Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Jake had previously tested positive for BK virus, which is fairly common in the population but which poses a problem when you're immuno-suppressed. His creatinine numbers are up this week, so they want to take another biopsy to see if he's rejecting, etc. If he needs an anti-viral treatment, we may be in the hospital a while because that's a pretty serious IV-administered medicine. I need to talk to the docs, because my view is that all of this can be done, if necessary, at home instead of Gainesville.
Jake has been stalking some pretty serious (and expensive) Yu Gi Oh decks on ebay. I told him that we can't bid on them because we need to save that kind of thing until we need an in-hospital distraction. He agreed. There's a t-shirt for sale on one of the sites that says "My deck costs more than your car." That's an exaggeration for most cars, but a "Lightsworn" deck costs several hundred dollars.
I only brought one laptop with me for this trip, because we weren't expecting the detour. If it lasts, I may "need" to buy another one. That always gives me some editorial fodder.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I keep passing a billboard on the drive to work for Randy Pausch’s “Final Lecture”. This is the “Final Post” – same sentiment but drastically different circumstances.
We spent the weekend at Jen’s parents’ house in Fernandina Beach. Jake went swimming and boogie-boarding twice a day, and got to see his cousin Mia and Uncle Frank. He’s looking good and he’s feeling good. I’d say that he’s recuperated.
While walking to the coffee shop this morning, I was thinking how truly blessed we’ve been. From the deep lows at the beginning of this journey, we never lost hope or love for each other and our friends and family. That love has paid off, and we spend each day with a rare gift – a conscious recognition of how blessed we are each and every day.
Thank you for all your love and support. You can friend me at http://www.facebook.com/larrysilv for all the latest updates. I’ve also set up the new Silverman Family blog at www.larrysilv.blogspot.com, so you can keep up with our travels, my consumer rants, and all the other minutiae.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
My Mom has been in town all weekend, so he had a chance to spend some time with her. Yesterday we went to another Yu Gi Oh tournament, where he won his first round match, lost his second, and got knocked out in the quarterfinals (although it was very close). He's been talking Yu Gi Oh non-stop. He looks and feels good. I'll post some pictures tomorrow (the camera's memory card isn't compatible with the laptop that lives on the couch, an I'm too lazy to hook up a usb cable tonight).
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Consumer plug - Bought an Acer H213H 21.5" LCD monitor for 160.00 at BJ's Warehouse club yesterday. If your computer can put out a 1920x1200 signal, it's awesome. It also has an HDMI input so you can use it as a small TV.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Jake had a great time at his Yu Gi Oh tournament. I was really worried about it, because (1) I didn't know how he would deal with losing; and (2) I didn't know how well he would do.
He lost his first round pairing to a 17 year old kid in a tiebreaker round. He lost the first duel, won the second, and barely lost the tiebreaker. The whole tournament had to stop because Jake's round took much longer than the others, and they had to wait for a winner. The fact that it took a long time was attributable to the closeness of the duels, not Jake's age or relative inexperience.
Jake lost his second round fairly quickly to a 16 year old who had a deck Jake hadn't seen before.
He was in very good spirits, and had no problem losing. He was also a good winner in the duel he won. It was neat to see him talking about Yu Gi Oh issues with the older players.
It looks like we'll be doing this every Saturday afternoon. He's now officially registered in the national ranking system.
That's Jake in the yellow shirt.
We're going to a Romanian restaurant this evening ("Transylvania"), so that should be fun.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Jen and I are going to try adult date night again tonight.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
He fought-off the anesthesia as long as he could. He tried holding his eyes open with his fingers, and he still can't figure out why that didn't work. As an educated consumer, he asked the doctor (right before falling asleep) how many times she'd done this procedure before.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Pics to come later today.
Jen and I had a chance to go out for a quick anniversary dinner last night while Jake was at his friend's house.
