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Another ‘Bobbie Burns’ Day

It’d been said tell God your plans – and watch him laugh.

I’ve been reluctant to go in for a back x-ray, on doctor’s order.

I’m just tired of procedures.

Robert Burns – the poet laureate of Scotland wrote Ode to a field mouse.

“The best laid plans of mice and men aft gang agley”

(oft go astray)

I actually decided to go in.

Then I got a cold.  And I feel like crap.  Fevers, chills, muscle pain.  And a temperature of 102°.

Been bedridden since yesterday morning.

Sigh.

Dear Friends, Part Two

Well, I made it through the ‘procedure’ okay.

Thanks for all your emails and support!  (Especially J. who stayed with me and drove me to-and-fro!)

The good news is I survived, and live to fight on another day.  The bad news is I have Barrett’s esophagus.  (I’m betting Barrett didn’t even know it was missing!) *rimshot*

This means chronic acid reflux has eaten away at the lower third of my esophagus.  I was largely unaware this was occurring as I’ve been taking medication for it for many years.  I guess it would be much worse had I not.

There is a chance of the presence of pre-cancerous cells.  Biopsies were performed – we are awaiting the results.

I am to continue taking my prescribed medication.  And take some other measures to lessen further damage.  And, barring any complications, return in a year to do it again!

OH BOY!

I’ve a series of lovely parting-gift photos.  Below is one of them.

20150419_071641This is what I get for eating and drinking foods I like and having the nerve to recline afterward!  Let this be a lesson to me.

Sadly, probably not…

 

Once More, Unto The Breach, Dear Friends…

(I’m hardly Henry the Fifth!)

But, people oft quote (or misquote) this Shakespeare line, when embarking on some ‘adventure’.

This morning, I’m going to an outpatient clinic for an EGD.  In lay terms, they are scoping my upper GI tract to see what’s what.

Some years back, after the accident, this was done.  Erosion of the lower esophagus was found (acid reflux), and were some pre-cancerous cells.  I’ve been on meds ever since, but my latest doc noticed I’d not been examined regarding progress/regression of these diseases.  The last time someone looked, things had improved, but she’s thorough.

Apparently, no re-check for cancer cells was done.

Sigh.

SO, they will put me out with propophol (the Michael Jackson sleep aid) and see what is to be seen.  And possibly take some tissue samples while they’re there.

Ain’t modern medicine wonderful?

Fortunately, this is scheduled in the morning, my being diabetic and all.  (No food or drink for hours before!)

Being a veteran of both skin and blood cancer, this does concern me.

Wish me luck!  Tell mother I died game – or whatever people say now…

Pain, Pain Go Away!

and don’t bother to come back another day!  :-(

To be honest, pain is only part of the equation.  Most of the problem is annoyance!

Yes, I have chronic diabetic neuropathy in my feet, legs and hands.  Sometimes it’s barely noticeable; other times more so.  And arthritis.  I can usually tell how a given day will go, when I awaken pain free, and reflexively open and close my fists.

If doing so is relatively pain-free, then moving to exit the bed is predicted to be so, also!

This morning, I had pain upon awakening.  While still horizontal.  Before opening and closing my hands.

And my knees were throbbing.

My doc recently took me off an oral diabetes med, which is a good thing! (YEA!)  But, she also restricted my intake of ibuprofen, not as good!  I still take the bp and cholesterol meds.

Can’t have everything!

I just took three OTC IB pills – I used to take SIX, two or three times a day.  This makes 9 pills in 6 weeks!  Along with my prescription pain meds.

And, I get to go in to an outpatient clinic next month, get put unconscious and have them run a camera down my throat!  To see if my esophagus has healed from earlier reflux damage.

Or if any cancer is present.  (I’ve had both skin cancer and lymphoma – this could be the hat trick!)

And I’m on Medicare, so a 20% copay is required.

Which, on my disability, I do not have.

The future appears to hold pain, more doctor visits, and more bills.

Annoyances.

Sigh

I try to focus on others in my circle coping with much worse situations.  Bob H., for example, who just lost the lower part of his left leg/foot, and will soon be fitted for a prosthesis.

Bob is doing well, particularly in his ATTITUDE!

THIS is why my crap is just an annoyance, and not a problem!  :-)

Bureaucratizilla and Insurance

Go together like a horse and carriage…

Once upon a time, I owned a home.

Nice corner lot.

In a sketchy neighborhood – it was all I could afford.

After a car ran into the house (driven by a drunk driver), a subsequent burglary (renovation workers?), and a plumbing failure with mold threatening, the insurance company cancelled my insurance.

Not surprising.

A subsequent water damage problem came concurrent with the onset of my cancer, and loss of the house and insurance, home and medical.

