Saturday, November 01, 2008
Okay, so I have been negligent. Sue me.
When we last chatted, O Theophilus, I had just had a new set of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and a right heart catheterization (RHC) and everything looked rosy.
Well, everything remains rosy!
In June, the Captain and I attended the Pulmonary Hypertension Association's International Conference which is a biennial event, this year in Houston, Texas. Now I ask, whose brilliant idea was it to haul a bunch of pulmonary patients to the Gulf Coast in June? It was hot, it was humid, and when we got off the airplane, and stepped out of the terminal at Hobby, the first thing I saw (at four in the afternoon) was a lightning bolt nearby. Having been gone from Florida for ten years now, I had forgotten the ubiquitous summer storms that form on the land and head for the sea every every every afternoon about four o'clock.
I met many of the folks who I knew only from here in the cyber-world. I discovered that I liked ALL of them.
Sometimes, when you only know someone from conversations online, when you meet them in the flesh, you're a little disappointed because the person you had created in your own imagination didn't quite measure up. THIS WAS NOT TRUE FOR EVEN ONE OF THE FOLKS I MET IN HOUSTON!
I had an inkling of that before we left. My pal Annette and her charming husband Rod had a couple of days in Washington, away from their home in Omaha, before we both were expected in Houston. We went and kidnapped them from their hotel and took them out to breakfast and a quick tour of Alexandria, then dumped them back at the hotel so they could take a noontime cruise up the Potomac. And they were FABULOUS! Made me know that Houston was going to be wonderful as well.
And another reason that I was a little eager to go is that I had, once again, agitated in an unseemly manner, the rabble into a rouse. One night we were chatting in the Pulmonary Hypertension Association's chat room, and a newly diagnosed woman said "I'm changing doctors. My doctor doesn't like me. He wrote on my chart that he thinks I'm an SOB!" We all laughed, and explained to her that SOB was shorthand for "short of breath," in the same way that dx is diagnosis, px is patient, rx is prescription, etc. So then, we began to talk about what a bunch of SOBs we all were! And thus was born...
The SOB T-Shirts.
I went to a t-shirt website and started playing, and came up with a black t-shirt that read, in small pink letters, "I'm a little" and in HUGE Purple Letters "SOB."
Then I made one for the Captain, that said "Someone I Love is a Little SOB," and one for all of my medical folks that said 'EVERYONE I Know is a Little SOB." And I posted a picture of them on the PHA Message Board.
And I sold over two hundred of them.
And they were all worn on Friday during the PHA Conference. That was about 20% of the attendees. In the linked picture, you can see me in a conference on travelling with oxygen where I was a panelist, and you can gaze through and find a LOT of pictures of a LOT of people wearing a LOT of black t-shirts. (The ladies depicted are the nurses and respiratory therapists from my PH clinic. Oh, and that's me being the poster child. A long story for later.)
All proceeds paid for the Northern Virginia PH Support Group's Website.
Posted by The Truth at 4:28 PM