Monday, January 08, 2007

115 "come on" and bit of med news

So much to say, so little time to write.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going grocery shopping with my parents. We were coming back from somewhere and my mom needed to buy a few things to cook for the holiday.
Going shopping with my dad is like walking the dog. Every ten seconds, you have to say "come on, come on" and tug. I have joked that the dog must think his name is "come on" when he's being walked; well my dad must think that's his name while he's in Stop and Shop. He had to go to the bathroom (dad, not dog) and I had to wait outside for him, otherwise he couldn't find us. What happens when he starts to need help? Most places don't have family bathrooms.
I believe I already mentioned my grandmother getting taken to the emergency room for her "heart attack" which turned out to be a back spasm. The doctor noted a shadow on her lungs in the x-ray. My mom was worried about lung cancer (my grandpa smoked cigars) so she was going to bring my grandmother back in to get her lungs checked for that. But then my grandmother demanded to be taken to the hospital again and it turns out she has pneumonia. In fact, although it was the medi-quick place and not the emergency room, it was the same doctor! So she got antibiotics. My mother kept the appointment with the regular doctor and he switched my grandmother to a more powerful antibiotic. Then she had an allergic reaction and yup, you guessed it, had to be rushed to the emergency room. I stayed with my father for one of these (it was a Saturday--NYE/Eve). I tried to make him something nice for lunch. He wanted bread. I tried to put peanut butter on it. He wanted toast with butter. Then he almost set his eyebrows on fire leaning over the (pop up) toaster trying to see if the bread was ready. Pretty much he ignores me when I'm there, whether my mom's there or not. But when I'm leaving, he runs out and demands "when are you coming again?"
My grandmother's new thing is that she doesn't want my dad there when she goes to the doctor or the emergency room. This is a hardship to my mom who has to find someone (ie, me or her best friend) to stay with my dad. It's a lot easier for her to just bring him along. I don't know why my grandmother is acting like that. My mother said that my grandmother is going to have to start to call ME to take her to the doctor if she can't bring my dad, and my grandmother responded that "she doesn't care" (meaning me). I can't win.
So this is my life right now.

Medical news: they've found a source of stem-cells that doesn't require embryos. Can this mean that the President will actually start to allow research on new "lines" again?
Stem cell researchers reacted with enthusiasm and reservations to a report that scientists have found stem cells in amniotic fluid, a discovery that would allow them to sidestep the controversy over destroying embryos for research....(T)he stem cells they drew from amniotic fluid donated by pregnant women hold much the same promise as embryonic stem cells....the scientists still don't know exactly how many different cell types can be made from the stem cells found in amniotic fluid. The scientists said preliminary tests in patients are years away....The cells from amniotic fluid can clearly generate a broad range of important cell types, but they may not do as many tricks as embryonic stem cells....
The hallmark of human embryonic stem cells, which are created in the first days after conception, is the ability to turn into any of the more than 220 cell types that make up the human body. Researchers are hopeful they can train these primordial cells to repair damaged organs in need of healthy cells.
However, many people, including President Bush, oppose the destruction of embryos for any reason. The Bush administration has restricted federal funding for the embryo work since 2001, leading many scientists to search for alternative stem cell sources.
This, like so many other things, won't help my dad, but it will help someone else's loved one.

No comments: