, LDL is worse, and triglycerides better. Other measures on form, which I'll keep.

MONDAY, 1/7/13: Dental surgeon Thomas Santomauro shakes hands with me in Suite 1100 at 32 Court Street. I'd gotten there, late, at 10:35AM, for my 10:30AM appointment, and filled out information sheet to 10:40AM. Nurse x-rays my head, twice, after telling me the FIRST time that I DON'T have to take out my bridge, at 10:50AM. He asks about Coumadin, getting HIP on the phone, until he clarifies in him mind that I DID clear the three-day Coumadin withdrawal with Dr. Chin. Into chair, suffering under his technique of PRESSING HARD on my gum as he imperfectly jiggles my jaw to insert the needle, which I can feel the terminal twinge of. He then inserts a few more needles that I am just on the border of feeling, so I'm not as tranquil as I could be; happy that I took another valium this morning, along with two Tylenol pain pills. He starts at 11:15AM, not able to give my requested WQXR music and so he hums rather tunelessly as he works, when he's not stating what he's doing, which I tell him I much appreciate. There are many times of great pressure, and he warns me before the disquieting sounds of bones cracking. At times he stretches my mouth uncomfortably, and a few times I grunt and move my feet, though I say "I'm OK" when he asks, and do NOT (just get it OVER with!) request that he wait a bit, as he suggests a few times. Not NEARLY as tranquil a session as my root canals. He says the root canal work was well done, and DOES say that "luck was on both our sides" when, it seems, all parts of both roots came out intact. I glance at my watch to see that he finishes at 11:45AM. He stuffs my mouth with gauze, giving me more for later, and then fills my pocket with a prescription for lidocaine 2% viscous solution, which I fill, and a slip for Tylenol, which I don't fill, and a slip for over-the-counter mouthwash that I can't find, so I just get the cheap CVS brand, which is only the menthol that all the others have. To CVS at 12:25AM with a feeling of great relief that it's OVER! But the blood and lidocaine and discomfort continue as I type this at 10:07AM on Tuesday, 1/8.

TUESDAY, 1/8/13: 9:27AM: Take amox, take Xylocaine in my mouth until 9:45AM, STILL slight pink tinge when I spit it out. Preparing for more Spider to avoid eating until my blood stops even more. Call Marj just to push on telling her about awful root extraction yesterday.

FRIDAY, 3/1/13: 3:42PM: I go to Chin to find Niki calling me in and telling me a halfdozen items to look for in Grenada, saying I'll just love it there. He comes in, looks with distaste at my bloodied pillowcase, saying it's a bleeding keratosis that I should see the skin doctor to remove, though I can't get an appointment with her at Nostrand Avenue until May 1. I'm also told to get a blood test, maybe my Coumadin is too strong, but the lab is closed, and open only on Monday. I'm amazed at the start that I can't find my HIP card, and when I get home I look through my desk and it just isn't there. What should I do?

THURSDAY, 4/4/13: Lie back down at 8:11AM---I felt "unworldly" when I woke, tangled in bedclothes, eye mask askew [could this have been a prequel to this afternoon?]. Lie to 8:24AM. I sign in at the gym at 12:11PM, go through the exercises, recording the typical "hard" for straining to 14 repetitions with 10- and 15-pound curl-bells in two exercises toward the end, and sign off the floor at 12:52PM. Feeling no different from ordinary, I went into the steam room---and collapsed just after 1PM! John gets a call (he doesn't know if it was from the gym [later he says gym!] or the hospital, but he goes in to see me at the ICU in the hospital), and reports me as being "blue," and "violent." The "Interdisciplinary Discharge Summary" has the following hand-written (and hard to read) information: Date of Admission: 04/04/13. Admitting Diagnosis: A-fib/ pneumonia. Final Diagnosis: A-fib. Other Diagnoses: 1. Pneumonia, 2 HTN (hypertension), 3) A-fib, 4) DLP or DCP (yet to be identified). History of Present Illness: 77 y/o m puch(?) as above found in gym unresponsive found to be in SVI (or SVT). Pt (patient) was given adenosine and converted to A-fib. Pt was febrile on admission. Course of Hospitalization: (to left): CT head-mb centimeter ld (old?) infarction. No acute tentorial infarct or acute hemorrhage. (in center): Pt was admitted to ICU after being found unresponsive to verbal and tactile simuli. Stroke code as called and neurology was called when patient began seizing. Patient was intubated and sent to ICU for close monitoring. Patient was extubated successfully and transferred to telemetry for further management of A-fib. Patient was on IV antibiotics for fever. CXR showed left basilar-retrocardiac opacity. Patient felt he did not need to be in the hospital any longer and wanted to leave. Patient was advised of the risks of leaving the hospital prematurely and that he was putting his life @ risk. Patient also had pulled out his Foley traumatically and GU replaced Foley. GU recommended keeping Foley for 1 week and will f/u [follow-up] w/ Dr. Sergeyev (718) 780-1520 for voiding trial/removal. Patient will be d/ced [discharged] with Coumadin for A-fib and will f/u w/ HIP center. Principal Procedure: CT head. MD Signature: Kushal Mehta, Date: 04/08/13. On the other side: Outcome: Neurological: Yes; Improvement: Yes. Property returned: N/A checked, with no check for Clothing, Dentures, Valuables, Medication, Prosthesis. Vital Signs: Temperature 99.2, Pulse 100, Respirations 19, Blood pressure 139/90. Mode of Discharge 4/8/13 10:30AM Independent, Accompanied by family (Carolyn), RN Signature Y. Belenky, 4/8, 10:30AM. Thursday night I was still unconscious: I had no recollection of Sharon visiting me [she visited FRIDAY!] after she called hospital when I didn't show up for 5PM session. No other recollection from Thursday.

