just say no to dementia

Guest Authour: Jim

I thank God for each day that my brain still works.  That allows me to create both new short and long term memories. Here are but two streams of thought:

1. Out for the morning exercise routine today at sunrise. The selection today  is the high altitude jog…not the same as the sea level jog…but my 7000+ft elevation stamina is increasing.  On one turn a 10 year old kid decides to jog alongside which is cool except I got the impression he thought I was going too slow and he could do better…so the competitive old man in me cranked it up a gear just to keep my pride intact.  Five minutes later, I hear footsteps from a runner behind me.  For a second I was on the lookout for a 10 year old kid but instead I get the loping grace of a 20+ year old dude in an official looking Kenya jacket torching me…can you say Olympic athlete in training?  I enjoyed my fleeting brush with celebrity.  Cranking it up one gear did not help in this scenario and I am a 3 gear machine.  Fare well muchacho.

So then my thoughts go to two books about the Olympics that I ate up (read and reread) when I was Hannah and Madelyn’s age.  Lots of stories about Kenyan runners and their success in the larger of the two anthologies…the second book was predominantly about the Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympics, a big section of which was about the American Ice Hockey team that won the Gold that year in a major upset….and that is how I got to thinking about where I was when Mike Eruzione beat Vladimir Myshkin from the R face off circle about the 8th minute of the third period to put the USA ahead.  A warm memory from 1980.  Al Micheal’s “Do you believe in miracles?” ringing in my mind.

One jog, one stream of consciousness, one blush of warmth from my youth.

2. This weekend I am doing medical rounds but also am on anesthesia call as I give relief to the main anesthesia nurse provider here, a skilled man named Thomas.  I got called for a man with some serious machete injuries to tendons in his L wrist — after some scrambling to get somebody to turn on the main switch that allows anesthetic gases to flow to the machines (who turns that one off anyway?) and some rummaging around to find the meds and supplies I need (a place for everything and everything in its place is not a dictum here), I am feeling safe and put Paul off to sleep for a 3 + hour journey through general anesthesia.  Half way thru a C-section comes calling and they are not waiting for the original case to end.  So Paul gets topped up on a few key ingredients and I switch on autopilot and off I go to the 2nd theatre to give a spinal for Cynthia.  Back and forth for the next 45 minutes as I experience for the first time concurrent anesthestics.  Not considered optimal to play dueling anesthetic banjos but you do what you do here.  Another first in my life.  Late tonight, peds nurses want me to restart IV’s on the ward on little ones who are complicated and fragile in health and cannot seem to keep IVs functional for more than a day – the tissues are so irritable.  Two of us try and fail initially but finally get an external jugular vein iv on the one youngster who truly needed a replacement — quite a day.

The memories are precious.


3 thoughts on “just say no to dementia

  1. Sounds very busy with loads of new experiences. I wonder what the next few weeks may bring. Can’t wait to hear more!

  2. Ahh! too many things to know and so many things to juggle if the number of docs to help is on the low side. I remember it well. Praying for you, for wisdom and moments of rest.

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