Thursday, February 18, 2010

CODE BLUE: Dr. Judgmental Jones Forgot The Hippocratic Oath

I am FIRED up.

I just received an e-mail from a friend of mine with the following letter from Dr. Starner Jones that according to Snopes is real and has been published several times:

Dear Mr. President: 
        During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had   the  pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone. 
       While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that   her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer. 
       And, you and our Congress expect  me to pay for this woman's health care?  I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is  not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses.  Rather, it is the result of a "crisis  of culture,"  a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on  luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.  It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me." 
       Once you fix this  "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear. 

Are you kidding me?

Here's my reply to the above drivel:

Dear President Obama and Dr. Jones,

What if I went to the ER where Dr. Jones works?  He would see my expensive dental restoration work, he would see my iPhone and if it rang hear that it has a ringtone, he would see my expensive athletic shoes, see my expensive purse and have someone whisper in his ear that I drove there in a luxury car.  Then he would see that I only had catastrophic insurance coverage with an insanely high deductible; he would assume that he would have a hard time collecting payment from me and probably that hat I wouldn't pay at all.

During his examination of me, which at this point with all of these assumptions about me I doubt he would be focusing on my health but more about how he was going to get paid and how dare I have these "luxuries" and not be able to pay him immediately.  He would learn that I spend an inordinate amount of money on alternative methods of healthcare.  He would be baffled at why I would make that choice instead of spending $400+ a month on a better insurance policy.

What he wouldn't know, because it's none of his business but more importantly because healthcare workers should be focused on the health of their patients not busy making assumptions, is that:

1.  I chose to spend a lot of money to remove the mercury fillings in my mouth because the mercury was leaking and I decided that it would be better for my long term health and that I paid for and did the work over a two year time span;

2.  I was able to sell my old cellphone for the same amount as my new one - no money spent and that ringtone?  I purchased it with a gift certificate;

3.  I only purchase one pair of shoes a year, the expensive athletic shoes you see on my feet, unless I get them as a gift and between them and the flip-flops that I bought at factory outlet 4 years ago are they only shoes I wear 99.9% of the time;

4.  I purchased my expensive purse used from e-bay for $12;

5.  My car is 11 years old and it was purchased used.  It was purchased primarily for the fact that it gets 28 miles to a gallon in the city and 36+ on the highway, the fact that the safety ratings are spectacular was another factor and hopefully keeps me out of the ER in an accident;

6.  I would prefer to stay away from healthcare workers like Dr. Jones, so I try to heal myself at home;

7.  I had that $400 a month policy; shockingly it hardly paid for anything, it was health insurance in name only, and I still got the pleasure of dealing with healthcare workers such as Dr. Jones.  

Dr. Jones, you might want to reacquaint yourself with the Hippocratic Oath, you are probably too busy judging your patients so I will highlight the areas which appear to be a problem:

".. I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug."

"...I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know."

"...this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God."

"...I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick."

"...May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help."

GreenInOC, Human
Orange County, CA

For me, I hope that I never end up under the care of judgmental healthcare workers like Dr. Jones.

The old adage about assumptions rings true...

How does the Dr. know that these items weren't paid for in a more financially secure time?  Why does the doctor not assume that these items may have been bartered for, gifts given or in exchange for payment of a service or goods rendered?  How presumptuous to define someone else's values.

The person can afford cigarettes, beer and pretzels.  Doesn't that say more about society as a whole?  We continue to support the fact that poor quality, high priced foods are the foods that are abundantly available in financially depressed communities?

Doesn't this whole situation say more about our society as a whole?  We live in a country where racism is institutionalized and that seems okay with us?

I am fired up!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cheap Thrills Are The Best Thrills!

Times are tough right now for all of us and just like for most everything that ails you, laughter is the best medicine!

My top three favorite FREE laughter inducing things right now:

1. Check out the Twitter page of "newlywedsontjob":

This Twitter page is the brainchild of a Best Man who has hidden some sort of motion sensor under the newlywed's mattress that sends out a Tweet each time they start "the job" with the time started and the weight on the bed.  It's followed by another Tweet when they're "off the job" with the total time spent, a frenzy index and the Judge's score!  The couple will be informed on the 26th of this month so make sure check this out before it disappears.

2.  Watch "Kell On Earth":

The new Bravo reality series that follows Kelly Cutrone, the brilliant PR "bitch" and by "bitch" I mean a brilliant business woman who I totally adore!  The funny is from laughing at the interns and their "brilliance" and by "brilliance" I mean how do they wipe without help?! The best laugh though is in the second episode starting at 32:37.

Watch the first 2 episodes for FREE on Hulu- 1st episode / Hulu - 2nd episode; you don't even need to pay for cable!!!

