Sunday, January 31, 2010

Preferred Provider or Perverted Provider?

Not quite the getaway I had in mind, but nevertheless I did have two nights and three days essentially to myself. Of course that does not include the nurses who kept taking my vitals every hour, changing the IV saline solution often, filling me up with pain killers (thank G-d for that at least), taking my blood on several occassions and then giving me blood.

So, I went to the ER on Thursday morning in a lot of pain. The Nurse-Practitioner (NP) checked me out and put in orders for various tests, as well as for a nurse to hook me up to an IV and to give me some heavy drugs. The nurse had a very pleasant demeanor, but he was a little weird. Did you ever watch "Will and Grace?" I swear my nurse reminded me, at least in physical attributes, of Karen's arch nemesis (Leslie something I think). My male nurse (from now on to be referred to as Nurse Leslie) was very friendly, but perhaps a little too friendly. Right after the NP left, Nurse Leslie came in to set-up the IV. Before doing so, he said he needed to listen to my stomach. The NP had just done this. He lifted my hospital gown a little higher than it needed to be and I swear brushed up against me where he shouldn't. But, I wasn't sure. Later, after I was told I had a large kidney stone and needed to be admitted, he proceeded to explain the procedure to me. Instead of just saying that a tube would be inserted into the urethra, yada, yada, yada. He said, "you know, they'll put a tube up your "hoohoo." OK, color me shocked!!!! Not soon after, I was on my way to a room outside of the ER--whew!

OK, so I was finally given a room after being in the ER for six hours. The nurse (not nurse Leslie) comes in with a "questionnaire." I'm feeling pretty good about answering all her questions.
Q1. Do you drink? A1. Maybe one glass of wine a week.
Q2. Do you smoke? A2. No.
Q3. Do you take any illicit drugs? A3. No.
Q4. How much caffeine do you consume? Ah, damn, there she goes bursting my balloon. A4. You found me out! I don't drink coffee or tea, but Coca-Cola is my guilty pleasure.

I have been a Coca-Cola junkie since childhood. Though I've finally made the switch to Coke Zero at home, there is nothing that beats regular ice cold Coca-Cola poured over a full glass of ice. I have been addicted to the stuff for so long, I even wrote a poem about it in high school. It was the only A+ I ever got out of Mrs. Moore. OK, can we say obsessed? But, I digress.

Back to the hospital here. . . All went well, they were keeping me high on drugs. That night I had a reaction to the painkiller they were pumping into me. I think it was just that they pumped it in too quickly. But, just in case, they switched me to morphine. All was good in my world at this point.

The surgery went well. I had to stay one more night because the surgery occurred so late in the day. The hospital was within my preferred provider network. Unfortunately, the surgeon they arranged for me was not. I'm worried to see that bill. I really don't know how the insurance company expects me to go searching out an appropriate surgeon while I'm filled with morphine. So, I'm anxiously awaiting that bill and ensuing battle.

I'm home now, taking it easy for this next week. And that's my two night getaway.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


First some quotes to preface my rant.

Those who will not reason, are bigots; those who cannot, are fools; and those who dare not, are slaves. -Lord Byron

You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered. -Lyndon B. Johnson

The Rant

The problem with the extreme Right and the extreme Left is that they are so set in their opinions that they will not listen to anything or anyone else. One tends to legislate from the pulpit and the other from an ivory tower. Both are guilty of paternalistic, dogmatic, black and white thinking. If you haven't figured it out, this is the best way to TURN OFF swing voters. To extremists on both sides of the aisle, it would do you well to stop living in your self-created bubbles and see just how out-of-touch you are with much of America. Whichever party does this first, is going to be the big winner in the long run.

Why did Senator Brown win? Besides the fact that many people are hurting and not yet feeling the "benefits" of the "recovery," there is another reason that the Democrats need to consider. The Democrats made a fatal error by refusing to answer questions in a meaningful way about health care reform. Folks with real questions are told, "you are trying to derail healthcare." Or, just as bad, all too often "answered" with "holier-than-thou" stone-walling responses that do nothing to show any real desire to listen or to address questions and concerns. Sure there are those who want nothing more than to derail health care reform in its entirety. But, you are letting them win, letting them succeed by not seeking out and talking to those who truly just want clarification and answers.

What about the person who is not against the idea of healthcare reform in some form, but, also doesn't want to throw money at a problem just to SAY something has been done. What about providing a solid plan with a solid explanation of how the plan will be effective in its implementation and efficient in its costs? It is a mistake to assume that anyone with questions is seeking to derail the whole thing. It is also a mistake to assume that anyone with questions does not have any worthwhile ideas to contribute. Such attitudes are exactly why the Democrats have alienated so many.

Wouldn't it be interesting to compare legislation created by the vocal extremes with legislation, hopefully one day, created by pragmatic moderates of both parties? Now, that is change I could believe in. And, in fact, what I believe many moderates believed Obama was espousing when he ran for President.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Best Roast Chicken EVER!!!

I decided to do a Shabbat dinner for the family tonight. I wanted a new recipe for roast chicken and thought I would try this one I found on I changed it just a little and it was delicious!!!!! I don't usually randomly share recipes, but thought this was too good not to share.

One 3.5 pound kosher chicken (Note: Kosher chickens are already brined and of good quality, if you don't use kosher, use a farm raised chicken and then brine it yourself).

1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (mixed together in a bowl for seasoning the outside of the chicken). Adjust these to your preferences.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.

Truss the bird. NOTE: I found a video example online (through the Food Network). I had to play the video a few times to get it right, but with the way the chicken turned out I think it was definitely worth the effort.

Sprinkle and rub in salt/fresh ground pepper mixture on the outside all over.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan (NOTE: make sure the pan is not too big, otherwise juices will spread out and smoke) and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone--don't baste it, don't add butter. Roast it until it's done, 70 minutes. Let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board, then carve.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A busy winter break

Whew, this last week just flew by! Mondays events have already been chronicled, but that was just the beginning.

On Tuesday, we went to Baltimore Aquarium, which is lovely but not nearly as wonderful as the Monterey Bay Aquarium (at least in terms of kids activities). Still, the boys loved it, especially the Dolphin show and the Jellyfish exhibit. We had a great time, except for one incident. When I was changing the baby's diaper in the bathroom (he was standing up because he now wears pull-ups like a big boy), he decided it was a great time to let it go and boy did he ever! Luckily, I was wearing layers, so just peeled off the pee'd upon layer, cleaned up the floor as best I could, changed the baby's clothes completely (though wish I had brought him extra socks and shoes). Thank goodness, it was at the end of the day. Otherwise, it was a very nice time with the boys.

On Wednesday, we went to the Gaylord Hotel at National Harbor and saw their beautiful ICE sculpture exhibit. They even had full-size useable slides made of ice. But, at 9 degrees F, it was COLD!!! I do not recommend taking a two year old to the exhibit. The rest of us thought it was very cool, pun intended. However, the funnest part of the day was the search for PEEPS throughout the hotel, and unlike the ICE exhibit, it was free. The boys thought that was a kick. And, it was beautiful there. Tak kept asking if we could spend the night, but of course that wasn't in the cards.

On Thursday, we went to some friends house for New Years Eve. We had a lot of fun, a lot of food and a little drink. The boys stayed up until midnight for the very first time. Luckily, they actually slept in the next day.

And, now, we hope to rest for the remainder of the weekend. We will see. . . .