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Well, I let 2.5 months slip by here.  Since I last posted, Paige finished her junior year of high school, Dave finally (finally!) saw the liver doctor, summer arrived with an asphalt-melting vengeance, Toby the Dog got his teeth cleaned (and his honking cough got much better), and I did my usual worrying and fretting about The Future.  What else is new?

We put in a garden again this year, after such a roaring success with tomatoes last year.  I say “we” but really, if the garden were my responsibility we would be nibbling on dry husks come fall.  Dave is my Farmer Boy, and he does all of the gardening and yard stuff.  This year he decided to start the plants from seeds.  It was, to me, kind of late in the year to be making this industrious decision (the last week of April) and I was skeptical.  I envisioned tiny, spindly plants under the glare of the July sun, while our neighbors tended to their waist-high robust tomato garden.

I was wrong, okay?  Really, I have no clue where plants or gardening is concerned.  I made Dave show me (nay, involve me) in the process, because I really had no idea how to go about growing a plant from a seed.  I guess I would grab some dirt from the yard, stick it in a Dixie cup and toss in some seeds?  Dave did grab Dixie cups, but he also grabbed coffee filters.  (Wha?)  We got the filter damp, spread seeds on one side, folded it up just so, and tucked the whole thing into the Dixie cup.  We labeled the cups (rosemary, thyme, basil, two kinds of parsley, cherry tomatoes and Roma tomatoes) and then I promptly forgot about them.  I don’t even know if Dave watered them.  (I just asked, and not only did he moisten them with an eyedropper, he did it with rainwater.  And he talked to the plants.  I love this man.)

Every now and then I would peek at them and yay, sprouts!  Dave transplanted them into slightly larger containers with dirt, gave them some time out in the sun, and I sat around doubting their ability to grow big enough fast enough.  And now?  Those suckers are huge.  They are out in the garden, or in pots (in the case of the herbs) flowering and growing away.  They kick the neighbor’s tomatoes asses.  I like to step out on the deck and look over the side at the garden and marvel that those huge plants were teeny little sprouts just 2 months ago.  Talk about satisfaction.

It’s time to find recipes involving lots of basil (seriously, we have many basil plants and I will be upset if they go to waste), lots of tomatoes, and lots of peppers (we cheated and bought already-started pepper plants).  It’s a good thing I’m Italian, isn’t it?  Unfortunately for Dave, he’s heading into a month of gastrointestinal testing for his GERD and hiatal hernia, and guess what he’s supposed to avoid?  Tomatoes.

More for me!!  😉

Rock the Boat

Dave decided to shake things up a bit, and he called the VA yesterday to get the results of his endoscopy.   He’s never done this before; I wasn’t even sure they would give him the results over the phone.  Unlike the other tests he’s had, though, these results really mean something to him.  He’s tired of taking Prilosec and Tagamet and getting no relief; he really wants this surgery and he wants it soon.

There is no cancer (yay!!) but he does have gastritis and a large hiatal hernia.  He was sure he had the hernia so he was feeling really validated by that finding.  Dave was pretty upbeat and excited when he got off the phone, because things are moving ahead for the surgery that will hopefully put an end to his coughing and need for the medicines.

First, though, he has some other things to get out of the way.  They noticed he was waiting for the liver biopsy to be scheduled, so they decided to get that done before his next visit with his hepatologist (liver doc).  I was watching the captioning scroll by on the CapTel phone, and I swear I saw that he had an appointment with the hepatologist on Feb. 14.  Valentine’s Day!  On top of that, they scheduled the liver biopsy for Feb. 2, which is our nine year wedding anniversary.  Geez, are they trying to squash all the romance for us?!  😉

He’s got another hematology visit on Jan. 26 – this is the routine bloodwork and doctor visit to make sure the leukemia isn’t coming back (this was the test that uncovered the low platelets at the end of last year).  Dave goes for these visits every couple of months or so.

Then he has the liver biopsy on Feb. 2, and he should get the results when he sees the liver doctor (possibly on Feb. 14, but we aren’t sure because he hasn’t gotten any paperwork or official notice of that appointment yet).  This should tell the doctor the extent of damage (if any) to his liver, so he can get started on the proper treatment for Hepatitis C.

Somewhere in there, he has to get a test that will tell the gastrologist how much acid his stomach is producing.  I think it involves swallowing something – a quick online search leads me to believe it’s possibly the Heidelberg Capsule Test, because Dave mentioned swallowing something that would test the acid level in his stomach, but afterward he would just, uh, pass it naturally and they wouldn’t be retrieving it or anything.  (gack!!)  I think this is the last test he has to get before they will (hopefully) schedule him for the fundoplication surgery.

So, the news is pretty good so far, and thanks to Dave rockin’ the boat a bit, his medical journey is progressing a bit faster now.

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