Monday, August 12, 2019

Health Crash.

I've been essentially housebound for a couple(?) years because of back pain, probably lumbar stenosis. I can get around our condo unit fine, and with my walker (and some terror) make it as far as our car. Once there, I can drive for 2-3 hours before I have to go home and lay down again. June 1, I dropped in to deep depression, weakness, and lethargy. This was sort of normal as I had run out of my happy pills (bupropion) and my 69th birthday was coming up June 3. After my birthday and my pills being restored, the depression lightened, but the weakness continued. June 13, I fell, and couldn't get up without a call to the paramedics. No injury, but I was shaken up enough that I wasn't able to walk out to the car and take my wife Brenda to work the next morning -- nor ever again since. Sometime during this period, I'd also begun having trouble with urination, which was becoming increasingly painful. June 17, it reached the point that Brenda called 911 for an ambulance to the hospital. Here's the letter I e-mailed to Christus St.Vincent:

6/19/2019 5:37 PM
Subject: Incompetent attendant

I was a patient there Monday because of an enlarged prostate and had a catheter installed.
MRN: 0000661781 CSN: 400056542176
Laurion, Owen K 6/17/2019
6/3/1950 (69 yrs) M

The staff were all friendly, professional, and helpful. Only later I realized one attendant fouled up badly. The attendant who told me I was discharged said he was going to show how to change the catheter bag. He took off the night bag I’d been hooked to and stuffed it in a trash bin (I didn’t know that was an essential part of catheter equipment that I needed to take with me) and fastened a leg bag in its place. I left the hospital, but I now think I was still supposed to have an exit Q&A with a doctor before final discharge. I have questions I would have liked clarified. About 12 hours after leaving, bladder pain was becoming intense and the bag was still empty. I examined the connection (which hadn’t actually been explained) and discovered the end clearly labeled “Top” was dangling at my knee! It had been put on upside down! After managing to install it correctly, it immediately filled with several ounces of urine, and the bladder pain was relieved!

I was too woozy from the experience to write before now, and I don’t think there was any permanent damage, but it did cause me pain and unnecessary concern, and I’m going into my third night without a night bag. I think the hospital should compensate by delivering a night bag (and if the porta-johnnie I left behind was supposed to be mine, then that too) to my home address ASAP. Zia Vista Condos, 2501 W. Zia Rd., building 6, unit 104. Gate code 221-call.

No response was ever made to this e-mail. I began sending my wife to purchase a night bag at the pharmacy when she could get a ride (she can't drive because of poor eyesight). I did not realize this would be at all difficult. It has been over two weeks, she's managed to contact 4 pharmacies and a medical supply store so far, and none carry night catheter bags! During this time I've wet the bed several times because this short-term bag I have has come unattached while I was asleep. I'll probably need to get a new mattress because of that incompetent attendant.

Meanwhile the weakness has continued, and vertigo has added to it. I have difficulty just moving about the apartment any more, and going outside without assistance is impossible. I've missed 2 doctors appointments so far because I can't get out without medical assistance. To sign up for medical assistance, I have to get to a city office in person, which I can't do without medical assistance.

This extreme weakness is not normal, and I need to see a doctor about it!

Owen KL is feeling drained.
Had a doctor appointment today. The first time I've been out of the house in a couple months. Added to being cooped up for 4 months this past winter, I've developed agoraphobia rather severely. I worried about that, and the logistics of getting there, and what the doc would say or do, all thru the night. Brenda arranged for a neighbor to drive (I could have driven myself, I just can't stand or walk more than 2 minutes) and help with the wheelchair, My very sincere thanks to Deanna Lilley Shaughnessy for putting up with us. She was a good driver, so at least that didn't shake me up -- I generally hate being in the passenger seat. Things went smoothly enough, even took a side trip to get signed up with Senior Services, so I can use the city's medical transport from now on. But I was a mess. Could hardly stand up from the chair and take a step, which was a lot weaker than normal. All psychological, but even being utterly sure of that didn't make it any less real.