It's taking some time for Jake and Jen to get out of their Gainesville routine and back into our Miami routine. Part of the problem is going from our empty and efficient Gainesville apartment to our full and cluttered house. We spent Friday evening trying to throw away all the expired food to make room for new food. It is nice being able to box up all the weird kidney food.
Being home on a normal schedule allowed me to get in an 8 mile run yesterday and a 55 mile ride today.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I'll be driving back to Gainesville in the afternoon (in my big pimpin' Toyota Yaris rental), and we should be driving back to Miami tomorrow.
Jake is tentatively scheduled to have his catheter removed next Thursday at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. We hope that he won't have to be admitted for an overnight stay to recover from that procedure. Once that's done, he can take real baths, swim, go skydiving, practice bullfighting, etc.
I thought we'd be done with big medical expenses, but I have to go to the orthodontist next week and I may need braces. I'd been proud of my ability to handle stress, but I've been grinding my teeth (or so I thought). It turns out my jaw is now misaligned to one side. Could be stress, could be the physical beatings I take when somebody in the car sees a punchbug.
Got the new camera body in the mail, so once I finish reading the 300 page manual I can post higher-resolution pictures that you won't be able to notice because blogger compresses everything.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I haven't decided whether to continue the post-return updates on this blog, or whether to start a new one for a new chapter. "Jacob's Bar Mitzvah Blog"? "Larry's Mid-life Crisis Blog"? "Jen's American Idol Analysis Blog"? The possibilities are endless.
I'm in a mediation all day. I haven't watched the Tour today, but am looking forward to it later. Go Lance! My fantasy Tour team is already in the toilet.
However, I just received an Order setting a federal trial for Monday morning, so I need to work this weekend. Now the plan is to drive up to Gainesville Thursday evening, pack up the apartment, and drive back on Friday morning. I'll need to buy a beaded seatcover to keep my butt from going numb. I can reuse it when I drive a cab on weekends. At least the family will be back in Miami for the weekend.
I just ordered my first digital SLR camera (Pentax, so I can use all my lenses), so I may start linking to family photos posted on Picasaweb (or Flickr, or Snapfish, or Kodak Gallery, or something like that).
Jake's doing well. No test results yet from yesterday's clinic visit. Jen's doing well, too. Last night was another Melting Pot visit with Lauren, so all the dirty clothes probably smell like Melting Pot.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Just for archival accuracy, this picture is from today and the other pictures are from yesterday. We needed to make sure that we killed enough time, so we made sure to emphasize need for multiple coats of paint. Jen has a real knack for painting, which is surprising given her shaky-hand tendencies.
We're having a very nice weekend in Fernandina Beach. Yesterday it was over 100 degrees, so we needed to play inside during the day. We ended up going to paint your own ceramic studio in "downtown" Fernandina Beach with Jen's brother Frank and Jake's two cousins Mia (the younger one) and Dory (the older one). They had a lot of fun. It was a little cooler today, but it was still too hot to do much during the day. We decided to do the same thing as yesterday, and it was still fun. The ceramic studio is about half the price of what they charge in Miami (which means that we ended up buying twice as much stuff), but they don't sell artisan cupcakes here. Like all southern resort towns, a downtown trip usually involves a fudge purchase. I'm still on my diet, but it's hard.
I ran yesterday and biked today. The mornings have been beautiful, as long as you get inside by 9:30.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I’m back in the Fort Lauderdale Airport waiting for a flight back to Jacksonville. Jake had his clinic today, and his creatinine level was .92. In other words, he’s where he’s been. The docs want us to stay “just one more week”, so we’re planning to go home next weekend. We’re stowing away all long weekend at the in-laws' house on Fernandina Beach (just like the last two weekends), and Jake’s cousins will also be there.
Somebody asked what creatinine levels mean. Creatinine is the flotsam (or jetsam, if you’re on a crazy exercise routine) that floats around in your blood as a result of the normal process of muscle breakdown. It is normally fished out by the kidneys. If the levels are too high, that means your kidneys aren’t filtering well. The typical level for “men” is .7 to 1.2. I don’t know what the typical level is for “very young and very skinny men”.
