Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard

Who can forget Moe, Larry and Curly when they were playing Doctors on the Three Stooges? When we were kids, we would run home from school and watch them on TV and laugh our heads off.

For at least the last 20 years, there has been a lot of discussion and attempts to reform America’s Health Care System. Unfortunately it is not as funny as the comedy of the Three Stooges and it does boggle my pea brain that some people believe Health Care reform is a bad thing. Costs are out of control and I am not talking about insurance premiums, I am talking about hospital costs.

I opened the bill from my trip to the ER and consequent one and a half day stay for observation, I almost swallowed my teeth. $20,600 is what it cost. Are you kidding me? Did I end up paying everyone’s salary on the eighth floor? Are they going to name a hospital wing after me? Holy shit….. What do people do that do not have insurance? They either don’t go or they go bankrupt when they get the bill. Being sick without health care coverage spells financial ruin.

Thank God we have insurance, and we will see just how good it is after they pay their portion. But really, the hospitals seem to be full all the time, it isn’t like people are boycotting their services. The madness must be stopped! I know it is not simple, or is it?

I am unclear as to when the uninsured will be covered. Progress has been made, but it seems to me there is a long way to go. And the idiots in Washington are still arguing about it. It is time to start being concerned about our fellow man for there but by the grace of God go we.

When Enough Is Enough

My name is Theresa, I am a Cradle Catholic, it is the only religion I know. But today, I am officially disgusted with the Roman Catholic Church. I have resisted the urge to leave the church over the last ten to fifteen years, due to the fact that 1.) it is all I know and 2.) I believe in the teachings of our faith. That being said, I have got to voice my absolute anger over this last wave of priestly predators that have come to light, both in Ireland and Milwaukee, WI. I have severe doubts about the Holy See and their ability to govern the ever shrinking supply of priests.

There have been so many accusations of abuse by priests in the church that some have grown numb to it. Not to the act, but to the Churches response. In an article written by Laurie Goodstein and published March 24, 2010 in the New York Times, Ms. Goodstein states that Father Lawrence Murphy had abused at least 200 deaf boys back in the 50’s and 60’s when he was in charge of a school for the deaf in Wisconsin. It makes me sick to my stomach and the fact that the Vatican covered it up, makes me even sicker. True it was brought to their attention in the mid 1990’s, but they failed to act because they wanted to avoid another scandal. Excuse me? Haven’t they learned their lesson? Oh and this is rich, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (aka Pope Benedict XVI) was in charge of the cover-up. In my eyes this behavior is tantamount to condoning the acts of abuse. They said that they were focusing on sin and repentance rather than the criminal aspect. So in 1998 Father Murphy died as a priest. It was said he had no remorse for his actions.

I cannot believe that Christ would condone any of this. There are pundits out there who suggest we are to do what Church leaders tell us to do and ignore their examples of behavior. You know, do what I say, not what I do. I really believe the Church is at a crossroads where if it is to have any credibility at all, some housecleaning needs to take place.

The College of Cardinals has run a muck. Until we get leadership in the Church that is not from the same generation as the abusers we are not going to led out of the darkness. I probably run the risk of excommunication, (that seems to be the punishment for those who dare question the Church), but I can not in good conscience sit by and remain silent, especially when I have this blog as a platform.

If you have a different opinion, please let me know as I am always open to hearing the other side and maybe there is something I am missing. We need to generate conversation, as this is the 800 pound gorilla in the Sanctuary for all of us. Why should we leave the Church over this, when there are other alternatives.

Seldom have so few done so much harm to so many. Men who have been given access to our children,

Still believing that Christ designated Peter to be his representative on earth and even yes, the Pope to be

Speedbump On The Way To Sixty

Okay, so yes, we are going to talk about me turning sixty again, so get your barf bags out. Here we go.

It was March 17th, St. Patty’s morn’ and I had taken up my usual position on the sofa, in front of the TV with my computer at my side. The Today show was on and I was sipping a cup of coffee and enjoying the Riverdance troupe dancing on the plaza at Studio One A. I love the sound-track and was thinking what a nice way to start the day.

All of a sudden, I noticed something weird going on with my left hand in which I was holding my coffee cup. My fingers and hand were going numb, so I put the cup down, thinking maybe I was holding it wrong, you know? Gradually, I lost the feeling in my whole arm. Very scary. After a few minutes it subsided. Okay, that was different, but it went away, so I’m all right. A few minutes later my mouth began to tingle and before I knew it, the left side of my tongue went numb. Just like the Dentist had given me a shot of Novocain. At this point I was spooked. Were these the first signs of a stroke? Should I call Sam? Should I call 911? Should I wait to see if I have anything else go numb?

