physical health

This category contains 44 posts

Customer Service, Part Cinco

(Here we are, revisiting a common theme in this blog.  It’s as if they are not listening!)

I was fully prepared (okay, 85% prepared) to post last night for today, as this morning I was to be occupied during my blogging time-frame.  Another medical procedure.  Sigh.

Another endoscopy.  A camera-down-the-throat (and biopsy) to see the ‘progress’ of my esophageal erosion due to chronic acid reflux.  Which might lead to cancer and/or surgery.

Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be doing it!

This was set-up by my primary physician, as she saw I was suffering from this condition, and wanted to see the progression of the disease.

SO…I was referred to a specialist who saw me six weeks ago, and scheduled this procedure.  One day, outpatient, a few hours.  Roomie J will be driving, as I will be rendered unconscious by propofol (the Michael Jackson drug) for the procedure.

Last time I had this done, the clinic-de-jour called me (and sent me a letter) a month in advance to ask me questions about medical power-of-attorney, organ donation, that kind of icky stuff.  And advised me there would be an intake charge.  Up front.

I was grateful for the heads-up, as being on disability I don’t have lot’s of spare cash lying around for unexpected expenses.  I still wasn’t thrilled at the charge, of course.

But this time, the different facility (I changed doctors as the previous guy seemed to want to get as much Medicare money out of me as possible) had not called or sent a letter.  I assumed (NEVER do that – D. Brown) that if there were a charge, they would bill me.


They called me yesterday afternoon at 1630 hours (I was to be at the hospital at 0700 this morning) and advised me there would be a charge of over one hundred dollars!  They would not bill me, and if I didn’t have the funds, I would have to reschedule!

Of course, I don’t have the money.  And the caller had NO IDEA why I was upset, that this was in the very least an inconvenience and poor customer service!

THEN, she hung-up on me!

But not before telling me to reschedule I had to call my specialist’s office – THEY couldn’t do that!  At 1630 in the afternoon.

(I did rant, but used no foul language.)

Fortunately, my doctor’s office was still open.

SO…it’s been rescheduled for August 16.


PS – While I was writing this, the hospital called to see where I was.  I advised them of yesterday’s conversation and the rescheduling.  Must I do everything?

A Period Piece

from Bayou Renaissance Man (in part)

Today’s award goes to the journalist(s) and/or editor(s) responsible for this utterly ludicrous headline:

It is, of course, complete and utter bull.  Naturally (and I mean that both literally and figuratively) women are, indeed, the only people who menstruate!  It can’t possibly be any other way.  Those responsible for this absurd headline are stretching reality in such a pretzel-like fashion that it’s grotesque to the point of ridiculousness.


There’s more at the link.

Look . . . if a woman chooses to self-identify as a man, but chromosomally, genetically and otherwise is female to the point that she still has periods, THEY ARE NOT A MAN.  THEY ARE A WOMAN.  PERIOD.  (Pun intended.)  Even if the relevant organs are surgically removed, so that periods are no longer physically possible, that won’t change the reality of the situation.

This is political correctness gone mad, and should be treated as such.  To do otherwise would be dishonest – and the hallmark of a doofus.  It’s as simple as that.


I applaud Peter for his directly addressing the complete absurdity of this concept!

Having said that, I commend the company for (ahem) thinking outside the box (sorry!) to gain a larger market share.  Capitalism at it’s weirdest.

As stupid though it may seem.

Hard to imagine what is, or could be next…

(I shudder at the prospects!)

Chemical Warfare

I suffer from mild allergies.  Mostly an occasional cough and nasal drip, ameliorated by application of sugar-free cough drops, tissues, and daily use of Flonase™ (when I can afford it).

It seems to be seasonal in nature, like when something is blooming or dying in the wind.  It doesn’t affect my life much.

What does, however, is the onslaught of horrible scents, mostly from women’s injudicious application of a perfume they like, assuming all others like it equally.

Not all do.

I believe perfume or cologne should be used sparingly (if at all) so only those in hugging distance have the opportunity to appreciate it.

The Battle for Scent Supremacy took years at TMCCC, my former employer.  Many women thought their perfume smelled wonderful, and to share it with co-workers would bathe in a 55 gallon drum of the stuff just before entering the workplace!  Those of us affected by such pollution referred to them as the bathers!

I remember arriving early, parking traditionally a couple hundred yards from the employees’ entrance, exiting my car, and being overwhelmed by cough-inducing volumes of perfume.  With no one else in view!

