Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Florida: Where the environment will bite you in the butt

I just can't resist this. It made me smile.

It came in an e-mail dealing with very serious issues -- the water shortage in Florida. At this point, it's more perceived than actuality, but cities and county governments are looking down the road and seeing population growth, and at the same time, less water available from their wells.

Alternatives being discussed include tapping a low, slow-flowing river like the St. Johns to building an ocean-water desalinization plant off the coast. Miles and miles of pipe would crisscross the peninsula, shifting water from one locale to another.

The problem is, small changes in the environment can have enormous consequences. Salt and pollutants filtered from treatment plants would be dumped back into the river or ocean, raising salinity levels. Lowering the level of the river-and-lake system will affect plant, aquatic and animal life. What about years of drought, when those water levels are already lower than usual? Who gets the water? The river or thirsty people? (Or their thirsty lawns?)

I could go on, but I won't, here.

None of the politicians want to talk about limiting growth.

Perhaps fortunately for the environment, the tanking of both the economy and the Central Florida housing market has slowed growth -- without political interference.

The population will likely shrink when water from desal plants costs $9 a gallon, I suppose.

Friday, February 13, 2009

More health stuff


Addendum Feb. 18 - Now the gastroenterologist wants me to come back for lower GI X-rays. Seems there was a portion of my gut, the caecum, he couldn't get a look at. He couldn't find the markers to take a look. And, with the large polyp (about an inch long, he said) removed, he wants to get a look, to make sure nothing else is lurking up there.

Anybody else been through all this?


Along with the blood test, which revealed diabetes, (see earlier post) my doctor sent me for an eye exam, a mammogram and a colonoscopy.

Results of the eye exam were good - I have just middle-aged eyes, with no damage caused by blood sugar.

Results of the mammogram and colonoscopy were along the lines of "ok for now, but..." which is good news, all things considered.

Because I hadn't had a mammogram, they want me to get another one in six months, so they can compare lymph nodes in my left breast, to see if they are growing. Sigh. But it could be worse. There's also some "granular matter" which I gather isn't bad in itself.

When I went in for the colonoscopy, I told them they better make it good, 'cause they weren't going to get me back for another one!

The night before, drinking vile solution to clean out my bowels, was a night of hell. The directions said I would have a "bowel movement" after about an hour of starting the stuff, of which I was supposed to drink a glass every 10 minutes.

I didn't have a "bowel movement" (their euphemism for explosive diarrhea) for a good two hours, and thought my stomach was going to pop.

Once I started, I couldn't stop. It was wretched. To add insult to injury, I was supposed to give myself an enema the next morning. I made my best effort.

In contrast, the procedure was a piece of cake. I watched them inject sleepy-time juice into my IV, and I was out like a light. I had a very nice nap, until the nurse woke me up. She told me the doctor removed a large polyp (growth) from my colon.

Waiting for the biopsy on it made this week a long one, but I finally heard the results this morning. I had a tuberovillous adenoma. It's a tumor that isn't cancerous, but could become so if left in place.

I'm to meet with the doctor next week to go over things. From what I googled today, it will mean more frequent colonoscopies to come. Another sigh.

The two "okay for now" things is a little bit worrying. But I think I'm lucky – or it was the spirit at work – that I got so sick and went to the doctor when I did.

Thank you, Lord. As always, you shadowed me under your wing, and protected me. Thank you again for your graciousness.