Category Archives: Health and Medicine

Mother’s Voice

Somehow, I didn’t even give it a thought.  Not until I heard the song, anyway.  Then the tears filled my eyes and I struggled to keep them back.  I couldn’t stop the lump that formed in my throat, though.  I couldn’t talk, couldn’t even whisper.  I had to stop and listen and remember.

Music, even a song you’ve never heard, can set both the tears and the memories flooding in.

It’s the anniversary of the drastic surgery I had in 1982 that gave me back my health.  I had forgotten all about it.  Normally when November rolls around, I find myself thinking back to that time, and how lucky I was to have the doctors I had, the family I had and the friends I had.

But what makes me think back most fondly on having my guts torn apart and totally reorganized was that it reintroduced me to my mom.  I went from having no respect for her whatsoever, to realizing that she was one strong, smart, funny woman.  That was my silver lining.  I’ve writen about that time a lot, including here.  And here.  And here.

When I heard this beautiful son on a satellite radio show interviewing and playing Arlo Guthrie’s songs, Mom came flooding back.  And I’m so glad.  It’s always a gift to spend time with Mom who passed away in 1997.

Happy Anniversary Mom.

Mom at my wedding.

Mom at my wedding.

Thanks for everything.  I love you.  Especially when I made you laugh and you spit beer on the wall.  Or when you did it back to me.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Crohn's Disease, Family, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, History, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Mom, Taking Care of Each Other

The Spoon Theory: Best Explanation EVER! (IMHO)

Elyse:

Most of you know that I have Crohn’s disease. Currently, I am doing fine; but there are times when I don’t have nearly enough spoons.

For anybody who has or knows somebody with health issues, this description my help explain what it’s like.

 

my thanks to Benze of http://benzeknees.wordpress.com for leading me to this post.

Originally posted on The Musings of a Digital Vagabond:

Arty spoon

Okay, so posting this might get me into some trouble, and if it does, I’ll have to take it down. But this is hands down one of the best explanations of disability I’ve ever read in my entire life. It was written by a girl dealing with lupus, but it’s extremely applicable to most other physical conditions of which I am aware. I’m kind of hoping that this lovely young woman will be inspired to write a monologue for me, but since I don’t exactly see that as being in the cards, go to her website here and support what she’s doing. But for now ladies and gentlemen I give you my favorite explanation of living physical disability, spoon theory.

The Spoon Theory

by Christine Miserandino http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy…

View original 2,121 more words

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Crohn's Disease, Family, Health and Medicine, Mental Health, Taking Care of Each Other

Does This Mean That The Washington Post Stinks?

One of my tasks as a fake medical expert, is to keep folks in my company apprised of new scientific developments, studies and trends.  So I scour the news first thing and point out interesting, informative articles.

It’s a part of my job that I relish because it often gives me terrific ways to terrorize my relatives with news of horrible diseases that pose a 1:1,583,222,185 chance of killing them and everybody in their town.  Can you say “Ebola”?  Sure, I knew you could.

Some days, though, I hit the jackpot.  Like today, when I read a fascinating piece in the Washington Post.

Why we don’t think our own farts stink

Not only was it way more informative than any political piece penned and published in our nation’s capitol’s hometown paper, but it contained video.

 

After watching this educational video four or five times, I noticed that there was a followup video that I had to watch.Now you have to watch it too.

 

 

Thanks, Washington Post, for shedding light on at least one stinking thing.  Maybe next election cycle, you can uncover the stink in the GOP.

 

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Awards, Criminal Activity, Crohn's Disease, Disgustology, Dogs, Flatulence, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Science, Stupidity

Hiding in Plain Sight

If you haven’t seen this bit from John Oliver’s new show, you should.  You should watch it before Tuesday’s election, and then again periodically, just so you remember what I keep telling you.  That elections matter.  And that it is important to pay attention to not just Federal elections, but to the ones lower down the food chain.

Apparently it takes someone from England, from the country from which we declared our independence, to explain to us just how we are letting our own government get away from us.

