Changing Course

I thought I had better get out a journal soon, as there are things to share and I did not want them to go by the wayside.

First on the list is the latest on “How the Heart Beats”. Nora and I did travel to Wausau on Sunday and spent the night so that it would be easy to arrive at the hospital at 6:30 in the morning for my procedure. I did get in about 2 hours later than I was suppose to, but mainly due to the fact that my veins got really beat up from the chemotherapy I received as a child. So starting an IV can be a bit of a challenge, even to the most experienced medical professional. They did get one of the two going, so they wheeled me into the cath lab, gave me some silly juice and got the other going and then got the catheter inserted into my arm. 

The first thing they do is to get a good look at things and determine the best course of action. Unfortunately in my case that course of action was to pull the catheter out and call it a day. It was determined that the blockages were occurring in a manner that they did not feel comfortable going in and fixing. A bummer, but I also appreciate their recognition of the situation and not a need to be heroes. It was their opinion that to fix things, I would need to have another open heart surgery. Their thoracic surgical team reviewed things and also made the determination that they were not prepared to perform that surgery either.

So my case has now been referred to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and I am just waiting to hear back from them to know the what and when of what’s next. I believe the three options range from as simple as them doing the stent work, to cracking me open and putting me on bypass for a third time, to the most extreme of getting a transplant. At this point, I am hoping for option one. Right now, with my current knowledge of things, my second choice would actually be number 3, as a “new” heart would make me feel like new again, even though it would be more risky than option number 2. So we shall see what Mayo says.

The weather was quite nice on both Sunday and Monday up here, although it was even nicer in Wausau where Nora and I were. Yesterday was significantly colder and windier, but the sun was out, which made it OK to be out, especially if you could get out of the wind.

It was decided that Nora, Grace and I would head to a friends beach so that the girls could do some beach combing.  They both really enjoy looking for the treasures that Lake Superior has decided to give up. Some of the more memorable have been pieces of china. It then makes us wonder where it came from. A cup or plate that somehow fell overboard, or perhaps from one of the ships that Lake Superior claimed in one of her many gales.

On the subject of gales, the Lake was in the midst of one when we were at the beach. We were on the leeward side of the peninsula, so the lake was quite calm along the shoreline, but looking out into the lake, whitecaps were forming and I could only imagine how things were out in the middle of the lake. While I did not get a clear picture, the sight of a lakes freighter heading for the shelter of Keweenaw Bay did send the message that it was rough! I brought up an app on my phone to see which ship it was and saw that it was the Ojibwa. Also showing up on the map, taking shelter in Bete Gris were three other ships and two more looked to be heading to take shelter on the east side of the peninsula, including the Paul Tregurtha, the “Queen of the Lakes”. 

I brought up the intended course for the Ojibwa and it showed that it was planning to head through the Portage Lake Waterway, so the girls and I scrambled into the vehicle to head the 1/2 mile or so to the south entry at White City to watch it come through. As we neared the entry, I fully expected to see it entering the waterway, but did not. Once we got to the breakers that protect the south entry, we saw the ship sitting off shore. It turns out that it had dropped anchor and was going to spend the night huddled off shore.

It did weigh anchor early in the morning, along with the others and resumed it’s journey to Thunder Bay from the Soo. It’s funny how we can see so many freighters each shipping season, yet get so excited every time we see one passing by. It would have been a huge thrill to watch it go through the waterway!

The strong winds of yesterday brought down cold air from the far northern reaches of Canada and that ended up touching off some snow showers in the early morning hours. I opened the door at 4:15 to head to work and was surprised to see a half inch or so of new snow had fallen! It was still snowing pretty good as I took the short walk to the shop and must have ended shortly after, as there was not much additional accumulation when I headed back to the house to take my breakfast break.

So I guess that about covers it for this one. I am not sure when I will write next, but will be sure to keep you all posted on the latest of “How the Heart Beats”!

Good Night From the Keweenaw..