Briefly ….


Just a quick post to stay in touch. I’m still singin’ the radiation fatigue blues, and so haven’t blogged as much as I’d wanted.

Today I had an echocardiogram. Because I’m still on Herceptin infusions every three weeks, they keep a close watch on the state of my heart, as heart trouble is one of the possible (not likely, just possible) side effects. So, every three months they check on things.

Nerd that I am, I endeared myself to the echo tech by being fascinated with the whole process. It’s done with ultrasound (the same technique they use to look at fetuses and babies in the womb), and I was positioned so I could see the monitor.

I was able to look at my own heart in action! Pumping away like anything, valves a-flappin’. It seemed quite enthusiastic in its task. A sight cool beyond belief.

At one point the image was a perfect black-and-white version of the classic anatomy text cross-section, and I said, “Hey, isn’t that upside down?” The tech was impressed, and said that I was the first patient who recognized what they were seeing. But heck — that particular image could not have been clearer! Others were fuzzier, and at odd angles, but that one could not be missed by anyone with the slightest sense of their internal geography. Except for being upside down, due to the angle of the transducer.

Oh, I do love me some science.  Here’s a cool little infographic that has some animation, showing one of the angles I saw on the monitor.

Meanwhile: back to the Day Job for Thursday and Friday.   I expect some serious power-napping when I get home…



6 Responses to “Briefly ….”

  • Inquisitive Raven Says:

    Apparently you have a spammer.

    The ultrasound experience sounds very cool. I’d known from working in a radiology department many years ago, that an echocardiogram was done with ultrasound, but I’ve never seen one live because instead doing the cool stuff as a tech, I was stuck in the file room. The most I ever saw was the stills that were taken for the hospital records.

  • bawa Says:

    Nice one! 20 odd years ago when I had my kids, ultrasound wasn’t as clear as now. So the gyno would go, here are the hands, here are the legs, and all I could see was b & w fuzz that could have been anything. But what I could see very clearly was this black spot that very clearly contracting and expanding like mad: the heart! Biology is fascinating.

    Glad re your progress & determination to walk.

  • Kate Nepveu Says:

    They can do fetal echos now too. We could see the chambers expand and contact in SteelyKid’s heart, back when she was still FutureBaby! Plus they used Doppler imaging to check the direction of blood flow.

    Rest well.

  • Merriman Hunter Says:

    Science applied to fixing people up is so great. It makes me happy, especially as it brings to mind that there are so many people out there doing their best to make it, and that it’s getting better all the time. They must love your engaged attitude when you’re in there. Rest up & take care!

  • Mage Bailey Says:

    We are just glad you are here. Hugs,.

  • Joshua Says:

    Rosemary, I was just thinking about you — I know you only through your books and blog — and your situation, and how you love science so much without believing in God who created all that order and laws of nature to discover. I think you might enjoy considering Flynn’s presentation of the argument from motion sometime and perhaps discussing it.