“… and another thing!!”

Ed. note:  Fair warning:  health care ravings to follow.

For some reason, I re-read this morning the post I made in March of this year, one month, to the day, out of hospital.  I saw vehement clarity, but complete ignorance of my true state.  This state has lasted in several forms for 8 months post-hospital.

why not talk openly about septic shock?

I also realized, through what I did not say, that the hospital and follow-up family-doctor folks were quite willing, in that horrified over-the-top, it’s-gonna-get-you way, to talk about C. diff, but avoided talking about the septic shock as if they had something to hide or as if the sepsis was an unmentionable.   Odd that.

I’m pretty sure they had nothing for which to be reproached.   It wasn’t the fault of the hospital that I was so ill and they did save my life.

Their silence projected an unnecessary, and quite hurtful, whitewash over the near-death experience.

From casual research, just searching in the WordPress Reader for “sepsis,” I see that medical folks are baffled and appalled by the high incidence and violent onset of septic shock in hospitals.

Ah.  That’s why you didn’t talk to me about it.  CYA.  Thanks, heaps.  Pretty damn cowardly.

Sometimes I just want to package up my posts about my recovery and send them somewhere, to someone in the medical world who might give a damn.

Which is a source of piss-offedness:  why did I have to piece together what had happened to me, what had tossed me, writhing, at death’s doorstep?  What in the effing hell?  Hellooooo, health care, where were you??!!  @*&†¿☹!!  Oh never mind.

We now return from the rant.

my personal perfect storm

Yes, I was out of it when I wrote that post, but too, in the intervening months, I have been able to piece together the puzzle of the perfect storm of events that led to the catastrophic state in hospital.

In case anyone is curious, here are the parts of my own personal perfect storm that I have pieced together so far.  Still some blanks, like those jigsaw puzzle edge pieces that the cat knocks to the floor and the dog eats.

This will be the first time that I’m aware of (?) putting my perfect storm into words.  (Memory has taken a beating from the septic shock, both past memory and making new memories. …)

Part 1 — systemic infection

Unbeknownst to me, I had a jawbone being eaten away by infection, probably for several years, because of a not quite sterilized root canal.   I’m not blaming anyone.  I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to track down all those bacteria before closing up the dead tooth.

During those years, I’d become ill in an odd way:  sinus infections along with extremely low energy, fainting, and general malaise.

A good feel for that time is, in hindsight, captured in my blog posts in the month or so leading up to my departure for Italy (McHales’ Navy, for instance).  I thought I was aware how awful I felt.   I had no idea what was really going on.

Here is what was going on:  indeed did have sinus infections, quite likely from the infected jawbone.  The low energy and fainting are directly attributable to the low blood pressure, which is a sure sign of systemic infection.

Systemic infection = bad —> deadly.

Part 2 — C. diff

In January and early February, (13 February = hospital for me) I went to see a patient first in a hospital, then in a care center.  Recall that C. diff spores live on surfaces in those places and the spores are very difficult to kill.

I probably carried spores home with me.

Part 3 — antibiotics

I got antibiotics on 6 Feb, 16 days before leaving for Italy.  The antibiotics prescribed were a broad-spectrum variety, meaning they kill everything that isn’t nailed down, as opposed to an antibiotic with a more narrow focus.

The antibiotics took just under a week to destroy the biota that were fending off the C. diff spores.

(I bet you’re way ahead of me here.)

the perfect storm hits

Systemic infection + C. diff = septic shock (read:  near-dead on 13 Feb).

The End.

(PS.  You can’t get rid of me that easily!)

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third-party commentary: Congress Clown Show

My friend Betty and my Mom both laughed when they read this (me, too!):

From The Week (dated Dec 23, 2011, p. 6, paraphrased), which is a nice little weekly news recap paper publication.

Bad Week for Trust in Government (real headline!)

A Gallup Poll showed that 64 percent of respondents rated Congress as low or very low.

This is their worst rating since someone started counting these things.  Their conclusion:

Congress now rates below telemarketers.

(Ed. note:  In the interests of spreading kindness, I have edited out my commentary.)