3.  Follow "shitmydadsays" on Twitter:

A 29 year old lives with his 74 year old Dad.  The Tweets are simply the brilliance Dad shares such as,

"The dog is an outside dog.  You want an inside dog, you go get your own inside."

"Here's a strawberry, sorry for farting near you...Hey!  Either take the strawberry and stop bitching, or no strawberry, that's the deal."

"Happy birthday, I didn't get you a present..Oh, mom got you one?  Well that's from me then too, unless it's shitty."

Bonus laughs (if 3 is good, 4 is better right?!):

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Treading Lightly On VD

For some, Valentines Day is a revered holiday.  For others, it is anticipated about as much as its ironical abbreviation, VD.

No matter where you fall on the VD spectrum - STD or love contest - if you are so inclined, you can give your loved ones tokens of affection that don't hurt other people, the environment or require a culture and a walk of shame to the public clinic.


Chocolate - yum.  Chocolate milk, chocolate fudge, chocolate dipped bananas and strawberries, chocolate body paint, chocolate slaves - wait, slaves, what??

Years ago I saw a small piece on Dateline which highlighted the documentary, "Slavery: A Global Investigation"; you can now watch it online for free in two parts, here and here.  In it they interview a boy who was recently rescued from a cacao plantation.  They asked him if he had ever tasted chocolate, "No".  He was then asked what he wanted to tell people who ate chocolate, he answered, "Tell them when they eat chocolate they are eating my flesh".

I saw those scars, burst into tears, ordered the documentary, did lots of research and changed my ways.  I learned that most of the chocolate that comes into our country is harvested by slaves.  Chocolate is made from cacao which is predominately grown in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Ghana.  Both, but Cote d'Ivoire especially, are notorious for using slaves on the plantations that grow the cacao.

The easiest way to avoid this is to purchase Fair Trade Certified, which will have this label:  

Other things to look for is for cacao from south America instead.  

Newman's Own sources all of their chocolate from "slave free" farms - caramel filled chocolate cups, OMG!

If you live in Orange County, head on over to Mother's Market - they have quite a nice selection.

Here are some "safe" chocolate manufacturers (this is in no way a comprehensive list):

Sunspire (not all products are labeled FTC but according to the company all cacao is sourced from plantations with fairly paid employees)
Sweet Earth Chocolates (organic too!!)
Endangered Species (Bug Bites are great for kids and co-workers)
Rapunzel - (try their Choconut for body paint, yum!!!!!!!)
Kopali Organics (chocolate w/banana is the best combination on earth!)


If your significant other swoons when they receive flowers, instead of ordering them when they are out of season, shipped from another country, possibly raised and picked by exploited labor check out California Organic Flowers.  Yes, overnight shipping is not ideal, even with purchasing carbon offsets, but baby steps.


Does your lover really need another stuffed animal made from and stuffed with polyester (oil), made in China most likely by exploited labor and then had to be shipped to the US?  Yes?  Okay, in spite of my intense hatred for stuffed animals, I will suggest Stuffington.  Stuffington's creations are made in the US.  That still leaves polyester and shipping but baby steps people.

If you are looking to get laid on VD (hopefully without receiving the gift of VD), you are going to have to give your present some thought.

Something that your loved one NEEDS.  Do they hate walking the dog, doing the dishes, need a wall painted, need the garage cleaned, in dire need of a lap dance?  Do that for them!

Spend some time with your loved one.  Take your kid to the park, take your mother to a movie, take your husband to a strip club, talk to your wife!

Make a special meal.  Do it together.  Go to the local farmers market or if you are in south Orange County go to South Coast Farm, together.  Go home, put on your organic cotton apron (you don't want to be frying bacon nekid people!) and handle those meats and veggies - together.  Before you heat up some olive oil in the pan for the veggies, heat it up on their skin first!

Want something a little more tangible but personal?  Go check out Etsy!  Oh my gosh I lurve me some Etsy.  There is something for everyone there.  You can even search for sellers near you!  Once I place my order I always request of the seller, "please do not use any plastic to mail this and please use recycled (ugly and funky are fine with me) shipping materials".  

Have fun, be creative, tread lightly and show your love without hurting others, the earth or contracting an STD!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sarah Palin The Teabagger Meets Sarah Palin The Hyprocrite

I don't drink coffee - can't stand the smell or the taste.

I do however love tea.  Herbal tea is the best!

My love for tea is being seriously challenged by the "Tea Party".  Now every time I think of having a cup of tea, I think of "Tea Party", which makes me think of Sarah Palin, which leads to pondering hypocrisy, which inevitably causes blood pressure increasing, heart palpitations and bile production!!!

If you don't see the Sarah Palin hypocrisy connection, here's a brief primer.

