i went to my follow-up doctor appointment this morning thinking he'd prescribe a diuretic like thiazide or up my dosage of avapro. the first week that i was on avapro i noticed a significant reduction in my blood pressure, but the following week my readings seemed to have gone back up again. could it be some residual effects of the previous drugs combined with the new drug?

in the elevator going up to wang 6 (the internal medicine ward), one old guy asked another, "were you in the marines?" not sure how he knew because i didn't look back, but maybe he had a USMC tattoo, or maybe he was sporting some sort of t-shirt to that effect. the other guy said yes, and added proudly, "i was at iwo jima."

it took a while for the doctor to see me, with the waiting room already full of senior citizens. when the nurse performed the preliminary weigh-in, she got an unusually low reading (117/78) when she took my blood pressure, so it didn't really help my argument that i needed more drugs. i waited an hour before the doctor came into the examination room, all apologetic. he'd left his computer on while he was gone and i saw his patient itinerary for the day, and there were people waiting longer than me, so i didn't feel too bad. i presented my case and showed him my BP records for the past 2+ weeks, but he said they were fine, and that i should continue with my current avapro dosage and see him in another year. he also said i was paying too much for my medication and suggested i go elsewhere besides CVS (e.g. blue cross mail order).

i didn't tell my doctor that i was in the midst of switching my health insurance and that this may be my last visit at MGH. when and if i do go to a new doctor, i can at least get a second opinion on my HBP because i feel like my numbers could still be lower than what they are now.

i got my blood taken to check my potassium level before i left the hospital. the lab technician was a bit rude. after sitting me down, she took half a minute to check her cellphone messages before getting started with me. i refrained from saying anything since she would soon be sticking me with a needle.

i got off at harvard square and went to visit the community garden on my way home. the cambridge tree crew were just leaving, after having pruned the rather tall mulberry tree near my garden plot. people seem to hate that tree but i kind of like it, despite the fact it makes a mess of the garden during the few weeks where it makes berries. now that all the low hanging branches have been cut, the only mulberries i can eat are the ones that splatter onto the ground.

the weather has been overcast for much of this week, which is great because it means i don't have to water (even though i still visit the garden on occasions), but bad because without the sun, all the plants don't seem to be growing very much. not much new in the garden, except i found some aphids on at least one of my tomatoes, which is weird, because like the cucumbers, insects normally avoid them. i may want to spray with some biodegradable insecticidal soap.

the intermittent rain showers add a touch of drama to the flowers in the neighboring garden plots:

i bumped into jeff (walking his dog) before i left the garden and we had a long sidewalk chat. when i got back home i went to market basket via motorcycle to get some groceries, before going to the cafe where my mother had made some fried spring rolls. i brought them back home for lunch as well as dinner. i put the rain cover back onto the bike when i saw a forecast for heavy rainstorms tomorrow.

i didn't even bother checking when the mail arrived. hours later i realized i received a small package all the way from hong kong. i thought somebody had sent me a present until i remembered it was that esata expresscard i bought through ebay. it got here pretty quickly (just 6 days) considering it was sent from the other side of the world. before i even opened it, i was admiring the trio of bird stamps on the package.

i bought the AKE esata expresscard after extensive online research. it was one of the more mac-compatible cards, and i may even be able to boot from it. it was also unique in that it sat flush to the side of the laptop when completely inserted into the expresscard slot. i was worried i wouldn't be able to easily remove it, but a gentle push causes the card to pop out. i tested it with my usb/esata hard drive dock and copied over 7gb worth of data in about 2 minutes. now sure about the exact numbers, but the esata transfer seemed to be faster than usb or firewire, which is what i wanted in the first place. too bad the new versions of the macbook pros that came out this week are all missing expresscard slots (with the exception of the top-of-the-line 17" MBP).