Sunday, August 19, 2007

On the Road, Again...

Dear Readers,

Thank you for your kind responses to my last post. I am healing and feeling more "my old self" every day.

I shall be hitting the road with my son, the truck driver, for a 3 wk spree. Well, it is a spree for me, work for my son for at least 2 of those weeks. We are going to Burning Man and will be living the life for 1 wk at Black Rock City. We have planned and waited all year for this wonderful event and I'll be damned if I am going to miss it for a little heart attack. Anyway, I will be with my son 24 hrs a day while on the road and he will see to it that I get the attention I need should I need it. Am packing my boatload of pills, low-fat, low sodium foods, and lots of loose, comfortable clothing. While at BM, I will have volunteer MD's and RN's at the Med station and will be a Medevac ride away from the Reno hospital should things get serious.

Hopefully, I will return with good stories to tell and some pics of the grand sites and artwork to share.

Peace and good will toward all (well, almost all),

Sunday, August 12, 2007

US Medical System:On the one hand... is terrific, if you arrive at the ER on the right day with the right diagnosis. I know first hand, at least for Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, as I have just had my first, hopefully only, heart attack. I have learned much this past week. I have learned that women display completely different symptoms when having a heart attack. For instance, I had no heart pain, just extreme fatigue, jaw, neck,left arm and upper chest ache. I could barely move, but did not have that heavy weight/pain in the heart muscle itself that most men experience. Because of the lack of pain, I initially ignored the symptoms. Except for lying down for a few hours, I did nothing different. Then I went to the beach to gather seaweed for mulching the garden and, then...whoa!... big jaw,chest,left arm ache and extreme fatigue. I almost could not move to get home.
I finally decided to call my MD who did immediate enzyme testing and sent me to the best hospital in the area, bypassing the hospital with which she was affiliated. Because of the diagnosis sent ahead by my MD, I spent almost no time in the ER waiting room, going first before others in more obvious pain but whose diagnoses were not life-threatening. Everyone was very kind and attentive. The ER wasted little time setting up endless bloodwork, taking rather repetitive histories (I must have told the same story at least 6 times on admittance along with my list of current meds (there is way too much redundancy), doing physical exams, monitoring heart rate, BP, etc. Was admitted to the floor after about 6 hrs (waiting for a room to open up) where more of the same questions and tests were repeated. I was scheduled, after talking to the primary physician, the cardiologist, the assistant cardiologist, and some other members of the team, for a cardiac catheterization and possible stent placement for the next day, though I was told it probably not take place until the day after. Fortunately, I did get the procedure done the next day and all went well, the 3 stents were placed in the RCA, and I made it through recovery without problem. Though I had to do some fast-talking, I was released from the hospital the next afternoon on a ton of new meds. I pushed for the release as I knew the bill was already going to be more than I can ever pay for in this lifetime. And, because I had not slept since entering the hospital as the endless treatments and bloodwork had me on an every hour to 2 hours schedule around the clock. Sleep is necessary for healing, and, I was not getting any.
So, on the good side, the service provided was excellent, though there was really massive redundancy which might be cut back. The professionals were great and all involved in my care were thoughtful, attentive, and responsive to my needs. Great care!
On the other hand, the negative side, living on a meager monthly check and no insurance at this time, I will be in massive debt for the rest of my life. Not easy to live with, especially since this all happened about 3 weeks prior to my getting on Medicare.
Great timing, eh? Still, had I not listened to my inner voice and taken myself to the MD, gone to the hospital, and had the stents placed, I would have gone off on a month tour of the USA and a date with Burning Man with my trucker son, spent the week at BM biking and walking miles; probably would have had a massive MI instead of a smaller one, hundreds of miles from the nearest hospital, perhaps dying on the road to somewhere.
Sure wish we had a single payer Universal healthcare system; and, so do all my doctors.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Why We Must Stop This War (Photos)

Snagged from Daily Kos diarist Miguelmas' diary page The Pictures They Don't Want Us To See, photos by the incredible Rick Loomis of the LA Times. All are excellent, but the "Projects" called "New Battle" and "Iraq" supply great reasons why the Iraq war must stop now.

Go to Rick Loomis' site, hit "Projects" then select "New Battle" and/or "Iraq" to take a look. Be prepared to see the truth. This is what Loomis delivers without holding back, Goddess bless him.

Thank You, Congressman Michaud

I am proud to say that my Congressman did the right thing and voted "no" on the "FISA bill." As to the other 41 Democrats who voted "yea" and the 9 Dems who did not vote at all, I say "a pox on your houses!" Shame on you! At a time when this administration has accrued too many powers, some illegal, all anti-democratic, to vote to give that little worm Gonzo and his evil bosses, Chainer and Chimp, yet more power is simply obscene. We really need to clean house.

And, why the hell did we not even know about this vote in advance? We could have, perhaps, done something to change the outcome, made phone calls, sent e-mails, essentially harried the Dems who were planning to vote yea or abstain from voting. Where was our warning signal, our wake-up call?

If you want to colour code my fear of an administrative coup (which actually has already happened, quietly), colour it red. We are in deep doodoo, fellow Americans.
And, now, we may lose California to a reorganization of representation, giving them a Republican majority to win the 2008 election?

Is it time to move, yet?
(Oh, forgot, cannot get a passport without a year-long wait, now...closing the borders?)

My thank you letter to Congressman Michaud:
Thank you very much for voting against the "FISA bill. It disturbs me greatly that this vote came without warning and that so many Democrats supported it when AG Gonzales and the White House have amply demonstrated that they rate impeachment, not extended powers. Thank you for your sanity and your loyalty to the Constitution and the citizens of this United States of America.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The sky is falling, the country is falling, the bridge is falling

Bridges, dams, roads, levees, undergrounds, pipes, drinking water, schools, laws, justice, lives...all falling apart while the Republicans keep money rolling from citizen pockets to corporate and corporate-lovers' pockets, blocking, at all costs, any money from going to support, repair, or create infrastructure in this used-to-be-democratically-run used-to-be-republic.

For more details, check out "Deferred Maintenance" at Daily Kos

I have not been able to post this week. Yes, busy with garden and freezing garden produce, but that is not the main reason. I just cannot seem to stop vomiting. Perhaps I should stop listening to what is going on in Washington.