Monday, August 31, 2009

Hey, Morons

You know who you are. You send me these endless e-mails about illegal immigrants, health care nightmares and such. If you believe this stuff, you are a moron. If you don’t, you are making me think you are. You are all entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

Fact: Illegal immigrants do not vote, receive Social Security or Medicare and no one is proposing that they do.

Opinion: Many of you don’t know the difference in an illegal immigrant and a doorbell. Many of our citizens are immigrants.

Fact: Most of our hospitals are required to treat anyone that comes in as an emergency. If you have appendicitis, you don’t have to show your birth certificate or naturalization papers.

Opinion: Thank God.

Fact: The government has no plans to take over health care, except for the 40% of the payments it is already making. (Not counting tax breaks for private coverage.)

Opinion: Maybe it should. We don’t get to vote the insurance executives out of office.

Fact: The public option in the House bill is to catch those whom the insurance companies kick out because they get sick or won’t insure because they may be.

Opinion: This scares the hell out of the insurance industry, and may kill the bill.

Fact: Our country went from a balanced budget at the end of the Clinton administration to a 10 trillion deficit as of 2008.

Opinion: Don’t blame Obama.

Fact: I have been a registered Republican most of my life.

Opinion: misguided youth.

Fact: The World Health Organization pegs our health care system at number 32, just above Cuba ; France is number one.

Opinion: If you hate our country so much, move to France.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Me and my wig

Well, I settled on a 50's revival look. June's traveling with Grease and said I would fit right in. Well, it beats looking like Alton Brown (Good Eats) or Charlie Brown (Peanuts.) Wig and I will be inseparable for about 6 months, but a do-rag works around the house just fine. Some people go commando. I'd hate to scare the yard man.
First outing was yesterday, when I met an old friend for lunch downtown. She lost 50 pounds and got a facelift and we didn't recognize each other. A waiter finally figured it out and got us together. It helps to be well known among waiters. They all know CJ and what he eats.
He stayed home yesterday, involuntarily. He lives for lunch, a habit formed over many years of hanging out with his friends while I was working. I quit paying yacht club dues when it appeared that he was running with a bad crowd. Those bad boys drank way too much, and picked on him when he didn't drink at all. The real reason I quit paying was that they wouldn't let me eat there. Ladies were restricted to the room where they played cards. I went in with a few other lawyers of the male persuasion one day after a court appearance. They tried to seat them in the regular dining room and send me upstairs. Fortunately the guys suggested we go elsewhere. Black and Jewish men had already made the cut, long before women. Hell yeah I was pissed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

healthy habits

The New York Times online lets you comment at the end of many articles. I do this a lot. Makes me feel "published." Mainly gives you the last word. Or at least the 227th word out of 430 and counting.
I posted one today, after yet another article trying to relate health habits to longevity by state, with a kicker in there for the number of doctors:
"Just maybe there is no direct correlation between lifestyle and health in many categories. If you get hit by a bus it doesn’t matter how much bacon you ate. As for life expectancy, our grandparents ate much more local, fresh food, walked to town, and never got cancer. Of course, their life expectancy was 42, so they didn’t get around to it. "
This is closely related to some moronic objections to health care reform, as expressed by the head of Whole Foods, that if we just ate right we wouldn't need so many doctors. Now don't get me wrong. I think eating right is very important. After drinking eight glasses of water, nine servings of fruits and vegetables (making sure to get 25 grams of fiber, 1500 mg of calcium and 1000 of Vitamin D) we don't have much room for Snickers. Don't even hint that I brought my health problem on myself. Unless you give me a bite of your Snickers.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Some mornings start off better than others. This morning I got up, gave my hair a couple of swooshes with the brush, and literally jumped when I saw that my brush had morphed into a big cone of cotton candy. It was as big as a wadded up T-shirt. Sure, I knew I'd lose some hair, but I thought we might have a gradual thinning. I already got my wig, had it styled to match me, and my friends have supplied me with scarves. After my shower, I poured a bucketload of Drano down the drain, and called Anita.

Anita is a retired hairdresser and my guardian angel. She came over and cut my remaining hairs into what she called a "Pixie." If you can imagine a pixie that looks a lot like Charlie Brown, that's it. Maybe this is all that will happen. Sure.

I went to the oncology clinic for blood tests and coffee hour with the nurses and other patients. The subject of euphemisms came up, and we wondered about the words like oncology, cranial prosthesis, invasive carcinoma, and found that we have adopted these terms too. One woman had been to her GP, the radiologist, and the surgeon before anyone used the word "cancer." She was shocked. She remembers telling the surgeon that it wasn't fair that she should get cancer on top of all these carcinoma problems.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

When you hear someone say "I hate butterbeans, country music, democrats, the color orange," or whatever, does it irritate you? It drives me nuts. I try to smile pathetically, instead of saying something like "Well, you're an idiot," or "Who the hell cares?" or "Well, they ain't so crazy about you, either."

This was the train of thought that segued, late at night, into thinking about the many worlds of people out there that I don't know, and especially those worlds that I don't know I don't know, and therefore don't think about. There are concentric circles within each of those worlds, of course. Start with a large world of, say, music. Within that are not just genres, but divisions such as listeners, performers, teachers, collectors, concertgoers, directors, producers, sellers. I belong to a small world of folk musicians that overlap the worlds of guitar, banjo, mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, singing, tin whistle and kazoo. Within each of those worlds the true believers favor even smaller groups that favor more or fewer strings, frets, picks, or noters, or combinations or fractions thereof. If I'm not asleep yet, I can start over with the worlds of horses, cars, flowers, art, literature, politics, and go on until morning. Tonight I think I'll start with desserts.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Adventures in chemotherapy

Tuesday is the beginning of Carol's Big Adventure in Chemotherapy. If we live long enough, there are many adventures waiting for us. Maybe someday I'll rank them from one to ten. I haven't even started this one but I think it will be low on the list of favorites.

The doctor promises that I can jump up and go to work after each three-hour session of IV poisons. I'm not planning to go to work anyhow, but I would like to drive home and jump in the pool, have a nice snack, and get on about my business. He's trying to convince me that I will not get the nausea, heart murmurs and immune disorders normally associated with chemo. This is because I am getting his special blend of poisons. He's very convincing, but then so is every snake oil salesman in the world.

The hair will go, and fairly soon. That gives me doubts about how safe and mild this special mix of poisons is. They gave me brochures of all sorts of wigs and turbans. I can't see me in a turban, unless I'm telling fortunes in a gypsy outfit at the Halloween carnival. I see a do-rag, maybe a Harley motif. Then I have to get CJ a muscle shirt to match, with a message on the back that says "If you can read this, my bitch fell off."

The main reason I'm going for this is that I'd hate myself if I didn't do all I could to prevent a recurrence. Breast cancer recurrences can show up in places like brains or bones, hard to find or treat. And at my funeral, when it is time, I want some serious weeping and wailing going on, not a bunch of biddies clucking around that Carol was worried too much about her hair.