I had anticipated that the family would be coming home this weekend, so I made a bunch of work appointments for the upcoming week and RSVP’d “no” for my firm’s annual retreat on Tuesday at a country club in Scarsdale. Oh well. Since this is my last bachelor weekend, I have to wean myself off my “Lord of the Flies” lifestyle. I had a tub of hummus for dinner last night, because that’s what was left in the refrigerator. [I think it was hummus, but it could have been really old cream cheese.] Either way, it was low carb.
The nation should be able to rebound from the sorrow of Billy Mays’ untimely death last week, because the news is now out that Kevin Jonas is engaged. I hope the ceremony is soon, because he and I took vows to wear our promise rings until he got married, and my finger is turning green.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The new plan would be for Jake and Jen to drive to Jacksonville on Thursday night, and I would fly up there on Thursday night and fly back on Sunday. Jake would go back to clinic on Monday morning, and if that goes well I'll drive up later in the week.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
A very nice weekend. Jake had an excellent time with his grandparents, and really didn’t want to go home. He had a blast on the beach Saturday night. We give him freedom to do what he wants (the beach is empty), and he ended up making drawings in the wet sand that were five blocks long. My rule is that I let him walk as far as he wants, as long as I can still discern the color of his bathing suit from towel basecamp. He still can't get his catheter wet. Once we're home (hopefully next week), we'll have it removed.
We went to see Star Trek (which was awesome). Jake thought it was too violent, so he had Jen take him out after five minutes.
I ran for 90 minutes on Saturday morning and went for a long bike ride along the Jacksonville coast this morning. It’s very pretty in the morning, before it gets unbearably hot..
Friday, June 26, 2009
Blogging is easiest when I have down time somewhere that has ample wi-fi. Of course it's hard when the blog is supposed to be about Jake and Jen and there are no actual status updates since a substantive post four hours ago. On the other hand, I may have purchased a pack of gum or seen a shiny object, and I can narcissisticly presume everybody else is as enthralled in these things as I am. More importantly, my two choices right now are (1) update the blog, or (2) listen to TV coverage of Al Sharpton talking about Michael Jackson's death. I choose option one - although I think I voted for Al Sharpton in the Democratic presidential primary a few years back (really).
I'm hanging out at Fort Lauderdale Airport waiting for the delayed flight to Jacksonville. The reason is that "they are having weather in Tampa". No specific kind of weather - just "weather."
The airport Dunkin' Donuts now stocks donuts, so that nightmare is apparently over. On the other hand, the Chicken Kitchen doesn't sell chicken - only something called a "chop-chop" that has pieces of chicken over a bowl of rice. That's not how I roll.
When I'm in a big room with lots of people, my sport is to play "spot the recent law school grad". The bar exam is next month, and you can spot the nervous people reading while holding a rainbow of highlighter pens. I've spotted two so far.
Jen and Jake are going to Fernandina Beach to spend the weekend at Jen's parents' house. I will fly there tonight and fly back Sunday night. I am planning to pick them up in Gainesville on Thursday for the move-out. We may drive back to Fernandina Beach for the July 4th weekend so Jake can hook up with his cousins (who would come down from Atlanta for the weekend).
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Jake and Jen are going to the Melting Pot for dinner with our friend Dr. Laura and our student nurse/nanny Lauren.
I was up really late last night preparing for some hearings, and thought it was an acceptable idea to run for an hour on the treadmill this afternoon. I'm hurtin'.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Today Jen felt pretty good (there was a manicure and pedicure on the schedule), but Jake had sharp pains in his side in the afternoon. Tomorrow is the nephrology clinic, so they need to have a better answer than “upset stomach”. We also hope to get an action plan for when we can leave Gainesville.