FRIDAY, 4/5/13: Some time during the day John showed up and I could communicate with my raised fingers to indicate yes and no, and there were only a few locks in the corner of the gym I used and "I could smell your odor." He got my gym bag and left my iPod with me in a plastic bag, along with my wallet that he emptied of cash, two New Yorkers to read, in a plastic tray, and a second plastic tray with three large plastic bottles of "Soothe&Cool Free Perineal Wash No-Rinse with Aloe," "Soothe&Cool Free Moisture Barrier Ointment with Aloe and Vitamins A, D & E," and "Medline Calazime Skin Protectant Paste with Zinc Oxide" that he said he had no knowledge of. Ken visited me at some time, I think, as did Carolyn and Spartacus and John. I remember waking up and seeing a clock registering 10:10, and had no idea whether it was AM or PM. I was in one alcove of the ICU, numbered 5 with 6 to my right and 3 and 4 across from me. At 11:01AM today, John sent an e-mail to Susie, Rita, Ken, Piri, Fred, Charles, Alexandra, Claudia, Carolyn, Jermaine, and Linda: "Hi everyone. Some of you have already received news of Bob Z's injury. I am his healthcare proxy, John Vinton. What I know so far is that he passed out in the steam room at the gym and fell from the highest bench to the one immediately below. He may have hit his head. His hands and face were turning blue when he was found but he regained color when removed from the steam. He remained unconscious for several hours and was heavily sedated because of seizures. At this time he is conscious and in a room in the ICU unit at Long Island College Hospital, 339 Hicks St. He can receive short visits. The hospital phone # is 347-390-0003. I'll keep you posted if anything changes. Being the ox that he is, I expect a full recovery. John." At 5:40PM he sent another e-mail, adding Steve, saying: "Hi, I saw Bob this afternoon. He still has a breathing tube in his throat [I don't remember this at all] and so cannot speak. But I got him to use his fingers to answer yes-no questions and was able to learn where his gym locker was located. He is still sedated but we made eye contact. He was able to nod his head slightly. The doctors say he will need another day or two on the breathing tube. No more seizures. One of the nurses recommended no visitors for a couple days but when I asked Bob if he wanted visitors he raised a finger, meaning yes. So I advise very short visits, if any. Hours at 11-8. He's in the ICU unit. Don't expect much communication if you go. His progress seems to be as expected, slow and very gradual [I was actually on the critical list, I was told]. The address is 339 Hicks. I have 2 phone numbers: 718-780-4616 and 718-780-1000. Everyone in the unit is very pleasant. John." I really have no concrete memories from Friday, except being relieved that I had a catheter so I didn't have to prepare or get up to pee.

SATURDAY, 4/6/13: Carolyn and Spartacus and John, I think, visited me in the ICU, but soon I was moved onto a gurney and wheeled down lots of halls on the third floor to a narrow elevator that took us up to the fifth floor, patient care, room 50, I think. I was wheeled onto an inner bed where the guy in the bed near the window had a TERRIBLE cough. My cough got progressively worse. I think I remember being hooked up to various IV units here, and I think I was surprised to get a number of telephone calls: among them Charles and Rita, who I was surprised to hear KNEW, but she said she got an e-mail from John. Piri called, and there may have been others. Spartacus specifically mentioned being there when I was served dinner, with my eating every kernel of corn came into discussion, but I---how can I put it?---can't remember he WASN'T there, but have no real memory that he WAS there, except I sort of remember people being there when I was served dinner on the last two nights. The wife of the cougher kept coming in and out of the room, and of course there were disturbances every few hours for temperature, blood pressure, and IVs. I guess it was today that the nightmare with the catheter took place: I had a few people around the door of the john, and somehow interpreted conflicting information: a nurse said SHE had to take it out, yet I heard someone else say that I should take it out. I pulled on it, but it was slippery, and it seemed to get longer and longer, and I felt this was really terrible. I kept on pulling, and it seemed to continue and continue, and there was blood and pain, and finally a ball about the size of a quarter, with a little "flip" at the bottom, came out. The nurse came in and was appalled: "How COULD you have done that?" I just felt totally confused. Sharon later explained---now I've forgotten the name---Something Syndrome that explained people over 60 forgetting what they were told in the hospital. They rushed around and installed another catheter, explaining that I'd have to return to the hospital NEXT Friday to get it removed. I felt totally ashamed of myself. Rita explained what had happened to Denny a few years ago: he's been ordered that a doctor had to remove his catheter, but he couldn't FIND a doctor to take it out, so an intern-friend of his took pity, said he shouldn't tell anyone he was told this, but said that the catheter was like a fishhook: if it was pulled out, it would do damage, but if it was twisted or bent in a particular way, it would be pulled out painlessly. Now I know. Now I recall that that morning's breakfast was three triangles of thick bread as French toast served with lots of maple syrup and the awful Promise artificial butter. Some breakfasts had bits of fruit, one had a pear that was hard but edible. Lots of times I just said I was glad I was on a diet and didn't feel very hungry anyway. The blind was left raised in the room and I could see the daylight vanish and see the lights come on in the harbor across the river. I had no urge to listen to the iPod, read the magazines, or watch TV. I just lay there in misery when I wasn't trying to sleep. Oh, yes: remember talking to the pleasant urology doctor who said that as far as he was concerned I could be released on Monday; since he wasn't going to be here, he left a note to that effect. All I had to do was get rid of the fever.

