Saturday, May 30, 2009

What to do now

My son's care giver died. The care giver's wife doesn't drive. So how is she going to get Erik to the doctor in an emergency? These are questions I ask myself.

A handicapped persons handicaps magnify when the care situation changes. Not that I don't trust the care giver's wife. But it still is a source of worry.

The rights of a handicapped person, especially one who does not talk, are compromised in so many ways, not just by their handicaps, but also because of the lack of compassion among the medical profession. It takes imagination to know how difficult life is when you can't talk nor walk.

Erik's life was so much better when he was still able to walk around, go to the bathroom, reach for a glass of juice on the kitchen table, walk away from a bothersome situation. Erik is dependent on another person for his very survival.

All that worry might have been avoided if only the doctor in charge had paid attention to details. Erik probably has had Vitamin D deficiency all his life.

A piece of advice for all who are sick and can! talk. Take your vitamins seriously. Contrary to popular belief vitamin deficiency can make you very sick or kill you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Health insurance - a commodity

The other day someone on television said that all these elderly well-to-do citizens receiving Medicair are so much better off than the youngsters who are often uninsured. The young folks complained that it was unfair that they had to pay into the system but didn't receive anything in return. Of course it's true that, the way the system is set up, old folks benefit. It seemed to them a system in which rich are taking from the poor. If there were a universal, even better, a single-payer health care system, this problem would not exist.

The concept that health care is a commodity, at the moment there is even a discussion about whether it wouldn't be fairer to tax it, is one that seems to have taken hold. It's as if health, i.e. well-being, can be purchased. It is presumed that the more a person pays for his or her well-being the healthier the person will be. It does not take into account that wealthy people are not necessarily more healthy. Health often is a matter of luck. It may be a matter of better health provision. But it is not something you can purchase like buying an expensive fur coat. Many of the Medicair recipient are wealthy. They paid into a system that promised them health security that they knew they could never buy late in life, no matter how solvent they are now. The reason for a any insurance is not whether you can later cash in on it. It is so you can rest assured that you or your loved ones do not put you in the poor house when disaster strikes. The money spent when you are ill does not go to the sufferer. It goes to doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmaceuticals etc.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The gift of gab and truth

Does the gift of gab guarantee us the presumption of truth? I am always so amazed when people from the media talk a blue streak. They are so eloquent. How do they do that? Everything they say is polished. It is like slick ice, so cold and frankly so transparently truth-less. But who knows the facts anymore? As long as it sounds good, it must have been said by an intelligent person. Who really cares whether that bird over there was a blue bird or a blue jay? They are both blue. So when you see a flax flower, it doesn't mean it's a forget-me-not even though both flowers are blue. California Lilac is blue and it isn't a lilac at all. The facts are not all I am talking about.

Telling the truth is a gift. It is just not appreciated as much as gab is. You have to know enough to know gab is not the truth. Also, it is much harder to cobble together a coherent sentence and tell the truth at the same time.

I wished the truth were always connected to the gift of gab.

In that context Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome comes to mind. It's a strange condition that is marked by confabulation:

This syndrome is a result of Vitamin B1 deficiency or Beriberi.