Yeah, I know.  Just lucky, I guess.  :-)

I did land ‘on my feet’, thanks to a good friend who allowed me to move in with her, and being awarded medical disability.  Fortunately, not only do I get SSDI, but I had the foresight to obtain additional private carrier disability insurance when I was employed.  Together, they make just enough for me to survive.

Barely.  Sometimes.

But the private insurer likes to give me hoops to jump through – like me sending them medical and financial records – lest I appear to be actually working and getting ‘extra’ unauthorized funds from them monthly!

The joys of bureaucracy.

Now, my former employer, TMCCC*, has contacted me suggesting I take retirement!  I just turned 62.  And as I haven’t accessed their human resources website in many years, I had to jump through even more hoops.

All to advise them I’ve no plans to retire until 2017 – when I turn 65.

At least I’m not a close friend who gleefully signed up for Obamacare!  When it came time to renew their government-mandated medical insurance, they were told they could keep it.  For an additional $300 a month!

Unable to afford it, they opted for AHCCCS – Arizona’s Medicaid option.

And trying to advise the federal government they were discontinuing one insurance, and starting another was (in a word) difficult.  Apparently, one calls in and leaves a message, so ‘they’ can call you back.  ‘They’ do so (days later), and then threaten you with prosecution for not having insurance – even though you explained to them you were simply changing to another carrier!

(I should have included this in my previous posts regarding customer service, I know!)

I know all of us must deal with some variety of bureaucracy and it’s web of crap, but, with this modern age of computers, the Internet and menu prompts, you’d think it would be easier?

Especially on the older with infirmities.

NOPE.

*TMCCC – That Major Credit Card Company, where I was employed 22 years.

Animals And Their Rights

Kent (of Kent’s Hooligan Libertarian Blog) recently mused regarding the subject of animals, their ‘rights’, and his wearing of buckskin and eating animal flesh.  And the spurious arguments of radical vegetarians.    The money quote, to wit:

“I know how many vertebrates died for me to make my jacket. Three deer, a pig (for the brains I used to tan the hides), and an elk, which is where the sinew used to sew the jacket came from. (Various numbers of yellow jackets were also crushed when I rung out the wet hides during tanning.)

“How many animals died due to the farming or manufacture, and transportation, of your cotton, nylon, or hemp clothing? Habitat loss, agricultural chemicals, the trucks and factories and fuel all took a toll on animals. Both of us wear clothes that resulted in death. At least I own it.” (end)

Now, I’ve no argument with the rank-and-file vegan or fruititarian with regard to their lifestyle choice.  Some varieties might be healthier than my choices.  But, some seem bent on making me change my lifestyle choices, because they see theirs as the true way.  Much like a religious zealot.  Or a global cooling, global warming, climate change, climate disruption (or whatever they are calling it this week) zealot.

As with any other good for you philosophy –  when tied to a political agenda, it loses it’s purity.

Because it’s for the children.  Or Mother Earth.  Or Gaia.  Or whatever they are calling it this week.

MY (libertarian-philosophical) choice is generally to leave others alone.  I try to pass this knowledge onto to others who are receptive to it.  If they are not, that’s their business.

Learning to leave others alone to their business is freeing.  And less stressful.

It’s for the children, ya know!

(I’m gonna go have a bacon cheeseburger now!  With onion straws, cheddar, barbeque sauce and mustard.  And crisp French fries. Your choices may vary.  And that’s okay.)

bacon cheeseburger

Bureaucratizilla On Your Doorstep

Or on your physician’s computer…

The Weekly Standard shared with us the following, in part:

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020, which details the efforts of some 35 departments and agencies of the federal government and their roles in the plan to ‘advance the collection, sharing, and use of electronic health information to improve health care, individual and community health, and research.’” [emphasis added]

What departments and agencies?

Check out this list:

  • Administration for Children & Families
  • Administration for Community Living
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Federal Health Architecture
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Health Resources and Services Administration
  • HHS Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources
  • HHS (Health and Human Services) Assistant Secretary for Health
  • HHS Assistant Secretary for Legislation
  • HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
  • HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
  • HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
  • HHS Office for Civil Rights
  • HHS Office of the Chief Information Officer
  • HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer
  • HHS Office of the General Counsel
  • HHS Office of Minority Health
  • HHS Office of the Secretary
  • Indian Health Services
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • National Science Foundation
  • Networking and Information Technology Research and Development
  • Office of Personnel Management
  • Social Security Administration
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

(from Rob Douglas)  As an information security expert, I can tell you that there is no way – NO WAY – that the feds will be able to keep your health records secure with that many federal agencies having some type of access.

HIPAA be damned (apparently)!  And what do 90% of these agencies have to do with my (or your) personal health!?  Not to mention them sharing information with the FBI and BATFE (through the DOJ).