 I'm not having much luck with medical stuff. The doc gave me a new Rx, and told me to be back in 2 weeks to see how it was working. But instead of sending it to the local pharmacy as instructed where I could get it picked up that day, the Rx was sent to a mail-order pharmacy, which took two weeks to get it delivered! So I rescheduled the appointment for two weeks from when I started taking the new medicine,  Tamsulosin Hcl Caps 0.4MG. First night I took it, tho, had extreme chills and painful shivering. 
OwenKL said...
At the moment I'm feeling fine, but wasn't last night or this morning. Ear ache is still there, but either pain pills are helping, or I'm just getting used to it. However new symptoms are popping up. Chills and extreme painful shivering for 30-60 minutes followed by fever with delirium.
 Heating pad had solved shivers, but ear ache is persistent, and sharp pain through right shoulder blade has added itself. I've been taking a pain-killer every couple hours (rotating Acetaminophen 500 units, Excedrin extra strength,  naproxen 220mg), but just distraction (watching cartoons, doing artwork, reading) seems to do a better job

Monday, May 23, 2016

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics


Friday, March 25, 2016

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The BELIEF of an Agnostic

The BELIEF of an Agnostic:

I believe that, if there is a Higher Power, it is not omnipotent, rather than that it allows so much pain and sorrow in the world.

I believe that, if there is a Higher Power, it is not omniscient, rather than that it let thousands of years go by without telling humans about germs, or electricity, or printing, or radio waves, or so many other marvels.

I believe that, if there is a Higher Power, it is not omnipresent or all-seeing, rather than that it allows so much evil and terrorism to exist and prosper.

I believe that, if there is a Higher Power, it is not all-loving, rather than that it allows so much loneliness and suffering and depression in the world.

I believe that, if there is a Higher Power, it is not prescient, rather than that it knows in advance of earthquakes and sinking ships and other disasters, yet never warns innocents.

I believe that, if there is a Higher Power, it is not eternal, rather than that it has been alone for billions of years, which would surely drive any rational being mad.

I believe that, if there is a Higher Power, it is not personal, rather than that it has never been my friend by asking about my feelings or opinions.

I believe that, if there is a Higher Power, it is not immutable, rather than ignore that what is right in one environment or culture or time so often is wrong in another.

I believe that, if there is a Higher Power, it is not the creator of the universe, rather than recognizing that the laws of physics can explain creation without needing to call on any supernatural cause.

The ACCEPTANCE of a Skeptic

The ACCEPTANCE of a Skeptic:

I accept evolution because of my trust in the multitude of scientists who have studied it and successfully used it to make other discoveries, rather than creationism which is full of logical flaws.

I accept the warnings of climatologists and meteorologists who predict the weather based on scientific principles, rather than politicians who deny their warnings based on the profits of their supporters.

I accept astronomy, which has shown us wonders of the universe the human eye alone could never see, rather than astrology which claims to predict erratic events on Earth by the unvarying movements of the planets.

I accept vaccinations, because they have been successful in wiping out diseases that killed, rather than the fears of real side effects which are negligible both in numbers and severity, or hysteria over imagined side effects that have been proven baseless.

I accept the natural, which can be observed and repeated and understood, rather than the supernatural which is unpredictable and has no rational explanation.

I accept responsibility for what happens to me, rather than blame it on superstitions which have no connections between cause and effect.

The FAITH of an Atheist

The FAITH of an Atheist:

I have faith in the hundreds of scientists and technicians who are experts in their fields, rather than one error-riddled book.

I have faith in medical procedures that typically have success rates more than 90%, rather than prayer, which typically has a success rate less than 1%.

I have faith in satellites, which can tell me in seconds where I am within 40 inches, rather than a burning bush, which leaves me wandering in wilderness for 40 years.

I have faith in my own morality, which tells me all people should be treated with respect, rather than a creed that for millenia has supported slavery, racism, sexism, and cruelty.

I have faith in television, which can give a message simultaneously to everyone interested in listening, rather than angels who can only deliver messages to individuals.

