Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thought For the Day #2

I actually had a fun time shopping at Costco this morning. Too bad they couldn't have released Dad from the hospital before my brain snapped............

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Things I've Learned During All This

*  There will always be people who assert that heart disease isn't linked to weight, but the size of the furniture in the cardiac ward proves otherwise.

WebMD exists to scare the bejeezus out of people and should not be accessed by anyone actually sick

*  There are people who immediately think one should sue if one gets sick for any reason.  They make exhausting hospital visitors.

*  The food on the cardiology wing is designed to make sure one knows there are worse things than being hooked up to bunches of wires

*  Moving up 2 flights in a hospital wing gets one a much better view, but walking those extra 2 flights of stairs REALLY make a difference.

*  After walking up all 7 flights of stairs to the new wing, I keep ducking into the bathroom to hide until I breathe normally.  I don't know what the admission process is really like, but being red in the face and panting when surrounded by cardiologists can't end well

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Six Years And Counting

Sunday was our 6-year wedding anniversary.  Obviously, this is kind of a tough time for us, so we had gone shopping for our annual perfume/cologne exchange early this year so we could do it one of the days my mother was in town as a break for all of us.  This year, I got THE most elaborate bottle ever:
The clerk said that some people bought it just because of the bottle, which sounds spontaneous but risky as there are scents I truly dislike.  Because this is our 7th exchange (one for the wedding), we were looking for things very different than what we already have, and I had narrowed it down to this one or another one in a much tamer bottle--both were sort of spicy, which I don't already have.  I think the clerk thought I picked the cutest bottle, but in reality this one was $30 less than the other one, and considering 6 years ago we were only having to spend $50 each in total, there was no way I was picking such an outrageously overpriced scent.  We are going to be tweaking this a bit for next year, but in the meantime, I think I might need to display this baby somewhere.............

Monday, September 24, 2012

Some Of Us Carry Warning Labels.......

I am--and always have been--extremely squeamish, so I keep having to explain myself to medical personnel during all of this (and any time I'm around a hospital in general).  I was saying to Andy this morning it would have been nice if they had sent Dad to the same floor as before so I wouldn't have to explain myself to an entirely new group of nurses, so I found this on my car as I set off:
Is that love or what?

And Week 5 Begins......

I am proud of myself today.  My father is back in the hospital with a secondary infection, which probably could have been prevented if the [wretched human beings] at Blue Cross of Idaho hadn't booted him out of the hospital against doctor's orders because they're greedy jerks who don't give a damn about people--only money.  Today I sat through a homophobe's rant about how this is all Obama's fault without punching anyone in the nose.  I this is a new level of personal growth.  I even kept my cool over this person insisting that someone the person didn't like had to be gay just because this person didn't like the other one (who has a wife and kids by the way).  I realize that the kind of person who can hate another one because they are born differently probably hates people for being of a different skin tone as well, as they seem to go hand-in-hand, but usually I manage to not associate with any such people.  For the record, this kind of for-profit insurance abuse of patients has been rampant for years here in the USA.  It's just the racists in the country who need to blame the black guy who think differently. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

And We End Week Four.......... the emergency room.  The night before last, Dad started not feeling good and throwing up, then got a fever.  He's on such strong antibiotics, he shouldn't even be able to get an infection.  We consulted his doctor, who said we're not taking any chances, and they took Dad to the emergency room last night.

The hospital did lots of tests in the ER, then admitted him at 3:00 AM to keep him for observation and more tests.  If Blue Cross had followed the doctor's wishes instead of their own, he would still have been in the hospital Thursday night and this could have all been avoided.  I hope they enjoy paying for the ER visit and all the subsequent tests. 

Dad is doing better this morning, but we're not sure if he's in the hospital for another day or going back to the care center.  At least since it's a new admission, the doctors have some say for a while.

Monday, September 17, 2012

And We Begin Week 4.....

