Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Good Old Days- My Ass

In 1972, I broke my left femur while motocrossing. I was way the hell and gone in the woods of central Georgia so it took about 2 hours to get me to an emergency room. Once at the hospital all the ER personnel could do was to take X rays and send me on to Macon, Ga for treatment.

The accident happened on Labor Day so there was a lot of traffic and naturally there had been a huge wreck so the ER was full. I laid on a gurney for about 4 hours before a doctor could see me and give me something for pain. Don't ever let anyone tell you that the pain of a broken femur isn't intense.

Finally an Orthopaedic surgeon became availabe and immediately drilled a hole through my knee to attach a rope to apply traction. Once the traction was applied I was taken to a ward and positioned next to the door. In about an hour they were bringing another patient into the ward and as they rolled him by by bed, my traction weights got entangled in his bed. They didn't notice until I let out a howl and at about that time the weights came loose and snapped back like a rubber band. The yell I let out could wake the dead.

The next day I was able to produce my insurance card and was moved to a semi private room. Some friends came to see me and I got them to get me a quart of Kaopectate which I drank so I wouldn't have to use a bed pan. After about 4 days of no bowel movements the nurses became concerned, probably because my skin had turned yellow and my stomach was grotesqly swollen. They gave me the strongest laxitive I have ever heard of and about an hour later I had to have the bed pan. The orderly, not knowing the circumstances, only brought one. Four days of built up crap was waiting to get out and one bed pan wasn't about to hold it all. Needless to say the orderly and I didn't become close friends.

After lying in traction for 2 weeks I started to go a little bonkers so the doctors decided to operate and insert a pin from my hip to my knee. After the surgery, I stayed in the hospital for 3 more days. I got no physical therapy, no rehabilitation,no precautions no nothing. They rolled me out to the car, an MG sports car, handed me a pair of crutches and bid me a fond farwell, all except the aforementioned orderly who was busy putting grease on the tips of my crutches.

Through trial and pain I learned how to navigate on crutches and went back to work.

My wife, by contrast, broke her hip Friday night but didn't go to the hospital until Saturday. She had a hip replacement Sunday and on Monday physical therapists were working on her. On Tuesday she was transferred to a Rehabilitation Institute in Savannah. On Wednesday they had her up and moving around with a walker. Today she was able to take a shower and the doctor told her she should be able to go home next Wednesdsy.

The point of this epistle is that no matter what anyone thinks of our healthcare in the US, it is actually pretty damned good. My wife is on Medicare and we haven't been asked for money, supplemental insurance or had to sign our home away for her to get the excellent care she has gotten.

As for the story about my broken femur, it is all true except the part about the orderly putting grease on the tips of my crutches.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Count Your Blessings

I can truthfuly say this Christmas sets the record for things going bad for the glorious holiday. While loading an air compressor into my pickup I pulled a little too much and stsrterd a kidney stone on it's trip tp the outside. My wife tripped Friday night anf broke her hip. They did a hip implant Sunday so she won't be home for a while. My Grand Daughter came down with strain B influenza so she has felt poorly.

This is really the way I like to spend Christmas and it could be a real downer if didn't take the time to recognize how much worse it could be. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have been born in the USA have life as good as it gets. But for the luck of the draw, anyone of us could have been born a Palestinian, an Afghani, an Iraqi or a black African anywhere in Africa. Compared to them we are blessed beyond understanding.

Maybe we should set a little time aside each week to count our blessings. We have many.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas is Here

Well, it is almost Christmas and it appears the political correctness group is succeeding in taking the Christ out of it.

I don't have a problem with non Christians celebrating their holy days so why do they get bent out of shape about mine. Just look around at the absence of Nativity displays, the lack of carolers,the lack of Merry Christmas signs in malls and you would think Christmas has become a vanilla holiday.

I'm not especially demonstrative about my religeon and I avoid conversations about religeon but I can't fathom why Christianity has become such a bug up people's asses.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Extreme Sports

I sympathize with the families of the climbers on Mt. Hood. No family should have to undergo the agony of wondering is a loved one is dead or alive.

The climbers knew the chance they were taking when they set out on their climb and they chose to take their chances. I'm sure none of them even considered the fact that they could be lost on the mountain or the pain that would cause their families. That is just the way we are.

Since Extreme Sports have become so popular as a result of TV shows we are seeing an increase in severe injuries and deaths happening to new Risk Takers. Look at the number of people who have died on Mt. Everest, who by tradition are left where they died, and the horrendous injuries resulting from malfunctioning parachutes, etc.

It is human nature to push the envelope and to take chances but the public should not have to pay for their mistakes. I have no idea how much the rescue efforts for the Mt. Hood climbers is costing but I am sure it is a bunch. What bothers me more is that it could have been avoided or at least minimized.

I think anyone who is going to use National Parks for mountain climbing, wilderness hikes ar descents into canyons should be required to have a homing device on his person. In a group, every person should have to wear one. Homing devices may not be a panacea but they would definetly reduce the number of incidents like the current Mt. Hood tragedy.


Friday, December 15, 2006

I have been kind of watching the Duke lacross team rape case out of the corner of my eye. From waht I have seen and heard, I think the District Attorney has really fouled his nest. He has, according to reports, withheld DNA reports from the defence, held back medical reports and in general done just about everything he can to railroad the 3 guys he indicted.

If the reports are true, Mr. Nifong should be charged with every charge possible and he should be stripped of his protection from being sued. His malfeasence has ruined opportunities for the 3 guys and has cost their families wads of money.

Not being a lawyer I don't know the legalities of the case but I do know right from wrong and I think the 3 students should have recourse against the DA, Durham, North Carolina and Duke. They have allowed and even abetted the unjustified pursuit of this case in spite of conflicting stories from the accuser, the medical examiner and the star witness.

It will be interesting to see the outcome and if the 3 students are exonerated I hope Nifong loses his carrer, his savings, his home and goes to jail.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just Thinking

I started this blog so I would have a place to just say what I want to say and if someone reads it fine if not that is fine too. Little did I know that the world is not waiting with bated breath for my next pontification.

I regularly read Chad's posts at Kuru Lounge and Chris's posts at Edit Copy find it interesting how their divergent views compliment each other. Chad, like me, is pretty conservative and Chris is pretty liberal. It would seem that mix would result in some nasty exchanges but I have seen none so far. In fact, I think that if the two were to sit down and have a conversation the result would be what we shold have in our government. Honest discourse, an ability to see the other side and a willingness to compromise. I wish there was more of that, maybe we would have a better government and country.