On The Use Of The Word "Retarded":

White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, used the word "retarded".  Sarah Palin called for his resignation.

Blowhard talk radio host and fellow hypocrite, Rush Limbaugh, used the word retarded.  Sarah Palin supported it as "satire".

Republican Governor Perry of Texas' Campaign Consultant, Dave Carney, used the word "retarded".  Sarah Palin did not call for Governor Perry to "axe" Carney but instead she campaigned for Perry.

On Using A Teleprompter:

Presidents have been using teleprompters since Lyndon Johnson.

President Reagan, a Republican, was nicknamed "The Great Communicator".  Sarah Palin, Republicans and Tea Baggers revere "Ronnie".  Ronnie loved the teleprompter almost as much as he did Nancy!

Here's a picture of Ronnie using a tele-prompter (see the smoky grey plastic thing on his right?):

                                                                                               Source: The Drudge Report

President Obama, a Democrat, has been hailed as a "great orator" but is often referred to as "The Teleprompter President" by the likes of Palin, Fox "News", Tea Partiers, et al.  Sarah Palin mocks President Obama's speaking skills and has called him "...that charasmastic guy with a teleprompter".

On February 7, 2009 Sarah Palin spoke and participated in a Q&A at the first Tea Party Convention.  Apparently she didn't use a teleprompter.  Instead, she wrote bullet points ON HER HAND.

Watch at the 47 second mark as she reads the notes ON HER HAND while trying to answer a question:

She wrote: "energy", "budget cuts" with a line through the word "budget", "tax" and "lift American spirits". 

The question was "...when we are successful and we have a conservative House and a conservative Senate, as soon as that happens, what do you think are the top three things that have got to be done?"

It's a BIG coincidence that she has three things written on her hand.  Did she know that question in advance?

Whether or not she knew the question in advance or that she wrote notes on her hand or used notes at all really isn't the issue.  The issue is that she has ridiculed our current President for using a teleprompter when:

1.  Her idol, Ronnie, was a master at using the teleprompter
2.  President Bush, in spite of using a teleprompter, still couldn't speak coherently
3.  Most profoundly, she, like most of us, uses prompts when speaking in public

Someone please write the word "hypocrite" on Palin's hand - maybe it will remind her to ask someone to look up the definition and explain it to her.

For an eloquent and impassioned post on how using the word "retarded" is "...pathetic and rude", head on over to Redneck Mommy's incredible post on the subject.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Being Sick & Green

I have been out of town helping a family member with this:

A new baby - SO wonderful.  This family member has a passel of kids; it's loud, it's hectic, it reminds me of my own childhood and oh my, IT'S FUN!!

Unfortunately, before I left their house I got REALLY sick.  In fact almost everyone in the house was sick.  I had to fly home sick - miserable.

I am still sick (12 days of sick so far) and it sucks.  I am getting better but I have a lingering cough and congested ears.

The amount of plastic used and wasted through this is in itself sickening.  I bought cough drops/lozenges for the flight.  Each of course wrapped individually in plastic.  I went to a co-op and a health food store but both only had the plastic wrapped ones.

For coughs I usually use Chestal Honey Cough Syrup which comes in glass.  It wasn't helping so I have bought two bottles of different brands (neither of which has worked as far as I can tell) and both came in plastic.

The one thing that I had that I LOVED were some bamboo fleece wipes that I purchased from Batik Bags on etsy.  What a luxury to wipe your nose with something so soft and lovely that didn't leave anything chapped or a trash can overflowing with chemical laden and bleached tissues.

The cough is at the base of my throat, dry and I cant "get" it.  I have tried an expectorant herbal cough syrup but it does not seem to be doing the trick.

I had read that a natural expectorant would be a "mustard plaster".  There are different instructions, but the one that I went with was I cut up some cheesecloth and sprinkled in some dried mustard on half of it and then folded the other half of the cheesecloth over it.  I then rolled it up like a jellyroll and ran it under warm water.  Just enough to get it wet.

I unrolled it and put it on my chest.  I was sitting up and oh my gosh - that was the best hour I've had, no coughing or wheezing!!

My skin wasn't irritated at all, sooooooo....

I decided to do it again but this time as I tried to go to sleep.

So I had it on while lying on my side so it was on my skin and then pushed between "the girls".

After a while it started to get really uncomfortable.  I stuck it out.  I was watching TV on my computer (by the way, have you seen Modern Family yet?!) and tried to put it out of my mind.

I realized that my skin wasn't uncomfortable but there was a burning stabbing pain so I decided to take it off.  It still hurt really bad.

I got up washed off my skin put on some coconut and argan oils.  It was raised and red but when I woke up this morning this is what I saw:


So now I am coughing until I feel nauseous, I can't hear my own voice and I have a self-inflicted burn!!!