David Dykstal

Where we are now

So here we are.

Ann is doing really well. She is heading to PT this week with the goal of getting her knee back in shape. She's in the final week of radiation treatment for the cancer. Her prognosis is excellent. There is one wrinkle in all of this which I won't get into, but the prognosis for that is very good as well. Ann is going to be OK.

We celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary last Saturday. I am so privileged to be married to this wonderful woman.

I am doing well too. As Ann gets better so do I. I guess that's one definition of love.

Heart Attack!

The Monday after Easter I had a heart attack. It was just after dinner. Ann and I were watching TV. We had just gotten back that noon from visiting my son in San Antonio for Easter and were catching up on some shows when I could not get comfortable. A mild pain in my upper chest  had reached about mid way down my upper arms. It was not severe but was getting worse. It did not feel like the proverbial "elephant on my chest", but it was enough. I recognized the signs. I told Ann to take me to the ER.

Now the pain was getting bad. The ER saw me right away. Given four baby aspirin. Took ECGs. Nothing unusual. Took blood to establish a baseline for troponin - a protein linked to heart damage. Wait two hours. Another blood sample. Wait for the lab. Troponin levels up slightly. ER doc was suspicious enough to hold me for observation. It was 1:30am. Still not comfortable but in less pain than before. Wait four hours. Another blood sample. Wait for the lab. Troponin levels were now 10x baseline. ECG still normal. Wait some more. Another ECG, still normal. Troponin levels were now 20x baseline. GERD? No, the troponin levels don't make sense. Myocarditis? Could be tied to my recent COVID infection. Heart attack is also a possibility. Doctors ordered a CT scan. It showed a blockage in a coronary artery branch near the bottom of my heart: a heart attack. Immediately transferred to the cath lab for an angiogram. I had been in the ER about 12 hours monitored continuously.

I was mildly sedated. Angiogram took about 45 minutes and went smoothly. A stent was inserted and the artery was unblocked. I felt great again. Admitted to the hospital for overnight observation hooked up to IVs and monitors.

The next morning I received an echocardiogram -- a heart ultrasound. My heart showed no noticeable damage. I am cleared to be discharged.

I now have a new list of medications and a renewed emphasis on losing weight and getting more cardio into my exercise regimen. I began cardiac rehab program.

I am incredibly lucky.

Knee fracture!

The proposed breast cancer treatment was pretty routine and the prognosis was really good. However, Ann was having issues with her knee after a misstep during a workout so she had an MRI. We had scheduled a cruise to Alaska's Inside Passage for early May and all the docs said "go". We went. The day we hit Juneau (and reliable cell service) Ann got a note that her ortho folks were recommending that she be non-weight-bearing due to a knee fracture and meniscus tear. We tried. I bought crutches from the ship's medical unit and managed to grab the last wheelchair on the ship. We still had a great voyage slightly modified.

Breast Cancer!

The day after I was released from the hospital for the heart attack, Ann got a call from our primary physician. Her last mammogram showed a tumor in her left breast. It was small, caught early. More diagnosis needed. More appointments scheduled.

I've been absent for quite a while. Although I've been a faithful reader of my timeline, a lot has been going on. So much that I haven't even been able to write in my daily journal which was unbroken for three years. Deets to follow.

Ann and I are heading to Seattle to cruise the Inside Passage up to Alaska and back. Hope to post some pictures when I can.

I’ve replaced my 7-year-old ebike with a new step-thru model. The ebike is my main commute vehicle in non-winter months. My old bones are going to like the step-thru. Now I just have to wait until late March.

Pulled the trigger on this Diplomat Aero yesterday.

I have yet to find a scheme for general stuff that can take the place of Circus Ponies Notebook. It had pages and sections. Each page was an outline and handled attachments with ease. OneNote sort of comes close but doesn’t quite hack it. Anyone else miss this?

