Posted by Deliverator on March 15th, 2008
It has been touch and go with my grandmother over the last half week, but she seems to be doing better since yesterday. She has been bleeding a lot internally and the doctors have given her 8-10 units of blood and have been draining the internal bleeding almost as fast as they have infused. Prior to all the bleeding starting, they put her on Coumadin, an anti-coagulant drug to try to break up a clot. In retrospect, this seems to have been not such a great idea, as I believe this greatly increased her internal blood loss. Once they stopped the Coumadin and started giving her blood like mad, it still took several days to get it out of her system and they gave her shots of Vitamin K to try and reverse the effects. Wikipedia notes that this method of reversal is somewhat out of fashion in favor of using Prothrombin Complex Concentrate. The treating physician mentioned to us several times the results of clotting tests that they were doing and from what I can tell, her case seems to meet the criteria used by various practice standards bodies as to when it is preferred to use the PCC method of treatment vs the blood+ Vitamin K method. Then again, I am not a hematologist and Wikipedia isn’t known for being the best authority on some issues. Because they had to stop the Coumadin before it had a chance to break up the clot, they decided to put in some sort of filter stent in one of the major arteries of her neck, to catch any clots that might break loose before they could give her a stroke. Anyways, she seems much improved. She is more alert, eating a bit more and was able to briefly walk and spent part of the day sitting in a chair. We hope this means she gets to spend some more time with us.
From the trivial news department, I made an in person visit to Frankenputin and did some upgrades. Frankenputin now has a external backup drive with 232 GB of capacity. If you are a silverfir user and would like to make use of the new drive to backup your website or other data, contact Ryan or myself for instructions. I moved Frankenputin and associated hardware onto a UPS. The UPS has a serial port for monitoring, and I hooked it up, but haven’t had a chance to investigate Linux UPS monitoring agents yet. Oasis, the older desktop machine which used to host Silverfir (and still hosts a few things like the TRC mailing lists) unfortunately couldn’t go onto the UPS as well do to over wattage concerns. I also added a KVM switch, older LCD monitor, compact keyboard and trackball to the desk on which Oasis and Frankenputin sit. This should make in-person administration a little bit less of an exercise in not knocking things over.
Update: Frankenputin felt a bit slow while I was working on it this evening. I checked and it looks like during the upgrade to the Gutsy Gibbon release of Ubuntu, the Linux kernel got switched to using a i386 one which doesn’t support smp. In effect, Frankenputin was only using one of its two PIII 933mhz processors. I manually switched to using the “generic” Ubuntu kernel, as this one now supports SMP by default. The old way of doing smp on Ubuntu, by installing the linux-image-686 meta-package has been discontinued.