One Down, Many More To Go

Posted under: health.
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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

Wine for the Novice

Posted under: food, health.
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I enjoy an occasional glass of wine, but I don’t really know that much about it. If you want to be truly enlightened about wine, do yourself a favor and use this resource, Winegeeks. You will learn about the different types of grapes and wines; the wine making process; smelling and tasting wine; buying, ordering, and storing wine; and how to throw a glass of wine into the face of a cheeky scoundrel. (Just kidding about the last one.) Also Kenwood Vinyards has a very helpful glossary of terms pertaining to wine.
Tempranillo Wine
It took me a while to acquire a taste for wine. Now I am starting to appreciate both the potent and subtle aromas, flavors, and textures that make each wine unique. Terms like astringent and full-bodied are used to describe the texture. Some wine scientists came up with the “aroma wheel” to describe all the different possible smells present in various wines. My personal favorite: Microbiological: yeast, sauerkraut, sweaty, horsey, “mousey.” Brent likes to use the term jet fuel to describe the taste of wine. Now I wonder how he knows what jet fuel tastes like…

I learned some interesting facts from John Cleese in “Wine for the Confused”. Many growers try to prevent the grapes from growing; they’re kept very small so the flavor is concentrated. Yeasts, which are necessary to produce alcohol, exist naturally in the vineyard and collect on the grape skins. Once the grapes have been crushed, these yeasts (or artificial yeasts added by the winemaker) interact with the sugar in the grape juice to produce alcohol, a process known as fermentation. Wine can ferment for three days or three years, depending on the style of wine the winemaker is trying to produce. The winemaker must also decide which type of container to ferment the wine in. Oak and stainless steel barrels are today‚Äôs most popular choices. So what are the differences are between red and white wine?
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Comments (4) Jan 09 2009