Category Archives: Healthcare

News Roundup: Blogging, Nurses, Obama interview

blogI got into this blogging thing around 2005, so I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years. In the early days, I struggled to get an audience. I remember getting very happy when I got 5 to 10 comments. Over the years, the wild, wild blogosphere has consolidated into a few, very popular political blogs. Most of us independent bloggers have decided to do other things – Facebook, Twitter, etc. Anyway, it was fairly common back in 2007, 2008 to get a random comment from a troll. No big deal. You can ignore it. You can delete it or you choose to comment on it. If you comment, you have to understand the risks and benefits. This brings me to a comment from Constructive Feedback who in his first real sentence states that j he’s a “Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive-Fundamentalist Racism Chasers.” It is nice to get an honest opinion from someone who has no idea who I am. 😉

NPR has a GREAT series on nursing injuries. The latest installment was about a nurse at my former hospital, Mission Hospital. This simply needs to be read or listened to. In my opinion, there is no better group of people on this planet than nurses. They need to be protected (and paid).

Obama had a GREAT interview on Vox, an on-line magazine/newspaper. Check it out. It is really, really good. Ezra Klein and several others got together to form Vox. They were going to better job at covering the news and explaining the news. There are some great graphs which accompany this interview. They actually explain what Obama is talking about. Think of them as reinforcing the facts.

Oklahoma House votes to eliminate AP history.

Hey, did you know that Jeb Bush was interested in running for president? Damn! Who knew? Well, he gave a foreign policy speech which said…nothing. Are you surprised? If he would have given a bold speech, then he would have been attacked by everyone else who is running for president. So, he gave a luke-warm piece of Republican spin that really has no substance. BTW, did you know that ISIS was Obama’s fault and Bush supports the US spreading liberty in the world? Where have we heard that phrase – spreading liberty….

Dad

Mom, Dad and me

Mom, Dad and me

Not long ago, I was sitting with a friend of mine, surrounded by her husband and two daughters. Her father was in the center of the room, in a hospital bed, on oxygen. He looked ashen… He was dying.

It is times like these when I flash back to my own father’s life and death.

My father was a remarkable man. He was born in Georgetown, Guyana in the late 1920s, the youngest of 13 children. He immigrated to the United States in the mid-1950s, believing he had a track scholarship to Morgan State College.

Somehow, by the time he arrived, there were no more track scholarships. He slept on the floor of a friend’s dorm room and worked in a Tootsie Roll factory by day.

Dad taught himself to play tennis by swinging a used wooden tennis racket, hour after hour, hitting ball after ball against a brick wall—and earned himself a tennis scholarship. That’s how he went to college, and after he graduated he went on to medical school in Kansas City.

As I stand next to my friend’s daughter and we watch her grandfather breathe in … out … in … out, I continue to think back to my own father. He was up by 5 or 5:30 every morning and was showered, dressed (in a perfect-fitting suit), and had downed his two cups of coffee before 6:15—guaranteeing that he would be at the hospital by 7 a.m. He would do hospital rounds, then go open his office by nine, where he would see 30, 40, even 50 patients a day.

My father liked to “work hard, play hard” long before that became a bumper sticker. He wanted to expose my siblings and me to as much of life as possible. We traveled to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and even took a vacation to Mexico in 1973.

He was quick to laugh—and also a strict disciplinarian. When he knitted his eyebrows and told you to do something, he wanted it done.

He was also a man of wisdom, who told me on more than one occasion, “It’s okay to be right, but you don’t want to be dead right.” At first, I didn’t understand; with time, as with most of his sayings, it became crystal clear.

In Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown stood his ground. He wasn’t going to be hassled. He was going to be right. Perhaps if Michael Brown had had a father who had told him that being alive was more important than being right, he would be alive today.

In many ways Dad was the proverbial riddle, wrapped in an enigma, inside a mystery. Like many people of intelligence and character, he was a paradox. He loved being around people; yet he also needed time to keep to himself, and he loved being surrounded by family.

Holidays were always family time. Dad would cook something in a smoker, usually overnight. Those slow-cooked meats were always spectacular, and the following day aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews would descend on the house for a feast. We would do it three or four times a year, as predictably as the sun rising in the east. Of course, as I became a teenager, I wanted to be with my friends instead of family, but that was nonnegotiable. Family time was family time. I think what my dad was telling me was that when times get tough, friends can come and friends can go, but family will stay by your side.

My dad also believed in education, personal growth, expansion. He was all about doing more, doing better; he was all about the next thing. A couple of weeks ago, I took my 11-year-old grandson to see the Dallas Cowboys play the Indianapolis Colts at AT&T Stadium. We had great seats, and the Cowboys played what was probably their best game in the past five to eight years. We both had a blast. Yet … throughout the excursion, I could feel my father with us. He was smiling down upon us, but I could hear his advice: This is good, but expose your grandson to more.

My father was not a revolutionary. He was a hard-working man who was dedicated to his family and friends. Hard-working, dedicated, and determined. That last word’s probably the best description of him—determined.

Dad also had a gift for finding the right tone, the right story, the right witticism, to comfort or help or support a friend or family member in need. He was a doctor, and one of his gifts was knowing the right words to help others heal. In that hospital room a while back, after sitting with my friend and her family for a time, I turned to leave. I had a very strange feeling that Dad would have done a better job than I did at comforting them.

News Roundup – Andrae Couch, Stupid Articles, Oil Prices

The Great Andrae Crouch has died. He injected more soul into gospel in the mid-’70s and his influence can be felt everywhere there is music today.

From CNN: “Crouch was an innovator, a path-finder, a precursor in an industry noted for its conservative, often derivative approach to popular music,” Robert Darden wrote for Christianity Today. “He combined gospel and rock, flavored it with jazz and calypso as the mood struck him and the song called for it.”

Listen to the choir. It is a thing of beauty.

Andrae – RIP.

Under the heading of stupid articles we have this jewel from NYT. This is real breaking news on the relationship between George W Bush and Jeb Bush. Is Jeb going to run? Does GWB have the inside track? Do we care? Look, brothers are brothers. Some are really close and some aren’t. This article is a complete waste of electrons.

DSCC – I got a call from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee the other day. You know the pitch. “We need to fight hard to take back the Senate.” Yak, yak, yak. Guys, I’m so tired of Democrats running around in circles looking for a message, I could just spit. The core principles of the Democratic party have to be that we promote policies which benefit the average working American. It is that simple. Universal Healthcare. Living wage. Marriage equality. Strong Unions. Affordable high quality education. This isn’t rocket science but in this last election cycle Democrats were running away from President Obama and ObamaCare. They had no message for the most part, except vote for us because we ain’t them. Until the Democrats get their act together, they aren’t going to get any money from me. They (we) have to do better.

PTSD is a bear. We need better therapies. We need better access for those who can help. We need to remember that everyday Americans who are in traumatic events can have PTSD also. It is not just those who have been in the military.

The average American should benefit from lower oil prices.