Aging and Doctors Visits

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So, after having just dropped my Mother-in-Law off – she’s 80 by the way – at the entrance to the lobby of the Arthritis & Osteoporosis Consultants of the Carolinas (OACC). I just joined her here in the 6th Floor waiting room.

Now understand something, I am keenly aware that in this day and time, one does not need to be elderly to have arthritic or any other medical issues, but let’s face it, when you visit most waiting rooms, especially those of a specialist, it’s mainly older people occupying the seats.

The point of this blog, and hopefully with some levity, is the unusualness and sometimes humor in how elderly people seem to approach doctors visits. They take them very seriously, even to the point of (seemingly) considering a visit to the doctor an honor and a privilege, a badge of honor, or maybe (to them a trip out of the house). Like some seniors, my Mother-in-Law doesn’t drive; therefore, she’s dependent on me or my wife for the curb service from home to the doctor and back again.

As for me, I hate Doctor’s visits, especially those that require fasting. My anxiety begins to start about week before the visit date and it grows exponentially until the day of the visit, sometimes to the point of just canceling and/or rescheduling the visit altogether at the last-minute. This creates additional anxiety because by doing so, I am left with this immense weight on my future well-being, knowing this will only create a dilemma with delayed anxiety, of having to go through this all over again.

Believe it or not, I care about my health and I make all of my scheduled visits 95% of the time, and on the first scheduled date. Then there is the hurry up and wait that just beguiles me and annoys me so much. I wouldn’t have a problem with the demands placed on me by the doctor’s office, if they wouldn’t demand we be on time and not a minute late, and by the way, be there at least 15 minutes prior to your appoint time. Partly because a one hour doctors visit actually costs you a half day of real-time in your schedule. When you consider the two-hour prep and driving time on the front end, the five minutes the doctor spends with you – lab work not included in this analysis – and the seemingly hour or so wait time on the back-end for feedback from the doctors (assistant), the drive back home

Back to the seniors I have had the experience of dealing with. Most of them seem to have quite the opposite disposition regarding doctors visits.

First off, they look forward to them. They mark their calendars and happily await that date. They’ll remind you of it often enough that it becomes embedded in your mental processor. It’s always that last reminder the night before, as if you could have possibly forgotten with those multitude of reminders. Again, this rings true with my Mother-in-Law giving the fact she doesn’t drive. Why she doesn’t drive is another story, one to be told in a later offering of thoughtful insights into dealing with the elderly.

Secondly, they get up really early and get dressed. Now, there is nothing wrong with waking and getting dressed early for any appointment; except when the appointment is at 10:00 am and you’re up at 5:30, dressed, sitting in your favorite chair, reading the local newspaper and watching your every move to be sure you’re up, dressed and ready to roll, as if, to make sure you’re taking this as serious as they are. This is because they consider late, or just on the edge of being late, a total failure in their lives. It was if, if they’re on time, they have done a great service to humanity.

Me, well, I believe in being on time, because after all, I am wanting to get this experience over and done with as soon as possible.

Now being late, or shall I say setting them there late, is the last thing you want to do. I had that happen to me on my trip taking my Mother-in-Law to one of her appointments. Mind you, we were within the (general) 15 minute window of the appointment time and the infamous “must arrive at least 15 minutes early” law.

Seniors don’t mind being early. As a matter of fact, they prefer it, they relish it, their whole upfront routine I mentioned earlier is all part of the doctor visit ritual, the doctors visit experience to them. If you observe them arriving in the waiting room to check-in, they’re spirited, smiling, talking and ready (Medicare and Medicaid cards in hand) to be processed into doctor camp.

Then, there is the ultimate truth validation to what I have been saying when you encounter the guy in the waiting room, and I did encounter such a guy, who seemingly has been there – in the waiting room – all day, and who exemplifies the a true doctor visitor patriot.  He was there when I arrived and was there when I left.  All the while, he was striking up conversations with anyone who would cared to allow him to engage them.  He talked affectionately about his doctors, the number of times he had received new doctors, his medications and the number he was taking and knew to the day and minute of his next appointment.

This is the guy, or lady, who hangs around the doctor’s office and spends his time conversing with other patients on things like, who his new doctor is, how long he’s been seeing him, the new meds he’s be prescribed and the joyful exhilaration of looking forward to his next appointment(s). It’s as though he is willing to wait right there in the waiting room for the next six months until his next appointment. WTF!

