1halffull's Blog

Aging Sucks
February 23, 2012, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Aging, Change, Healthcare, Life, Over reaction

Aging sucks.


Because as you age, people who are not in your age bracket see you as less vital. They suddenly think you’re now unable to chew your own food, that you drive 20 in a 50 MPH zone and that you should stay in after dark.  You don’t dare become ill and need hospitalization because that’s where a real downturn in your life takes place.

I’ve seen it time and again with older friends who, even though they are more lively and interesting than most of the younger people we know, become invisible once they get into a hospital situation.  Doctors and nurses no longer speak directly to them about their conditions.  Caregivers immediately presume that the children now have custody of the parents.  Our friends have been overlooked and treated by the caregivers as though they are nothing but old sacks of bones lying in a hospital bed.  What kind of ‘care’ is that?

The kids are no less guilty in propagating this myth.  They often come on the scene thinking it’s their place to mind their parent’s business.  I know one family who, once their mom broke her hip, decided that meant she needed to be railroaded into doing whatever they decided was best for her.  Yes, a broken hip required surgery and rehab.  But it didn’t affect their mom’s mind nor her ability to go back to real life once she was healed.  The kids have become paranoid over their mom’s safety to the point that they’re trying to railroad her into an assisted living facility.

Unfortunately, they have created a situation where this once strong-willed woman, now questions her every thought.  She speaks and a son says ‘Mom, you shouldn’t say that.’ She wonders if they’re right and she’s wrong – all the time.  Every move toward reclaiming her life, sends the kids into further paranoia.  Faster and faster she’s losing her grip on autonomy.  Thank you kids.

Who is actually on her side?  And who really understands what she’s thinking, how she’s functioning, what she wants?

The family just doesn’t get it:  they think their mom lost her right to live at home when she broke her hip. How dare she!  They no longer see her as a viable human being.  Now she’s become someone they have to put somewhere so she’ll be ‘safe’.  Everyone’s so busy with their own lives, the only room left for her is at the assisted living facility.  Worry over; case closed.  Peachy.

The woman she was has gone missing, hidden by the wants, desires, needs of everyone else.  Unfortunately for her, internally she’s still a viable, thinking adult who wants to live her life in a way pleasing to herself.  It would be so much easier if she was out of her mind, but she’s not.

It’s unfortunate that the kids can’t take a step back from their own paranoia.  Really and truly, no matter what the kids think, this is not all about THEM! Just like this woman could not protect these kids from every single, negative life event, neither can they protect their mom.  Unlike her realization that the kids had to go through things that she couldn’t prevent, these kids refuse to realize that it’s her right to do the same.  Maybe what she really needs to be able to thrive again is for the family to lift the net of paranoia and give her a real chance to show she can still do it all in her own way.  Maybe handing her back her original freedom is what she really needs to be able to get back to normal.

Who knows what could work?  But I wish they’d give her more of an opportunity to regain herself before they dump her in some facility just so they can have peace of mind.


Threats are Not Surprising
March 27, 2010, 5:17 pm
Filed under: Bankruptcy, Barack Obama, Change, Democrats, Government, Healthcare, Jobs, Legacy, Politics, Taxes

I’ve been hearing, and then reading in today’s paper, about various of our representatives and senators who are being threatened by members of our populace.  While it is regrettable, it should not be unexpected.

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”   ~  Thomas Jefferson

When there is talk of overhauling anything, you will never hear our federal government mentioned and yet the federal government is probably the most antiquated, out of touch, cumbersome, greedy, chaff-like bunch of blowhards grouped together anywhere on earth.

While they depend on us, their constituents to elect them to office, often that is the end of their relationship with us.  While they are trying to be elected they say things that they think we want to hear.  However, there is no connection between what they say to us and what they actually do for us.  Doing for us is the least of their concerns once elected to office.  Making bigger and larger government, lining their pockets with lobbyist dollars, and living a lifestyle only they are privy to is what consumes them once in office.

