Words of occasional wisdom from Bruce Oakley

Archive for October, 2008

Meager Christianity

Posted by boakley59 on October 28, 2008

The 2008 election is a tough one for Christianity. People who are claiming most strongly to be Christians seem most often to be demonstrably incorrect in their assumptions and conclusions, to such an extent that the positions they trumpet are in fact un-Christian.
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Controlling my density

Posted by boakley59 on October 21, 2008

I’ve been disappointed with my writing lately. Neither the process nor the output are what they should be. That wastes your time and mine.
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What’s left

Posted by boakley59 on October 17, 2008

Invoking the “left-wing media” is a diversionary tactic used by pitchmen who don’t believe their own ideas have the coherence to carry the day in honest debate. Yet if a unitary and powerful “left-wing media” has no more reality than a unicorn, the actual mass media does have at least as much reality as some kind of horse, and its characteristics are a worthy topic of reflective self-study.

It is fair to wonder, as I did at the end of Yo left, yo right, whether newsrooms that surveys indicate are full of left-leaning thinkers can fairly present the world to a more diverse audience. The question has different answers, depending on where emphasis is placed.

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Yo left, yo right

Posted by boakley59 on October 13, 2008

Read my words and tremble, for I am part of a dangerous cabal. Well, at least I would be if I weren’t sick.

You see, until disability took me out of the work force, I was part of that supposedly vast conspiracy purportedly dominating American discourse: the “left-wing media.” (Sometimes we’re more neutrally tagged merely “mainstream media,” but generally, even when we’re perceived as destroying left-of-center reputations with undue relentlessness, we’re still taken to be left-biased.)

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Posted in Personal, Philosophy/Life Lessons, Work, Writing | 1 Comment »

Update on Suzy’s heart

Posted by boakley59 on October 7, 2008

Suzy is home from the hospital (10/7/08), tested and cleared to go about her normal life.

The symptoms that sent her to the emergency room have passed and seem to have been momentary. Various diagnostics all came back normal for nutrient levels, blood condition, infection indicators and so on.

In checking all of that, however, doctors detected a heart murmur, and subsequent tests showed a weak valve. Much is known about the mitral valve, but much of what is known is that not enough is known yet. The immediate upshot is that Suzy has a fairly common heart problem that does not require surgery, but will require careful and regular monitoring for the rest of her days.

As I understand what the doctors told us, the outward signs that this valve problem might cause (physical difficulties like chest pain or whatever) become apparent too late. Surgery at that stage is not so undeniably helpful, so there’s a bit of a drive to intervene early. At the same time, many patients lead ordinary lives with this problem and surgery would be too drastic a response. The cautious middle ground is constant monitoring of underlying physical indicators (size of the heart chambers, blood flow, blood vessel configuration), rather than waiting for external symptoms like impaired ability to exercise.

Suzy will start having regular close looks at her heart to see if the weak valve leads to leakage that warrants surgery. Her next followup is in December, and then perhaps every six months or so after that (perhaps less frequently, depending on findings).

We will be working on keeping stress to a minimum and improving general nutrition and fitness. We are glad that the moment has passed and that it brought us an early warning of something that might have been much worse.

The doctors confirm what we all know: Suzy’s heart is a delicate treasure.

Posted in Health, Personal | 3 Comments »

Suzy having tests

Posted by boakley59 on October 6, 2008

Suzy didn’t feel well at work this morning (10/6/08), and a co-worker thought she looked a little flushed. Her doctor is out of the office today, and she had been having some little odd symptoms in recent days, so she went to the emergency room.

“Better safe than sorry” has become our motto as we’ve dealt with my Crohn’s.

In one of the early diagnostics, the doctor detected a heart murmur and scheduled an echocardiogram. The cardiologist then found a mitral valve prolapse. The same cardiologist had seen her a few years ago and had noted he found no sign of heart murmur, so he is a bit concerned that now he should find so clear a change. He has scheduled a further test to check more closely on the valve.

Suzy will be staying overnight at Baptist (Springhill). The symptoms that prompted the emergency room trip have faded and seem not to be threatening or worrisome, and the valve condition is fairly common and also generally non-threatening, but keep Suzy in your thoughts and prayers as we await further results.

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Isn’t it rich?

Posted by boakley59 on October 3, 2008

Wealth has been on my mind more than ever lately, what with news dominated by global financial worries and a presidential campaign seeking to address them, and my own illness making it harder and harder for Suzy and I to make ends meet.

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