Don’t fear the government – fear the power of unfettered bureaucracy.  –  Guffaw

Dentophobia

(I don’t know if that’s the correct term, but, it seems to apply.)

When I was in early elementary school, I had a great dentist.  No pain, trinkets afterward.  When I was in the Second Grade, I got a skull ring with ruby eyes for myself, and a heart ring for Susan Johnson, my girlfriend.

Then my Dad married my stepmother that Summer, and we moved.  And I never saw her again.  Nor the cool dentist. :-(

My adult teeth came in, and in junior high came time for me to revisit a dentist.  My stepmother took me to hers, who had apprenticed under Dr. Mengele!

Not enough anesthetic, no sympathy, my own unfamiliarity with adult teeth.  It was like that movie that set dentistry back 150 years…

And, my stepmother being embarrassed by my ‘carrying-on’ just never took me back.  EVER.

And my teeth, which are very soft (I’m told because I was born premature) just rotted on the vine.  My Dad’s example didn’t help, either.  He had full upper false teeth by the time he was twenty-one!

So, much of my adult life has been avoiding dentists and dentistry, or having no insurance, or funds, and dealing with the wreckage of my past.

My current situation is a lower molar, filling compromised, tooth self-destructing.  Fortunately, tooth pain has been intermittent and dealt with with topical aids.  But recently part of the tooth broke, and the side is chronically abrading the side of my tongue when I speak.

And I like talking.  OW!

I was able to blunt the edge enough to make things more comfortable – but I know a dentist visit is in my future.

And I keep repeating in my head, “Is it SAFE?”

How Exactly DOES A Libertarian Deal With Quarantine?

Or libertarian (small L)?

From Say Uncle:

My wookiee suit is strong but . . .

How do libertarians deal with quarantine? Personally, I accept that I am a rational actor and I’d go all quarantine because I should and am responsible for my actions. But some folks, like patient zero, who is not a libertarian, say I’m looking out for numero uno. Libertarians might just tell you to fuck off but that’s not kosher in the whole “I am responsible for me” thing. What say you?

One answer (of 23 when I viewed it) from his posting:

  • Joe Allen Says:
    The Zero Aggression Policy perfectly addresses quarantine. If you know, or have reason to believe, you may have a deadly contagious disease, you cannot hop on a cruise ship or jet airplane and call yourself a libertarian.

Of course, no mention is made any longer of the illness(es) being brought ashore by the thousands of illegal alien children children who came here illegally without parents.  This has been relegated to page 24, if it’s on ANY pages at all!

I suspect, as we are not the World’s policeman, we are also not their nanny.

What do you guys think?Guffaw

More Disturbing News

via Irish

Meanwhile in The Peoples Democratik Republik of Vermont?

This is an email I got from one of my blog friends, has anyone in Vermont seen this
as far as driver’s license renewal?It has been recently been related to me the new regulations concerning driver’s license renewal in VT. There is a list of afflictions, diseases, disorders, etc.. that are automatic disqualifies. I wasn’t privy too the renewal form, or the complete list, but having DIABETES is on the list. The person that told me about this had to take a day off from work to have forms filled out by his physician, then he had to deliver them to the official state physician, then a non-medical tribunal (death panel?) will adjudicate whether he is deserving to clog up the People roads. After doing some digging on the ‘Net, he found that non-disclosure of a physical condition would be hazardous to your freedom – the state already knows what you have. They are in hopes you purger yourself, especially since the IRS is in charge of health care now. Fines, jail time, and suspension of driving privileges await you if you don’t believe the Feds should be involved in EVERY aspect of your life. So much for HIPPA laws, HUH?
Another thing I was made aware of a while back. Doctor’s offices in VT have you fill out a form during a visit. On it,  are questions asking if you own guns, how many, what types, etc…. The questions are not optional, and you can not leave them blank. At the bottom of the form, you are informed that it is a FEDERAL document, and that any false statements are a FEDERAL crime. I imagine “None of your Fuckin’ business” would garner you a visit from your friendly local SWAT team at 2am.

I’m tellin’ you dude, the amount of crap is getting harder and harder to take. Something is going to break in this country, and it isn’t going to be pleasant when it does.
Whatever happened to the libertarian movement to move to a generally friendly State, to fill it with libertarians and make it a Mecca for freedom-loving people everywhere?  I seem to remember Vermont was on the short list as a possible choice.
Obviously, this hasn’t happened.
I do remember being concerned when I was diagnosed  with Type II Diabetes, just because I knew of folks who had difficulty maintaining consciousness during the day with this disease.  I’ve been fortunate that for me, this hasn’t been the case.  Of course, I am on various meds, and with my beater car don’t drive much or far!
And then there’s the whole HIPAA medical privacy thing?
Is this yet another gateway to backdooring medical records to make certain persons prohibited possessors?
Or is it just generic control, again…
"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

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FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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