Testing Ulysses

This is a test. It is only a test. Don’t get so worked up about it. :)

Testing some formatting

  • I’ve not posted from Ulysses yet.
  • Let’s see how this works.

Here is some inline code: cd /home/ddykstal.

Here is some code that I use to reformat text in Drafts.

// Get the full text of the clipping as an array of strings
let a = editor.getText().split("\n");
let b = [];
let knownSources = [
    {suffix: " - The Washington Post", source: "The Washington Post"},
    {suffix: " - The New York Times", source: "The New York Times"},
    {suffix: " : NPR", source: "NPR"},
    {suffix: " - POLITICO", source: "POLITICO"},
    {suffix: " | MPR News", source: "MPR News"},
    {suffix: " | Star Tribune", source: "Star Tribune"},
    {suffix: " - StarTribune.com", source: "Star Tribune"},
    {suffix: " | MinnPost", source: "MinnPost"},
    {suffix: " | The Hill", source: "The Hill"},
    {suffix: " | The New Republic", source: "The New Republic"},
    {suffix: " - Washington Times", source: "Washington Times"},
];
let found = false;
// copy from a to b, adjusting the Title: line and adding a Source: line if necessary
for (let i = 0; i < a.length; i++) {
    let line = a[i];
    found = false;
    if (line.startsWith("Title: ")) {
        for (let j = 0; j < knownSources.length; j++) {
            let s = knownSources[j];
            if (line.endsWith(s.suffix)) {
                found = true;
                b.push(line.slice(0, -s.suffix.length));
                b.push("Source: " + s.source);
                break;
            }
        }
    }
    if (!found) {
        b.push(line)
    }
}
// Set the full text of the clipping
editor.setText(b.join("\n"));

Ann bought a new step-through bike today so, of course, that means I had to buy a new bike rack for the truck. 😜

I just bought two Homepod mini’s and set them up in stereo in our condo. These things are great! I’ve got a Sonos setup at home and these are more convenient if you are into the Apple ecosystem.

I keep way too many fountain pens inked up (9). But I can cut back anytime I want. 😂

One thing that is NOT getting a lot of use is the reMarkable 2. I’m a little surprised at that. I’m finding it too single-purpose and find that I’m much more keyboard oriented. I think it has a place for some folks, perhaps just not me.

I’ve been using a new iPad Air while traveling. I’m a little surprised by how much I like using the new keyboard/trackpad. I almost never touch the Apple Pencil.

I’m getting tired of having to learn a whole new set of keyboard shortcuts for every notetaking app I’ve tried; looking at you Roam, Workflowy, Craft, Tinderbox, … I’m swearing you all off and sticking with plaintext. Off in the darkness someone whispers “nvUltra”. SQUIRREL!

I’m off to Florida tomorrow to visit my Dad. I’ll see how he’s doing and do the inevitable tech support. My daughter has been visiting him for the past two weeks and she leaves as I arrive. It wasn’t planned, but we’ll actually meet each other in the airport.

Back at the gym for a solid week now. Slow going and a bit sore at first. To be expected.

I don’t post political content here to keep things civil. However, if you are interested, I do post my left-of-center and somewhat snarky comments to news clippings on my clippings blog. I’m pretty far behind though; there is lots of stuff still in Drafts.

I have this love/hate relationship with desktop linux.

New furnace installed today. The old one (going on 20 years) would stop with a clogged condensate tube every 3 hours. It was time for an upgrade anyway.

I’m beginning to shed apps that take too much mental energy: Roam and Workflowy among them. Give me plain text, a rock-solid RDB, and a modern scripting language instead.

I noticed this artifact on my Big Sur desktop background. Brings new meaning to the phrase “If you believe that I’ve got a bridge to sell you.”

Our new well parts are in and working: controls, new pressure tank, new pump. It feels great to have reliable water again after 2 weeks. It’s easy to take for granted. I can’t help but think now how lucky we are to have this, hundreds of millions of people do not.

The Milky Way is probably full of dead civilizations | Live Science - Very interesting.