Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 21

July 7, 2012 was a good day to be an extrovert in room 113. I had visits from Stephanie before she headed south to see the rest of my family, Tommie before she headed south to see the rest of my family and Barbara and Gary on their way north for a family reunion. It was very nice to have all these visitors in various combinations, sort of like a little party in my room.

Tommie and I went for a 1.5 mile walk today and I am tired now (still), with dashes between each of the letters. T-i-r-e-d. I had post lunch and pre dinner naps which helped. I am hopeful that I am so tired because my bone marrow is revving up and stealing all the energy from elsewhere in my body. Sounds good, doesn't it?

I did a little board review, read JAMA from June 6 which has a really interesting article on aspirin for primary and secondary prevention of vascular events traded off against bleeding events and hung out with company today. I think I may watch some Daria this evening or maybe another "Pink Panther." I wonder what it says about me that one of my favorite movies was made the year I was born?

The halo effect of my hair. Not much left.

Since there's no news to tell you, I'll tell you a couple funny stories that are similar in that the protagonist has a completely different world view than the person they are speaking with. The first happened to me. I told my nurse a week or so ago, expecting sympathy that I felt like it was my full time job to care for my mucous membranes. She said, "that's right." My resident who is 7 months pregnant with twins was hiking with her husband last weekend and he said, "Wow, it's going to be a lot harder to go hiking when we have to carry those babies after they are born." She said she has told that story to several women who all "get it" instantly and a few men who do, but mostly when she tells it to men, they sort of look at her like "what's your point?"

The final little tidbit I'll toss in today since it seems to be a very q-word day (is it bad luck if the patient says it? I don't know; not willing to risk it) is about probabilities. OK, so remember back to seventh grade math when you figured out the chances of throwing five heads in a row? one half x one half x one half x one half x one half = 1/32 = (one half) to the fifth power = 0.5**5.

So, I have this idea that on any given day, my chances of not getting an infection are very high, like 99.5%. But what determines how successful this hospitalization is is whether or not I can string 28 days in a row without infection (I picked 28 as my estimated length of stay).  My probability on each day of not getting an infection is 0.995; two days in a row is 0.995*0.995; three days in a row is 0.995*0.995*0.995 = 0.995**3. If you play it out for 28 days, that is (0.995)**28.  which is about 86.9%. If I obsessively clean things in my room (which I do) and that decreases my chance of getting some infection by one quarter of one percent to 99.75%, I've raised my chances of an infection free stay to 93%. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the magic of compounding.


  1. LOL there's that math stuff again. NOW I get it!! :)

  2. You really DO have a perfectly shaped skull. :) I am pretty sure mine is quite lumpy from the multiple times I've cracked my head doing dumb things as a kid. :)

  3. Daria, as in the MTV animated series??? I used to LOVE that show! I wish I could visit you, but getting over a cold. Soon.