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Updated: 03/25/02

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Monday, 25 March, 2002

The trip report may take a little while to finish, but here's the capsule version:

Incredible trip, the best dive boat I've ever been on, wonderful crew, great food, terrific group of divers that all got along, and the things we saw . . .


We spent four days diving at Malpelo Island, Columbia and five days diving at Cocos Island, Costa Rica, both of which are about 300 miles off the Pacific coast of Central/South America. Diving with hammerhead sharks, huge schools of jacks, moray eels, mobula, marbled and manta rays, black tip and white tip sharks, sailfish, sea turtles, snorkeling with wild dolphins and watching a 50+ foot sperm whale surface less than 100 feet from the boat.

[Did I mention "WOW"?]

Ah, but all good things must come to an end. I got back around 11:00 last night, and went back to work this morning. Waded through e-mails and talked to my team members to make sure there were no burning fires - a few smoldering embers, but not bad.

This afternoon I picked up a rental car and took The Alien to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital for her appointment with Dr. Elaine Holt, a feline opthamologist. Three third year residents (Emily, Ryan, and Margaret) did their preliminary examination, and then Dr. Holt went over their observations and showed them the things they missed.

It seems that Alien has a detached retina in the eye that isn't cloudy, and some fluid build-up in the other eye. She is, at least temporarily, blind. Dr. Holt said that out of one hundred cats with similar problems, she may only be able to specifically identify the causative issue in 25% of them - often cancer or some infectious disease. She can make educated guesses at the rest, one of which is high blood pressure, but Alien's BP was very low. She thought there could be some problem with her kidneys, but Alien's kidneys were a bit enlarged, instead of small and hardened, which is the usual presentation for feline kidney problems.

Dr. Holt asked to have Alien's bloodwork results faxed over from Society Hill Hospital and suggested that she have an ultrasound to see if there were any abdominal issues. She prescribed some topical eye drops and Alien is scheduled to come back tomorrow morning for her ultrasound.


[I think I need a vacation.]

~ ~ ~

Quote du jour:

"They say the sea is cold,
but the sea contains
the hottest blood of all."

"Whales Weep Not"
D.H. Lawrence (1885 - 1930)

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