SUNDAY, 4/7/13: Slept very poorly Saturday night and Sunday morning. The cougher had some visitors who passed without looking at me. I kept getting measured and probed and IV'd, and got a few more telephone calls. Definitely remember Carolyn being there by 5:30PM when I got dinner, and the ground meat was as unpleasant to taste as it was to look at. I could eat the pear and that was about it. I kept offering her more of the food but she didn't want it. She agreed she'd be here at 10AM tomorrow so that I'd really be released. After she left, the nurses started clearing up the cougher's area, and I sat by the window enjoying the sunset view over New Jersey, Governor's Island, and the Statue of Liberty. When they were changing the sheets I ventured to ask if I might not change beds: they checked and found it was possible! My phone rang as they were switching it over, and I was glad to find the phone cord reached across the room. Since clearly no one was taking the other bed, it really didn't matter. I sat in the chair until I was tired, then wheeled my IV stand and carried my disk-shaped urine bag to my bed. I lay almost upright, looking over the lights from World Trade Center One, but finally decided to try to go to sleep.

MONDAY, 4/8/13: But Sunday night in the hospital was like PARTY-TIME! People kept talking LOUDLY outside past 1AM. One awful guy in a green shirt staggered into my room, looked around, and staggered out. A short time later three people had to subdue him from making a ruckus just outside my door. Then a third incident happened just before a nurse entered, and I asked, "Isn't there some way of getting rid of such troublemakers?" "Who do you mean?" "The guy in the green shirt." "What green shirt?" "Never mind." Was I losing my mind? Was she trying to make me THINK I was losing my mind. Then, about 3AM, a horrible episode with the monitor: some IV needed fixing, but no one came in to change it, so I finally unplugged it---and it KEPT ON beeping. In a fury, I wheeled it out into the hall! Ten minutes later a nurse came in and asked why I didn't use the call bell. "What call bell?" She looked at me as if I was crazy, fished around the wires aside the bed, and came up with the call button. "Oh," I said, "Now I know about it." At another point some of the leads to some kind of heart monitor became detached and they had to reattach them. Then THEY started beeping and in frustration I just took them ALL off and put the whole apparatus on the trash-bin top. A few of the nurses asked what happened, and I said I was leaving in the morning, so I didn't need it anymore, so I just took it off. One particularly bitchy nurse scoffed at me when I said I was being discharged at 10AM: "Sure you are," she said, as if SHE would personally block it. And she may have been telling the truth! Time passed slowly, nurses actually didn't bother me, I may have gotten three or four hours' sleep, and when I asked about 7AM when breakfast was, they said "8AM." "Good," I said, "I'm really hungry." Then at 7:05AM I started undressing to take a shower, my first in four days, since Thursday, when I actually fainted BEFORE I had my shower! The nurse said I couldn't do that. She rushed off to check, but no one came in and I wanted to be finished by 8AM breakfast. [One of the nurses from last night, Ann Paynter Toussaint, giving her address at 339 Hicks Street, Brooklyn NY 11201 (the hospital) was so friendly, so enthusiastic about my going to Haiti, that I said I'd send her a post card from there.] Found there was no soap in the shower itself, so I had to reach outside to get soap from the SINK. Of course the floor was slippery, my urine bag kept getting in the way, but I'd actually removed my last IV so at least my arms were free. Felt WONDERFUL to be showered! Dried myself off, feeling sore around the tip of my penis, engorged by the catheter, and dressed, all except pants, and sat in the chair to wait for breakfast at 8AM. 8:15, still no food. Went out to the hall and was told not to walk around undressed. About 8:45AM AGAIN walked into the hall, everyone staring daggers at me, and it turns out breakfast hadn't been scheduled until 9AM. I started packing, even stuffing my coat into my bag at one point, at last starting to read one of the New Yorker magazines. Breakfast was the skimpiest of all: lift the lid on the plate and there's ONE BOILED EGG. That goes with a slice of what bread, coffee that I drink all of, milk that goes into the tiniest of corn-flake cartons, and I actually think that was it. Carolyn arrives at 9:55AM, and nurse comes in to say that she's actually starting the release process. But that goes, and stalls, and needs more signatures, and gets delayed, while Carolyn and I chat with an attractive intelligent VOLUNTEER who's making up my bed. Finally the papers are signed, me to my door, clearly, and she (I'm too lazy to get her name from the discharge papers) clips my two wristbands (ID and "May Fall"), and we're free to leave at 11:10AM.

WEDNESDAY, 4/10/13: Sign in for Chin with discharge papers at 9:58, ONE person in room, and ONE attendant. I'm called in by the wonderful Niki at 10:05-10:15, and SHE insists I call Hip for "visiting nurse service" after hospital for redressing wounds. I give discharge papers, which he copies, and he says I collapsed because of lack of oxygen due to PNEUMONIA! I was discharged from hospital because pneumonia was over and my temperature was (and remains) normal! He also laughed and said I DIDN'T smell. At 10:22 he sent me to front desk for x-ray and cardiologist appointments. Fill ENDLESS forms at x-ray to 10:33AM.