I speed dialed Sam at work and told him what had happened. He said he would hurry home and take me to the hospital, but if I got worse, I should call 911. I went upstairs and got dressed then checked the internet for the nearest ER. We made our way slowly, due to the fact I had the directions written down but screwed up on a turn and our GPS was not locating the satellites. Sam and I were both able to keep our composure and he did a really good job (patience is not one of his virtues.)

We went to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights and from the minute I walked in, they made me feel like was their number one priority. I explained my symptoms and they immediately sent me to triage. My blood pressure was 198/100 (wow) never has been that high. They wheeled me to a room, I put a gown on and they got to work. EKG, more BP checks, a shot of Ativan through an IV (thank you sir, may I have another?) and five baby aspirin with a water chaser. By now the symptoms had passed so I figured they would sent me home, ‘cuz I obviously was o.k. Not so fast missy, “We need to run more tests so we are going to admit you for observation,” he said with an incredulous look on his face that I would even be surprised at being assigned a bed. Looks like I’m staying

Another interesting sidebar involved a cardboard bedpan, which I broke when they sat it under me and peed all over myself and the gurney. What brain surgeon invented a cardboard bedpan?

They said I had a CT scan, but I don’t remember it. (Could be the Ativan cocktail.) It was late afternoon before my blood pressure went down to a reasonable level, but that didn’t stop them from taking it every two hours through the night. This was my first hospital stay since having my Son 36 years ago so I had forgotten that you really don’t get any rest when you are there. They alternated between calling me Mrs. Bond and Theresa, which is o.k. but the flu shot at 12:00 a.m. and the blood draw at 4:00 a.m. were a little much. Then there was my roommate who needed a bedpan every hour or so and her IV alarm that kept going off just when I was dozing off.

As I was watching TV in my hospital bed (which by the way is a nice alternative to the couch), I thought of my Dad and how it was always him in the hospital situation. The rest of us have all been healthy. Age is catching up with me and I am not happy about it.

After another day of testing they let me out of the asylum (as Dad would say). All the tests were normal except my MRI. There was some white stuff in the top of my brain which may indicate a problem. Small vessel disease, which is usually seen in people my Mother’s age, Vasculitis (sp) and something that sounded a lot like dementia. Hopefully the next MRI will not show anything, except my brain of course. The diagnosis is a TIA or “mini stroke”.

Suffice it to say I am officially scared and will watch my blood pressure, caffeine, salt intake, and exercise when I am up to it. So much for losing 10 pounds by my birthday. My goal now is to be here April 18th.

Going Cold Turkey Into The Rest Of My Life

Antidepressants are the most prescribed medications in the United States. Approximately 10% of the population is taking some sort of mood enhancer or mind altering drug for depression. In the decade from 1995 to 2005 the number doubled, thanks in part to commercials saturating the television networks by drug companies, pushing their antidepressants. According to an article in USA Today, spending on direct marketing to consumers went from $32 million to a whopping $122 million.

That being said, I happen to be one of the 30 odd million people on medication for depression. Have been for over 10 years. But here lately, I have been questioning my dependence on pills. We are a nation of “pill poppers” looking for an easy fix. I don’t have time for a one hour therapy session every week, we might say, so just give me a pill and I’ll be on my way.

In 2006 I went off all my medication with the exception of blood pressure pills. Of course you have to do it in a step-down process and it takes about a month. At the end of that month, my Dad died. It brought to mind one of the Airplane movies when Lloyd Bridges, the air traffic controller mentioned he picked the wrong day to quit smoking, sniffing glue, etc. That’s how I felt. Of course I had just experienced one of the triggers for depression, the death of a close family member and back on it I went. Over the past decade or so, there have been many reasons to be on medication for depression, my husband’s kidney failure and ultimate transplant surgery, and moving 2400 miles from home, being just a couple of them. So you take a pill, so things don’t bother you so much. There in lies the problem. You never address what is bothering you, your entire brain is not functioning.

I also believe being in an altered state of mind stifles my creativity. I fancy myself a writer and would like to see what I could accomplish with a fully operational mind, at what ever level that might be. You have to be open to creative thoughts, not knowing for sure where inspiration will come from and if part of your mind is missing, well you know……

As I have discussed before, ad nauseam, I am almost 60, and realizing, really realizing, that I have a finite number of years left. I want to fully live those years with all my brain, not just a part of it. So I am making the conscious decision to go off Paxil and start living again. There will be good, bad and ugly, I am sure. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Get ready for T Bond, uncensored.