Today I took Grace down to Ann Arbor for some more medical imaging of her pancreas and the associated ductwork. So she spent a couple of hours in an MRI machine in the sub-basement of the University of Michigan Medical Center, surrounded by super-conducting magnets, while I finished reading one of Kage Baker's novels about immortal cyborgs, but found that my iPod battery was dead and I could not get a cell phone signal.
Anyway, the radiologist's initial assessment was that they can't see anything wrong, and her pancreas and the ducts seem to be working the way they are supposed to. But they will go over the images some more. This result is both very encouraging and quite frustrating. It's great to hear that they don't see a lot of damage, and she may not need any more medical intervention. But we're left a little baffled -- why can she not eat food without getting strange feelings and waves of nausea, unless she takes pancreatic enzymes? We're just not sure. However, the situation has improved -- after a couple years, she is no longer getting stabbing pains if she eats food without taking enzymes. Waves of nausea are marginally better than stabbing pains. We are feeling more optimistic that we might be able to get her off the enzymes altogether, and that she might even be able to have a glass of wine with a meal again one day. Has she healed up, somewhat? Was the pancreas itself never actually badly damaged? Her symptoms have been indicating chronic pancreatitis for some time now, but we just don't know.
Anyway, we were gone all day and the appointment took much longer than we expected, and then we ran some very un-exciting additional errands while we were down in Ann Arbor. We got back quite late. So there is not much other news... but that's what happened. Oh, I guess we did have some additional news -- we determined that Grace and the kids are be eligible for Medicare if we are not able to keep my health insurance through COBRA. I'm not. But there might be some kind of catastrophic coverage I can get through the county. Our applications for food assistance and help with lead testing and/or remediation are in progress.
I got a couple of textbooks I ordered, on the subject of digital signal processing, specifically the theory and practice of filters, and a book on CoreAudio. Almost a decade ago I wrote the MacOS X CoreAudio driver for the Aardvark Direct Pro Q10 product, in C++, but CoreAudio has evolved a lot since then. You probably are not terrible interested... but I will be reading these books with considerable interest, as time allows.