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I want health CARE; I don’t want health INSURANCE!

Repeat this over and over.  Understand what that really means.

Insurance is gambling and the house always has the edge.  You know that, yes?

Here’s the definition of insurance (Merriam-Webster.com):  “coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss [emphasis added] by a specified contingency or peril.”

Where in that definition does the word except appear?

What do you think of your medical person having to get permission to treat you certain ways so they’ll get paid?

Insurance companies have regular ole folks as employees, pleasant, loving, middle-class.   So, don’t take this personally–I know you’re fine folks there in the middle and bottom ranks.

The policymakers, on the other hand, are the ones in my sights right now.   I’m pretty sure you all are friends with the former Enron leaders and the Lehman Brothers.  And you may not be the 1 Percenters, but you are probably way the hell removed from the life of a 99 Percenter.

I have to admire the chutzpah of the insurance industry–they have so much extra dough-age that they can buy million-dollar naming rights to sports stadiums.   Where did that capital come from?  Even after the ginormous executive bonuses are paid?  After they finish handing out lavish gifts to our elected policymakers (=lobbying)?

It comes from your premiums that you paid with the expectation that you would have help paying medical bills because you entered into a contract with those folks who said they’d indemnify you against loss (but did you read the pages of fine print?).

I try to do the math, but it never comes out right:  I could pay insurer $400 a month as a premium, for the “safety” of being “insured,” but their policy is to have a yearly deductible, the amount I have to kick in before they’ll honor their contract, and in this case that deductible can be $5000.  Per year.  Add it up!  That’s $416 per month you’d have to pay out of pocket, in addition to the $400 per month premium.

Raise your hand if that math is absurd in your household budgeting!

I don’t want insurance.  I’m willing to accept the risks of living, O Foolish and Strange Me.  Since auto insurance is required by law in my state, the state is mandating that I gamble and that I enter into a contract where I don’t have a snowball’s chance of winning.

Thank you to the many medical practitioners who work with me on reduced fees for cash payment.  Remember, it’s easier on them, and much less expensive, to process a cash payment than to play the insurance game.

I like the health care I choose to receive.  It’s a direct relationship–thanks for cleaning my teeth!  There is no peculiar third-party complicating my wish to have my teeth taken care of.

Do we all understand that there are no guarantees with life and especially no guarantees of well-being just because you’re paying a premium?  That makes it a two-way street.  We must demand health care, not health insurance.

Do you hear the messages of fear being broadcast?  Please don’t be afraid; it’s just life and we all have to die of something (well, except my brother, EternalMan, and my husband who is sure he’ll be living forever; but that is just those two!).

I want health care.  I don’t want health insurance.    Stop telling me that I’m doomed if I don’t have health insurance.  What a load of crap fear-mongering!!  (See chutzpah, above.)

Mr. Obama, you gave me such hope there at the ending of the GDumbya Reign of Terror.  But then I heard that the health reform mandated purchase of health insurance.  Hey!  Should the government really be allowed to bypass my democratic process and force me to shell out or fine me if I don’t?!    Why, oh why, did the insurance industry play the central role in the so-called reform of our health care system?  (Hint:  lobbyists.)

The 99 Percenters might think of looking at this issue.   Folks with medical insurance are struggling financially with the costs of having medical care–see above paragraph with math question.   If you are un-insured, be sure to ask your providers for a cash-paying discount.  I even found a lab that will charge only 60% of the costs of tests if I pay that 60% in full in 30 days.

Our medical practitioners are working hard to help us save money and still get health care.  This means, for instance, that my physician’s assistant (PA) does research after her 10-hour days.  The list goes on of the kindness of our practitioners who got into the work NOT to work with insurance companies, but to do good and help people.  Go figure.  And–go thank them right now!

Some of you readers have been with me for a while, so another diatribe won’t surprise you.  What surprises me, is how long it has taken me to address the amorality of the health insurance industry, against which I have been railing  for YEARS.

Off to bake cookies again.  Cheap and tasty therapy!

