One Down, Many More To Go

Posted under: health.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Sometime in early 2005 doctors discovered in me a small pituitary tumor. After a year and a half of drug therapy failed to reduce the tumor it was removed transsphenoidally in August of 2006. My neurosurgeon said it would probably not recur. It has.

A recent MRI scan revealed the tumor has grown to 2.5 cm, which is larger than it was before surgery in 2006. Due to the location of the tumor there is pressure on and deformation of the optic nerve. To check for damage an opthalmologist performed a Visual Field Test a few weeks ago. The results of this test are normal. Vision loss typically begins from each side of the field of vision and leads to tunnel vision and then blindness.

Dr. Jeffrey E. Florman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey E. Florman, MD

I was referred by my endocrinologist to a neurosurgeon, Dr. Florman. Dr. Florman is very personable and candid. My previous neurosurgeon assured us that the portion of tumor he was unable to remove would be cauterized and, therefore, unlikely to grow. Dr. Florman said these tumors always grow back. This tumor is growing very fast: about one centimeter in diameter per year. At the current rate I will require surgery every two years. Because of scarring and a weakening of the tissues, each successive surgery is more risky than the previous operation.

Dr. Florman advised me to consider radiation therapy after surgery. Radiation can significantly reduce the tumor’s rate of growth which would mean fewer surgeries. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (9) Mar 29 2009

All American Children Are Above Average Act

Posted under: philosophy, politics, psychology, school.
Tags: , , , ,

Liberal education is a vanishing ideal in the contemporary West. The aim of liberal education is to produce people who go on learning after their formal education has ceased; who think, ask questions, and know how to find answers when they need them. People who are better informed and more reflective are more likely to be considerate than those who are – and who are allowed to remain – ignorant, narrow-minded, selfish, and uncivil in the profound sense that characterizes so much human experience now.

Since the No Child Left Behind Act has been instituted, it has been counterproductive. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires public schools to administer a state-wide standardized test annually to all students, holding them accountable and withholding federal funding if they fail to meet requirements. I am infuriated and bewildered by this law.NCLB: A+

Many opponents of NCLB, including teachers and parents, do not like the idea of the testing that is provided in NCLB. They claim that “standardized testing, which is the heart of NCLB accountability, is deeply flawed and biased for many reasons, and that stricter teacher qualifications have exacerbated the nationwide teacher shortage, not provided a stronger teaching force.”

Deborah White

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (6) Mar 19 2009

Beware of the Green Paste

Posted under: food.
Tags: , ,

We just returned from a trip to Florida where we had the opportunity to visit Brent’s family. One night we ate at Richard’s (Brent’s dad’s) favorite restaurant to celebrate his birthday. Texas de Brazil featured an impressive assortment of various meats which the “carvers” presented to us on skewers throughout the meal. I’m not a meat person, but I have to admit the samplings of lamb, pork, beef, and chicken were all quite delectable.Wasabi

We were also treated to an impressive salad bar with all manner of unique culinary delights. I was determined to select primarily those items with which I was unfamiliar. I noticed a greenish concoction which was placed next to some pickled ginger. A sign read: Wasabi. “Why not?” I thought. At the table I sampled a spoonful and immediately regretted it. When I hear the phrase “flames coming out your ears,” I now understand the feeling. I tried hard not to make a scene, although my eyes were watering and my nose was running. Brent’s younger brother Michael noticed my discomfort and advised me (too late) that Wasabi is something to be consumed in very small quantities, and not by itself. Thanks, Mike! And now a warning to my readers: Beware of the green paste.

Comments (12) Mar 11 2009