Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Living La Vida Loca

My mother passed away earlier this week, and I started thinking about how she lived it. She worked full-time up until she was in her early 70's (her choice, not a financial necessity) and using old school thinking, she wouldn't retire because she had nothing else to do.
So, after working for a total of well over 50 years, she was able to retire and reach the stage of life where she did not have to be a slave to the alarm clock or to the whims of a corporate master. And it lasted all of 3 months. That's when she was diagnosed with the disease that would claim her life a few months later.

WTF is up with that? I accept that she lived life on her terms, but damn, I sure do not understand it.

Whenever the lottery would hit those huge amounts, I would dream about what I could do if I was fortunate enough to win. She once told me that she thought it would be awful to win, because what would I ever do all day long?

I guess this is the biggest difference between many of the old school types and me.

If I won the lottery, I would have no trouble filling up my day. Work sucks. I have never had a job that I wanted to do rather than goofing off. Sure, I have even had jobs I liked to do, but I would gladly be willing to be filthy rich and search out things to do.

The world is so open and full of promise and possibilities that I can't understand setting limits on oneself.

Just in my state alone, it seems that every week there is a festival or noteworthy event on a weekly basis. I would attend them all.

And, if I ever decided to venture out of state, the choices are endless.

Plays, concerts, and the best of everything known to man is within a short trip of my home.

That does not even come close to counting the number of leisure activities available to almost anyone.
Nearly any interest may be pursued.

Always interested in flying? Take lessons. Like old cars or trains? Join a heritage club and get involved. Like to help others? Hospitals, day care centers, and nursing homes would love to have volunteer help.

RIP, Mom. I never understood your choices, but am glad you made yours, not mine.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I dunno

A lot of stuff been on my mind lately, and I haven't been blogging. I'd be happy to say that it was because I've been busy, but I'm basically just sitting on my butt, doing nothing. It's funny how nothing can just fill up a whole day sometimes.
Last week I had to get a new prescription for some super anti-biotic. I'm fortunate that I have insurance still, because otherwise it would have cost $2000 for a 2 week dosage. What do those without insurance or a spare 2 grand do? My guess, is they get more sick, and then wind up getting more expensive treatment. And, because a hospital can not turn anyone away, the treatment will be billed to the person. And if someone is saddled with a bill in the tens of thousands of dollars, they either will be bankrupted or they will not pay. I'm willing to bet it is the latter.
So, where's the logic? Don't help someone with a bill for a few thousand (or often considerably less) or don't help them with a bill for tens of thousands?
That is why I have become in favor of universal health care. I've heard the arguments about the cost. And, I'm not buying it. Yes, it will be expensive, but aren't we already footing most, if not all the bill already? Stop by an emergency room and look around. Many are poor people who can't afford a clinic or doctor. So they go to the hospital, at many times the cost of a doctor or clinic, and get treatment. Wouldn't it make more sense for them to go into a doctor and get much more affordable (for everyone) treatment?
It does to me. But I'm willing to bet during any discussion of this subject, it will be spun so it will never happen.
That is truly sad.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Why I hate the AMA

I just got back from the doctor and my foot is infected again. It hurts like hell. I know in a little while it will stop, though. Just in the last 24 hours has been significant improvement.
Back to the AMA.
I was thinking this morning about my friend, Bill. Bill died about a year and a half ago. He was obese, and he went in for the gastric bypass. I warned him not to, but he was so sure it was safe.
The doctors told him there was some risk, but it was minimal. Less than 2% mortality.

They lied.

The actual mortality rate is much higher. For men, within one year of the operation it is around 10%. And no one tells that it will be a miserable year. My friend had the operation in March 2005, and except for about a two week period, spent the rest of his life between the nursing home and the hospital. During this time, he was put in a coma for months, and they amputated his leg. He could not have so much as a mouthful of water. He suffered until he bled to death and died around 6 months later. I guess he is on my mind today because he loved the Holidays. Christmas was huge for him. He decorated the house and really enjoyed the festivities. He also was a fan of Easter. When I visited him after he came out of his coma, he told me he was so excited that he may be going home for Easter. It hurt me to tell him that he had slept right through Easter. It was gone by over a month. Would Bill be here today if not for the operation? I don't know, but I do know he is dead because of it. And the medical establishment continues to put forward how wonderful this is.

