1. First, Mom. Something came up on Mom's EKG last week that the cardiologist didn't like, so she'll be going to CdA this Thursday to see the cardiologist and this concern also means the surgery on her upper arm/shoulder is canceled. When Mom and I talked on the phone, the Roberts family was making dinner at her house and a roar of laughter filled the background. Carol's family members are doing a great job being with Mom 24 hours a day and Mom sounded pretty good given all she's going through.
2. I started my day back at the Laurel clinic for a quick visit where James, the open, friendly, very competent lab guy at the clinic, checked the TB test he gave me on Friday and within seconds determined that I do not have tuberculosis. I celebrate by going to my favorite Starbucks at the Centre at Laurel and indulged in a chocolate croissant and a cup of Pike Place coffee.
3. I continued my day in Bethesda where I saw my superb nephrologist, Dr. Fahim Malik. Thankfully, he told me what I've been hearing since first seeing Dr. Charles Zakem back in 2005 in Eugene: my kidneys are slowly deteriorating, but the progress of the disease is very slow. Over the last year or so, I lost one more percent of function, but Dr. Malik assured me that this was not a cause for alarm and that I will most likely continue to feel good for a few years to come. He was happy that I'm losing weight and taking good care of myself. So, here's my take, as I've written before; if a guy has to have a progressive kidney disease, at least what I have is not debilitating and dialysis/transplant is not in the near future and I can keep living well. It's good that I'm being evaluated to be on the transplant list. Once the results come in for bloodwork I had done last Monday, I should be listed and start accruing time and then, hopefully, I'll be in a good position for a kidney at the time I need a new one.
BONUS: The American Film Institute is running an African Film Festival in Silver Spring and today I picked up the Deke at 4:15 and we went to a movie from Burkina Faso entitled Soleils, about a young woman who is guided by an older man through her history as one who lives in Burkina Faso, both deep and recent history. The fantasy trip served to initiate her into adulthood and had the added bonus of acquainting us who watched the movie with the history of a place we may or may not have been familiar with. The Deke, of course, teaches in French all day and has several French speaking African colleagues and it meant a lot to her to see this movie and to deepen her experience of getting to know people she teaches with. The movie took me into a world I was unfamiliar with and helped me see things about Burkina Faso and the larger picture of West Africa in ways I had never thought deeply about before. We were both moved to silence after the movie and, on the way home, talked some about the movie, primarily to express to each other how happy we were that we went.