It is paramount these days that if you plan on walking into the Capitol Building you must automatically leave your integrity and the desires of your constituents outside the door!  It doesn’t matter how many of your constituents jam your phone lines or how many thousands of emails you get asking, no begging you to vote a big fat NO on a subject, your seem to think that your job as a representative of the people is only to do whatever the nearest lobbyist or senior senator or representative wants you to do.

Regardless of how many times we vote you out and vote someone new in, we fail to effect any change and that’s because there is no longer even one good person who can stand firm, stick with the constituents, do as they ask.  To a man, everyone can now be bought.  Every man has his price and isn’t afraid to ask for it.  Constituents?  Who are they?

“States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions.”  ~  Noam Chomsky

To our discredit, we, the voters have sat back infinitely too many years allowing these shenanigans to go on.  I think we did it because we weren’t so much affected – we still had our jobs, our bank accounts.  Life was comfortable.

Well, life is changing.  Life is no longer comfortable for us.  Suddenly we see what you’re doing over there, how well you are living.  We recognize, even if you don’t, that the $1.5 trillion that you’ve thrown at cheating, lying banks and car companies is coming out of our over picked pockets.  Now, against all sanity, you’ve managed to throw another gazillion billion at a health care plan that is past the ridiculous – even though we asked you not to.  Next on the horizon?  Taking over the educational system and loans for higher education!

Other countries are getting tired of your approaches for more loans, more money.  Your interest rates are going higher as you pass out money you don’t have.  You think you can just tax us; but we can no longer afford to give you our money because you’ve worked it out wonderfully that most of our jobs, and our income, have evaporated into the Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican air through the world treaties that you’ve created!

“It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”   ~ Samuel Adams

Americans are holding tea parties because we are now angry:  angry at ourselves for having allowed you to hoodwink us for so long; angry that we’ve let you get away with it all.  Americans want to take our country back, out of your misshapen hands and darkened minds and put it back on keel before we all find ourselves as the first of a new form of third world nation – the bankrupt, bereft, 300 million victims of choices made by 535 men and women!

You won’t listen.  You won’t pay attention.  You don’t vote according to what your constituents desire.  In your pit of avarice you convince yourselves that you know better what we need here in the Mahoning Valley (or Anywhere, USA) than we do. Well, you don’t and in the current climate, sooner or later, you will pay a price.  There is a consequence for every action; the choice of that consequence is yours.

“You can only govern men by serving them. The rule is without exception.”  ~ Abraham Lincoln

You’ve got cancer. What’s next?
February 20, 2010, 6:02 pm
Filed under: Cancer, Healthcare, Life, Uncategorized

Let’s talk about cancer.

I think we can all agree on this idea:  Pretty much, it sucks.

If I may, I’d like to share some practical information so that, just in case you find yourself sitting in a doctor’s office and he says to you or  someone you love, “I’m sorry, but you have cancer”, this information will pop into your mind.  It’s meant to help you at a time when you may not be able to think clearly.  

It’s important to know these things ahead of time so that when you are faced with such a diagnosis you won’t allow yourself to be caught up in the terror of the moment and get treatments that ultimately may not have been appropriate for your condition.  Just like when you build a house, you start with a foundation before you put on the roof, so you must lay a plan for a solid treatment foundation to optimize your chances for remission/cure before you embark on carrying out the plan.

First of all, the moment you hear the word cancer – whether it’s yours or the person you love most in the world – I guarantee you won’t hear anything after that word.  Life will stop in that moment as the word cancer goes bouncing around in your head as though it’s a superball.  Typically, while your world has just suddenly flipped upside down, the doctor’s hasn’t so he’ll keep talking.  He’ll be saying things like percentage of cure, you need more tests, you’ll see a surgeon or an oncologist or both.  Pretty much what you’ll hear is your brain screaming at you “You have CANCER” over and over again.  You’ll try to focus, but all’s you’ll hear outside yourself is ‘blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’

The office staff will either want to make appointments for you or they’ll give you cards with names on them of people you should see and talk to.  Given how you’re feeling in this moment, you’ll feel this horrible sense of urgency like you not only want all that information, you want to be able to walk out of this office into the treatment center and get this thing out of you RIGHT NOW!  It’s understandable and a very normal reaction.