Finally, the visit is done and there is the issue of prescriptions – another topic for another time. When you visit the pharmacy, or any pharmacy for that matter, in the doctors building, it’s really humbling to know you don’t have as many medical issues as a lot of people do. People are collecting and walking out with bags, I mean bags of drugs.

Mind you, I am not making light of people who needs (necessary) medications for their chronic ailments. Short term relief of pain is one of those exceptions I am referring too. Disagree with me if you may, that’s your call; however, I am convinced through my own experiences, and the research I have done, that we’re being drugged to death.

Finally, if you’re taking care of an elderly parent or grandparent, be prepared for the ride of your life – to the doctor’s office.

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No Longer a President – At the least he’s Fascist on his way to becoming a Tyrant!

41kCcJh70DL._SX353_BO1,204,203,200_We need to quit calling trump president. He’s now a racist, misogynistic Fascist on his way to becoming a Tyrant, the last step preceding becoming a dictator.

Everyone needs to read the book: On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder. https://www.amazon.com/Tyranny-Twenty-Lessons-Twentieth-Century/dp/0804190119/ref=sr_1_1?

In the book, the author describes twenty lessons we have learned from past tyrants. For example, how Fascists come to come to power through taking slow methodical steps to destroy institutions like freedom of the press, villainizing governmental agencies like the FBI, the judicial system, the press, particular groups like labor unions to name few. Just look at how trump has tried to marginalize, denigrate and rule ineffective, the nation’s domestic and international security organizations like the FBI and Central Intelligence Agency. This constant repudiation of the press by referring to them as “enemies of the people” is a classic example of how Fascists and tyrants behave.

Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian ultra nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. There are several fundamental characteristics of fascism, among them are: … Nationalism: Fascism places a very strong emphasis on patriotism and nationalism. Criticism of the nation’s main ideals, especially war, is lambasted as unpatriotic at best, and treason at worst. This list includes people like Benito Mussolini, Former Prime Minister of Italy; Francisco Franco, Former Caudillo of Spain; Karl Marx, Philosopher and many others. All these guys, and they are all guys, enjoy and love one other aspect of absolute power – the power of the large “allies”. The Heil Hitler salute of the 1920’s is on clear display at his rallies, as is the “raucousness” of his rally’s attendees.

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Trumps loving embrace of and adoration for some of the world’s authoritarian, tyrannical and dictatorial leaders like Kim Jong In of North Korea, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladi¬mir Putin, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey and King Salman of Saudi Arabia all have characteristics and governing styles adored by trump – silence your opponents through any means necessary. Stripping top-secret clearances from John Brennan and revoking press credentials from white house reporters is just the start of a tyrant’s march to dictatorship.

This man is far more dangerous than the segregationists of the deep South in the 50’s and 60’s during the Jim Crow era. Segregationists like George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who held the position of senator for over 50 years, were dangerous people, but not as dangerous as trump, primarily because they didn’t have the power he has. Trump is the President of the United States and because of the power of the office, he wields enormous power(s).

Don’t be fooled by the folly that the constitution, or some group like the Congress of the United States, or some individual from the ranks of our elected leaders, or the judicial system (especially the Supreme Court), or anyone one thing or group of things will save us from a Fascist or tyrannical government. The Congress, until this past November 6th, was controlled by a complicit group of Republicans who refused to even acknowledge trump’s abuse of power, the Supreme Court has been stacked in his favor with the most recent appointment of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh – who has clearly stated he believes the Executive Branch should have unrestricted power.

Just remember, tyrannical rule doesn’t happen over night.  It’s like termites in your home.  They chip away at your wood structure one “small” bite at a time, then you wake up one day and your entire home’s foundation has been compromised.  Stripping citizens of their secret clearances, banning and stripping members of the press credentials, challenging the judiciary’s resolve by criticizing judges and openly obstructing justice by blatantly interfering with the special counsels’ investigation, testing the military’s loyalty to him by ordering them to the Southern border on a “trumped-up” charge of an invasion by a group of desperate migrants, openly declaring himself a white nationalist, ridiculing anyone who disagrees with him politically, morally, socially or otherwise are all signs of the small bites taken by that termite.

The book is a must read for anyone who wants to better understand what we as a people, and country are up against. 

The Playoff Games were Fixed – According to the [Grocery Cart] guy at the Grocery Store?

700526207So, I am leaving the grocery pushing my shopping cart to the car the other day, and I hear this voice behind me saying, “Hi young man.” Well, hearing the voice say (young man) immediately got me attention, as I needed to know who this person was referring too. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to snap up a greeting like that [see, I am 67], or certainly not wanting to come off as rude for not acknowledging the him if this greeting was meant for me, I turned around and said “hello.”