Because we don’t pay attention to “the unimportant levels of government.”

Ummm, it is at the state level that we’re really getting screwed.  I can attest to this as a resident of “Virginia is For Ultra-sounds.”    Yup, it is the folks whose names we don’t even know, who get to decide these issues that most impact your life and mine.

They are also the ones gerrymandering the US Congressional districts.  They are eliminating access to abortion, to birth control and screwing us in a hundred different ways.  And the state legislatures are the breeding ground, where the Not Ready For Prime Time Players go until they become the Michelle Bachmann’s and the Louie Gomert’s who end up framing our national debate.

[I read recently that John Oliver has been proclaimed the best journalist currently working.  I don’t recall who said it, but I think they are right.]

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Filed under Elections, Voting, Science, Global Warming, Climate Change, Family, Gun control, Stupidity, Hypocrisy, Politics, Health and Medicine, Law, History, Criminal Activity, Taxes, Campaigning, Mental Health, Wild Beasts, Huh?, Disgustology, Taking Care of Each Other, GOP, Adult Traumas, Cancer

Who Says I’m Not Gonna Miss You, Glen?

Sunday nights used to be family time.  Everybody would gather around the TV.

There's no problem with the picture ... it's a Google Image!

There’s no problem with the picture … it’s a Google Image!

Ed Sullivan

The Wonderful World of Disney

The Smothers Brothers

Glen Campbell

Glen pretty much introduced me to country music.  Not the hard core drinking-man/woman-losing-dog-died kind.  He gave me some of the most beautiful melodies:  “Gentle On My Mind” and “By the Time I Get To Phoenix.”  Songs that I still love.

Back then, I didn’t think much about the future.  Or about growing old.  My parents were old back then in the 1960s and early 70s — I knew they’d been born that way.  But the performers on TV would never get old.  I knew that then.  The Smothers Brothers old?  Glen Campbell?  Pishawwwww!

Time caught up with all of us.  My parents, of course, weren’t really old back then.  But they grew into that role, they passed on.  One by one the staples of not just my family but our world have faded.

Glen Campbell is fading.  As I write this, he is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s Disease; a heartless disease that takes one’s mind long before it takes the body.

The song makes my heart sing, even while it breaks it.  Kind of like life.

You may not miss me, Glen, but I’ll miss you.  We all will.

*     *     *

I first heard this song on one of my favorite blogs, The Last of the Millenniums.  Thanks, pal.

 

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Family, Health and Medicine, Taking Care of Each Other

Don’t Ask Me!

Of course you all know that I am a fake medical professional. So you should never ask me for medical advice.

But I am a real live professional patient. So I can speak from experience when I talk about medical stuff, too.

It’s all so confusing.

You know what else is confusing?  Taking your medicines so you get the most bang for your buck.  Or for your insurance company’s buck.  Or so you just feel better.

But taking medicines, especially if, like me, you take a zillion different ones, can really be mind numbing.

But there’s help!

October is “Talk About your Medicines Month!”*

I was recently contacted by Judy from NCPIE, The National Council on Patient Information and Education. She asked me to write a post letting you guys know that October is “Talk About Your Medicines Month.”  My sister Judy got me into the habit of doing whatever Judy said,  and even though this was a different Judy, I’m doing just that.  Because it’s important, and it’s a good way to make sure you’re using medicines, both prescriptions and over the counter (OTC)stuff the way you should.

But WHO should I talk to, Elyse?

Personally, I talk to my pharmacist.  He’s easier to get on the phone than my doctor is.

Besides, he always knows the answer to my questions.  Seriously!  Before I became a fake medical expert, I thought that all pharmacists have to do is count pills and put stickers on bottles.  I bet you thought so too.

Nope.  That’s not true at all –although they are damn good counters, I must say.   Pharmacists nearly always have PhDs!  They understand the chemistry, the interactions between drugs and between drugs and foods! They know what side effects to look for.  They know all kinds of things about how a body processes drugs, and what the drugs do to a body.  YOUR BODY!  Who wouldda thunk it.