FRIDAY, 4/12/13: I decide to simply GO to LICH, to the 7th floor, where I arrive about 12:45PM to meet an intractable black with an almost-shaved head who says that I can't see the doctor until my approval comes through, which it hasn't. Then, by a miracle, it does, and the short woman who let me use her desk-telephone to phone HIP AGAIN assists Sergeyev when he lies me down on a sheet, extracts the catheter with only a small twist (from a Saturday conversation with Rita: Denny had the same catheter about two years ago and could find NO doctor to remove it. An INTERN finally had enough pity on him to describe it as a FISHHOOK: if you pulled it out, you DAMAGED yourself, but if you TWISTED it in the right way, it came out EASILY!), and then they filled my bladder with water, with which I walked into the next room to face a large funnel into which I peed while a machine off to the right clicked off its strip of paper. "I'd only emptied PART of the urine," she said, and if I couldn't urinate through the weekend I'd have to take a taxi to his office in South Brooklyn before he left at 9PM.

SATURDAY, 4/13/13: Get out to Goldberger at 10:57PM to bend her sympathetic ear to 11:18AM, at which point she measures me and I leave at 11:30AM, hearing her say she'll call me in a couple of weeks. Nurse arrives 2:05-2:40PM, easily tearing off the "adhesive tape" and merely tamping wounds with hydrogen peroxide and taping huge wads of them over the three main ones.

MONDAY, 4/15/13: Sign in at 2:25PM, get called into an office for introductory questions---it turns out he doesn't need ANY of the approvals I brought with me. BUT he tells me that Sergeyev didn't SCHEDULE my appointment, so they'll just have to squeeze me in. He STARTS by saying it'll be an hour and a half, which is depressing, but I say I've brought my magazine, and then he says it might be as short as half an hour, he really doesn't know. Back to read and in fact I get called into ultrasound at 3:05PM, since the place is REALLY empty, and she probes and probes, says she can't look at a possible fractured rib because this machine is only for tissue like kidney and bladder, and when she presses down and says I have a full bladder, I say I DO feel like I could pee, but when I DO get up to pee, there's an AMAZINGLY small amount, though she says it's not small enough to be DANGEROUS, but it's something like 250 ml, like about a half a cup. I telephone from the hall since I want to talk to Sergeyev, but she's not very helpful and I say I'll just come up. Turns out he's not THERE, but the female listens to my tale at 3:28PM and suggests I pee for HER, and it's an even SMALLER amount, which she says I can check with Sergeyev tomorrow. Tomorrow? Of course, you have to come back for the results of your sonogram. No one told me that. Come back at noon tomorrow.

TUESDAY, 4/16/13: Pretty Olga rings at 11:11AM, changes my bandages, remonstrates that I should have done this EVERY DAY, says the next nurse will come on Friday, and leaves at 11:29AM. I wash and dress and leave at 11:48AM, held up by tremendous load in only operating elevator, and get to Urology at 12:05PM to sign in, and don't get asked to pee until 1:13PM. Pee VERY little, even the machine doesn't start recording until later, and I take two BIG drinks from the fountain at 1:25PM. 1:37AM I sit for talk by Sergeyev: I didn't EMPTY bladder, stop finasteride, take Avodart instead, the alternatives are 1) catheter back in, 2) new pill WORKS, 3) small operation to scrape inner prostate! Avoid constipation, get referral from Chin, and I see Sergeyev on April 30, and leave at 1:45PM.

WEDNESDAY, 4/22/13: Sign in at 8:54AM, Niki comes out to get me at 8:57, temperature 97.7°, blood pressure 120/76, and Chin comes in 9:13-9:22, and I hit him with Chin list. Chin list 4/4-4/22 -- 18 days!
1) Rx changes:
a) finsasteride to avodart---Niki adds both of these to my dossier
b) tamsulosin to rapaflo---she Xeroxed this sheet and my forms for Chin.
2) "Fall" remnants:
a) left buttock soreness---should go away in a month
b) right rib "break/pain"---technician says I got CHEST (pneumonia) x-ray
c) coughs---from pneumonia, should go away not RIB (break) x-ray!
d) leg and foot wounds---healing nicely
e) left little toe broken?---get form for x-ray, to x-ray 9:52, LONG wait.
f) bruises remaining:---all these will gradually vanish 10:08AM: Detail
1) above left knee toe positioning. To lab 2) right upper arm for blood at 10:33, out at 10:43, home 10:50.
3) right mid-torso
4) to right of navel---bruise caused by my taking Coumadin: will be USUAL
5) right outside butt
3) Urinary bladder problem---Chin sat patiently through
a) pee-volume list valuable?---no
b) long-term vs. local cause?---LONG-TERM CAUSE!
c) three-outcome chances:
1) pills work---wait to see if these work
2) recatheterization
3) "small operation"
d) weight loss/FUAS/hold-up bladder?---makes absolutely no difference.
4) Approval for Sergeyev 4/30/13---Robert Serviso says I should get by Friday!
5) CANCEL 5/1 dermatology/NOT cardiology---clerk does this; chucks appointment
6) No more home-wound care needed?---Chin says they all look good enough.
7) NO solutions to blood-spotted pillowcase?---NO, he says!
8) "Fainting" repeatable? Cardio test on 30th will tell.
9) Chin versus Sergeyev: S must send C proper forms for C to approve S.
10) Discharge "translations": CHIN doesn't know DGP as #4: "Ask Cardio." SVT is SupraVentricular Tachycardia; he agrees CT said "No acute tentorial infarct or acute hemorrhage."
11) Current approvals: Robert said they should come by Friday, or call him.
12) Fasting bloodwork now? Yes, results Wednesday: Chol 120, Trig 113, liver and kidney functions all normal and looking good. X-ray of toe showed non-displaced vertical fracture at base of toe---keep off it, elevate it, ice it.
13) Gym vacation and 5/9 vacations OK: check with cardio.
14) No available cholera shots in US, which didn't impress Chin.

