Catching Up

It’s been a few days, as I try to adjust to the ER visit.  I was there about 4 hours on the day of the Newtown, CT tragedy.  I’m still trying to sort everything out, packing all of my stuff up, I inevitably lose things like camera computer cords in the chaos.  So, I’ve had to sort through things.  In order to get any medical results, I had 3 options: go back through the ER and re-initiate the whole process because only 2 of 4 blood draws were taken for cardiac enzyme markers, or go through a primary care referral for a stress test.  I offered to give another blood sample 5 days later, that I assume would correspond to the 4th sample or baseline value, that could be fit nonlinearly to the appropriate curve.  They would not let me back in to the ER to get discharge papers without reprocessing me as an entry to redo the whole thing.

Over the very quiet past few days, I have limited myself to 1-2 mile daily flat walks with my dogs, and of course, a diet change.  I also got a blood pressure meter for $11 at Wal-mart.  I measured my pressure at 144/72, so I am still somewhat hypertensive in spite of the quietness, but I can now test under various conditions by having it with me.  My sugars have normalized.

So, I picked up my chart myself, looking at the blood work that was done, and the chest X-ray, and EKG’s, then went over to the eye clinic and scheduled an eye exam for my eye problem, and went over to cardiology and scheduled an appointment with a cardiac nurse who can prescribe a stress test.  Both of these should happen tomorrow.

On the way back, I stopped at Gunpowder Falls State Park and did a 1.6 mile hike through the woods along the creek with the dogs.

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We hiked a section of the trail through the park that did not change districts (district 1) all the way to the border of the the section of the park that did change districts (from district 1 Andy Harris to district 7, Elijah Cummings).  I collected leaves,

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a few bird calls, and saw deer tracks.  If I understand correctly, 425 rock shelters some possibly from prehistoric times have been found in the Gunpowder Falls watershed.  The area must have had a strong Native American Presence as a hunting ground.

As the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy settles, I contemplate how native Americans survived for so long in nature without guns.  Guns were apparently a 12th century Chinese invention.  With their advent, the balance of power changed quickly.  It is tempting to think that much of the domestication of crops and animals could not have occurred without them.  Still, they came after the Greeks and the Israelites, both of whom had gardens and herds.

I’m not antitechnology.  Guns can be used for shooting sports (nonhunting).  Even when used in hunting, they are probably more humane than other methods.  A gun can be a useful deterrent in self-defense, equalizing a situation for a woman where a man might otherwise try to force his will upon her.  He might think twice if she has a gun, whether she would actually use it or not.  Still, guns don’t belong in violent volatile situations that can otherwise be deescalated with the right people involved.  Assault weapons in the hands of your average Joe are a little harder for me to defend.

Out West, everyone has a gun to defend their property, protecting dogs and other domestic animals against wildlife that might otherwise consider them “dinner”.  Out East, everyone lives on top of one another, so people have laws over every little irrelevant thing to make one’s life miserable.  So, still not anti-gun in spite of the tragedy, but there are probably too many of them in places that have lots of people.

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