We don’t have defined weekend plans yet. We may go to Jacksonville again, or we may stay in Gainesville. If we go to Jacksonville, my bike won’t be ready so I’ll have to run instead. Yuck. I apparently committed myself to run the Fort Lauderdale 13.1 half marathon with our friend Susan on November 15th. I had already signed up for the MiamiMan half-ironman on November 8th, so the only way I’m going to be able to do both is to get into full marathon shape so the half-marathons will seem like training runs. This means I have to really train this year, not the half-assed marathon training I’d done in the past (which resulted in crappy marathon times and nagging injuries). A journey of 26 miles starts with a single step, but the journey sucks.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Being a wild and crazy guy, I spent a bachelor night installing Windows 7 Beta on my PC, as well as Windows Live (which allows remote blog design and entry). Big party right here. So far, I've discovered that the "Blogger" platform doesn't enjoy have pages injected into it from outside programs.
Nothing much to report. Jake says that he didn’t play much with his friends when they visited him today because they went to the mall, and he doesn’t consider the mall to be a fun place to play. He says that his side still hurts every evening (even after snacking therapy), so we need to check that out this week.
Jake's doing fine. He's engrossed in the "story mode" of an epic Yu Gi Oh Nintendo DS game. Once that's over, who knows?
We may have some friends from Miami stop by and visit Jake and Jen in Gainesville this week. Jake's looking forward to that.
I came back to Miami last night. Got up at 6 to go a long easy bike ride, but had to sit and watch as a thunderstorm rolled in.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Jen is still feeling ill. I cancelled my flight back to Miami tonight so I could drive them back to Gainesville. I'm going to take Jen to the transplant clinic in the morning, and rent a car and drive home after that.
We went to the beach yesterday afternoon, which was a load of fun except for my stupidity in walking there (on the scalding pavement) barefoot. I ended up with large blisters on the bottoms of my feet, so I couldn't run today. The Jacksonville bike will be in the shop for another week, so I couldn't ride. I ended up spending the morning learning how to configure the Thunderbird email program on the in-laws' computer, because their Outlook Express is irreparably bonked. It's aerobic mental exercise.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I'm in the mood for Zipz. Remember Zipz? The "make your own sundae" place. The biggest size was the zonker, but we usually got our sundaes in a mini baseball helmet bowl.
It's about 100 degrees, so we're hanging out in the house until it cools off a bit. We went to a restaurant on the water for lunch, where I took the picture.
Crummy bike trip, but a beautiful morning. 5 miles from home, the right pedal came off. The crank threads were completely stripped off - so much so that it can't be re-threaded. Rode home with one pedal. I then got a flat 2 miles from home. The bike is at the only bike shop in Fernandina, and I don't know if they can find and old replacement crank in their parts pile or whether they'll need to order one.
Friday, June 19, 2009
We'll do some beach tomorrow evening. Jake's anti-rejection medicines make him very sun-sensitive, so we can't go to the beach (which is about 200 yards from the house) until late in the day. After I get back from the morning bike ride, I'll spend the mid-day hours doing my son-in-law duties -- devirusing and otherwise repairing the inlaws' desktop PC. Their wireless ssid is "Larry". On the other hand, their MacBook Pro ("Little Larry") still runs like a champ.
Jake's creatinine is .90. Prograf is up to 12.5 (we want it below 10). Potassium is good at 5.0. We don't know if creatinine is up because the Prograf level is up, whether .90 is merely within the standard deviation of his "good baseline" function levels, or whether it's something else. I tend to favor the explanation that allows me to make use of my masters degree in statistics (actually econometrics, but it's pretty much the same thing). For more math goodness, try out the new Wolfram Alpha search engine, from the authors of the nerdgasmic Mathematica software package.
Jen had her CAT-scan today. No results, but it was apparently an unpleasant series of logistical problems culminating with a spill of the dye on her new outfit.