WEDNESDAY, 4/24/13: Call HIP and ask five questions: 1) Auto-call Emblem approval for Sergeyev on 30th? He confirms that evening 2) Blood tests in hospital? He'll have to check. 3) HOW pneumonia on 4/4 cured by 4/8? Intravenous antibiotics can cure pneumonia in ONE day; don't listen to random friends (i.e. Spartacus) with contrary opinions. 4) Blood results from Monday: Cholesterol 120, triglycerides 113, all liver and kidney functions good. 5) Toe x-ray? Non-displaced vertical fracture at base of little toe, nothing to be done about it: stay off it, keep it iced, keep it elevated, take ibuprofen if needed. Robert Serviso is very good!

SUNDAY, 4/28/13: RETRIEVE hospital note, to be transcribed HERE: NOTES FROM MONDAY, 4/8/13: Last day in hospital. Note my 4/6 Saturday lunch printed on other side of note-sheet: 1 Pat Margarine, 1 Sl Wheat Bread, 1 Whole Vegetarian Burger, 1 Cup Fruit, 1 Cup Grape Juice, 1 Svg Carrots, 1 Bowl Chicken Noodle Soup, 1 Cup Tea---and I was still in ICU. List at top for some reason: watch, black big-spiral book, yellow shirt, questions sheet, 2 pens, orange felt tip, package at desk. Mon 4/8 Last sensor reading 2AM. Sleep a bit. Wake about 6:15 and debate showering. 7:05: Decide to ring nurse but she doesn't answer. Go to door and DEMAND nurse, and nurse says the doctor is coming immediately. I tell the main nurse I'm showering. "With a catheter?" "I haven't showered in five days and I'll keep the catheter until Friday, ANOTHER five days. She rushes away. 7:21AM Still no response. Breakfast scheduled, they say, for 8AM. I start getting stuff from drawers to put in bag into which John packed a full dress for the day. Feel weak, but competent. But INCREDIBLY outraged at hospital treatment: now 7:23AM---could it take a person THIS long to respond to an emergency? At 7:24AM I just decide: fuck it, TAKE a shower! Depends at the ready for wearing under my shorts. I at least had the courtesy to put a bloody bed pad on the CHAIR in watch I sat. 7:26AM: Decide to take sensors off. Miss one. Body is a MASS of bruises and cuts and LARGE bandages. NO soap in shower, but sink has it: Four spurts make a good lather. Lots of CELLOPHANE on legs and feet. Shower goes well enough. Move back a typical problem but solved. Dr. Cook comes in at 8:10AM, asking how I feel. "Pissed." Blood pressure 139/90, temperature 99.2°, GOOD! Someone comes in, asking, "Monitor off?" "Yes, I called, but no one came so I took it off and showered." Doctor said stuff kept in ICU but FOLLOWS when I move. But bridge DIDN'T. 8:17 and still no breakfast. Nurse makes like I wasn't here at 8AM, when I WAS. 8:21AM: Cleaner comes in and I have to TELL her to take two scraps from the windowsill---and no soap in showers. She obviously couldn't care less. 8:35AM I go to desk---no one looks at me---"Where's my breakfast?" "She just came off." WHAT? "She just came with the rack and will be serving you shortly." John calls---meal on my table and Carolyn doesn't have it. 8:40AM a TOWER of trays passes. I go out---"You're not dressed---I'll bring it to you." I'm finally served at 8:44AM. Was told that 8AM was wrong information. SKIMPY breakfast! Finish breakfast at 9:02AM and see TAPE on table. 9:15AM I DO have to carry pee-bag. 9:18AM: TAPE it to leg? Down to 5 and through maze to central desk where an attractive nurse recognizes me, and then two nearby doctors (cute, too!) say "WOW, you look GREAT!" I thank them and girl leads me back to supervisor who says she has to find my CHARTS and designates a nurse to ESCORT me back to 551. I get back at 9:34AM, and wait for Carolyn. 9:35AM: Start reading New York Magazine. 9:50AM: NO dentures in ICU, maybe in ambulance? Doctor comes to get my LEG bag---should be on upper leg. 9:54AM: Carolyn arrives. Nurse arrives with leg piece. Then note Monday 4/8 breakfast: 1 Ind Creamer, Non-Dairy, 1 Cup Lowfat Milk, 1 Pat Margarine, 1 Ea Hard Boiled Egg, 1 Box Corn Flakes, 1 Cup Orange Juice, 1 Cup Coffee, Regular or Decaf. Also last note from hospital: Wrist bands cut at 10:48AM, Carolyn DEMANDS something or other that she never gets. I sign self-release form at 10:53AM.

TUESDAY, 4/30/13: Sign in with Sergeyev (and it's in the back of my mind that I should duplicate ALL this MEDICAL stuff for the MEDICAL file---where it clearly belongs!) at 10:58AM, get called at 11:25AM to pee, and get a sonogram at 11:32AM and told at 11:34AM that "Doctor will see you soon." He sees me quickly and says that I now have EIGHT ounces left as opposed to the TEN ounces I had left before, but that I shouldn't take this as a good sign---though I don't see why the hell NOT! He insists that I have NO alcohol [which inspires me at 12:18PM Wednesday to phone Steve, and then to call John, who REFUSES TO TALK ABOUT IT ANY MORE!!!], NO spicy food, and make SURE not to get constipated! At 11:49AM he gives me four more week-bottles of Rapaflo and a prescription for Avodart which will end up costing me $35.