And many a lengthy conversation with the offenders (if known) and management ensued.

After YEARS of complaint and negotiation, the company finally instituted a policy – if two persons were offended by your scent (and reported same to management) you were required to go home and shower and not get paid for your absence!

This cut down the offenses considerably.

Of course, this policy doesn’t extend to being out-and-about, within smelling distance of the public!

One of my favorite places (I don’t get to very often, since I moved) has a sweet manager/waitress.  Always takes care of us!  EXCEPT for the stench of the Jean Nate’ she bathes in!

Seriously, you are no longer in the Eighth Grade!

My first encounter with this kind of chemical warfare was when I attended the local university, and the Womens’ ROTC marched by!

this is not them

this is not they

But the quantity and mixture of scents was DEADLY!

(The legs were nice, though!)

One Thing About Life…

is we all end up the same way.

How we get there is what matters!

Tom Lindsay of Fill Yer Hands  tell us he is battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which is essentially bone marrow cancer.  (his words)

You might stop by his blog (or his Facebook page) to show your support!

He’s another one of the good ones!


Please keep a good thought, and pray for him – if that’s what you do.



(copied stolen from Bayou Renaissance Man)

One can only salute the courage and determination of this victim of terrorism.

An Israeli man who was stabbed multiple times Tuesday afternoon in a terror attack in Petah Tikva managed to remove the knife from his neck and use it to stab and neutralize his attacker, aided by the store owner, police said.

The attacker, a Palestinian, died a few minutes later, police said.

The victim, later named as Yonatan Azarihab, an ultra-Orthodox man of about 40 who suffered multiple stab wounds to his upper body, was hospitalized in moderate condition.

The store owner was not injured.

There’s more at the link.

There will doubtless be those of a bleeding-heart persuasion who try to convince us that the Palestinian was merely ‘resisting Jewish oppression’.  Bull.  As the late, great Jeff Cooper once said:

The obvious way to eradicate crime is to eradicate criminals, but neither the lawgivers nor the constabulary seem inclined to do this. The man who elects to prey upon society deserves no consideration from society. If he survives his act of violence, he rates a fair trial—but only to be sure that there has been no mistake about his identity. If he is killed in the act, there can be little doubt about whose act it was.

He was a terrorist – a criminal by any other name.  Thanks to a courageous, determined – and, yes, probably very angry – victim of his terrorism, he ended up paying the price for his crime right then and there.  Congratulations to Mr. Azarihab.  I hope and pray he makes a speedy and full recovery from his wounds.  I don’t know whether Orthodox Judaism condones the drinking of beer, but if it does, I’ll gladly buy him one (or any suitable beverage of his choice) anytime I get the chance.


Reminiscent of the tales of late regarding Ghurka warriors, in another part of the Old World, dispatching bad guys with aplomb!  Not one-on-one, but one-on-many!

But here we get told engagement is a no-no, it might make the attacker (more) angry.

Obviously, one needs to know oneself and one’s abilities (and limitations), but we need to stand up to any bastards who confront us with potential immediate harm and stop them!

And yes, I know I’m stating the obvious and preaching to the choir.

Nope, Nothing Here!

(My doctor, after examining my head(!)

correction – My EYE doctor, after my eye exam!  :-) )

Part of my annual medical exam involves a visit to the ophthalmologist.  You know, the guy who dilates your pupils to see what he can see.

Being a diabetic, there is always a concern.  Diabetes, as it limits proper blood flow, can cause neuropathy (which I have) and even diminished flow to the eyes, which can cause blindness!  Even with my ‘good’ blood work numbers.

I don’t like having my pupils dilated, and even more so do not like paying for the privilege.  My eye doc does take Medicare (which I am on, due to my being disabled).  Of course, every year there is the deductible.

And, it is the beginning of a new year.


So, I’d been putting it off until I could cobble some funds together.

My regular physician – knowing my predilections in this matter – sent a referral to the eye doc, who set up an appointment, and they called me with the date and time.

So there’s no avoidance…

Good news!  They take payments!  There is no sign of diabetic damage in either eye!  AND my prescription hasn’t changed.

Until next year…

What Is Wrong With American Health Care?

I’m fond of referring to my trial and tribulations with clinics, doctors, specialists, back-offices, et al in this blog as BUREAUCRATIZILLA.

Truth be told, I’ve encountered many fine medical professionals who have actually treated me, prescribed medication for me and followed-up with me.  I’m a diabetic and two-time cancer survivor (not to mention arthritis, tinnitus, bad knees, ‘old person’ problems, etc.!)

