Park Logic 101… Again…

Spent the day in The Park with Mom for medical follow up.  We met “Robo Doc” to see if she is a candidate for “robotic assisted laparoscopic bypass”, which would be much less invasive than traditional bypass surgery. 

Alas, no robots – she passed the pulmonary function test, but since one lung must be deflated for “robo-bypass”, Robo-Doc (who is just as cute as a tall, scrawny, geek button) said that with her pulmonary hypertension, it would put too much stress on her heart.  It shall be traditional double bypass.

My regular readers might remember my last run in with Park Logic.  Today?  Another Park Logic Moment:

Robo-Doc said the biggest risk during bypass is pneumonia, driving the 4-5% possibility of fatality from the procedure.  Her chance of getting pneumonia more than doubles if she keeps smoking* before/after the surgery – so Robo Doc virtually demanded that she quit smoking for 2 weeks prior to surgery.  That meant no smokes starting today since she’ll need to be cut soon.

He prescribed Chantix. She immediately raised concerns about side effects, based only on info she’s seen on television.  “That stuff messes with your brain, doesn’t it?”.  He explained that it satisfies the craving without the nicotine, that he’s had many patients successfully quit using the drug, and that he felt the side effects were less threatening than those from smoking prior to surgery. 

In the car, as we headed to fill the prescription, she started whining about not wanting to deal with Chantix – the strange dreams (one potential side effect) would drive her batty**.  i helpfully pointed out that the side effect of smoking was that it jacked her chance of complications (including death) from bypass to over 10%.

Thinking “Woo-Hoo!  Take that!  Logic rocks!”

At the pharmacy, we learned that this particular drug is not covered by her new insurance plan.  Mom suggested we head home and call Robo-Doc back to see if he had a Plan B.  Thinking quickly despite the lack of sleep and caffeine, i asked the pharmacy tech “how much?”.  $117.62.  My charge card was out in a flash, drugs in my hand and we were on our way before Mom could finish her protest statements. 

She offered to pay me back, but of course i declined.  And again being the helpful daughter that i am, grinned at her and said “Besides, now you’ll feel guilty if you don’t use this stuff.  Paybacks are hell, ain’t they Momma?” 

Thinking “SLAM! DUNK! I am a logic MACHINE!” 

Still complaining about the cost of the demon medication, i once again went to my Big Bag O’Logic and reminded her that she spent $160 on four cartons of cigarettes the last time i took her to the cardiologist. 


We headed out for a late breakfast before i took her home.  i was feeling pretty good, having scored some serious logic points.  Ordering a healthy breakfast (Egg Beater omelette, fruit instead of fried potatos, english muffin instead of gravy/biscuits), Mom went for her usual:  Two eggs, basted in butter, 3 slices of bacon, 2 biscuits with a bowl of sausage gravy.  Yes.  i said “Bowl”.  i said “Gravy”.  When asked about the breakfast potatos, she said “I’ll skip those – the doctor said I need to start watching the fat in my diet”.


* Mom has been smoking for roughly 65 years.  Current rate is about 3 packs/day.  On her “pulmonary function test” results, amongst the demographic stats such as age, weight, etc. was a note: “98 Pack Years”.  Something akin to “Dog Years” i suspect.  i’m surprised it was that low… she must have lied…

** i get “Nyquil Psychosis” after dosing myself for 3 days.  i start to have amazing dreams – sometimes “Hostel”-like mad slasher flicks, sometimes hallucinogenic road trips!  Almost makes me look forward to going to bed when i’ve got a head cold!

Park Logic

Yet another day in The Park taking Mom to her cardiologist, the lovely Dr. M.  Prior to determining next steps – double bypass or not – Mom will need additional tests done over the next couple weeks before meeting with a surgeon in April.

When we last left The Park, the heart catheterization revealed that Mom has a substantial blockage in her left main artery.  Although it wasn’t immediately life threatening, the doctor recommended that we move quickly to clear the blockage.  Mom is at a higher risk of heart attack, and due to the location of the blockage, the likelihood of fatality from a cardiac event is high.

Do the people who (in theory) share my genetics understand that this means Mom does not need additional stress or trauma?  Apparently not…

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Fourth and Park

Another blast from the past.  A Fourth of July Picnic in the Park – reconstructed from rabid e-mails discussions with friends as i processed the days events. 

DQ, my niece, lives next to Mom.   She divorced her first husband after he was sentenced to 4 years in prison.  At the age of 33, she had become engaged to a hardworking 19 year old man, BJ. 

BJ is a member of a wealthy construction family.  This is, of course, the sole reason my niece wriggled her way into his family – entrapping him and convincing him that she was the love of his life.*  He is a hardworking man, and has done wonders with their house.  He has also been a very good father for DQ’s 13 year old daughter, DQ, Jr. 

DQ and BJ hosted their first 4th of July barbeque, bringing both families together in preparation for their September nuptials.** They worked hard to be good hosts.   BJ fussed over Mom, and kept her in Budweiser, bratwurst and clean ashtrays.  There were probably 30-40 people milling around.  I went to be polite and supportive, but given the choice, i’d have rather been handing out K-Y Jelly in a maximum security prison shower room….

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