Seriously, you can talk to them about all kinds of things:

  • Can I drink my daily 12 glasses of wine/5th of bourbon while I’m on this?
  • Do I have to take it before I gorge myself with ice cream?
  • Will it make me feel better after my wine and ice cream?
  • I’ve been taking this drug for 14 years and it was always white and oblong — why is it green and round today?
  • Will the drug that my GP gave me put hair on my chest (and if so, what the hell do I do about it?)
  • Whether stopping a drug cold turkey will turn me into a cold turkey

You can also ask them real questions.

And you know what?  They’ll know the answer.

Because pharmacists are even smarter than I am.

They're good at 'splainin' Google Image, natch.

They’re good at ‘splainin’
Google Image, natch.

*  Eat your heart out Frank (of AFrankAngle)

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Crohn's Disease, Health and Medicine, Humor, Taking Care of Each Other

I can’t get no … revisited

It’s Open Season for choosing health care options at my company, and probably at yours.

Personally, I think that they call it something else, because I’m pretty sure that most people associate “open season” with hunting.  And people who get as frustrated as I have trying to have relatively simple questions answered should not be invited to think of firearms.

It's a simple question! ANSWER IT!!!  (Google image)

It’s a simple question! ANSWER IT!!! (Google image)

Instead of shooting anyone, or permanently damaging my own vocal chords screaming into the phone, I thought I would bring back this post nobody ever read.

*     *     *

Automated telephone answering systems are responsible for the 40% increase in psychotic events over the past 15 years.

That’s my theory, anyway. My hypothesis. I’m not sure how to prove it, but it is true. My secondary hypothesis is that all incidents of domestic terrorism are directly tied to automated telephone systems. The FBI should investigate.

Personally, I become psychotic each and every time I have to press 1 for this and 2 for that. I’ll cut them a break for language, though. I have no problem pressing 1 for English. People need to grumble in their native tongue. Spanish speakers should have that right too.

But in fact, nobody gets to bitch. We just press 1 or 2 respectively and listen to additional options, none of which are what we want. None of the prompts are even close to what really want to do. None of them says “Press 4 to scream at a human.”

I become progressively more apoplectic with each and every telephone prompt. Eventually, with perseverance, I finally get a person. And by the time I do, that person on their end of the telephone is thinking long and hard about their career choice.

It’s not their fault. I always tell them that. I know it is true. But that fact doesn’t alleviate any of my anger at the time I have spent just to get to them. And nine times out of ten, the human I have reached is the wrong human in the wrong department and usually in the wrong country. I must start again. My psychosis soars along with my blood pressure.

There is even one telephone prompt voice that makes my blood boil. I call her Sybil. Sybil is everywhere: at my cable company and my power company and a couple of the banks I briefly considered doing business with until I heard her speak. She is young, chatty. She pretends to be my friend. She is not my friend. I do not want to be friends with a telephone prompt. I do not want to talk to her. I do not want to do anything she asks of me. And I really do not want to press her buttons. She is pressing mine. Remotely.

On average, after approximately 5 different prompts I am invariably led to a dead end where I have the same four original choices, none of which remotely fulfilled my need at the start. Or, if somehow one of the choices would work, I am promptly disconnected. I must start again with Sybil.

I am pretty sure the cost savings in terms of personnel is not worth it for businesses. Often by the time I am done with a call about this or that, I am ready to destroy the building. And if all your customers feel that way—and they do–perhaps you should rethink your policy.

One minute with a person early on and my problem would have been solved, amicably, and I would be a satisfied customer. Instead, an hour later, I would give all that I own for a battalion of similarly psychotic customers who would help me storm company headquarters and pin down just one human for us to yell at in turn. But by the time my turn comes, of course, I will have forgotten why I want to yell at them. And then I’ll have to talk to Sybil again.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Gun control, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Humor, Stupidity, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts