Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Trach Change

Today I went to UCSD Medical Center to see Dr. Harrel for a routine trach change and bronchoscopy. The trach slid in smoothly and the broncoscopy showed no scar tissue problems. This is good since I have had so much trouble in the past with scar tissue obstructing my trach. I always feel good when there are no problems. In February the doctor tried four different trachs before he found the right fit (see blog post of 2/12/2008). It turned out my original type of trach was the best trach for me. So today there was no experimentation with trachs. He put in the same type of trach. I made it clear that I wanted the same trach. Why fix it if it isn't broken? I will go back in July for my next trach change.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Yesterday I went to see a cardiologist for the first time. I had never felt the need to see a cardiologist because I never had any heart issues. This is unusual since Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy affects the heart. I guess I have been lucky. But, since I am nearing 40 and have DMD, I felt that I should have the ticker checked out. I went to UCSD/Thornton Hospital in La Jolla for my appointment with Dr. Rasinghani. When I got there I was given an EKG and then the doctor came in to examine and talk with me. The EKG results were not a cause for concern to him. That was good to hear. But, an EKG only gives part of the picture. To get a closer look at my heart, the doctor ordered an echocardiogram. I will go in on May 1 to have it done. I feel that it won't reveal any problems. Nonetheless, I will be relieved to get it done for my own piece of mind. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Last night (4/8) I went with my nurse, Ernie to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in concert at the Honda Arena in Anaheim. When I heard that he was on tour with The E Street Band, I had to get tickets. I was dissappointed that he was not coming to San Diego, but Anaheim is only about an hour and a half drive away. This was a concert I couldn't pass up. The drive up went very smooth; there was not much traffic. I listened to Bruce Springstreen on the way up to get me psyched up for the show. At the arena, we found a parking spot close to the entrance. An attendant led us past the crowds waiting to go through security before entering the arena and took us through a less crowded entrance to get in. Once inside we were ushered to the elevator and went up to level 4 where our seats were. My seats in the wheelchair section were very good; Ernie had a seat next to me. I was somewhat high up, but I could see the whole stage. There was also a videoscreen for some great closeups of the action. As we waited for the show to start we watched the people trickle in. It was great seeing people of all ages from teens to 60 year olds attending the show.

The show started late. I could feel the excitement and anticipation building as the wait lengthened. Finally, the lights in the arena went out and a steady roar arose from the crowds and chants of Bruce! Bruce! could be heard. The darkness was broken by a single spotlight which shone on a white calliope organ which rose from the back of the stage. It played some carnival music. At this point, the excitement was unbearable. Finally, the carnival music stopped and the calliope organ lowered back down. The stage lights came on and the crowd roared as the song Thunder Road blared from the speakers. Then without stopping they played Radio Nowhere, Lonesome Day, Gypsy Biker, Murder Incorporated, Magic, Atlantic City, Candy's Room, Reason to Believe, Prove It All Night, Because the Night, She's the One, Livin' in the Future, The Promised Land, and Brilliant Disquise. Next he played The Ghost of Tom Joad with Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine. It was followed by Last to Die, Long Walk Home, Badlands, and Out in the Streets. Bruce and his bandmates gathered on the stage to bow. The cheering continued even after the band left the stage and the incessant chant of Bruce! Bruce! Bruce! could be heard. Bruce and his band returned for an encore. They performed Meeting Across the River, Jungleland, Born to Run, Dancing in the Dark (a six-year-old girl was brought up on stage to be his dancing partner), and ended with the rousing American Land. As I left the arena I felt elated. I had just seen a great concert.

This was my first time to see Bruce Springsteen in concert. I had always heard that he put on a great show. I was not dissappointed. I was amazed by the energy shown by the 58 year old Springsteen and his band. They performed for close to three hours without any breaks. From start to finish they played one great song after another. The drumming of Max Weinberg, guitar playing of Steven van Zandt, and sax playing of Clarence Clemmons, made for a great compliment to Bruce. The show went by too fast. It was well worth the expense.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Olympic Torch Relay Fiasco

I am saddened to see the disruptions of the international Olympic torch relay. The International Olympic Commitee (IOC) may cancel the rest of it. The international torch relay has become a nice tradition. It symbolizes good will among man, and is not a forum for politics. I can understand the anger towards China over the unjust occupation of Tibet, but there are other forums for protest; the Olympics is not the right one. I am also bothered by talks of boycotts of the Beijing games. The atheletes give it their all to be a part of the games, and for their country to deny them this chance because of politics completely goes against the spirit of the olympics, and denies them their chance to shine. I was against the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow games, the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles games, and I would be against a boycott of the Beijing games. The Olympics should transcend politics. We should let China enjoy it's moment in the sun and push politics aside for the sake of the games.