God, or Darwin or whomever designed the human body had made mistakes, and only by mutilating it would it function properly. That is the opinion of the AMA, or at least how I can conclude this when I realize that they consider this mutilation a proper medical procedure.
I have seen so many of those uber fat people shows on Discovery. The ones where the guy or woman is between 700-1000 pounds. These shows bother me for a few reasons. First is that they focus on the tremendous volume that these folks eat. Second, they pay no attention to the causes. And I firmly believe there are causes for someone to gain that much weight. Some physical, some psychological.
I know some people who have eating disorders. They are not part of a freak show. Instead, they have serious issues. Every last one of them. I have a friend who ate 5 double cheeseburgers, and an order of fries. An hour later, she had two more double cheeseburgers and another fry. Does anyone think she was eating because she was hungry?

Hell no, she wasn't. Something was missing from her life.

I used to weigh a lot more than I do now. And I'm far from a lightweight today. But I look back at my life then, and I realize what the problem was. I was friggin miserable. And the only thing that made me happy was the time I spent eating. It gave me a little pleasurable respite from all the crap in my life. I've spoken to numerous individuals who are/were obese, and in nearly every case, it was the same story. Something was missing, and they sought to fill it.

And here is where the AMA is missing the boat. And just one more reason to hate them.

I believe, and so many individuals I have run into confirm it, counseling and support is more important for obesity than any pill or operation. Just look at how many people have had the bypass and then gain weight back. They had the corrective mutilation, they had the training, and they are right back on the path to obesity. How can anyone say it is physical? These individuals have a psychological dependency on food. And no operation, pill or plan is going to cure that.
Also, I have been studying nutrition. I have found a plan that works very well for me. If I had this from the beginning, I probably would never have become overweight to begin with.
Instead, the dairy industry, and the beef industry have lobbied to make these important and accepted parts of our typical diet.
Since I eliminated these foods and all but became a vegan, my diabetes is under control, and I am losing weight. I'm rarely hungry, and doing well. If I could walk, I'm sure the excess pounds would melt away. It's slow because my metabolism is at a standstill due to inactivity.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Post 100


This is number 100, and how appropriate that this is about my favorite thing in the world.

Yankees Baseball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The season opened today, and the most dominating team in the world today began their assualt on the World Championship.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, usually an annoying nemesis was easily dispatched 9-5, as the Bombers used power and pitching to do them in.

A-Rod and Posada homered, while Giambi knocked in three.

The pitching, while not stellar, was more a result of bad fielding rather than Pavano's efforts. You can't keep giving the other guys extra outs. 3 infield errors is not a good sign. But hopefully, it was just some early season miscues due to the damp weather and overcast skies.

The bullpen did shut them down, though, as they completely shut down the Rays for the final 4 innings. And Rivera was lights out in the ninth as he struck out the side.

And just as important, the arch-rival Red Sox were smacked around by the Royals 7-1. Yeah, those Royals.


But, it's a long season, and the fun is just beginning.

GO YANKEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

In a way, today is a surprise party for me.

I was told by a doctor many years ago, around 1982 or so, that if I didn't change my ways, I would not make it to 30. And age 40 was almost out of the question.

Well, today I'm 52. I've treated my body like a friggin' amusement park for most of the years after I was given a virtual death sentence. It's only in the last year or two that I have really gotten serious about improving my health. And surprisingly, my health has declined significantly during this time.

WTF is up with that?

I've been eating vegetables. I've been eating salads. (Regular readers will remember I almost had a salad kill me a few weeks ago.) I eat whole grains, and almost never eat meat. I even exercise a bit. I can't walk, so it's not like I go jogging, but I use my Suzanne Somers ThighMaster regularly : ).

I've been losing weight, and hardly drink. Again--WTF?

Years ago my father once stated, (he was kind of goofy) that health food is bad for you. It'll kill you. I always figured it was his usually screwed up view of things, but maybe he was right. Health food hasn't been a panacea for me, I'll tell you.

But, for today, I'll keep on doing what seems to be the right way to do things.

I've been taking a more positive outlook on things lately. Sure, most days I start with an attitude of wondering who peed in my corn flakes this morning, but I'm trying like hell to think, it's not pee, it's soymilk.

And, things have been getting better. Just today, I found out that I have my name on the state unclaimed property list. Maybe it's that mil 5 I forgot about, or some incredibly wealthy distant relative that left me an immense fortune. But most likely it's some bank account with a buck three ninety five. Still, hope springs eternal.

I sit here today, banging on this keyboard, and life is pretty good. I have a lot of friends, both in my RL and in my cyber life. I treasure them all. I have a good woman who cares for me, as I do her, and a daughter who loves me. The kiddo is even planning to visit me today, so I am pretty happy about that.

But most of all, I feel that I have hope for tomorrow. Sure, the odds are I'm going to have a heart attack and die in a year or two (everyone knows I'm the least lucky guy on the friggin planet) but for today, I feel like I may beat the odds. Today, I look forward rather than backwards. It's a good feeling.