That’s why you need to read this next part carefully:  unless you’re in an end stage or have an extremely aggressive cancer, it can wait for a week. 

Why would you wait for a week?

First, you need to digest the fact that you have cancer.  You need for your brain to unfreeze from that first statement:  You have cancer.  You need to be able to restart your heart, take in some air and express your thoughts and feelings first.  What you don’t need is to be rushed into a bunch of procedures that may or may not be right for your personal condition.

If there are more tests that need to be done, begin to have them done.  In the meantime, do your homework.  There is no one better to manage your case than an educated you!  That being said, it is also good to find a family member or friend who cares for you enough to invoke some common sense and good judgement on your behalf.  They need to be your listener and advocate.  This means that they will go to appointments with you and take accurate notes so you’ll be able to review what you heard after the appointment. 

Next you should find out the following:

1.  What is the specific name of my cancer?  Where is it located exactly?

2.  What hospitals and physicians are specializing in my form of cancer?  Where are they located? 

3.  Can I get an appointment with one of them after all my testing is done for an evaluation specific to my case and the cancer that I have?

4.  What are my best treatment options?  Would the specialist prescribe my treatment and work with a local doctor so I could receive my treatment locally?

Once you have as much information as you can get, make a list of additional questions that you wish to ask each doctor.  Let them know at the beginning of your appointment that you have the questions and you aren’t leaving till all are answered. 

A good physician or specialist is one who is going to want you to be completely engaged in your treatment program.  Run away as fast as you can from anyone who will not answer your questions or who tells you not to worry, he’ll be the one to make those decisions. 

Remember these two things: 

1.  While the doctor is (theoretically) the one with the knowledge and experience, the life he’s messing with belongs to you.  It is your right to get the information you ask for. 

2.  You hired him to work with you.  You’re providing his paycheck and you can fire him anytime you wish.  There are many other doctors out there who will be willing to work with you and receive that paycheck!

Finally, remember that there are alternative, complementary medicines that you can also tap into to help enhance traditional medicine’s approach.  A good resource for these can be found through the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.

I hope you never hear the words “You have cancer.”  But if you do, remember what you’ve read here.  May it serve you well.

Racism or Just Bad Choices?

Ladies and gentlemen.

I have experienced a dearth of ideas, meaning I just haven’t had an idea for days.  Until today when the world has seemingly gone mad all at once (again)!  Now I have about a half dozen ideas.

So, starting at the top – pun intended.

tv_JimmyCarter_1dec06_0The criticism of President Obama and Jimmy Carter’s assessment.

First of all, I don’t believe, as Jimmy Carter is saying, that people are necessarily criticizing President Obama as a person, as a partial African American, nor as a man.  Nope, I’m pretty sure they are not.

Many, if they are criticizing him, are taking cracks at him because of his infinitely unwise decisions.

Remember back in the campaign days when Mr. Obama assured us – as have so many before him – that he would hold down the spending and especially the pork barrel spending?  Yet in the middle of the campaign, both he and John McCain ran back to D.C. to vote for the first $700 billion bailout.  This turned out to be an $850 billion bailout that included numerous pork barrel items and one of the first instances where words didn’t 071028_mccainmatch actions for either Mr. Obama or Mr. McCain.

Our displeasure in these people had nothing to do with either man’s race.  Their actions, however, should have caused a lightning bolt action running through our psyches telling us we shouldn’t vote for either man, black, white or otherwise.

Then there was the auto maker’s bail out.  I was really against this one but Mr. Obama championed the cause and the senators and congressmen yet again, did not heed our tortured, crictical screams.  Next thing you know the American taxpayers became the not-so-proud owners of the Government Motors Company.  Our displeasure had nothing to do with Mr. Obama’s race – only with his stupid response to a ridiculous situation that would have been better off left alone.