We're spending the weekend at Jen's parents' house in Fernandina Beach, Florida (a/k/a "Amelia Island"). It's really nice, and Jake loooooves the kids who live next door. It should be a nice weekend.
I'm typing this on the Netbook at the airport while rocking out on Pandora (the Muse channel) on the Pre and sucking down a decaf iced coffee. Yuppie sterotypical bliss. For those who mock the Larry decaf coffee diet, I dropped 5 pounds in the last ten days.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I drove back to Miami in a torrential downpour. Every time I drive back, it rains a little at Yeehaw Junction (and there's usually a rainbow). This time it was an Armageddon storm. My rental Hyundai compact was blowing and sliding, so I waited out the storm at a rest stop. On the other hand, I got a lot of hands-free work calls done during the drive. The Palm Pre is superior to my old iPhone 3G on so many levels, especially as a phone. Much, much better phone reception and call quality, and better battery life for phone use.
Jen and Jake are driving to Fernandina Beach tomorrow (about 90 minutes away) to stay at Jen's parent's house for the weekend. I'm going to fly up after work (Southwest Airlines) and come back Sunday night. I've got an old Miyata road bike at their house that hasn't been ridden in a year, so the tune up will keep me occupied.
One of the things that we've decided to do when we get back to Miami is get Jake a new big bed for his room, so he'll stop sleeping in our bed. That means that his old twin bed (with matching pull-out trundle bed) has got to go. He's slept in it very little, and it's pristine. Any takers before it goes onto Craigslist? Speaking of Craigslist - this is very well done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R32aFmxL9HY
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Today's post comes from the bowels of the library at the University of Florida School of Law. I packed up my new netbook and a change of shirt into my manbag (a messenger bag, but let's face it, it's a manbag) and biked over for a day's worth of work. They gave me a visitor password for their wireless network (a courtesy they extend to all Florida Bar members, even people with spandex bike shorts peeking out from under their cargo shorts).
Jake was happy to see me last night, and really happy to receive the new "X-Saber" Yu Gi Oh Deck that I brought with me from Miami. Jen had mail-ordered it, but it was shipped to our house. That's why he was happy to see me go on Sunday, and happy to have me come back yesterday. He's got lots of energy, and feels well. We have a big clinic visit tomorrow. Once that's done, I'll drive back to Miami late Thursday evening. I've got a ton of work meetings on Friday. I'm single-handedly keeping Hertz solvent - although there's no extra charge for a one-way rental within Florida. It's usually only about $70 per weekday, and $40.00 per weekend day. I may not get back for a few days after that, but we'll see.
Jen was able to get a manicure and pedicure, but I can't seem to convince her to get back into the massage routine. Plenty of nice (and inexpensive) day spas in Gainesville.
I'm very happy with the new Acer Aspire One 1920 netbook. Very usable 10.1 inch screen, decent keyboard (given the small size) and very acceptable (almost snappy) performance. I loaded up Firefox and OpenOffice 3.1, so I have all the applications I need. I'd recommend the 160gb hard drive rather than the 16gb solid state drive, because OpenOffice does take up a lot of space. All told, an excellent deal for $329.00. It makes a nice Father's Day present for yuppie nerds.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The blood test results from yesterday are generally good. Creatinine is down to .70, so his drinking has helped Potassium is a little high (5.4) and they need to raise the dose of some other medications. I don't understand why potassium would be high if kidney function is otherwise good, but I'm sure I'll learn all about it in the coming semesters of life-experience nephrology university (credits not transferable to other institutions).
The preemptive consumer plug today goes to the latest iteration of CompUSA. I had some time to kill, so I went into the Orlando location. Helpful staff, good selection, reasonable prices. I bought a new Acer Aspire netbook (for which a review will come real soon). The promised 6 hour battery life and 2.5 lb size make it a good tool for my upcoming daily bike commutes to the UF Law Library. Also a thumbs up for the Chevy HHR rental car. It looks like a pie delivery van, but it's roomy and comfortable. When this ordeal is done, I'm going to index the whole blog for easy location of medical issues and consumer rants.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
On another note, my Mom suggested that he might want to ride bikes with Daddy this weekend, so we are going to ask him to bring the bike from Miami. Sounds like a winner.
