A Quietude Of The Mind

I’ve made only two posts this year and of what good is a blog that has nothing new to say.

I was hospitalized twice. They diagnosed me as having Gastric Paresis and they did a nuclear medicine Q/V Lung Scan which showed no clots or obstructions in the blood vessels or the bronchial pathways. (Pretty good after 33 years of heavy smoking.)

My heart’s still beating, lungs still breathing. Lungs clear. Neuropathic pain still eating away at me. Diabetes needs a bit of taming.

In March 2013 it’ll be 6 years since I was diagnosed (and about 8 since major symptoms occurred). I read that 50% of those diagnosed die within 5 years of diagnoses. So, I guess I won that lottery but every day is a mystery, another chance of staying here or joining those in the underground in their little boxes of expensive woods and brass plated handles.

It doesn’t matter so much to me because I feel strong and up to anything that may happen.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my life as a child, as a teen and to a lesser degree as an adult. My dreams inspired some of that. I think I dealt with a few behaviours/ways of thinking that I’ve had for many years but didn’t deal with because life and others got in the way.

It’s ironic that now these things would be settled in my mind. I may not get to act upon them as much as I would like but it has lessened some long standing tension which is a good thing.

So that’s how thing stand now. I have been neglecting my obligation as a blog owner to write things. But this has been a busy year and when I have a moment my mind enjoys a bit of quiet. Like any muscle it aches for some quietude to refresh itself and to ready itself for new journeys, new experiences and the ordinary chores of daily life.

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Dreams Go By

I had this dream yesterday. I was flying over lush hills and valleys and a river whose track I followed. Coming out ahead of me as if part of me was a scissors which cut the land along the river’s track as if it were cutting a photograph.

I’ve heard dream readers, psycho-therapist and others say flying in a dream means something. This is the first time this aging curmudgeon has dreamt of himself flying.

What does it mean when dreamers fly with-in their dream?


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Toys Glorious Toys

Just in time for Summer I got a newer, bigger, stronger window A/C unit. My old unit was 5 years old and was gasping to perform even minimally.

I also now have a ceiling fan/light in the kitchen to stir the air and provide some cooling for those in the kitchen, the center of most homes.

Both have the convenience of remote controls.

So what? Big deal. Well, for me it is. Last Summer’s heat and humidity put me in the hospital and sub-acute care for a month with a Dx of severe decompensation. That’s where your chronic illnesses haven’t changed but your body’s ability to deal with those illnesses has decreased.

It is my hope that better environmental control will keep me out of the hospital this Summer.

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Sweet As Cherry Pie

What happens when your blood sugar is controlled with no or next to no insulin for a month or more?

Well, if you are staying at ECMC’s Nursing Facility your blood glucose level shoots up 150 mg in one day.

Could it possibly be caused by all the stress the staff creates?

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How To Crack A Coconut

What you need to do is move a patient’s wheelchair then move it back but don’t put the brakes back on on the chair so that when the patient gets out of bed the wheelchair goes flying and the patient falls and cracks his skull.

If a patient is quick-witted and fast of reflex he may if he’s lucky not fall.

Sorry, Kim, keep denying you were even near the chair I’ve no doubt they’ll believe you since responsibility and professionalism are unknown here.

P.S: Aide with Kim actually said, “She was trying to help you!” RN on duty said, “We’re doing our best.”

God help us all!

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Drug Wars

I was told around 2pm yesterday that I would be coming to the Erie County Medical Center Skilled Nursing Facility for some physical reconditioning after a stay in hospital. I was brought here after 7 PM.

The times are important because it means they knew for at least 5 hours that I would be coming.

After a couple of hours I asked when my meds would be coming. I was told soon.

In fact, as I was to discover they didn’t have my meds, or so they say. I asked one ‘nurse’ why she was testing my glucose when she had no insulin to give me. WHAT? No insulin for a diabetic!

At 1 AM I discover that my drugs came in at midnight. 30 minutes go bye and still nothing. So I go down a long corridor with no oxygen huffing and puffing and find the nurse chatting with her fellow employee and friend.

Now, she then says she can only give me the hydrocodone, that I couldn’t get the neurontin for neuropathic pain, the ranexa for angina, aspirin, acting as a blood thinner because I would be getting them 8 hours later.

And to top it off, no xanax (for sleep) because it was scheduled for 9 PM the next day.

Are you insane?

So I spent the night up all night with burning feet and bad angina. Plus acid indigestion because the zantac hadn’t arrived she said.

Almost forgot no snack to maintain my blood sugar level overnight. I asked three times I told her. Snotty answer: “Did you think they don’t have any?” Well, I said, why didn’t they tell me that, like adults do? Turns out they did have an egg salad sandwich, at 11 PM.

No meds this morning till 9:30 AM next day.

All of this to me signifies incompetence and negligence, if not neglect.

You don’t accept a patient/resident when you are unprepared and lacking critical meds.

Only a fool would give a sleeping medication at 9 PM, withhold it for 15 hours, and withhold late pain and heart medication for 8 hours.

You don’t have to be a physician or a nurse to realize these things.

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Short Sheeting The Patients

Here I am in the Erie County Medical Center Skilled Nursing Facility, 5th floor of the Grider St building.

The beds are made for munchkins not six foot males.

Take a look for yourself. The only way I remotely fit is with the bed perfectly flat. Anyone with a cardiac condition knows many of us have to sleep with the bed at a thirty or so degree angle on the head end.

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Some Drugs Are Not Happy Drugs

One of the statin class of drugs I was taking for cholesterol backfired causing me to lose strength in my legs and go into kidney failure. 18 days after being discharged from the hospital because of diabeties, I was back again for another 16 days.

The doctors kept telling me it would take a long time to get back to my base but instead it took only 3 before I could get in and out of bed and travelin’ about the hospital in a wheelchair. OK, I went to the Subway in the food court.

So instead of going to subacute I have services, Nurse, OT, PT coming to my home. This is working out better than I expected but will soon be coming to an end.

Starting with new cardiologist next week. Should be interesting.

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On The Medical Front

Another year, another hospital stay another disease.

18 days in cardiac telemetry followed by 7 days of subacute.

Prescription pricing obscene. A year’s insulin at my dosage approx. $10,000! How many people must die or go blind or suffer amputation because they had no insurance and can’t afford $1,000/month for drugs and supplies?

Ask that to republicans who want to destroy healthcare reform.

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Why Did The Politician Cross The Road?

Why is it America seems to enjoy third-rate comedians commenting on society and politics. They aren’t funny. They certainly aren’t insightful (I doubt they know the meaning of the word) but they are childish.

Is that it? Are we so scared that we want to bang our heads against the wall to be numb to reality, to the fact that no one really knows what’s going on, to our spiraling economic, political and social failure, that we need these dumb comics to distract us?

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