Wednesday, August 01, 2007


First harvest. Witnessing and honoring the turning of the wheel of the year. Nifty :)

Speaking of the wheel turning, Dad had an undetected enlarged heart due to myocardial fibrosis (heart walls thicken to the point of chambers not being able to properly sustain life). Helluva segue there, huh? My family's not taking it well. I'm taking it too well. Mom and Meara have passed from denial into anger; how could his doctors not have detected this? I totally see how the docs could have missed it; the heart wasn't necessarily growing larger, rather, the walls of the heart were growing thicker, using up interior space in the heart chambers, so to speak, so technically it may not have looked enlarged on a regular scan - it was just heavier. Internet research indicates that a delayed-enhancement MRI may have detected something like this, but he was only just starting to show symptoms of irregular heartbeat, so I doubt it would have helped. Sure, he may have had other symptoms that he wrote off due to his other health issues (the carotid artery blockage produced eye migraines, mini-strokes, and a host of other difficulties), but either way, I'm basically of the mindset that raising a stink isn't going to bring him back. I'm feeling very TML* about the whole thing; finally seeing what Dad meant when he told Cyril not to grieve too long once he was gone, because what would be the point. We can learn from his death, and possibly help others through our experience (meaning I'd love to do research on deaths attributed to myocardial fibrosis, and whether early detection could change anything/prolong life...maybe write a paper on it?), but suing people or trying to smear Baptist wouldn't be the most positive means of getting the message out. But I can also tell that I need to keep my too-rational thoughts to myself for now. People don't want to hear "couldn't be helped" when they're still searching for answers.

One thing I am curious about is if he'd always had this. The autopsy suggested evidence of a previous MI, which as far as we know he never had, but as I was writing this, I remembered 1982 and couldn't help wondering if that episode was his first heart attack. When I was in the car with him that day, he had a full-blown seizure...his body contorted as though possessed, he made an awful noise, his left arm seized, and his pupils went down to pinpoints. Luckily, they diagnosed aneurysm and rushed him off to surgery; but it was patch work, never open heart, so for all we know, the fibrosis had already started to form. And disorders such as bilateral cardiomyopathy (his resultant condition - the decreased size of both ventricles) and myocardial fibrosis have possible hereditary factors. I am SO losing this weight and getting myself an MRI!

*We refer to things in our family as being TML (Timothy Michael Lyons). Dad was a bit OCD, quite anal-retentive, and had very definitive opinions about things. Add a large ego and you have a personality with idiosyncracies that permeated the way we operated. He could be unnervingly self-righteous, but for the most part, if I'm referencing something as being TML, it's with wistfulness now, respect, and love.

So I'm still feeling decent (also a tad unnerving, but such a relief!)...thumbed through my new books last night and read some Harry Potter - SO action packed! Lower back is still strained, so I'm doing mainly stretching exercises this week. My boss's baby shower is this Friday, so I know I won't have anything done knitwise in time, so the pressure's off. Haven't even started his stuff...started the other baby's sweater, but it took a backseat to the Cascade bag last night, cuz I'm itching for a new purse (switched back to my Vera Bradley in the meantime, trying to get in an autumn mood). Plus when I washed the Katja top before giving it to my niece, I noticed that the tie straps felted nicely, so it got me intrigued about felting, which I'm planning to do with that bag. So much fiber, so little time!

I'm thinking of clearing off the back porch, both because it desperately needs it and because I'd love to do ritual out there. Hope the weather's clear tonight. Happy Lughnassadh, y'all!

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