An early Thanksgiving

Does Ruthie’s Brigade ring a bell? Sure it does! You are family, friends and faithful readers who’ve been my support network as I’ve done battle with various medical issues. A Brigadier suggested a column to update everyone on a couple of these ongoing battles. Here goes:

As you know, I have atrial fibrillation (AFib) and have been taking Eliquis for two years. My last EKG showed no change—my cardiologist and I were pleased.  

Shortly after the AFib diagnosis, further testing had indicated I had erythrocytosis, a blood disorder resulting in an increased number of red blood cells. Following closely on the heels of that diagnosis, pulmonary hypertension reared its ugly head: high blood pressure in the arteries that go from the heart to the lungs. This condition “is a life-threatening condition that gets worse over time, but treatments can help your symptoms so you can live better with the disease. It may take some planning, but plenty of people who have it find ways to do all the things they love, just as they did before they were diagnosed.” 

Sign Up for E-News

In the treatment of erythrocytosis, I had 10 phlebotomies in 2017 to try and bring the number down. This frequency caused concern among my doctors. The pulmonary specialist, after some research, prescribed nocturnal oxygen treatment, which began in December. 

All joking aside (“it sounds like a type of owl,” from sister, Roe), the reasoning behind this treatment was twofold: My oxygen level goes down at night and my heart works harder; hence, the pulmonary hypertension—the added oxygen would help ease its workload and relieve my precious heart!

The second reason: The specialist had indicated that the increased oxygen should bring down the red blood count, thereby eliminating the need for phlebotomies. When I see him next month, I will thank him profusely: Last week’s blood work showed that my red blood count is finally normal! After six months of oxygen therapy, no more phlebotomies and I’m breathing easier! Hallelujah!

Yes, an early Thanksgiving in June for me: Medical issues are currently under control and some fun events are coming down the pike this summer. May I add heartfelt thanks that my granddaughter, Kala, has safely returned from Asia (look for a future column on her four-year adventure) and grandson, Matt Jr., will be attending Fordham University Law School in the fall?  

We know how life can change in a heartbeat and we do the best we can when that happens. Dear Brigadiers, our thoughts and prayers are with and for each other. God bless you for your caring and support!

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


The Feline Night Stalker

Shades of the late Darren McGavin! If you liked the ‘70s horror shows on TV, you knew him as Kolchak, crime reporter, in the series “The Night Stalker.”

It seems that I have a night stalker living with me. My kitty, Bonnie, had her 18th birthday in April and I’ve noticed some subtle changes in her behavior. Up until that time, Bonnie would sleep on my bed at night. She ...

Hitting the road, Part II

Welcome back to our little trip across these great United States. We left off somewhere on Route 90, heading out of Cleveland.

So glad to have you following along, and frankly, if you’re following I’m just glad you’re not the cops. On the way to Chicago I found myself driving 70 miles an hour, which made the police quite angry, since the speed limit was 75. 

When ...

Sabotaged by the DMV

After living in Manhattan for the last few years, my grandson, Chris, and my wonderful grand-daughter-in-law, Silvia, have decided to move back to his hometown of Westfield, N.J. Silvia has just returned from a four-day visit with her parents in Hong Kong and they are bunking with my daughter, Lisa, while preparing their new home. Because they now have a daily commute to the city, I decided to ...

Do it badly!

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly, at least to start. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I have learned to get started on a project even if I don’t have all the pieces together. Sometimes just puttering, tinkering or moving the parts around will help me sort out my brain enough to give me an idea of how to tackle a project.  

I can’t tell you how many times ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights




Tue, June 26, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights




Tue, July 3, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights



Excited for Somers Block Party June 30

June 20, 2018

Hello Somers:

The Town is excited this year to partner with the Somers Lions Club, Somers Chamber of Commerce and Sebastian Capital to offer a new kind of Independence Day celebration, at a new location, starting a new tradition with the 2018 Somers Block Party on June 30.

The Block Party will take place at Sebastian Capital’s 1 Pepsi Way property (across from King Kone) with gates ...