Health updates

I spent Tuesday visiting medical establishments.

I had a follow-up with my excellent hematologist scheduled for 9:20 a.m. and the day started well as I got the best of all possible parking spots at 9:00. Anticipating a wait, I paid for the most parking I could: $4 for two hours.

The first order of business was a donation of two vials of that most precious of bodily fluids, blood. I took a seat in the waiting room with my Child One’s iPod, which has become my most constant companion, although certainly not my most beloved. I listened and waited and waited and listened.

The highlight of my wait was watching two birds soar over Montreal from the west and disappear in the direction of Laval. You get a great view from the seventh floor of the Jewish General Hospital, which is itself on the city’s central hill, Mount Royal. These were big birds I could watch for a long time. They did not glide but flew with powerful strokes. They looked dark with white heads and I’m pretty sure they were bald eagles, which I’ve never seen around here before but whose range encompasses the city.

I waited some more, learning that the blood lab’s computers had crashed and so those patients who’s apppointments relied on blood work would continue to be delayed. Eventually, I was the oldest survivor in the room. My doctor sought me out and explained that I had been waiting the longest – I said I had realized that – and asked if I had to leave. I didn’t, but I did need to feed the parking meter and then could wait some more. So I did.

Finally, my enzyme results came in and the doctor examined me. My liver enzymes are back to normal and my spleen is normal size and tucked into the rib cage again. My lymphocyte counts are still missing, but she gave me a clean bill of health with no limitations. Before I start playing hockey again, though, I need to build up my stamina. I still feel a bit tired, but that’s probably because I keep waking up between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m.

So I’m good – but my day was not through with the medical establishment. The night before, Child Two had stepped on a nail in the garden of a house hosting a graduation party (elementary school). The nail had penetrated deep into her foot and her vaccination record indicated that she received her last tetanus shot in 1998. So off to the CLSC we went.

Apparently, Child Two had fallen behind in a number of other boosters, too, but that might be just faulty record keeping. We ordered a copy of a more official record of her shots but in the meantime the nurse gave her tetanus booster. Child Two was not pleased, but the pain wore off in a day.

That night, my good old, souped-up G4 Mac died irrevocably. It won’t even try to power up. I switched the power cord to make sure that wasn’t at fault and it wasn’t. That indicates one of three problems: either a motherboard battery out of power; a broken power supply; or a fried motherboard. The battery was fine and I have a hunch the problem is the power supply. New and even used power supplies cost as much as it would cost to replace the Mac with an equivalent machine so it makes no sense to try to repair it.

I have a new iMac on the way. I hadn’t realized it before this week, but the top grade of iMac offers the option of a decent video card, so I ordered one. You can only purchase such customized orders online, so I have to wait for it. I had hoped to be able to buy it at Concordia’s computer store or at the Apple store downtown.

It’s a 2.93-GHz 24″ iMac with a 512-MB ATI Radeon HD 4850 and 4 GB of 1066-MHz DDR3 SDRAM.

I also got the free (after rebate) iPod Touch. Total after taxes and rebate is $2,568.52 (Canadian dollars). A bit more than I wanted to spend, but it should last a while. My only bugaboo is that I can’t migrate my users from the old G4 because it won’t boot – I’ll have to install everything from scratch. That might be a good thing, and I’m confident my G4’s hard drives are intact.

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