Reasons to go to the ER:

Meet your friends and neighbors in triage

ER emblem

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Chest pain

Back pain

Neck pain

Pain in the behind

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

Give us some constirpation

Shortness of breath, no breath

Asthma, inhaler

Near drowning

Too much drugs, OD

Need drugs, for pain or recreation

Motor vehicle accident

Bicycle accident

Motorcycle accident

ATV accident

Rash, road rash

Spider bite, cat bite

Dog bite, mosquito bite

Snake bite, scorpion bite

Falls, winter, spring, summer

Toothache, double vision

Female problems

Male problems

Email problems

No internet connection

Four hour erection.

If you are admitted | What I learned working in an ER

Love thy neighbor

Little Foo and Gary, our 2 adopted strays

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself is an axiom that I use to measure the civility of our society. I will accept no conditions for my neighbor that I will not accept for myself or my family. I will not accept that my family or I are ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, ill-educated or ill, and all the people on earth are my neighbors.

Some of the elderly and the poor are so hard pressed by their economic situation that they must sustain themselves with pet food. We have two cats, Gary and Foo, strays that we have adopted. We sometimes feed them wet food and sometimes dry. I have tried the dry food and it is bitter. I have never tried the wet food because of its consistency and because of the odor that some of it has. I will never ask my family to subsist on pet food and I reject that necessity for some of my neighbors.

In this land of opportunity, some are denied an equal chance because their early years are stunted by poverty and poor schools. I reject the fact that my neighbors, their children or grand-children cannot compete on an equal basis because I will not accept those handicaps for my family. I will love my neighbor as I love my family.


Hungry Children from Vienna - Oil on canvas - ...

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Hunger is good for you if you are poor. Then you get to exercise your decision making powers. You can decide to spend your limited income on food, on shelter, on medicines, on utilities or other, but not on all in the same month. Hunger avoids most of the illnesses caused by overindulgence.

As a wealthy member of the Party of No, I can indulge myself to my heart’s content. If I become obese and need to loose weight, I can afford an expensive diet regimen or a vacation at a spa. If I don’t follow my doctor’s orders, I can afford heart surgery or angioplasty. You cannot. Therefore, we will not tax ourselves so that you too can afford the world’s best medicine. That is reserved for those of us who have earned those rewards through hard work (and good luck).

If you are hungry, it is your own fault. You do not work hard enough at the right job. You chose to spend your life learning an occupation which your managers later decided could be performed better and more CHEAPLY by workers in another country. Those of us in upper management earn salary increases and bonuses by making those decisions to save the company money by sending your job abroad. Tough luck. Life is not fair, unless you have lobbyists working for you to lobby government to make life’s rough spots go away for a select few. In our version of America, the few rule and the many suffer.

Please see Love thy neighbor

US versus Canada healthcare

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

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I recently learned that a family member in Ontario is undergoing testing for shortness of breath (SOB). When I heard that, I decided that I would write this post comparing and contrasting healthcare in Canada with healthcare in the US. If you listen to the GOP critics of Obamacare, you would believe that most Canadians would travel to the US for care if they could. That is NOT true.

Details vary from one province to another, but the basic fact is that Canadian medicine is almost totally free to Canadian patients. Elective surgery is not covered, but almost everything else falls under the government plan or is covered by supplemental private insurance that is much less costly than private insurance here in the US. Sometimes there is a wait for service. Then it is possible to receive service from a private clinic or other source, and private insurance will cover the expense. When my relatives turned 65, they no longer had to pay for the private insurance; it is now covered by their retirement plan.

Here in the US, if you are not employed, you likely cannot afford health insurance of any sort. When my wife and I were between jobs because of a move from one state to another, we continued our health insurance from previous employment using the COBRA plan which cost approximately $900 per month for the two of us. COBRA is available for only 18 months if you can afford it. And COBRA is just an extension of your previous private employer’s heath insurance; the private insurer will try to pay as little as possible. Even though we moved from a high cost state, California, to a less costly state, Utah, the insurer continued to deny the payment we expected under the plan by saying that the charges were more than customary. Rather than pay 60 or 80% of the bill, they would only pay a percentage of the lower, customary amount, which  they established arbitrarily.

In Canada, if you are ill, you need only worry about getting well. In the US, you must worry about your illness and also about how to pay for care, even if you have insurance. The effect of the doubled source of worry is that many people put off needed care due to the prospective cost. Both my wife and I are delaying surgeries because we know the risks of surgeries (we are retired healthcare professionals) and we know that the surgeries will cost significant sums, even though we are covered by Medicare and have supplemental insurance. Based on past performance, I expect good service and no arguments from Medicare, and I expect the supplemental insurer to try to weasel out of paying as much as possible.

Good health is partly a mental attitude. A good mental attitude can affect the body positively while a poor attitude can lead to illness. Here in the US, not only do we make healthcare too costly for many, we encourage poor health by stressing many of us with unnecessary worries about how to pay for care. I would expand Medicare to cover everyone. The politicians on TV denouncing Obamacare are covered by government provided healthcare that we as taxpayers pay for, or many of them are wealthy enough not to need any insurance whatsoever.

Senator Orrin Hatch recently penned an article endorsing the states providing healthcare coverage. This would produce a race to the bottom, states competing to offer the least coverage, particularly in times like now, during the Great Recession. The states could not or would not regulate the predatory lenders who were largely responsible for the severity of the housing bubble and the resulting crash. I have no confidence that the states could resist the healthcare insurers.

Please see Death and budgets


Hospital sign

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Where the elite meet to greet

The sick

Where the sick come to be cured

Or to meet their Maker

Where health care professionals come

To practice makes perfect

Realm of initials

ER, OR, RR, RR Xing

Railroad crossing

Flashing lights

OT and PT

Tea and crumpets anyone?

GI tract, GI lab

Enlisted men over here

Officers over there

Oncology, radiology, TV-ology

Nuc-med, stress, stress testing


Must you be a card to

Work in cardiology?

Lab tests, EEG, EKG

Urine specimens, blood draws

This won’t hurt, much, me

You maybe

Hold still, sit still, stand still

Jog in place

DC, discharge home or elsewhere

The bills trickle or flood in

How much?

You’ve got to be kidding.

What I learned working in a hospital.