Monday, March 31, 2008

No budget yet (5:45), but interesting day!

Edited Tues. A.M.: Maine has a new balanced budget, all signed, sealed and delivered. The Legislature then pulled the gimmick I mentioned a few days ago and adjourned. The governor is calling them back into Special Session this morning. More later. G.D.

Before this is done, I might be able to tell you the final outcome of the state’s race with the clock to close a nearly 200-million dollar revenue shortfall in its budget. The two parties and both houses on the Legislature were at an impasse when the Legislature shut down for the weekend. Early reports today indicated a new deal had been crafted and is being debated in both houses today. If a compromise isn’t completed today, Gov. John Baldacci will put in place spending restrictions of his own.

Added just before posting: The Maine House hasn’t yet completed its work on the budget and then it has to go back to the Senate. Observers believe it will be passed by midnight so that Governor can’t get his hands on it. No matter what happens, this revised budget is nothing more than a massive April Fool’s Joke. If passage takes place before I head off for the night, I’ll update this; otherwise, I’ll have some of my reaction tomorrow.

This has been one of those “hurry up and wait” days for me. The main event on the schedule was my annual CT scan to make sure the numerous stents that have been implanted in me weren’t leaking and to be sure I haven’t developed any new little bubbles like the aneurysm that burst a few years ago.

The scan itself doesn’t take too long, but this year there was a little twist. Blood work last week indicated that my kidney function was decreasing so my neurologist didn’t want to take any chances with the CT Scan. You see, they inject a dye type substance during the test and it relies on the kidneys to flush it out. Less than normal kidneys don’t like the job.

So, I had to have an hour’s worth of IV therapy before the Scan and another hour’s worth after the Scan to do the flushing. Sometimes an hour lasts only 60 minutes. Today it was much more than that, I think. At least the therapy place has a TV in each of its stations and I had taken a book to read. Nevertheless, the hour seemed endless.

Then I had to go to another part of the medical complex for the Scan. One thing about the scan is that stuff that gets injected. It creates a very warm and fuzzy feeling in certain parts of the body.

After the scan I had to return to the IV section for another hour of injections. That hour was about twice as long as the first one.

All this stuff is rather routine. But there’s one little aspect that adds some drama to it. You see, I take what I affectionately call, a pee pill each day. Especially in the morning, I need to visit a little relief room about every half hour or 45 minutes. Between a required 20 ounces of water and being hydrated by IV was a very interesting, sometime painful, sometimes “Ahhhhh” for three and a half hours or so. Thankfully, the medical complex had nearby “service stations.”

I must say, every staff member in the IV Therapy section and every staff member in the radiology section of the Maine Medical Center Scarborough Campus was a super person. And today’s IV needle person was absolutely one of the best. I never once felt that needle, even when it was breaking through my skin.

Now I’m waiting for next week when I have a day with the neurologist to learn how it all came out.


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