Sadly, it seems many doctors, while medically skilled, cheapen when it comes to staffing the back office. Numerous record and billing snafus, misunderstandings and scheduling problems have been the result.

And, if this chart is to be believed, it’s not going to get any better!  I suspect the ACA hasn’t helped streamline things, either.

‘Free’ health care?  At what cost?


h/t Doc in Yuma

What About Bob?, Part Quatro

In our last episode…

My friend Bob (of the many friends named such) – my former P.I. boss and gun store boss – was losing weight and on a feeding tube due to the inability to eat due to esophageal cancer (!)

And he (and we) were awaiting approval from on-high (his health care insurance) to begin chemotherapy and radiation for the throat cancer.

And the insurance company was balking at beginning treatment, as he had yet to gain any weight (or to save themselves money – you decide!)

And now…

I heard from him yesterday, as I reached out to him for the Thanksgiving weekend.  He has been receiving ‘treatments’ going on three months, with the last one scheduled for this coming week.

THEN, we will see the prognosis…

He says he is very tired and is maintaining (mostly) a good attitude.

Please keep a good thought, and pray for him (if that’s what you do).

Please, Keep Another Good Thought

Mary, my former wife and mother of Molly, is going under the knife, today.  While it is outpatient surgery, is remains surgery.

She remains a dear friend, and while she moved 3000 miles away for 10 years after Molly’s accident for schooling, she returned a few years ago and quite-by-chance now lives about 1/4 mile N.E. of me!

Please. keep a good thought, and pray, if that’s what you do.

Thank you for her.

We will amend this post when we have a prognosis.

I just got off the telephone with Mary (0915 11/12) and she says she is recovering well and has been told they removed all they needed.  Prognosis excellent, although she does sound a bit exorcist-y!

And she thanks all for their good thoughts and prayers.

I Sometimes HATE Novembers…

November 8, 2007

I had spent Saturday night with my (then) girlfriend J. (who is now my landlord – it’s complicated) and we were caravaning back to my place in central Phoenix on Sunday night, around 7 PM.  At the time, we both had Sunday’s and Monday’s off.

And I was about ten minutes ahead of her, preparing to pull into my driveway, when I noticed something annoying.

The porch light I had left on was not burning.

Damn!  I just bought another yellow, incandescent bug bulb.  They burn out so fast.

So, I pull into the drive, key my way in the back door, and head back to my bedroom to unpack.

It’s not just the bulb that’s off.  My interior wall behind my bed has fallen upon it!  The wall to the rear of the house seems to have moved laterally about 12 inches – making my doorway to the back office, computer/reloading room narrower by about a foot!  I look in there, and most everything is strewn about and on the floor.

Exiting and looking into the adjacent bedroom, my gun safe remains, but the wall behind it has also shifted East about a foot!


I call J., who is still in route and explain something is very wrong.

Then, there is a knock on the carport door and I answer it.  It’s a neighbor, who explains about 4 AM that morning, a vehicle drove through my fence and drove into my house!  As it was much noise, many neighbors came out to investigate and found the truck had continued to plow through my yard, pushing the rear wall of my home sideways about a foot.  He backed out and drove away, with the police in pursuit who stopped him about a block away.

It was a drunk driver in a company vehicle.  Who knew?

The neighbors figured out I was not home, and as gas seemed to be leaking called the gas company and turned off all my breakers, promising the police and gasco they would have me contact them upon my arrival.  Of course, no one knew where I was.  The gas company shut off the gas.  The police had left a note on my door asking I call them.

Then all went back to bed.  And the drunk went to jail.

All while I was ignorantly asleep at my girlfriend’s house 17 miles to the S.E.!

Sunday became a late night.  Calling my insurance man, who said they would pay for a (cheap) hotel, gathering up some additional clothes, and awaiting the construction guys who would plywood all the broken windows, the rear of the house and doors to make the house more secure.

More neighbors became aware of my returning home and stopped by to see if I was alright.  The Latinos across the street – who spoke no English, and I suspect were illegals – brought me over a kitten to cheer me up!

Restless sleep began something like 0130.

And I was unable to return home except to check the mail for about six months, while the insurance company rebuilt my little house, moved me to a condo and cleaned up the mess.

Sadly, I had to return the kitten.

But wait, there’s more…

(look for the sequel in about two weeks!)  :-)

(I will continue to post daily, this is just building suspense…)

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…