Keep on Target for Breast Cancer Awareness

six-shooter bra

The Wickenburg Community Hospital sponsored a Bra Decorating Contest to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness month. There were a lot of nice entries, but my favorite was this brilliant presentation of pink targets and pink six-shooters in pink holsters. I loved it (and it got my vote). How could you not if you are into guns and target shooting.

There must have been a couple of dozen entries, most of them very creative and beautiful. The Arizona Flag and Red/White/Blue bra was very nice too. Click here to see the Arizona decorated bra.

Transporting Mom Home

Transporting Mom Home

After over a week in rehab, we finally got Mom released back home to her assisted living ranch. We were a little disenchanted with the rehab center since they were not spending much time helping Mom get better. As for Mom, she HATED it. So, after a couple of days of tweaking and pulling chains, they released her. The hospice folks arranged transportation and we fell in behind them while they took her to the ranch. All I can say is that she is back in her element with friends, an excellent caring staff and some actually good food!

Medicare Premium Rate Going Up – A Lot

caduceus.gifI received the following information from a longtime friend and former colleague. His source was an administrator in the Blue Cross Health System. I did some double checking and made corrections based on previous and current medicare premiums.

Although this information is to the best of my knowledge, it may not be completely accurate. However, it reflects an over 250 percent increase from the 2010 to 2014 rate. The jump in the 2013 to 2014 rate alone is over 205 percent:


For those of you who are on Medicare, read the following. It’s short, but important and you probably haven’t heard about it in the Mainstream News:

The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the 2010 Monthly Fee of $96.40, rising to:

$99.90 in 2012

$120.20 in 2013


$247.00 in 2014.

These are provisions incorporated in the Obamacare Legislation, purposely delayed so as not to confuse the 2012 Re-Election Campaigns. Seniors should know who’s throwing them under the bus.

It figures that the administration would stick it to seniors, a weak demographic for them. If you are like me, having paid into this Ponzi scheme, just like social security, over all the years, you will be outraged.

Adjusting the BP Meds

sphygmo.jpgThe Good Samaritan Hospital Trauma Center in Phoenix had me wired up to the vital signs monitor after I was admitted following my Humpty Dumpty experience. Thankfully, all the vitals looked good (heart rate, respiration rate, oxygen levels, etc.) except that my blood pressure was curiously lower than I would expect having not taken my BP meds that morning. Indeed, even after spending the night in the hospital, my blood pressure remained normal or a bit lower still despite having taken no BP meds for the second day in a row.

Image: Wrist band blood pressure monitor showing normal reading

Almost two weeks after the incident, I was at the Community Clinic to have the staples removed. During the visit, the Medical Assistant took my blood pressure. It was quite low – like 97 over 53. The PCP discussed this with me and told me to cut the meds in half. That was a week ago.

I got out my little wrist band sphygmomanometer today and took several readings. The at rest readings were still a little low, on the order of 105 over 65, but with normal activity the readings looked quite normal. I am due to go in for another follow-up next week and will further discuss the readings as well as take my wrist model along to see how it stacks up with the clinic’s sphygmo-whatever.

There Ain’t No M.D. Behind the President’s Name

obamasm.gifDamsel is quick to remind me that there is no M.D behind my name when I complain about a pain or something and try to self-diagnose it. “See a professional,” she will insist.

Fair enough. I see the doc and get a real diagnosis. The president should take Damsel’s advice and get some professional help as well (psychiatric perhaps?).

As Obama desperately pushes his health care reform agenda, he doesn’t care whose toes he steps on along the way. Witness this statement from the American College of Surgeons (emphasis mine):

Statement from the American College of Surgeons Regarding
Recent Comments from President Obama

CHICAGO—The American College of Surgeons is deeply disturbed over the uninformed public comments President Obama continues to make about the high-quality care provided by surgeons in the United States. When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform. We want to set the record straight.

Yesterday during a town hall meeting, President Obama got his facts completely wrong. He stated that a surgeon gets paid $50,000 for a leg amputation when, in fact, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for a leg amputation. This payment also includes the evaluation of the patient on the day of the operation plus patient follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation. Private insurers pay some variation of the Medicare reimbursement for this service.

Three weeks ago, the President suggested that a surgeon’s decision to remove a child’s tonsils is based on the desire to make a lot of money. That remark was ill-informed and dangerous, and we were dismayed by this characterization of the work surgeons do. Surgeons make decisions about recommending operations based on what’s right for the patient.

We agree with the President that the best thing for patients with diabetes is to manage the disease proactively to avoid the bad consequences that can occur, including blindness, stroke, and amputation. But as is the case for a person who has been treated for cancer and still needs to have a tumor removed, or a person who is in a terrible car crash and needs access to a trauma surgeon, there are times when even a perfectly managed diabetic patient needs a surgeon. The President’s remarks are truly alarming and run the risk of damaging the all-important trust between surgeons and their patients.

We assume that the President made these mistakes unintentionally, but we would urge him to have his facts correct before making another inflammatory and incorrect statement about surgeons and surgical care.

Hat Tip Jonah Goldberg

Navajo Nation Emergency Medical Services

Navajo EMSAs we departed from our visit to the Canyon de Chelly National Park on the Navajo Nation near Chinle, Arizona, we got behind this EMS vehicle in traffic. We followed them down the road for a way when they turned down the road leading to the local medical center.

While I was looking at some of the pictures I took while on vacation last month, I got curious about them and found this on their website:

The Department of Emergency Medical Services is one of eight departments within the Navajo Division of Public Safety.

Navajo EMS is a Dedicated, Progressive Service Focused on Quality Care. Expanded Advanced Life Support Capabilities and Transport Services are Preeminent. We Consist of a Well Organized Structure of Dedicated Personnel Determined to Provide Elite Services.

The Goal of the Department is to Provide for the continued development of the comprehensive Public Safety and Emergency Medical Services System to advance the quality of care and transportation of the sick and/or Injured.

They go to say that their Department is affiliated with the University of New Mexico Emergency Medical Services Academy and the New Mexico Emergency Medical Services Bureau. Parts of the reservation overlap into Utah, New Mexico and Colorado, although most of it is within Arizona.