Loren’s Good to Go

After nearly six months of being poked, prodded — and injected with radioactive dyes, the doctors have finally decided that I’m “normal,” or, at least, I can pass for normal.  

Sometime in January my new Apple Series 4 watch decided that I was having an aFib episode.  I decided perhaps I should consult the local Urgency Care Clinic, and they decided  that my watch’s reading was accurate, that I should go to the Emergency Room.  Perhaps I  should have, but in doing so I seem to have lost control of my life because I have spent much of the last six months being tested for possible ailments. 

Turns out at 77 that not everything works (or looks) as it used to.  The first tests were directly related to the aFib episode and probably my family history since my father and both my brothers have had heart issues.  I waited 3 weeks to get my first test and another week to get a stress test.  A week and a  half later I got in to see the cardiologist for the results.  My heart tested within the “normal” range though it was slightly enlarged and had a slightly leaky valve.  I was given some medicine to regulate my heart and blood thinners to prevent heart attacks, and, more importantly, to me, at least, to prevent strokes.  I felt pretty good before I started taking the medicines, but it took longer than I would have liked to adjust them.  For awhile I had trouble just getting up and down, much less exercising.  

It would have been nice if the medical procedures had ended there, but they didn’t.  Turns out when they took the original x-rays in the Emergency Room they saw some spots on my lungs.  My primary doctor followed up with another x-ray a few weeks later and the spots still showed up.  She referred me to my pulmonologist who had me get yet another x-ray.  When the same spots showed up, he sent me in for an abdominal CT scan. The results were pretty much normal, but the test showed a cyst on my kidney and some other artifacts.

As a result, a week later I was scheduled for a abdominal/pelvic CT scan.  The result came back just a few days ago, and everything was apparently normal except for the small cyst on one of my kidneys, which is apparently quite common in older patients. Nothing to worry about, I was told. Since I had to have a blood test to make sure my kidneys were operating correctly before each CT scan, I feel assured that the cyst hasn’t compromised my kidneys too much.

It feels good to be resuming my workouts at nearly full level, and I’m looking forward to taking a field trip in the near future. Of course, if I were a worrier,  I might wonder if all those radioactive dyes and x-rays might have consequences of their own … 

Luckily, after three bouts with cancer I seldom make plans for anything further away than six months.  Carpe Diem!

Back to Big Beef Creek

My second outing to Big Beef Creek/Seabeck this year turned out considerably better than my first visit, though still not as successful as visits in past years.  As usual, I got there earlier than I needed to and had to spend an  hour or so entertaining myself before the real action began.  

Though there seemed to be fewer fish, and birds, than in previous years, the gulls found fish before the Great Blue Heron or the Bald Eagles.  I must admit I was surprised to see an immature Glaucous-Winged Gull 

dive into the water 

and come up with a fish

before the herons or eagles had begun to feed.

Soon after, though, Great Blue Herons flew across looking for the best fishing spots.

An immature Bald Eagle quickly swept up a fish stranded on the shore, 

and buzzed me on the way to find a larger catch.

Skunked at Big Beef Creek

One of my favorite places this time of year is Seabeck/Big Beef Creek where Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles gather to feast on Midshipman and Sculpin runs.  

Unfortunately, my timing seems to have been off so far this year.  I first visited a little over a week ago but got so few shots that I didn’t even bother to download them to the computer until after my latest visit.

I picked a day when the tide went out very slowly and wasn’t a real low tide.  So I spent the first hour or so waiting for the tide to recede far enough that the eagles and herons would show up. Not one to rest quietly in the car (especially since I hadn’t thought far enough ahead to bring a book), I got this shot of some wild roses beside the road.  I think it was my favorite shot of the day.

The main distraction while waiting for the tide was watching the crows harass this immature Bald Eagle.

It needed better light to be a really good shot, but I still like the action.

As it turned out, the eagles and herons really never showed up in any numbers and, even though a few Great Blue Herons 

flew by in the distance they never stayed put very long.  We only saw one or two fish caught the three hours we were there.  Perhaps the tide wasn’t high enough, or low enough, for the fish to come in.  

Luckily when I visited a few days ago, I saw more Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons. Sometimes persistence and luck can compensate for a lack of wisdom.