austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And when he does his shaky rockin' dance

I should share the vitamin K story, since my father's talked about it at least three times every visit I made to the rehab clinic. It's not that he's telling me about it over and over again. It's that he gets phone calls, and he tells them the story too, and since I'm just sitting by the bedside patiently --- usually patiently, actually, since often enough I'd rather stand --- or he mentions it to whatever clinic folks stop in to check on him. He's impressed beyond words, anyway.

He's been on blood thinners. Coming off a quadruple bypass I'm not surprised by this. But he'd also been eating his salads, which he's long done because he just likes how dark green vegetables taste. One of the nurses realized that dark green vegetables tend to be ones rich in vitamin K. When he mentioned this to me I realized why there was a story there. You see, I remembered vaguely just why the newly-discovered vitamin was called K rather than, oh, F or G or H or whatever was the next available letter. The K was for Koagulation, as in German for, well, coagulation. (It was discovered by a Dutch scientist, but published in German.)

It was at this point in telling the story to me that my father ordered me to take the Jeopardy! Online Contestant Quiz. I'm sure they give a lot of questions about the etymology of vitamin names there.

Anyway, with that dark green vegetable vanished from his food --- immediately, in fact; the lasagna for dinner was done without spinach --- and the blood thinners were reduced. He felt just this identification of a medication he could take less of proved the value of the rehab clinic. And he's told this story over and over again. Also I note one of my aunts sounded very skeptical about my Vitamin K/Koagulation connection, but I stand by stuff I'm pretty sure I read in Asimov essays about biochemistry.

Fortunately, Sunday, the Patriots/Ravens game came down to the last seconds, so he was able to start talking about how that game was a heart-stopper, so he has that as the thing to talk about now. Combined with the brain aneurism and he's chock full of gallows humor.

Trivia: Vitamins are also used as food dyes. Riboflavin in naturally dark yellow. Source: Twinkie, Deconstructed, Steve Ettlinger.

Currently Reading: A History Of The Kennedy Space Center, Kenneth Lipartito, Orville R Butler.


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