Friday, June 20, 2008

My New Best Friend

[Content Disclosure: 0% Poker; 78% Medical System; 22% My Childhood and Thereafter; 3% Holiday Wishes]

My encounters with the medical profession began very early in my life. No, I was not a sick kid but I did grow up in a pharmacy. From the time I was ten, I filled the prescription bottle drawers, swept the store and took out the trash. I remember my dad showing me how to make change for a $5 just a year later and when I did it perfectly for the next customer, I was allowed to help out on Saturdays. Once I was in high school, I when to the store a couple of nights a week after whatever sports practice was in season and worked Saturday mornings and every summer.

After college I ran the pharmacy for five years while my dad took some much needed time off, well not off really but he slowed down a bit. So from that upbringing, I knew a lot of doctors and read a fair number of pharmacy and medical books; I just wanted to know what we were doing and how the lords of medicine thought they knew what they were doing. I learned, from an early age, how the other side of medicine worked.

Now for the first time in my life, I am having extended personal interaction with the current medical system from the patient side of the equation. The system, as most of us know, is fairly broken; so I have become my own patient advocate and have gone beyond being the perfect symptom reporter and internet researcher to actually suggesting courses of treatment to the various physicians I am dealing with. But again, as I hope you do not know from personal experience, the system is cracked, if not broken. So I am also having to manipulate it to get the care on need on the allopathic side of the process.

What do you do when the doctor says: "I want to see you in two weeks," and the front desk is booking five weeks out? Well, you prod, you inquire and, in my case, you find that the phone appointments staff will pass you on to the triage nurse, if you push them. The triage nurse happens to have had the lingering flu symptoms for two and a half months. I have had mine for three plus months, so we talk and share our tales of pathology, both of our illnesses and of the system. She works for the Ear, Nose & Throat consortium and still she has not recovered. But my new best friend and I talk and commiserate and..Oh yes, find that there are indeed appointment slots where and when I need them. Today when I showed up, the doctor was surprised but I think relieved to not be diagnosing in a vacuum and he and I compromised on the next phase of my treatment. Hmm, maybe not compromised; we mutually decided on the next course of treatment.

So when the booking staff didn't call me with my new test appointments, I knew who to ring up to circumvent the probably overworked phone staff on a TGIF afternoon. When this is all over, I am going to meet this woman and we are going to share something tall and cool that is not being used to wash down another pill or tablet.

And .... Happy Solstice everyone!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Those Bastards!

[Content Disclosure: 0% Poker, 31% Rant, 47% Commentary on the State of Life with no mention of
Barack or Hillary]

Sure there are problems in the world. There are room fresheners sold to odor fearful householders that use electricity to spew chemicals into your home to mask the smells of life and probably (2012 data prediction) give you spinal cancer, if you use them and eat turkey bacon with a soy binder agent. But that is not my issue today. Neigh, the evil forces of capitalism and consumerism have gone too far, too far I say.

I didn't mind that in my cannabis days, when we would take long weekends to Palm Springs, there was an all-night delivery place called: Midnight Munchies. They had pizza and all sorts of treats but they also had a specialty menu with, among other items: peanut butter on toasted english muffins! cold Reese's pieces and cold M&Ms. In fact, all of their candy has kept in the frig. And, of course, they had every flavor of Ben & Jerry's, some of you may see where I am going here.

Midnight Munchies served a select clientele and knew their market, they were not exploitive and did not seek world dominance. But that was then, this is now. This new promotion, reeks of pharmacuetical company involvement, indeed I feel strongly that both cholesterol and weight-control manufacturers are involved.

What the hell am I talking about?

What evil conjunction of krass kommericalism has me in this loquacious lather?

I leave you with this, without comment; if only to say: is this not the evil axis that precedes Armegeddon...