May 22, 2023

My Mom’s Orchid/Lady Slipper

 My mom loved Lady Slippers and Crocuseso. She planted the Lady Slipper in 1979 at the back of what was then her house.  We bought the house in 2008 and have enjoyed the Lady Slipper Flowers every year since.  It looks like we will have 15  blooms again this year.

The excerpt of music I inserted at the beginning of this post was a joint effort by my son and grandson.  Vlad was my son- and daughter-in-law’s cat with a big personality.

It looks like summer has finally arrived in this part of the world.  We had one-day last week when the temperature reached a high of 30C.  I hope to go to the greenhouse sometime this week to pick up two baskets of petunias to put in the urns at the front of the house.  My hydrangeas in the flower bed at the front of the house did not do well last summer.  I want to pick up a few more plants to fill in the spots left by the disappearing hydrangeas.

The last month has been very difficult. The pain seems to get worse. I have been on the same dosage of pain medication for the last 15 years. The medication enabled me to get up in the morning. It also dulled the pain to the point I could sleep at night. The pills however never took the pain completely away. It was always there playing havoc with my life. I have had several tests done in the last month. I had my hips and knees x-rayed. The hips seem to be free of arthritis but both knees are a disaster. My doctor recommended I get a steriod shot in the right knee. It seems to have helped a bit. The echocardiogram showed that my aorta is normal which was a great relief. My birth mom died from an aortic aneurysm. According to information published by John Hopkins an aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50% of the vessel’s normal diameter (width). An aneurysm may occur in any blood vessel, but is most often seen in an artery rather than a vein.

The echocardiogram did however present another problem. Apparently the muscles in my heart are thickening. According to information published by the Mayo Clinic, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease in which the heart muscle becomes thickened (hypertrophied). The thickened heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to pump blood. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy often goes undiagnosed because many people with the disease have few symptoms. Signs and symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy might include:

  • Chest pain, especially during exercise
  • Fainting, especially during or just after exercise or exertion
  • Heart murmur, which a health care provider might detect while listening to the heart
  • Sensation of fast, fluttering or pounding heartbeats (palpitations)
  • Shortness of breath, especially during exercise

Typical heart and heart with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

The following information is from the Mayo Clinic:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is usually caused by changes in genes (gene mutations) that cause the heart muscle to thicken. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy typically affects the muscular wall (septum) between the two bottom chambers of the heart (ventricles). The thickened wall might block blood flow out of the heart. This is called obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.If there’s no significant blocking of blood flow, the condition is called nonobstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) might stiffen. This makes it hard for the heart to relax and reduces the amount of blood the ventricle can hold and send to the body with each heartbeat. People with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy also have a rearrangement of heart muscle cells (myofiber disarray). This can trigger arrhythmias in some people.

Risk factors:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is usually passed down through families (inherited). People with one parent with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have a 50% chance of having the genetic mutati.

  • Atrial fibrillation. A thickened heart muscle and changes in the structure of heart cells can cause changes in the heart’s electrical system, resulting in fast or irregular heartbeats. Atrial fibrillation can also increase the risk of developing blood clots, which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
  • Blocked blood flow. In many people, the thickened heart muscle blocks the blood flow leaving the heart, causing shortness of breath with exertion, chest pain, dizziness and fainting spells.
  • Mitral valve disease. If the thickened heart muscle blocks the blood flow leaving the heart, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle (mitral valve) might not close properly. As a result, blood can leak backward into the left atrium (mitral valve regurgitation), possibly making symptoms worse.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy. In a small number of people with HCM, the thickened heart muscle becomes weak and ineffective. The ventricle becomes enlarged (dilated), and it pumps less forcefully.
  • Heart failure. The thickened heart muscle can eventually become too stiff to fill the heart with blood. As a result, the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
  • Fainting (syncope). An irregular heartbeat or blockage of blood flow can sometimes cause fainting. Unexplained fainting can be related to sudden cardiac death, especially if it’s happened recently and in a young person
  • Sudden cardiac death. Rarely, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can cause heart-related sudden death in people of all ages. Because many people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy don’t realize they have it, sudden cardiac death might be the first sign of the condition. It can happen in seemingly healthy young people, including high school athletes and other young, active adults.

Hopefully the next couple of weeks will give me some answers.

Before I end this post I would like to introduce you to Thessalonica Jones also known as Natasha Klassen. Her “Cooking with Time” episodes are available for viewing at Subgenre on the Roku channel.


cooking with time

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