The person getting my attention was a brother who working at the grocery store and apparently was walking to the parking lot to retrieve empty shopping carts. He started the conversation by asking “did you see those playoff games this weekend?” I replied by saying, no, I do not watch professional football. He replied, “you don’t watch football?” Again, “I said no,” and I haven’t watched a professional football (except momentarily or in passing) game for more than 15 years.

I approached my car at this point, lifted the rear door and begun placing my groceries in the rear of the car. Problem is, I have this tendency to try to be nice to people when they come out of nowhere and proceed to strike up [small talk] conversations about things I am (really) not interested in – like football. You see, these types of approaches seem to almost, always be a waste of my time, as those conversations generally end up irritating me.  This, because the person making the overture generally ends up saying something silly, like wanting to talk about something I could care less about, or they end up [seemingly] professing to be an expert at something I already know far more about than they do. These situations remind me of an old adage, that you never take financial advice from the bum standing on the sidewalk in front of the liquor store.  But, me being me, being the nice guy that I am, I end up allowing them to engage me.

After a few exchanges about the game, particularly the one where the Vikings receiver caught that spectacular pass and went on to score a game winning touchdown because the opposing receiver missed the tackle. You see, I don’t have to sit in front a TV screen for hours upon hours watching men run up and down a 120 yards long by 53 yards wide field chasing each other, catching a ball and trying to afflict as much pain and hurt on the other guy as humanly possible, to know who won or lost. One can be aptly informed of the final results of sporting events by simply watching a thirty-second highlight of such events during news reports, and by doing so, can hold a fairly convincing conversation with anyone who has spent half a day, or night, watching every detail. You see, it’s the highlights, and who won, or loss are the only things that really matter. Those are the only things that will be intently and passionately discussed at the water cooler or in the break room the next day. That’s because, in the end, the highlights [other than who won or loss] are really all that matters. In the meantime, I can go with life and be reasonably versed in this subject as one who spends one hundred-fold more time being bound by watching it than I do.

Okay, back to the point of the story. The brother finally says, “the game was fixed.” “Fixed,” I said? He replies, “sure, both games were [fixed].” Really, bedazzled I asked again, following up with, how do you suppose that could be, with more than 100 players more than 50 coaches and other personnel from both teams combined, and not to mention the hundreds, if not thousands of other people involved in producing and televising the game. It’s common knowledge that throughout (sporting) history, there are mentioned cases http://www.cracked.com/article_16588_7-great-sports-moments-that-might-have-been-fixed.html of a (few) sporting events [that might have been fixed.] All these, for all practical measures, were conspiracy theories – as there is no concrete evidence that the sum of what a few of the individuals involved did, actually ended up {throwing} the event in question.

After a few more questions, one, was, “how can the game(s) be ‘fixed’ ” when there are hundreds of people (players, coaches, staff, etc.), that are involved the production of the game(s). The brother’s explanation of was that the officials were simply paid off. I said, “really? He then replied, “you’re older than I am, so you should know better.” He then proceeded to start doing what he should have been doing all along, and that was collecting those grocery carts. As he walked away, he was muttering something to the effect of, “I can’t talk you anymore.” Go figure! In the words of my mother – I was minding my own business when he approached me with that bullshit.

So, nothing has changed, and my theory is correct and remains intact – do not allow people like this, or the drunk on the street. You know, that brother at party who goes into the twilight zone explaining why the euro centrists neo disenfranchisement of the black man has caused the mesa un-enlightenment of our minds engage you in a conversation where rational thought is absent. Maybe greet them, but for God’s sake keep walking, just keep walking.

The Trump Patriots – Oh, I meant the New England Patriots!

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I am with Bill Maher, F+*& the trump loving patriots, T. Brady and Belichick, the cheating asses and the horses they will ride to town on.

Brady was one of the first to don one those silly ass “Make America Great Again” caps! When asked if he thought trump would be president, Brady replied: “I hope so, that would be great.” So, here is a cat who gotten everything he ever wanted in life, but still feels the need to kiss the a+*, oops, I mean ring, of the “to make America great again” clown.

Belichick went as far as sending trump a long love note, which in part, read, “you have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully.”

Okay, I really don’t give a rats ass about football, but given the cheating, butt kissing by the Patriot organization and Atlanta was my home for 32 years, I say:

Go Falcons!

“The internet begs Michelle Obama to run for president in 2020”