04 October 2007

Hip + related medical stuff

Trip to Mackay today: the surgeon says I'm doing very well. I walked in without using a cane or crutch, so I suppose that helped. We filled out the paperwork for the next operation, so that's all organised for 6 November. This time we'll stockpile only 2 units of blood instead of 3, and the surgeon has agreed that unless I really, really need the blood, I won't get it back (because of the bad reaction I had last time). He thinks I might have had a reaction to one of the additives; the risk of another bad reaction isn't worth it for a routine transfusion. I had gone in prepared to argue that point rather strongly, but I'm very glad that I didn't need to. I also mentioned the muscle cramps I've been having intermittently in the operated leg, and he said (a) that's normal and (b) his recommended treatment is to drink tonic water, the kind with quinine in it (he said many brands remove the quinine, so I need to check the label). I said "I suppose I shouldn't be too generous with the gin" and he laughed. Lastly, I asked about the edema in my left knee and he said (a) that's normal, (b) be patient as it will eventually go away and (c) pressure stockings might help. We had quite a long chat about this and that, because his next appointment had cancelled so he had plenty of time. For example, we talked about how much people differ in their reactions to chemicals. He said he had always disbelieved the idea that food dyes caused behavioural problems in children -- until one of his own children showed unmistakable symptoms that could be correlated precisely with comsuming certain processed foods and soft drinks. His other child shows no symptoms whatsoever from eating or drinking the same items. Afterwards Eric and I stopped at the blood bank to drop off paperwork, and I chatted with the head nurse there about my reaction to the transfusion last time. She showed us the list of additives used in their blood storage packets; Eric will be looking them up on the Internet later. After that, we went to the store in Mackay that sells Apple computers, so Eric could look at the new 24-inch iMac. It has a shiny, very reflective screen, which he doesn't think he'll like.