Barack_Obama_01_by_StudioFoveaA small aside here:  General Motors handed their bail out money to the Chinese government in order to extend their factories and auto production in China.  I’m not sure why they didn’t ask China for the bailout?  Oh, wait, yes I am.  The Chinese government wouldn’t have given them one red cent.  They’re not that gullible.

So now Mr. Obama is promoting a healthcare plan that will cost the American public $835 billion – so far.  The plan is so unwieldy that I’m pretty sure no one, not even the lady who had to type it all up, knows what it says.  The one thing that has been noted is that families who don’t subscribe to some form of health insurance will be fined $3,800.  Maybe that’s how Congress plans to raise the $835 billion?

Stick with me here while I do the math on all this.  $850 billion + $35 billion + $835 Billion = 1.720 TRILLION dollars of non existent taxpayer dollars earmarked for spending in less than a year by our first, partially African American president.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not on this rant because Mr. Obama is partially African American.  I’m on this rant because I do have a brain and I am living and breathing in America.  I’m ranting because I do resent someone who would give my hard earned money to crooks and thieves who have either stolen from the accounts of or raped the American people by stealing their jobs and giving them to the Mexicans and Chinese in order to make greater profits.

I am ranting because it is unbelievable to me that anyone would look at what has taken place in the last year and still have the gall to say people are picking on Mr. Obama because he’s our first partial African American president!

Have you lost your minds?  Do you seriously think the caucasians would be sitting around saying ‘gee, we’re so glad the white guy in office dumped us into the cesspool of a 1.720 trillion dollar debt’ if John McCain had gotten into office and committed these financial atrocities?   If you do, then it’s time for more than a change in American government; it’s time for a change in its people.                                    

9/16/09 – 11:25 p.m.

Another bad idea….
July 22, 2009, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Ford, Government, Healthcare, Taxes

I’ll be brief.

Why do we need the government butting into everything and everyone’s business?

I objected to the government bail out of both GM and banking institutions who participated in nefarious activities that shouldford_logo have caused their demise.  If they wanted to bail out someone, they should have bailed out the individuals who were affected by the stupidity of those institutions and let the institutions go ahead and die.  As an aside to this, if you’ve noticed, Ford didn’t show up at the Capitol Building asking for money.  Nor are they taking on overseas partners.  YEA Ford!

Now, Pres. Obama wants to do something, anything with healthcare.  One yahoo I heard yakking said that one plan would force all Americans to get health insurance by fining us $1,000 for not having it!  Okay, so let’s think about this:  a person making $6.25 an hour without benefits probably can’t afford to purchase health insurance for, say $400 per month.  How will they pay this $1,000 fine?  Hmmmm….a bit of faulty thinking (as usual) on the part of someone.

More faulty thinking involves President Obama, along with 500+ congressmen and senators behaving as though there is physician%20symbolmoney to spend on this stuff, before or after the bail outs.  As a taxpayer, I’m pretty tapped out.  Thanks to the economy, I’m not just supporting myself, I’m also supporting a member of my family plus a boatload of members of numerous other families who are collecting unemployment and have managed to get on the state-funded health insurance policies.  I don’t have any more money to give for taxes to cover universal healthcare.

Maybe a better solution would be for pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies to bring their prices down to truly affordable.  Thirty days of pills shouldn’t cost $300 should it?  That’s $10 a pill if you take one a day.

Since we pay exorbitant rates to insurance companies, maybe they should up the amounts that they will actually pay medical_symbol_storyhospitals for procedures to at least the amount that will cover actual costs!  When I worked at the doctor’s office, the cost for an uncomplicated pregnancy was $2,300.  Care Source and the other state owned Medicaid insurances paid the doctors $1,400, a $900 shortfall.  I believe they pay hospitals at a 40% rate.  How do they expect the hospitals to continue, especially those who have a very high indigent population?  They can never make that up no matter how good everyone else’s insurance is.

Back in the 60’s, you went to the doctor and you paid him cash at a very reasonable rate for the visit.  Some doctors even took chickens as payment.  A hospital visit didn’t cause you to refinance your house.  We didn’t have health insurance then.  We didn’t need it. Government had nothing to do with it.

Is there a moral to this story?