WEDNESDAY, 5/1/13: Leave for Nevins Street at 3:35PM, getting to the office, signing in, and being taken into a room for my blood pressure to be measured at 140/85, my weight at 191, my height 5'9", my pulse 77, and my oxygen use 97% by 2:59PM. Back to read more New Yorker, and get called to room 528 at 3:03PM. Dr. Jagger reminds me a bit of Sherryl with her directness and wry sense of humor ("I'm not going to be a policewoman and say you can't go on the trip; you'll do what you want to.") She checks to find that the office is ready for my next two long exams, and I'm later set up with a return visit on Wednesday at 1:30PM. I'm very happy to hear that this is all part of HIP, and I don't need to get ANY authorization to see her again and again. We talk until 3:31PM, the worst news being that Lindenwood, on 8/15/12, reported my ejection fraction was BACK to 40, having been 45 in 2010 and up to 65 in 2012. I said I really remembered very little useful information from the far-distant Lindenwood office. The EKG takes a long time to set up on the computer, she complains, and then she plasters me with more leads than I remember, at least eight, and I relax as the data is transferred. That's over at 3:40-4PM, and I'm told to wait for the echocardiogram. That takes place 4:05-4:50PM, and even I get tired of craning my neck to see my valves, with depressing little fibers of flesh flickering at the opening and closing of the valves. Leave too late to use a free transfer on the bus back. Also told to come in at 10AM tomorrow to get a 24-hour Holter monitor.

THURSDAY, 5/2/13: Subway to Nevins at 10AM, give my name at 10:02AM, pay $25 deposit by 10:06AM, and the clerk takes me in the back at 10:19AM, tells me to strip to the waist, and gives me a Holter and the form to fill out during the next 24 hours. Leave about 10:33AM.

FRIDAY, 5/3/13: Subway to Nevins by 10:20AM, but she insists I wait for the 24-hour period. I complain at 10:40AM and she has someone else take me to the room, where I remove the Holter myself. Free transfer back about 11AM.

SUNDAY, 5/5/13: 11:03AM: Just talked to Rita about 4/4! SHE got a call from a doctor in the LICH ICU, where I was, because I'd given her name when I was there before, maybe as long ago as 2007! He asked her about my medications, alcohol, etc., and she looked at my WILL to see that John was mentioned first, so she gave John's number to the doctor. The doctor called her BACK somewhat later, and he finally got John when he tried the SECOND time. I looked at the e-mails from John, and Spartacus is NOT on them, so at 11:10AM I call SPARTACUS---twice, actually, and it just RINGS ten times without ANY answer or message! So how did HE find out about my situation?

MONDAY, 6/3/13: 11:15AM: Nurse measures my retention and gets a number like 196 cc left so I might want to try to pee again? At 12:37PM I'm down to 164 after another pee. Pee yet again at 1PM but no one comes to measure me. Sergeyev goes into an office and closes his door, so I stand outside and want to DEMAND being seen since I've been here for two hours already! Then Frank, or someone, calls my name and takes me into a room off the main hallway for a voidance test: he lies me down, says he's going to insert a catheter into my penis after putting in lidocaine to deaden the pain. I grunt and puff when he first inserts, but he says I'm doing well and the worst part is over. Then he inserts something into my ass and AGAIN says I'm doing well after the worst part is over. I say I sure don't envy his job, but he has a very good bedside manner. He fills me up with 502 cc, a half-liter, of water, saying I should tell him when I feel I MUST urinate. Tell him about my trip and he's flattering: saying that I survived very well, and should probably just continue with medications and not have any kind of surgery. When I urinate, however, I only void 176 cc on the first void, and then 150 on the second void, making a total of 326, which I mistakenly subtract from the 502 (since I clearly had a lot retained ALREADY) and get 176 left. He suggested I ALWAYS try a double void, but not to PUSH, since that would only further weaken the urinary muscles, which are causing my problem of retention. Then I get back for the pelvic test and find that I have 164 remaining, and that should be less than 100. At 1:24PM I take the Cipro he gives me to prevent any infection from the penile implant, from which I later find blood in the front of my underwear! Pee again and, after getting a reading over 200 that I say MUST be wrong, they change batteries and I measure 86 cc at 2:05! I think that's great, but at 2:17PM they give me a sonogram to measure the SIZE of my prostate (my PSA was something like 0.4 on my chart), and Sergeyev says, "Oh, it's quite small," and I look at the screen to see a darker ball about the size of a fifty-cent piece. Then he shows me a lobe that he seems to think might be causing the problem, but I'm not clear about that. I take another test at 2:18 and find I'm back up at 124. At 2:34PM I record that I have a small prostate and should continue Avodart (which I have to pay for) and Rapaflo (for which he gives me another eight weeks). I say I couldn't possibly go from 86 to 124, but they say the machine gives different results for different people. Finally at 2:50PM I'm down to 115, and told to get another appointment in EIGHT weeks, getting one for August 5 at noon. Walk woozily down Hicks, amazed that I was there for FOUR HOURS!!

MONDAY, 8/5/13: Sergeyev’s noon appointment at LICH: I’m asked to pee at 12:37PM, and it’s only a little, of which I’m VERY aware. When she presses down on my abdomen, I can FEEL the need to pee again, which I do, but again very little. At 1:11PM I’m told I have 370 ml left, which is much worse than my 170 ml left months ago. Sergeyev says I’ll need a TUBE inserted when I LEAD, or when I always feel FULL. The next appointment is my call, OK in three months; call his 4th Avenue office for appointment.

