Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Surgery Today!

We got the call yesterday and the IVIG treatment was indeed successful. My immune system in jolly. My platelet count which is usually 60,000 or 65,000 is now above 95,000. Surgery is a go. I will be leaving home at 4:30AM to arrive at the Hershey Medical Center hospital by or before 5:15AM. My guess is that surgery will start about 7:00AN abd will be done by 1:00 in the afternoon.

Watch for a few updates from my parents on my Care Page website while I am in the hospital, which I will be from this morning through this weekend, sometime Friday or Saturday or Sunday. The first could of days I will be mostly immobile, the next couple they will get me out of bed a little, and they will send me home when Physical Therapy sees that I am capable of walking surely and taking a few stairs on my own.


Until later, my friends,
May God bless you and me,

Cultures and Politics and Military and Liberals: A Brief Thought

It strikes me that the Armed Forces are rather their own culture; it is a way of life. Outside of the various Armed Forces branches, we talk about the life of our countries soldiers. In politics. But whether we are conservative or liberal or neither, it seems we don't take the time to try and understand the culture we talk about from its own perspective, but I especially see the liberals make this mistake. Ironically, it is the same mistake - and a legitimate one - that I see pointed out in hindsight mostly by liberals and atheists of conservatives and of Christian missionaries of the past. That they usually failed to try to understand the pagan's own worldview and cultural point of view before they commented and implemented their change, frequently with devastive effects, even though they did make converts and bring some uneven benefits to the society.

Monday, March 08, 2010


Good morning, dear people.
It is the day before surgery, and I-- am not anxious. I am eager for surgery tomorrow. The wait has been long enough I do not see any need to be nervous.

Sometime today, we will receive a call telling us what time my surgery will be tomorrow and what time I need to be at the hospital. We already know it will be early, though, because the surgery is such a long one. I will probably go to the hospital at 5:00 or 5:30 in the morning.

Also today, first thing this morning, I am going to have one more batch of blood drawn locally for a CBC (Complete Blood Count), the results of which will be sent ASAP to Dr. Freiberg at Hershey. This way he can assure that my IVIG treatment affected my counts as desired, and he will give Dr. Armstrong the message that I am indeed all ready for tomorrow's surgery.

I will check in again one more time this evening or tomorrow morning, after which, my parents will post any further updates on my Care Page at:

See you all later.

pax Christi,
--Aaron N.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Christians and Lightbulbs

Q: How many Lutherans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Thirty. One to actually change the bulb, and twenty-nine to say how much they disapprove of change and liked the old one.

Q: How many Pentecostals does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One, since his hands are in the air anyway.

Q: How many Calvinists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. God has predestined where the lightbulbs will be on.

Q: How many youth pastors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Youth pastors aren't around long enough for a light bulb to burn out.

Q: How many Anglo-Catholics does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. They always use candles instead.

Q: How many Evangelicals does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Evangelicals do not change light bulbs. They simply read out the instructions and pray the light bulb will decide to change itself.

Q: How many Atheists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One. But they are still in darkness.

Q: How many TV evangelists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One. But for the lightbulbs to continue to be changed, send in your donation today!

Q: How many campfire worship leaders does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One. But soon all thoses around can warm up to its glowing.

Q: How many conservative Anglicans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Three. One to change it and two to storm out in protest if the person changing it is a woman!

Q: How many missionaries does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Ten. Five to determine how many can be changed by the year 2000, four to raise the necessary funds, and one to go find a native to do the job!

Q: How many Charismatics does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Twenty-one, one to change it, and twenty to share the experience!

Q: How many Baptists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: At least 15. One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and Jell-O desserts.

Q: How many Methodists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Only one, but first the whole church wants to make sure no one will be offended by the change.

Q: How many Southern Baptists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One to change the lightbulb, and 16 million to boycott the maker of the old bulb for bringing darkness into the church.

Q: How many Seventh Day Adventists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: 144,000 with God's seal on their foreheads, giving the
loud cry which will lighten the earth.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Literary Potency

I am reading Ray Bradbury's "Somewhere A Band Is Playing" and "Leviathan '99". These are massive. I may need to take months off reading afterwards just to allow it to sink in. Especially as I was alternating my reading with stints of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Stories" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I just need to throw in a few passages of James Joyce and I will be applied definition of literary potency.

Infusion, or, Another Health Update, or, How One Thousand People Made Aaron Philosophical For A Day

Good morning, dear people,

Yesterday, in accordance with current timetable, I had my long appointment for my immunoglobulin infusion out at Hershey. I had to go for the appointment early because it took most of the day for them to pour a couple pints of what is essentially distilled imunne system antibodies into my veins.

I arrived at pediatric hematology a little before 8:30 in the morning. They took a little awhile for the standard check in, height and weight, blood pressure, temperature, etc. I was given a few pills -- I inconveniently forget -- by the nurse from last time I was there who drew a lot of blood for testing and looked eeriely exactly like one of my classmates at Bethany Lutheran (shout out here to Sarah, now Mrs. L).

I met with Dr. Freiberg, my hematologist. Last time I saw him was for my blood panel and bone marrow biopsy (the interesting story I referred to last update - you can skip this paragraph if it doesn't interest you). He had talked to me extensively and let me look through his three-way teaching microscope at my bone marrow slides afterwards last time. Well, I confused the nurse and medical aides last time by being heavily sedated for the biopsy and yet failing to black out or forget what happened, rather remembering it in detail. I confused myself and my parents and now Dr. Freiberg again, though, and even more by having only my mom's telling of it as evidence of that half hour conversation and lesson from Dr. Freiberg. Evidently the extra-large dose of sedative took about 40 minutes to affect me instead of the 5-ish it should have been. And even with that, reports all agree that I was extremely lucid and intelligent in my conversation with Dr. Freiberg. Yet again I am a medical sport, anomaly.

Back to present story, Dr. Freiberg talked with me a couple minutes and filled out the forms for my appointment. He had a couple of med students in his office, so he called them in to show them how to do a spine curvature screening and to have me explain in detail the spinal fusion surgery I was having to correct and stabilize. That was fun. I have become kind of used to being an applied example of medical schooling and different conditions.

I was walked by a nurse to an infusion room full of comfy chairs and IV machines. It was sad to see because the room had a few young children, including a nine year-old girl I had met in the waiting room, receiving early doses of chemo. I was taken to a different room, though, "the suite", because of the length of my infusion, I presume. There I was able to mostly nap on a couch and rocking armchair during six hours it took for the IVIG infusion. It took that long, longer than anticipated, because the higher infusion rate was giving me severe chills, the cool fluid flowing into my blood system faster than my body raised it to level normal body temperature.

The infusion, I found from personal research, is the distilled antibodies and some plasma from over one thousand blood donations, which ends up as a couple pints of the stuff. Naturally, having one thousand more people flowing in my veins made me very philosophical on the drive home, covering the concepts of how ones blood is their life, their strength, their essence. Though they didn't have the capability of blood transfusions back then, that nature of blood makes having someone's blood in my system very close equivalent and reasoning to having had each one of them save my life and different traditions of life-debt.

That finally done, though, my immune system has its boost. I am told I may have bad headache and fever over the next few days because of it, but it is all good. First thing Monday I will have blood tests taken and sent to Dr. Freiberg so he can give Dr. Armstrong the thumbs-up that it worked and I am ready for surgery.

My mild apologies for this becoming so much longer than I intended.

Keep me in your prayers,
--Aaron Nemoyer