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Addendum to Diatribe Against the National Defense Authorization Act

First:  the indefinite detention is only a part of the Act.  Much of the Act goes to defense spending, including paying our armed services.  Don’t get me started on a kajillion-dollar we-have-more-killer-weapons-than-anyone budget line item.

This clarification doesn’t change the policy embedded in the defense spending bill.  Something I did know that made the suspending of due process a terrifying policy is that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) actually felt the pressing need to propose a lil ole stand-alone codicil to that worrisome suspending of due process entitled Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011.  The summary statement is this:

“To clarify that an authorization to use military force, a
declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not
authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen
or lawful permanent resident of the United States
and for other purposes.”

OK, clarification stated.

I have done more reading this morning and discover, as flippin’ usual, that obfuscation and just-damn-made-up-on-the-spot is in full swing–with all who have anything to say about the policy of indefinite detention.

Why can’t I have clear information on which to base my opinions?  I’m not sure of the method by which I could get that clarity, but I have an inkling that working as if everything were an emergency lends speed but not the willingness to spend time to find that way to disseminate information.  The complexities of our governing system seem to make accurate information-sharing impossible.  Think:  internet news.  Agggggghhhhhh!

We are quite busy trying to survive, thank you very much, and cannot take the painstaking time that good research requires.  Help me out here, Folks in High Places.

This reminds me of a recent moment at my husband’s workplace, which is union.  On the day they were to vote on their contract, the union steward was ready to get the voting underway and was mighty surprised and inconvenienced when my husband had the gall to say he wasn’t going to vote on the contract because he hadn’t even seen it!  Damn fools.

The stupid continued–you [Ed. note:  singular “you”] can take the contract home tonight and we can vote tomorrow, but we normally don’t like the contract to leave our hands.  Wait!  What?!  Pressure to vote for conditions he and the rest will be laboring under without being privy to the conditions?

The patriarchal head rears and shows all three rows of its teeth:  pat, pat, pat; there, there; we’ll take care of everything for you; just sign here; trust us.  We know what’s best and it’s all just too complicated and that’s why you elected me [shop steward][president][senator][city councilmember].

My indignation, humiliation, and upset have not changed since yesterday’s diatribe.  The new feeling is one of helplessness at my inability to act like a participating citizen.

I’m gonna go bake cookies and bury my head in happy stuff.  Just gotta live my life.  If the bad time comes, I’ll go hide-and-guerilla-fight until they come to get me.  Ain’t goin’ without a large noise.   If you’re taking names, get mine straight because I will be one of the leaders.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Celebrate the anniversary of enacting US Bill of Rights with passing of National Defense Authorization Act

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Oh, and if you’re an American, stand humiliated once more in the eyes of the world:  our Congress, along with our President, have once more authorized “indefinite detention,” which was first enacted during the GWBush Reign of Terror.  Mr. Obama, I have stood by you, but my support wavers with this and fury replaces admiration.

“Indefinite detention” as defined by the National Defense Authorization Act, means any person only suspected of a terrorist act can be detained (imprisoned) indefinitely.   Any person means YOU, an American citizen.

The National Defense Authorization Act was passed on the 220th anniversary of the enacting of the US Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights is composed of the first 10 Amendments to the US Constitution.

Among those rights enumerated in 1789 is Article IV, otherwise known as the 4th Amendment to the Constitution:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

“Indefinite detention” is also considered a Human Rights violation.  Do you hear that?!  Do you understand what that means about the state of our country?  We have joined the ranks of the Human Rights violators that we have reviled for years,  have taken action against in our holier-than-though and God-loves-us-best way.  We the People are complicit.

Don’t understand what it means to violate Human Rights?

Think Nazi Germany and the shame of Kristallnacht.

Think of  the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the shame of the rounding up and detaining anyone who resembled the much-feared (see fear-mongering) Japanese, including US citizens.  Those particular detainees were forcibly taken from their homes and “relocated” to internment camps, camps that resemble military barracks with the attributes of a concentration camp.  Go read accounts of those lives destroyed in the name of national defense.