TUESDAY, 8/6/13: Ophthalmology with Pascal: Subway to Empire Center, I think early, but there’s a delay in #3 trains, so I get in at 12:32PM, but called into office at 12:37PM. Clara is very charming. She puts drops in at 12:46PM, and I’m told to wait 25 minutes. Baby SCREAMS. I can read to 1:17PM, when I’m called back to office to continue reading, but at 1:20PM my vision IS blurry, because I stopped reading? Out at 1:27PM.

SATURDAY, 8/10/13: 6:15AM: Odd, eye-centered headache and slight nausea makes me think I’m fatally ill.

WEDNESDAY, 9/4/13: See Goldberger 9:31-9:51AM to repair my broken bridge herself with hot red plastic.

MONDAY, 9/26/13: Christiana calls me in at 11:10AM for my Emblem health evaluation, takes down lots of prescription bottle information, and when she sees Coumadin asks if I’ve ever gotten food-restriction data for it, and when I saw no, gives me a four-page sheet from the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, concentrating on Vitamin K found in green leafy vegetables, which I try to avoid. Like AIDS, this is a condition MADE for my specific tastes! She takes my blood pressure of 122/66, which is a bit unusual, and at 12:10PM sends me out for another appointment in January. I really liked her discussion of Haiti with me.

THURSDAY, 10/10/13: 2:32PM: Blood pressure is 122/70, and I weigh 195#. Chin comes in at 2:40PM and I go through my list: 1) Emblem Health Form: a) he’ll give me a flu shot form, b) I don’t need a dietician, since I know what to eat and what not to eat, c) I don’t have Congestive Heart Failure or Hypertension. 2) He’ll request a referral to Sergeyev; it’ll be sent to me by mail. I get it a few days later. 3) I last saw a cardiologist in May, 2013, so my next appointment should be for NEXT May, which I’ll have to make. 4) Computer system won’t accept many months of blood-work slips, so I either have to phone in each month, OR just come into the office and ASK for a doctor to supply it: there’ll always be a doctor here who’ll do it for me. He’s sorry I have so much trouble with this. 5) Constant hawking of phlegm he attributes to dust, plants, or pets; I don’t have to worry about it. 6) For my not hearing Rita’s crickets in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, he says he can put in a slip for a hearing test. The best they can give me is on the G train at the Bedford Center at 9AM on November 8. I still feel disgusted with all of it.

FRIDAY, 11/22/13: Make appointment 8:01-8:04AM for 9AM: 1) I fear a urinary infection, what are the symptoms: pain on urination and fever. He’ll give me antibiotics to take on the trip. 2) Check my medications---I didn’t get to this. 3) Alcohol with urinary retention? A glass of wine per day is OK. 4) I must pay for hearing aid? Yes. 5) Sergeyev referral: get IN-system urologist, and he makes an appointment with Yongpeng Gu (pronounced GOO) at the downtown center (Nevins Street stop) for 11/27/13 at 5:30PM. He describes a TURP: transurethral resection of the prostate, that the Internet makes more serious than Dr Chin described: I think he said it didn’t require a stay in the hospital, as most of the Internet sites say. 6) Ken committee suicide, which makes all my ailments more poignant. Dr. Chin is sorry. 7) I sometimes have BACK pain when I get up in the morning. He asks if I want a back x-ray, and I say no. 8) My India trip leaves in a month, and I’m concerned about it See him before I leave for an antibiotic prescription. I leave at 9:40AM, content.

WEDNESDAY, 11/27/13: Get there are 5:20PM and blood pressure is unusually high at 144/88 at 5:26PM. Doctor Gu comes in about 540PM, is quite affable, says that it would be good if Sergeyev could send my last urinary sonogram to him, but says that I should call Doshi (which is closed until Monday, but I can get a 1PM appointment on 12/4) for a bladder sonogram with PVR (pulse volume recording, to see volume of blood through system) and kidney sonogram. He says that 210 ml retention, or about a cup, is abnormal; it should be more like 50 ml. I say I haven’t had problems, many times sleep over eight hours, don’t have problems or pain on urination---he says he’ll have to see my figures to make any recommendations, though he says I have a choice not to have TURP at all.

MONDAY, 12/2/13: Get a second call from Emblem Health about a medical exam by nurses in my apartment. I say I did it before, and it was absolutely not worth my time spent. She said she’d make a note of it.

TUESDAY, 1/21/14: See Dr. Chin at 3PM when place is about to close due to snow. 1) Ask about the throat lump: pharynx infection from spicy food; will be OK in a week: it was OK in a few days. 2) Malaria test? None, but if I’m infected, it should show up in 30 days with fever and chills. 3) Coumadin blood-slip turned in, and I gave blood, but had to phone later for results.

FRIDAY, 1/24/14: Had blood taken for creatinine test at 3PM.

TUESDAY, 2/4/14: 8:25AM: 1) What should I change, if anything, based on Coumadin test on 1/21? 2) What results from creatinine test of 1/31, said to be available on 2/3/14? 3) Can I have a slip for cholesterol series, since I haven’t had one for months? Answered as of 1:43PM: slip IN for cholesterol series, and assistant will call later about results of previous two tests; I said I had to leave at 3:30PM, but he should leave results on phone machine. He called the next day: Coumadin OK, repeat in two months. Creatinine NORMAL at .092; glucose was elevated, but I wasn’t fasting: it should be between 65-135 and mine was 156.