Mom and I are off to the Gainesville Mall for a few hours of shopping. Lauren the smart and beautiful student nurse/nanny is on her way over. She is a dead ringer for my niece Dory. Big beautiful blue eyes, freckles across the cute little nose and the same coloring. It's like looking into the future of what our wonderful Dory will look like when she's 20. We have other beautiful nieces and nephews too. My brother Frank and his wife Jami's two girls - Dory and Mia. Larry's brother Noel and his wife Dita's two girls Kara and Jessica and their son Joshua. Than on Grandma Donna's side we have Eric's kids Zach and Brooke, Ronnie's kids Jonah and Leah. We also have a bevy of canine nephews and nieces from my brother Ed and his wife Rachael.
Jacob loved the dinner we made from the recipe in the kid's cookbook last night. He's eating better than ever. Hope to have even better news to report soon. Such as great success at the mall today:)
Monday, June 8, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
They went to nephrology clinic and transplant clinic this morning, but the blood tests won't be ready until tomorrow. Other than the 2 hour+ wait to see the transplant docs, everything was pleasant enough. I head back in the morning, and come back Sunday night. My rental car is a Prius, so I get to be a crunchy all weekend.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I'm starting a self-created diet to try to take off some of the vending machine weight. Every time I want to snack, I have an iced decaf with splenda. It worked a few years ago, so I'll try it again..
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Apparently there was a very expensive trip to Toys-R-Us, and a lot of Lego construction. We go back to the nephrology and transplant clinics on Thursday, so there won't be any blood tests until then. We hired one of the student nurses from the hospital as a part-time nanny, so Jen got a chance to get out of the apartment and get her nails and toes done. http://www.tbs.com/video/0,,58134%7C314580%7C,00.html?eref=sharethisUrl
Monday, June 1, 2009
Love Sister Jen
A dozen UF football players came through the ward today. They seemed like very nice young men, although none of them were starters (except the punter). On a related note, a bunch of FSU players visited the local correctional facility . . .
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
He's lounging in the buff and proudly stinky. I plan on taking him to the comic book store later for a firm grounding in the classics. Other than that, no big plans. Maybe an afternoon bike ride and then a month of time sheets for the 2 hours a day of work I was able to do.
Friday, May 29, 2009
No common view as to why creatinine is rising. Surgery group wants to do surgery to treat a potential blockage. Nephrology wants to wait and see. Same as last 2 weeks.
He's in good sprits. We played some Wii, and he beat me fair and square (as opposed to Yu Gi Oh, where he cheats sometimes).
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Jake also wants to thank Alec (from whom he got his middle name) for the excellent Yu Gi Oh cards.
I went home to watch the game. I was asked not to spoil the result. I won't, other than to note that Tottenham did not win the 2009 Champions League. Further, I know that Spurs did not win the 2009 FA Cup, the 2009 Premier League, or the 2010 Champions or Europa Cup.
We hope to do some arts and crafts today. He gets his reading in, but it's all either websurfing or Yu Gi Oh. We have him too well-conditioned, because he refuses to go to the playroom because there are germs there.
It seems to have stopped raining. When it rains, the local traffic is unbelievably bad - so bad that it's easier for me to stay in the room than go home for a break.
The big soccer game is on at 2:45pm. I'm currently negotiating for tv access at that time.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
He's remarkably stoic about the whole thing. He's sick of the process, but he's not bitter.
He's a little stuffy. I hope my allergy attack isn't a cold, and I hope he didn't get it.
One of the laptops developed a tiny (at first) screen crack, and I've been watching it slowly spread across the screen. Looks like a Best Buy trip this afternoon.
Monday, May 25, 2009