David Dykstal

Can I say that we all feast on roast beast? Maybe that’s in another month. I do love my roast beast. :)

I haven’t skated in years. There is no way I could do a figure eight now. Of course, I couldn’t do it even when I was skating.

I wake up and realize that OMG it’s almost Microblogvember!

Ann has COVID. We think she got it at the Dublin airport, but no way to be sure of course. Could have been the plane, a restaurant, or a cab just as easily. I’m still negative and testing every so often.

A bit of falconry at Ashford Castle!

Doonagore castle. View from our vacation rental in Doolin Ireland.

The Ross-Errilly Friary outside of Headford Ireland.

A nice lunch stop in Maynooth on the way to our B&B in Kilbeggan.

Arriving in Ireland on Wednesday. Hope to post from there over the next two weeks.

Ireland in 18 days. COVID stay away.

Finished “Simply Gödel”. Brought back memories of studying computability theory in grad school. I might dig out the old books.

Finishing up cardiac rehab today. Feeling great!

Starting Simply Gödel by Richard Tieszen. It’ll be interesting to see how it works as an audiobook. 📚

Finished Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. I had never read it before. Though dated I’m not sure it’s possible to overstate its importance. 📚

Current reading: Allow Me to Retort (Elie Mystal - hardcover), Hidden Figures (Margot Lee Shetterly - paper), Silent Spring (Rachel Carson - audiobook), and The Plantagenets (Dan Jones - ebook).

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.

Dead slash pine in the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness west-central Florida.

📚 Today’s reading: One chapter of Le Guin’s interpretation of the Tao Te Ching, the latest Science News, skimming IBM i Security: Administration and Compliance, an article from the Tampa Bay Times on the death trends for pedestrians on Pinellas county roads.

If I stopped playing so much iPhone solitaire I’d have finished my plan for world domination by now.

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.