WEDNESDAY, 2/26/14: Keely called from Dr. Chin’s office: [my last recorded readings were 1/4/13, which I’ll put after my CURRENT readings] My total cholesterol reading is 133 [121], LDL is 75 [69], HDL is 35 [34] (should be above 40), triglycerides 115 [100]. Medical-46 includes PRIOR results from 1/7/11: chol 127 LDL 69, HDL 34. Also 6/21/12 readings from Einstein for resveratrol study: BP 107/76, chol 121, LDL 58, HDL 28, trig 100.

TUESDAY, 3/18/14: Give blood for Coumadin check.

WEDNESDAY, 3/19/14: To Grand Opticians for my sclera-capillary red-eye break.

FRIDAY, 3/21/14: Dr. Gu at 8:55AM, get forms for sonogram that I take to Doshi on Montague, scheduling for April 1.

TUESDAY, 4/1/14: Get to Doshi at 9:15AM and drink six more glasses of water, sitting till 10:10AM to be taken for my first scan, bladder bursting. I’m let go pee after the first sonogram, literally peeing for seventy seconds by my watch. Sit in lobby a bit longer and called in for the second scan, AGAIN needing to pee afterwards, telling me I’d better be close to home, because I’ll be peeing again. Second pee in the office lasts just under a minute, and I’m out at 10:53AM.

WEDNESDAY, 4/2/14: To Goldberger at 1:03PM; she was worried about my being worried about her. I’m in chair from 1:05-2:35PM: to 1:33PM with the lower left filling that she said may have had a bit of aerobic bacteria stuck WAY under the crown, but she sealed off the air so they should die a lingering painful death. Then she takes JUST OVER AN HOUR with the canine filling, saying decay went WAY below the gum line, and now she had a better chance to look at the tooth supporting the bridge (the tooth to the right of the canine), and now evaluates 80-20 the decision to PULL the supporting tooth, because sooner rather than later the pressure from the bridge will snap it off, and the canine has a VERY long and sturdy root, and maybe the bridge can be extended to make up for the missing tooth on THAT side. I tell her that the removal of that tooth is psychologically meaningful to me because it will be the EIGHTH tooth extracted, or precisely ONE-QUARTER of my teeth gone, and later that night I find THAT’S wrong because I ALREADY have eight teeth out, and this will be the NINTH, which she said can be in a month, and I double-check with her when the first available Wednesday in May is May 5, a tiny bit OVER a month, and she says that’s OK.

TUESDAY, 4/15/14: Get out late to Dr. Gu’s appointment at 1:30PM, signing in at 1:37PM, but sitting to 2:47PM when I bitch to clerk, and get my blood pressure taken at 2:51PM at a ridiculous 158/95, weighing 202# with clothes and shoes on, and at 3:03PM Dr. Gu comes in, apologizing, saying he hasn’t even had time for lunch, saying appointments were late and he had to keep answering people’s questions. My bladder measurements were 773/261, saying 261 was still highly retentive, but the kidneys and kidney function were OK and I could make another appointment in four months. Out at 3:10PM to make an appointment with Gu at 1PM on Friday, August 22, and told to go downstairs to the Doshi office to make an appointment for my next sonogram there. But he points out that the referral expires in THREE months, and he didn’t want to make it on the LAST day since, if something was wrong with their equipment, they couldn’t reschedule me after the referral expired. So the appointment, on Montague, ended up 10:30AM Tuesday July 8, with directions to take four cups of water an hour before exam and holding bladder, seemingly much BETTER than directions BEFORE to drink 6-8 cups of water RIGHT before exam.

MONDAY, 5/5/14: Have to have blood test before Coumadin refill; give blood.

WEDNESDAY, 5/7/14: Get out to Goldberger! She takes me at 12:57PM, joking about how I’m worried about it, but I actually use the words “You know I love the way you work, so I’m just worried for no reason.” So she deadens me and starts working at 1:20PM by pulling this way, and that way, and the other way, having warned me that there might be a cracking sound as the tooth breaks, which she’s trying to avoid, but maybe she won’t be able to. At one pause she exclaims, “You’re really making me work for my money” as she works and works at the tooth. Then there IS a crack, and she finishes, saying that there’s a tiny piece of a root left, but it would take more trauma than it’s worth to get it out, and it’s too small to cause a problem anyway, and phones to find that it’ll take until next week to mend my bridge, so I get an appointment at 2:30PM next Thursday, being cautioned not to brush tonight, to stay off Coumadin for one more night, not to eat anything with little pips in it, and to use more gauze if there’s leaking.

FRIDAY, 5/9/14: Kerri says Chin says I need a liver sonogram on 5/19.

MONDAY, 5/19/14: , Check in at Doshi for sonogram at 8:25AM, sign forms by 8:51AM, reading more of my New Yorker, and complain at 9:25AM when he says “ten minutes” and again at 10AM, when he says “two minutes.” I’m REALLY pissed, and she finally examines me 10:10-10:34AM, saying results will be on Chin’s charts in 3-4 days.

WEDNESDAY, 5/21/14: Get remodeled bridge from Goldberger: no more red on left side, right has FIVE teeth, a total of eight on the bridge, which fits well.

THURSDAY, 5/29/14: Call from Chin’s office: sonogram OK; see Chin in three months, but can only make appointment about August 25.

SATURDAY, 5/31/14: Bite into licorice---and DISLOCATE gold crown! Bite it back.

TUESDAY, 6/10/14: 11:45AM: Dislodge lower left gold cap! Same from 5/31/14.

THURSDAY, 6/12/14: 11:55AM: Goldberger replaces cap---and doesn’t charge me!

TUESDAY, 6/24/14: 3:15PM: Make cardiology appointment with Dr. Jagger at 2:30PM on July 21 at 447 Atlantic Avenue, Nevins stop on subway.