PNEUMONIA, HILLARY, AND ME
In late 2012 I had pneumonia, and I waited and waited to see the doctor–mainly because I didn’t know what the cause of my illness was. Finally I got so sick (high temp), was wheezing so much, and was throwing up a lot (which is not typical of pneumonia) that I had Dianne drive me to an urgent care treatment center here in Lexington (KY). I got out of the car while Dianne went to park it. I was so out of it that I walked into the wrong office–a nail salon where the employees spoke no English, and I tried to communicate with them in my somewhat delirious state. Finally I figured out what was going on and walked into the right office. I could barely sign the intake form and finally shakily headed off to the doctor who suggested I get a chest x-ray. I remember sitting in the x-ray room and going into a dream state where I was convinced that what I was dreaming was actually happening. Then the x-ray tech came in, told me put on the x-ray-proof vest, and stand beside a wall to get my x-ray taken. I told her I was feeling nauseated, and she told me that, if I threw up, please do it in the trashcan beside me. I remember looking inside the can and feeling disgusted that I would have to throw up in it.
The next thing I remember was waking up on a gurney surrounded by EMTs with all sorts of stuff attached to me. They were worried I was having a heart attack and doing an EKG (among other things), I said I was fine and felt rested because I had napped a bit. They were giving me intravenous fluids and told me that I had fainted, and they had put me on the gurney. They said I would have to go to the hospital by ambulance, I asked that they let Dianne drive me, but they were adamant. And I ended up at Central Baptist, where they x-rayed me finally, and I was found to have a relatively low-grade case of pneumonia. Apparently I was so dehydrated and wiped out that I had fainted.
Now we have the Hillary episode and the great drama that has ensued in its wake. Yet, all the huffers and puffers seem to have forgotten that pneumonia can make anyone faint and cough a lot, including teenagers. I’m sure that Hillary had no idea how serious what she had was and was just trying to keep her schedule.
And yet the media goes nuts, trying to imply that Hillary has some kind of mysterious disease or that she is hiding a secret health disorder. They are busy criticizing her for her lack of transparency. Say what?
Look I know Hillary has weaknesses as a candidate and does not always interact sufficiently with the press. Yet, the media and the pundits are way off base here. If anything, this incident makes me admire Hillary even more. As far as I’m concerned she’s a hero, a kind of political Wonder Woman, When I had pneumonia, I could barely move, except to engage with the toilet. Now here you have Hillary sitting and speaking at an emotional 9/11 event after having kept a schedule that almost no one could imagine keeping even with normal health.
I cannot think of a time where the media has seemed more pathetic and sexist, busily trying to equalize the two presidential candidates, as if they are both legitimate in their quest for the presidency.
No, Trump is not a legitimate candidate. He is a mentally ill fascist demagogue and con-man who cheats and lies almost every minute of the day and who appeals to hatred and bigotry to get the votes of those whose fears and dark sides have gotten the better of them.
On the other hand, Hillary works her butt off every day trying to make a difference in the world, and she gets smoked for it.
Now we have a woman who exemplifies what hard-working women have generally always done: Keep going and getting the job done no matter how they feel. That’s what makes Hillary a role model here. And I’m embarrassed by a press whose capacity to sink to new lows knows no apparent bounds.
Thought for the day: On food and drink labels, whenever you see “dye,” it really means “die.”
I could not agree more with Bernie Sanders. It’s also practical if we want our country to be able to compete effectively in the world. Right now our companies are saddled with huge costs, and patients face obscenely high payments and inadequate, uncertain coverage.
I think there is a deeper issue here as well. Giving everyone access to basic health care means they many more individuals will have the opportunity to embark on building start-up companies and on accepting higher risk jobs without fear of losing their health insurance coverage. I see universal coverage as an issue of freedom. When you don’t have to stay in a job in order to have your health problems covered, then you are free to take on careers and jobs that are more meaningful and rewarding. Universal health care adds to our liberty, because it gives us more choices and more mobility.
I wonder sometimes whether opposition to universal coverage stems from a fear of allowing people too much freedom. Universal coverage would take leverage from those in power (in corporations and in government) and put it into the hands of working people and our creative class. Denying individuals this opportunity concentrates power in the hands f those who already have it.