I have faith in telephones, which can transmit my exact words to any other human, rather than a Spirit who can only communicate vague feelings, only to the chosen few.

I have more faith in the Internet, which is admitted to contain some errors, but with care can give me accurate information on anything I ask, than I do in any religion which insists it is perfect, and that I must follow its rules without question.

I have faith in life, where I can grow, help others, and have the joy of accomplishment, rather than insubstantial promises of a sterile existence after death.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Handicapped Points

Someone else started it, but this is my doctored version of their

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Do you get as bemused by Google Ads as I do? For example, I was reading a news article about "Intelligent Design" today, and these are the ads that came up:

Intelligent Designs - Office Furniture
Office ProFlex by O'Sullivan. You design your workspace. Factory direct pricing.
Intelligent Design at
Learn about intelligent design with The Four Spiritual Laws of Christianity. You can receive Christ right now through prayer, and He will come as promised.
Intelligent Design by God?
Read the remarkable, free book that reveals the intelligent design behind creation and humankind. What is God like and what does he expect of us? Order your own free copy and find out today.

The non sequitur of the first is the main funny, but lack of intelligence shown by the last two, since ID was developed as a means of presenting creationism without explicit reference to "God," is almost as funny on a subtler level.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The REAL Ten Commandments

The REAL Ten Commandments

written as Fitzhaproy "Hap" E. Phace 10/28/2002

Has it ever seemed strange to you that there are actually only 9 distinct commandments in the 10 Commandments? Have you ever noticed that the Bible doesn't actually refer to them as "The Ten Commandments"? Had you ever wondered why swearing and sabbath-breaking are given equal force with stealing and murder, while crimes such as assault and battery, slavery, cruelty to animals, drunkenness, child abuse, driving under the influence of intoxicants, spousal abuse, disturbing the peace, child molestation, vandalism, or many others are not even covered? Well, a little looking reveals that the Bible DOES, in fact, mention the Ten Commandments in one place, but not where we usually look for it. The only commandments for which the term is explicitly used are in Exodus 34. But the list there is, well, slightly different from what you're used to seeing. Here it is, in the lovely King James Version language, with a few comments (in parenthesis) from me thrown in.

Exodus 34:1,11a And the Lord said unto Moses, "Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. ... Observe thou that which I command thee this day."

Exodus 34:11b-26 (with numbering to match the commandment list)
1. Behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:
(In modern terms, "Thou shalt not make or keep any contracts nor treaties with the Palestinians.")

2. But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
(In modern terms, "Thou shalt by all means possible destroy their religion.")

3. For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a-whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a-whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a-whoring after their gods. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
(In modern terms, "Thou shalt not even consider converting to any other religion, nor allow your sons to marry an adherent of any other religion." Presumably, daughters were allowed to because they were more likely to convert their husbands than the other way around.)

4. The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.
(In other words, observe the Passover holidays.)

5. All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.
(Sort of tithing for herdsmen.)

6. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
(Same as the usual list, but without the reference to the Creation.)

7. And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end. Thrice in the year shall all your menchildren appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year.
(Three more holiday weeks are mandated.)

8. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
(Going back to the Passover holiday, don't use yeast in any blood pies, and don't let anything go to waste.)

9. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
(Another tithing rule, this one for farmers.)

10. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.
(Another cooking rule.)

Exodus 34:27-28 And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

So there you have it, the REAL Ten Commandments, straight from the Bible: 1) Defraud the Palestinians any chance you get, 2) Destroy their religion, 3) Don't convert to any other religion, 4) Keep the Passover, 5) Give a bunch of your stuff to the priests, 6) Don't do anything one day a week, 7) Keep three other holidays, 8) Eat everything on your plate, 9) Give a bunch more of your stuff to the priests, and 10) Don't cook goat meat in goat milk.

Of course, the Christians inherited these, shuffled around the holidays a bit, and eventually applied the first two to the Native Americans instead of the Palestinians, but otherwise kept them fairly well. Meat cooked in milk instead of grease or oil is probably pretty yucky anyway.