Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin has made an amazing recovery. He was extubated overnight and is alert and talking.
In a Wednesday text exchange with David Banner (not his real name, but a real doctor) I wrote that perhaps Hamlin’s youth and excellent physical condition would give him a chance at a meaningful recovery. In a press conference yesterday, one of the doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who is supervising Hamlin’s care did mention those factors as likely having played a role in his progress.
To be honest, though, both David Banner and I were less than optimistic about Hamlin’s chances. Regardless of whether or not the cardiac arrest was the result of commotio cordis (Latin for agitation of the heart, a blow to the area directly above the heart at exactly the wrong time during the heartbeat cycle), anytime a person completely loses their heartbeat the situation is critical. By the way, the etiology investigation is not complete and, as I write this, no cause has been definitively identified.
I wish Hamlin and his family all the best.
As good as the situation appears to be for Damar Hamlin I am reminded that on this day in 2004 was the last time I spoke with my marvelous mom. In very early December of 2003 she had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. (The cancer had metastasized to other organs like her liver.)
Pancreatic cancer is a curse on Ashkenazi Jews. Some studies have suggested that, for example, among Ashkenazi men with a family history of colorectal cancer (I “qualify” as an aunt on my mother’s side had colorectal cancer), the rate of pancreatic cancer is twice that of the general population. Of course, since my mother had pancreatic cancer, my risk is even higher. All of those facts make my current bout with pancreatitis scary as hell.
The clock is ticking…well, I’m not really referring to everyone’s inevitable fate. We are down to 25 days in which to negotiate an accepted offer for our house so we can buy the “Goose Bumps” house.
One of the reasons for my poor mood yesterday was that a married couple who had walked through our house twice, each time for over an hour, did not make an offer and, instead, had decided to “move on.” I don’t want to describe my mental state as devastated, but for a brief time I was extremely depressed.
Showings are picking up, but we are running out of time. I’ll stick with my assessment that the probability of executing this purchase is only about 20 percent.
With the benefit of hindsight I have to admit that this endeavor was ill-conceived. In this environment of rising interest rates and talk of a recession, trying to sell a house in our market segment was not the best idea.
I don’t know if our realtor (Hi, K Squared!) defined our market as our zip code and I am not sure of the length of the study period, but houses listed at between $1 million and $2 million had 45 recent sales. In our segment, between $800,000 and $900,000, there were only 4 sales.
If that sounds counter-intuitive, remember that someone trying to buy a house for $1.8 million can probably pay cash whereas someone trying to buy a house for $850,000 probably needs a mortgage. Principal and interest on a 30-year mortgage for $680,000–80% of $850,000–at 6.5% is about $4,300 a month. The same amount and term at 3.5% is about $3,100 a month. (The current average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is about 6.5%. Our last rate before we paid off our mortgage five years ago was 3.5%.)
When people buy items like a house or a car, most of them are really “buying” a payment. One reason why 7- and 8-year car loans exist is so people can have a smaller payment, even though the car costs the same.
While we have not definitively decided, I strongly suspect that if we don’t buy the “Goose Bumps” house then we will just take our home off the market and wait for demand to improve, which–of course–might take a year or two. I will be very disappointed because I doubt we will ever have another chance to buy a house we like this much. Of course, I could be wrong.
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