Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day 1178

What a busy day! I started things off by taking my car to the Land Rover dealer for some much needed service. I should have done this several weeks ago when the problems began, but I was stubbornly holding out for a Land Rover loaner car. These nice loaners are always in short supply. Luckily, sanity finally prevailed and I decided to settle for a Toyota Corolla. I have no idea what is wrong with my car, but I told the service representative that four quarts of oil had leaked out before I topped it up again, that the engine periodically stalled at stoplights, that the car was hard to start on cold mornings, and that the engine didn't seem to have much power above 4000 rpm. I am confident that the Land Rover folks will find some sort of problem. They wouldn't be able to overcharge me for repairs otherwise.

The real reason I took the car in today, instead of waiting for a better loaner car, was that I didn't want to miss my doctor's appointment. My team of liver specialists is booked so far in advance that I knew it might take months to reschedule my appointment if I had to cancel due to car problems. The Toyota isn't flashy, but it certainly is reliable. Today's visit was very encouraging. The doctors were pleased with my efforts to modify my lifestyle and diet. Better yet, lab results showed that some of the things I've been doing were already starting to show some positive results.

One of the cool things about being treated at a world class research hospital is that you get to participate in clinical trials and research experiments. Today, I got to try out a brand new machine that has the ability to detect fibrosis and cirrhosis scarring in the liver with almost the same degree of accuracy as a biopsy. The machine isn't certified by the FDA yet, but the doctors seemed very impressed with it. A representative of the company that manufactured the machine did the test and told me that I had no evidence of fibrosis in my liver. I asked how long it would take to get this technology approved and the factory guy said it was hard to tell because the FDA was so slow. Then I asked how the technology had been developed. Apparently, it has been around for several years and is already in use in European hospitals. The sophisticated scanning machines were originally developed by the French to determine when cheese had fully matured during the ripening process. I guess somewhere along the line, somebody got tired of pointing the machine at cheese and decided to look at their liver instead.

Despite all the running around I did today, I still managed to get my writing assignments finished. I think a few more things will land on my desk tomorrow, but I have high hopes for finishing the week with absolutely nothing to do over the weekend. One final bit of good news! My European client only took two days to pay me for the waste-water treatment article I wrote recently. I wonder why it takes some of my American clients over two months to do the same thing?

Connor is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day