Obfuscation abounds:  I see too many instances of the newly-minted acronym for the National Defense Authorization Act.   National defense?  What a load of hooey.  We are making war on other shores; no war has been declared on American soil.  My government cannot protect me from terrorist acts.  Ask a market-going citizen in a country other than the US whether their government is keeping them safe.

During the GWBush Reign of Terror I was terrorized all right, but only by his Administration’s fear-mongering and secretive dealings.

Please think of yourself if you cannot imagine these actions on a larger, more anonymous scale:  would you want to be left wondering where your father, son, mother, aunt, sister, brother have gone?

Do you see the whittling away of the freedoms we have enjoyed in this country?   What does that make us?  Where are we going?  What next to be codified and controlled in the name of your safety?  When will the restriction of speech and peaceful gatherings begin?  When will the National Guard move into my town?

Thank you to Old Jules for writing about this.  I actually missed this particular news because of the very large noise of the Congressional Clown Show over the budget and a payroll tax cut.   That payroll tax cut means next to nothing to me because I am one of the long-term unemployed.  Thanks for nothing, O Mighty Entitled Ones.

My own country is making me feel unsafe rather than protected.

Go see:  Suspending Habeus Corpus Here, Indefinite Detention, Rip Van Winkleism, and Respecting the Future, and Indefinite detention Act voids US Constitution for Jules’ reveal of the Shenanigans.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

US piracy legislation = Censorship

Wake up, US!  Prevent the return of Bush-era secret dealings, Cold War-era paranoia, AND the McCarthy-era  blacklisting!

I heard about this legislative conversation, that happened yesterday, from a lady who lives in Ireland.  Have not seen it discussed here in the US.  To be fair, I do not haunt news suppliers–too much fear-mongering–so I may have missed this.

BBC News – Google, Facebook warn against new US piracy legislation.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

the audacious banking industry

It’s hard to NOT blow a gasket reading about the audacity of the banking community.

Their reasoning:  yes, but they are charging us more and we can’t lose that revenue!  So, you little guys with the puny bank accounts, cough up!

They’re Blowin’ Smoke; We’re Twistin’ in the Wind

Geez, that sounds like a Bob Dylan tune!  Oh, Bob, please sing me a song….

I read the news on the internet.  For most of my adult life I received a paper newspaper on the porch.  There is something frantic about reading news that is 2 hours old instead of 15 hours old.

Reading the news on any online source immediately upsets me.  Every so often I have to stop reading that which is called “news” because I have many emotions on the not-feel-good side of the scale–fury, sadness, grief, anxiety.

Today I feel fury.  I’m seeing red.  Today is a Saturday in mid-2011, 3 days before the US defaults on its debt.  Whatever that means.  Don’t get me going; I’ve read the explanations.   Look up the word “obfuscation.”  Learn the meaning.

Blowin’ Smoke:

  • Make a lot of noise about a piece of business that usually doesn’t make the public radar.
  • Shove into the “debate” the limited agendas of pro-wealth legislators.   Make it sound like we’re still talking about the debt limit.

Twistin’ in the Wind:

  • Now, reduce benefits for us struggling schmucks and lessen taxes on the wealthiest 1%.
  • Hold our lives and livelihoods hostage while you stamp your feet and want your partisan, party-line I-don’t-give-a-rodent’s-buttocks-about regular-folks, just give me what I want.  To hell with anyone who doesn’t agree with me/us.

Didn’t they go to the same kindergarten classes I went to where we were constantly exhorted to share?!   Even punished for not sharing?

I appreciate the folks who work on my behalf in DC, but it is getting harder to believe that anything done there has anything to do with my life.  The folks who spend hours stamping feet and shouting have easy access to health care and cash.  I have neither.  We’re doing OK here, not in danger of losing our house or not having enough to eat.

Our lives place us in the Middle Class.  Which is going away.  Um, when you tell me that the Middle Class is going away, what happens to the minutiae of the lives of the people who make up that segment?

Do we really have to return to a feudal European economy?  Don’t you see where you, our leaders, our leading us?

How dare you?

©  No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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