Thus, there are ethical and politco-spiritual dimensions here: ethical in that a civilized society needs to insure basic health care for its citizens; and politico-spiritual in that universal health coverage increases the level of human freedom, putting more decision-making power into the hands of more people. Universal health care coverage is a global, transformative movement of the human species toward greater freedom and independence.
Does this sound right?
The health impact is enormous, while neither BP, the state, or the U.S. government offers anywhere near sufficient assistance.
Which century do we live in?
A moving description of military trauma medicine in the setting of the Naval Medical Center of San Diego.
We cannot reduce everything to a commodity or money, as Paul Krugman concisely notes: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/opinion/22krugman.html
This is an excellent analysis and survey by U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Michael Oren: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/25/the_ultimate_ally?page=full
This is an excellent survey of the many ways in which banks bully homeowners and decimate the middle class:
An excellent, humorous analysis by Matt Taibbi
Some good news for a change:
Another concerning aspect of natural gas exploration through the process of hydraulic fracturing:
An exciting development in a progressive state. Maybe Vermont can lead the nation. We desperately need some means for everyone to have access to reasonable health care.
What’s happened to the middle class? That’s the question we need to ask in light of the bailouts and the crushing of workers’ unions in Wisconsin. Does work matter any more or only shuffling paper? Those of us committed to spiritual exploration need to recognize that the exploration of meaning and purpose in life requires that people are not always in survival mode. Spiritual truth is also connected to justice.
David Koch and Rupert Murdoch battle the middle class through Fox and the Wall Street Journal
The Wisconsin battle is part of a 150-struggle to break unions, now with the Koch Brothers leading the charge: http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/gov_walker_does_something_big_20110304
Bob Herbert discusses the financial crises facing ordinary, working, middle-class Americans:
This essay argues that we need to increase upper income tax brackets in order to prevent the concentration that would destroy democracy in this country. While I do not agree with the authors (and others) that decreasing government waste is not an important issue and that we need to figure out how to make medicare work more efficiently (social security is in fact basically sound), I cannot fathom why we keep lowering tax rights on the wealthy.
Robert Reich makes a similar argument: http://robertreich.org/post/3591689800
Ellen Brown argues that a state bank would solve many of Wisconsin’s and other states budget/pension issues–of course, that presumes that Walker and others are actually concerned about the budget rather than crushing labor http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/wisconsin.php
In the meantime, the percentage of underwater mortgage are on their way up: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_underwater_mortgages
Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO lauds the 14 Wisconsin Senators who stood up for workers’ rights: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-trumka/todays-heroes-the-wiscons_b_831749.html
More and more cities are broke: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/magazine/06Muni-t.html?_r=1 (via Dianne Bazell)
Jackob Hacker and Paul Pierson, in their book, “Winner Take-All Politics,” discuss the rising inequalities in the US economic system: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/inequality-and-political-power/?scp=8&sq=middle%20class&st=cse (via Dianne Bazell)
Robert Reich argues that the real issue is not jobs, but wages: http://robertreich.org/post/3638565075
Some doubt has been cast on the importance of Israel to the US economy and jobs. However, many underestimate the importance of Israel in global technology, especially in computers, health care and agriculture. It is large. We live in an interconnected world, and our economic relations with other countries (including foreign aid) have an economic impact on our own economy. We cannot go it alone. No one can.
For those of us who care about seed integrity, and its relation to human and planetary health, this is not good news.
Please take a look at Continuous Compression CPR: Mouth-to-Mouth ventilation is not required. This is not for infants or small children or for someone drowning. (Via Nelson French)
This article discusses the effect of exercise on brain chemistry (via Nelson French): http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/phys-ed-why-exercise-makes-you-less-anxious/?emc=eta1
For those frustrated with politics and bad news, take a look at this video. It shows the general trend of the world toward healthier and more prosperous societies. Countries are converging, and the world is improving. Thanks to Nelson French for this video!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo
Health is not a state of being, but a way of life.
Under waking anesthesia, life moves as a dream does. Time contracts. Moments take on greater meaning. Events do not flow from one to another, but from symbol to symbol, forming a poem and a painting.
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