The doctor wanted to keep my dad in the hospital another week, but America's healthcare system isn't about healthCARE--it's about health INSURANCE, which puts companies like Blue Cross in the middle, and it is their sole aim to charge as much as legally possible for a service that they fight tooth and nail against providing.  So the INSURANCE company decided--Dad's health be damned--that he had to move into a different facility, and that he had to move on Saturday or nothing.  Nice. 

America spends 50% more per person on health care than the next-highest nation, and we get nothing in return.  The most generous studies show that life expectancy in America is 12th in the world.  AND all the countries ahead of us are on socialized medicine.  Two years ago we had a chance to do something about the atrocious state of our health care system, but instead of looking at the real problem--(for-profit insurance machines with unlimited lobbying budgets)--Americans were dumb enough to let the dialogue be dominated by fools like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.  And in this election, we have vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who proposed a Medicare "voucher" program which would take Medicare--the only socialized medicine we have and the most efficient one because it's not about PROFIT--and basically turn it over to the insurance companies, which would deliver zero benefit but would then shave off an additional percentage of money available because those insurance machines are there to make MONEY, not to do what is ethically or medically necessary.  And I know a lot of damn fools who depend on Medicare who will actually vote for Romney & Ryan.  If the American health INSURANCE system isn't scaring the hell out of every American right now, they just simply aren't paying attention.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Things I've Learned This Week

*  When the going gets tough, the tough ignore the zucchini

*  Even if one is the favorite aunt, understandably, the first-time hatching of lizard eggs STILL takes precedence over one's birthday

*  There isn't a mother in the world who can compete with the worrying level of a 91-year old "mommy"

*  I've always known armchair quarterbacks, but thought that armchair political campaign managers might be the wost wide-spread unqualified experts.  That still might be true, but armchair doctors run a very close second.

*  Sarah Palin might have been right about those "death panel" things after all, only they actually already exist and they're called "Blue Cross Insurance."

*  Even if you have to chase it down and catch it in the bedroom yourself, a live mouse birthday gift from your cat really probably is a token of affection

*  One of THE best problems I have ever had is trying to keep up with the calls/emails/messages from friends to see how I'm doing and how my father is doing and seeing if we need anything.  Not that anyone ever wants to go through a crisis, but it's a whole lot easier to do it when one has friends on one's side.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Or Not So Much

Okay, Dad will not be going home this week.  He had surgery this morning to drain the spinal abscesses, but there is a new one that they found, so they'll aspirate it maybe tonight.  We thought he would be having surgery 2 weeks ago, but he was just so very sick at that point that he wouldn't have survived any surgery.  Knowing he's improved enough in two weeks to be able to have surgery does sort of make me feel better, but I still had a nervous night, and when they moved Mom and I to a private consultation room instead of just using the one in the main waiting area and the only handouts in the room were "How to handle the dreaded call" and one on the hospital chaplain services, the hospital almost gained two patients for heart failure or stress.  It was the longest 20 minutes of my life, and several hours later, I'm still shaking.  Dad came through the surgery just fine, but I am going to suggest to the hospital that they add a few more brochures to that room.  The surgery went fine, but that new abscess and just the fact that he has been so sick and needs to be close to medical attention in case there are more problems means he's probably got two more weeks in the hospital.  BUT, considering what I thought we were going to hear while we were in that room, "still very sick" is an okay thing to hear today.  We can work with that.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


They think Dad will be able to be released from the hospital a week from today!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Where I've Been

Well, it's been a wild week.  My father was taken to the emergency room last Sunday with what turned out to be a staph infection, and last Tuesday Andy drove me up to the hospital so I could stay with my mother for a while, but that was the day they did an MRI, discovered the staph infection had caused a spinal abscess, and sent him down here to the care of a neurologist and infectious disease specialist.  So we all ended up back in Boise, and while it's been a VERY long week and we came very close to losing him, my father is actually going to be fine.  It's just going to take a while.  So, life has been put on hold for a bit--or it was until I caught a cold from all the stress and now can't go anywhere NEAR the hospital until I'm not contagious. 

Fall! Finally!

Even without extremely hot summers, I've always loved fall.  A little coolness in the air, leaves starting to turn, sweaters coming out-...