Wednesday, May 07, 2008

All in a Day's Sleep

Device for treating vascular malformations
Today I went for another Bleomycin injection. When you get up at 5AM, you don't need a very strong anesthetic to put you under. Still I was grateful to be in the skilled hands of Dr. Atul Prabhu. I know it sounds strange to mention your anesthetist but this was my sixth time going in for one of these injections and the clumsiness of the last anesthetist left me battered and bruised (feeling incredibly hung over with raccoon eyes and bleeding nose). So when I awoke feeling refreshed, bruise-free it was Dr. Prabhu I had to thank. I want this guy to swing by the house and tuck me in at night with a shot of "tonic" and a few blasts of pure oxygen, sweet sweet oxygen.

I should mention too that the doc who did the injection, Dr. Peter Howard was good enough to send me home with a prescription just in case complications should arise (pain, swelling, possible infection, you know, the usual).

Grant Achatz
Since these injections into my tongue began I've learned that there are some crucial senses that make us who we are. For me, taste has been something I completely took for granted – until of course, I was missing it. Which is why I take greater care to grill my meat and NOT over cook my veg. There's a remarkable profile in this week's New Yorker of Grant Achatz, a Chicago based chef running a restaurant while battling tongue cancer. Some time ago when surgery was considered an option, I met with a surgeon who had a lot experience with tongue cancer. People who lose part of their tongue suffer lose of taste, speech and have difficulty eating. The times when my tongue has been swollen have given me a sliver of insight into how hard something like that could be so check the article to see how this innovative chef hasn't let his disease slow him down.



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