Friday, October 11, 2013

Just "stuff"

I haven't had an opportunity to take any new pup pictures this week.  Perhaps I'll get some this weekend when our daughter brings her new puppy to visit our Golden Retriever.  So, as of right now no new pictures, or old ones for that matter, are included here.

It also means I don't have a whole lot to discuss as this year continues to be just about as quiet as a year can be.

I'll bet just about everyone today who has private e-mail accounts, or probably business ones, too, get a whole lot of forwarded messages.  Such messages are, of course, sent all around the country and world from just about everyone sending jokes, pictures, political comments, family stuff, etc., to friends and acquaintances.

There's one I've received from a couple of friends and have seen it on at least two of my friend's Facebook pages that intrigue me.  It is a picture of a whole bunch of grazing baboons.  The headline over the picture says something like, "Do you know what a large group of baboons is called?"  It shows the picture and the answer.  "A whole bunch of baboons is called a congress.  Fitting isn't it?"

Four years ago I had a very intelligent assisting device called an ICD implanted in my chest  It is a combination heart pacemaker and defibrillator and continually monitors my heart to make sure it's working properly.  One time last January it actually saved my life when my heart began beating at over 270 beats a minute.  I really like that device.

My Fearless Friend had one implanted last year, but as far as I know, it hasn't yet been a factor in a life threatening situation.  So, why then do I mention these devices? 

The device comes with a monitor that records all the day's heart activities each night while we're sleeping.  We don't have to connect the two parts as that communication is done via radio waves. Once every three months I have to hold a unit over my heart for a final quarterly reading and then by telephone and modem call the company that provides them to send a report of my activity.  That company simply sends the information to my cardiologist who then reports the results to me.

My friend, though, doesn't do a darn thing as the company calls his monitor in the middle of a scheduled night and simply retrieves the information to send to his doctor.  He doesn't even know it's happening.  Earlier this month I asked my cardiologist's technician why I had to initiate a telephone call, sit there and listen to the squawks and squeals of the telephone modem while the information is being collected and transmitted.

"You don't," he said simply.  Your device will work just like your friend's.  So earlier this week my tech guy had scheduled a reading.  I got a letter telling me of the date but the letter said I didn't have to do anything except be sure the monitor was on and near my bed.  It always is, so that wasn't a problem.

But how, I asked FF, does it work?  He ad libbed some convoluted answer as if he really knew.  My real concern was how he, and now I, slept through all that modem noise.  (If you have been into computing since the early days when the Internet could only be accessed via a telephone, you'll know what I mean about the squawking.)

Well that first night, I didn't sleep through it.  I didn't sleep.  I kept waiting to hear the squawk of Medtronics calling my unit and getting the information.  My friend had told me there was no noise, but I guess I couldn't believe it as surely something connected to a "land line" had to make the noise it has been making ever since 2009. 

FF wasn't putting me on.  All night long, no squawking.  No squealing.  Not even a click.  An orange light on the monitor that always told me it was working during a transmission didn't blink.  When I got up the next morning, I knew it had failed.  I went to the Medtronics' site and into my patient section where a message was awaiting telling me the transmission had been successful. 

The next day I was notified by my doctor's office that all my readings were well within specified limits.

Next time, I'll just go to sleep on the appointed night and trust the thing to do its job.


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