Tuesday, January 31, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - January 31, 1977

I'm once again back at Dr. Cheatham's office to check on the growth of my head. Based on the notes, it all "seems to be doing OK." The second note sounds like Dr. Cheatham is at a loss for why the large head and is telling my parents they have the option of going for a second opinion at UCLA or USC.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - January 22, 1977

On January 22, 1977, my mother and I paid a visit to her mother, Dorothy Hollingsworth. The first photo shows my mother wearing a souvenir shirt from her Hawaii trip and my abnormally large head. The next photo has a my grandmother holding me with a hidden gem in the background. I remember that lion pillow as a kid. It was one of my favorite things to play with, or lay on, when I went to visit. The last photo was just me on a Disney blanket, probably getting a diaper change.

What's interesting about these photos, besides who is in them, is who took them; Gibson Brown. Gibson Brown was the father of Phil Brown. Phil Brown married Diana, one of my mother's sisters. Phil and Diana lived in the suburbs of Chicago and were notorious for making me feel like family every time I saw them. When Uncle Phil's father, the aforementioned Gibson Brown, passed away, Uncle Phil was nice enough to let me inherit the Hardy Boy collection that was in his parents' apartment. This small gesture is what helped me develop a long-term love affair with reading.

I still have those Hardy Boys books. And I ended up collecting other stuff too. Tom Swift. Nancy Drew. X Bar X. Star Wars. The list just continues and continues. But that first bag of musty, dusty, wonderfully smelling books is the seed that got me started on the adventure of collecting and reading. Even this past weekend I bought two books that I needed to complete yet another series of books from an author.

One side note, we (my dad and I) inherited a few things from the Browns' apartment. I'm pretty sure one of them was a tape measure from US Steel and another was a painting or drawing by Phil's mom, Lois. It's weird the little things you remember.

Friday, January 20, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - January 20, 1977

This visit was to Dr. Cho, my primary care doctor. There's no reason listed but I was sent for lab work, specifically a "hematocrit" test. The hematocrit test (or HCT) is a simple test that measures your red blood cell count. Since there's no reason given and no results listed, I would assume it's related to my head or maybe because I was anemic (or potentially anemic). Either way, things seemed to be just fine.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - January 17, 1977

Continuing my on-going medical saga of having a huge head, we are now moving into the "re-ck" phase. As in "re-check" my head to make sure everything is okay. Spoiler alert: everything will be fine.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - January 10, 1977

Today was a big day 40 years ago. I went in for a "complete skull EMI brain scan" (what we would call a CT scan today). Turns out "EMI" is just the brand of the CT scanner. There's some interesting history out there on not only EMI but also CT scanners. A few tidbits in case you're interested:

Here's a YouTube video on the EMI Scanner (circa 1975):

Also of note, "studies  that  had  been  done  by  mid-1977  showed  that  CT  head  scanners  perform   reliably   and   provide   accurate   diagnoses   of   nearly   all abnormalities   in   or near  the  brain  for  80  to  100  percent  of  patients." And that by early 1977, only 400 scanners were present in the US.

All told, pretty damn impressive that a baby, who isn't even a year old, is having a scan of this sort done. I have yet to hear from Dr. Melvin Cheatham, but this speaks volumes to me about his level of care for his patients.

Policy Implications of the Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner. November 1978. Accessed on January 4, 2017. http://ota.fas.org/reports/7813.pdf


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - January 4, 1977

I started the new year off with a well baby check. Looks like everything went ... well. I was given a "UA" which I'm assuming is a urinalysis test. There's no mention of the test results later in the medical journal so I can only assume things checked out.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - January 1977

I don't have an exact date for this photo, but it's one of the many that I remember growing up as a child. As in, it was one I saw frequently. The more I look at it, the more I forget the awful drapes in the background and think of The Lion King.

This next photo is some sort of photo session, but this is the only image I have found. The back of the photo just says that I'm "3 months old" so I'm comfortable dating it in January 1977.

This last photo is of my mother trying to get me to stand up so I can be measured. Looks like I came in just under 2 feet tall. As for the height chart, I'm pretty sure that's a flower pot at the bottom that was made of thick cardboard. The chart was like a vinyl or plastic. The top was a flower made from another piece of thick cardboard. I know I've seen it at some point in the past but I don't know where it went.