worrying about hearts

So I got a rather worrisome e-mail from my mother today.

Apparently, my grandmother got an echocardiogram recently and it showed that she has a myxoma (a typically benign tumor) on her right atrium.

My family is taking her to go see a cardiologist on Friday and, hopefully, a quick surgery in the upcoming month should be able to take care of the problem.

From what I could gather on the internet, most atrial myxomas are easily removed with surgery, and I’m just hoping that no complications arise for my grandmother.

Luckily, the tumor hasn’t caused any serious symptoms yet either.

Still, this is some worrisome news.


work fun. 

anonymous asked:

what was the australian rabbit incident???

As with all problems in our world today, we can easily and with very high accuracy lay the blame for the Australian Rabbit Incident directly on the doorstep of rich, upperclass old white dudes. In this case, rich upperclass old white dudes who moved to Australia and found it sadly lacking in good old-fashioned shooty-type sports.

I can only assume that wombats and wallabies are not nearly so exciting to chase with guns a-blazin’ as foxes and rabbits, because in 1859, 24 European rabbits were released on private property for hunting purposes. Within sixty years their descendants had reached a population size of over ten billion, and were a serious threat.

Not only did the rabbits get up to the usual invasive species shenanigans - driving local competitor species to extinction, supporting invasive predator populations, etc - they were also responsible for absolutely destroying farmland in with their insatiable hunger, eating many plant species to near-extinction, and causing dangerous erosion in the land they’d eaten bare.

In a hilariously terrible (but also desperate) attempt to keep the rabbits from spreading throughout the entirety of Australia, The Great Rabbit-Proof Fence was built, crossing the entire length of Western Australia, and successfully accomplishing absolutely nothing but accidentally killing a lot of emus and kangaroos. 

Further attempts at controlling the population were similarly doomed. A bounty was offered, and then discontinued when the program was in danger of bankruptcy due to too many rabbits being brought in. Myxoma virus was introduced to the population, decimating the problem for a short time, until the now-huge populations of predators finished off the few surviving herbivorous marsupial competitors, died out from lack of food, and left the way even clearer for the new, myxoma-resistant rabbit population to grow. A nearly textbook case of What Not To Do.

I wish I could say that a miracle solution was found, but as with basically every invasive species problem in the world, it’s still a problem. A serious problem, in fact, since invasive species are probably one of the biggest factors responsible for extinction in Australia - which, not so incidentally, has an extinction rate higher than anywhere else in the world. The importance of Australia’s flora and fauna, which is one of the most unique in the world, is precisely because placental mammals never made it there - until we brought them. 

For example: If every species in North America was wiped out, we’d still have almost every single one of those genera represented somewhere else in the world, if not even the same species. If every species in Australia was wiped out we’d have…opossums. In an entirely different order. Which is sort of like all the bats in the world vanishing, but someone telling you not to worry, because we still have horses, and those are pretty much the same right??? The Australian Government

Allow the myxomatosis vaccination for bunny owners in Australia

Benji was our beloved mini lop bunny. Heartbreakingly, we had to watch him endure the pain and agonising discomfort of the horrible myxoma virus. Myxoma was introduced to the wild rabbit population in Australia to kill them. In other countries, BENJI WOULD NEVER HAVE DIED. In other countries, there is a vaccination to immunise pet bunnies against the deadly disease.

The Australian Government needs to realise that bunnies are the 3rd most popular pets in Australia only behind dogs and cats. No bunny and no pet owner should have to endure the horrible pain and heartbreak of losing a beloved bunny, a family member and innocent fluffy animal. 

Wild rabbits don’t even deserve the horrendous effects of the myxoma virus, the lethal disease that causes swelling of the face, ears, eyes, genitals, lethargy, a decrease in appetite, kidney failure with blood in the urine, conjunctivitis of the eyes, fever, blindness, and eventually kills these poor helpless animals.

The virus was introduced to kill the wild rabbit population in Australia. This was also done in the UK and similarly around areas of Europe. However, other than Australia, the humane decision to allow the immunisation from the deadly disease, for domestic pet bunnies, protects beloved pet bunnies from this incredibly debilitating, painful death.

Why won’t Australia allow the vaccine? The immunisation of pet bunnies in those countries hasn’t affected the wild rabbit population. It’s simply not fair. Pet owners of a dog or cat have the right to immunise their animal. A bunny should have the same right. 

PLEASE HELP US in changing this. No bunny should have to endure what our poor Benji went through. In memory of Benji, our beautiful boy, we will do whatever it takes to see this law changed, to prevent another innocent bunny die so painfully, and so unncessarily, by something that could have been prevented.

Benji wasn’t just some rabbit. He was a family member. RIP Benji.