Friday, February 15, 2008

The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Mr. Smith

My father is continuing to recover from his heart attack (now officially labeled arrhythmia), although there was another scare last Sunday night. He started to feel dizzy again and experienced tightness in his chest, so he returned to the hospital. The ambulance crew recognized him from the last trip they took together, although Dad, understandably, did not remember them. The hospital ran some more tests, kept him overnight, and then decided it was probably a side effect of his medication and changed his timing so two pills wouldn’t interact.

So the week began on a roller coaster note. It continued in large part as a long wait for the cardiologist appointment on Friday. Mom stayed home from school again on Monday, and called her own mother to help. Grandmother lives just over an hour away, and my aunt, who happened to be visiting at the time, brought her to my parents’ house.

Grandmother stayed the course of the week and helped Mom with a variety of tasks around the house and kept Dad company. He’s had good days and not-so-good days. He’s not really the sort to watch movies all day long and was, I think, starting to get bored. Fortunately, my grandmother is crazy (it runs in the family). I’m pretty sure they kept each other well entertained. Also, she cooked. Dad is allowed to have peanut butter cookies, so she made plenty of those, among other things. I’m sort of jealous.

Dad’s doctor appointment on Friday went well. He confirmed what the hospital suggested earlier, that one of Dad’s medications was causing problems. He went a step further and decided that, ultimately, it was not necessary. So Dad’s off that one. All else is well. There was no permanent damage to the heart, and Dad is healthy enough that the doctor is dropping the recommended rehab time from three months down to one. They are getting a twenty-four hour heart monitor just to double-check, but the doctor believes Dad is in good shape.

Dad himself feels much better. That comes partly from being off the medication, and also partly just from getting the doctor’s reassurances. He’s moving around more (still not so much with carrying laundry, but Mom’s got him folding it at least) and his bruises from the surgery are going away. He needs to avoid excessive stairs and sitting up quickly. Also, breakdancing is probably out. He’s spending most of his time reading, eating, and watching movies, but is also beginning to get back into his workshop and generally beginning his return to normal activity.

Next week he comes here to visit me (the doctor has no problem with that) and he will return to work in March. If all goes well with the heart monitor and rehab, he’ll return to the doctor in May for a follow up. Then all should be back to normal (with the exception of those diet arguments he’s going to lose, but I’m of the opinion that’s an acceptable compromise).

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Do you hear what I hear?

I have a kick butt subwoofer. Two of them, in fact. There's one in my bedroom attached to my computer (where all my music plays) and one attached to my entertainment system (games and movies). They're pretty sweet. I know because I've turned them on at least three or four times.

I live in an apartment and I am aware that subwoofer sound tends to carry. I have neighbors on two sides and one above. There are also three more, at the diagonals, who might be affected. This is Georgia, after all, and they're not big on things like insulation down here. Considering it's sixty degrees outside on this the third day of February, that's not surprising. Regardless of the reason, there's nothing in the walls to keep the sound from passing from apartment to apartment. Normal sounds like voices don't travel very well, but the low beats of a subwoofer treat the walls as abstract concepts instead of concrete barriers. I don't think subwoofer beats even notice the walls most of the time, just go about their business (primarily booming) as if they weren't there.

I know this because my left-side neighbor owns a subwoofer and is clearly not afraid to use it. I have pointed out its capacity for transmitting through walls on several occasions, and each time he is deeply apologetic and mildly surprised. He has not yet grasped that this is not a singular phenomenon. He can be forgiven for thinking so, I suppose, since I am not very diligent in pointing out his error. I have a significant capacity for ignoring background noise that simultaneously awes and frustrates Sarah, who lacks it entirely. Adding in my moderate-to-severe aversion to confrontation means I let my neighbor have his thumping bass most of the time and only interrupt him when it is affecting my sleep or my work.

If he were my only neighbor, I'd have no compunction about using my own subwoofers. Alas, he is not, and the other two are relatively well behaved most of the time. My upstairs neighbor does appear to have a healthy relationship, but fortunately not much stamina and that sound does not carry nearly as well anyway. So I leave my subwoofers off most of the time, and look forward to the day my living space is no longer directly connected to my neighbors'.