It’s all about money

Speed Bump comic strip

I saw this “Speed Bump” comic, by Dave Coverly, the other day and it reminded me of a doctor I had.

About 10 years ago, maybe more, I had this thing removed and the doctor thought it could be melanoma – it wasn’t, but he had me go to the oncologist. And the oncologist had me get a CT scan often. She kept me going and said, “Keep going until the insurance runs out.” And that explained our U.S. medical system in a nutshell. “Keep putting yourself under that harmful radiation, until we don’t get paid anymore.”

I bring this up because yesterday I had to go to get an MRI. I have a hernia and the doc sent me to get an MRI to be sure that’s what it is before they operate or do whatever it is they do.

I worried about it all weekend because it’s so claustrophobic and sort of willed it to be where I go feet in first. I kept thing, “maybe I can go in feet first.” And know what? That’s what happened – I went in feet first! So my head was sticking out and I was totally fine with it. And good thing too, because it literally took a half hour or more in the machine! The tech said she wanted to do a “slice” or something like that, so it took long. I can’t image being confined in that tube head first for a half hour.

Anyway, I had another other doctor one time that wanted me to give myself shots for an allergy, which is gone now, because I don’t think it was an allergy at all. Anyway, he insisted and insisted, I kept telling him I didn’t need the shots. When I told him the deductible was very high, after he was trying to force me to take the shots for so long a time, he stopped on a dime and said, “Forget it, you don’t need this.” It’s all about money.

Back to the oncologist. She was fabulous and what I mean by that was she was loud and big and out there, sort of like Maude, she in fact, looked like Maude, and she was all in white, as doctor’s are, but she wore red high heels. And she would float through the complex with a big smile on her face and waved and seemed to know everyone. She was a star. I haven’t seen her for years, but I remember she liked my comics and would always ask about them and how it was going, etc.

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Wellness check

Today’s comic almost reminds me of something that happened some years back, maybe about 10 years ago.

I had taken a friend to the doctor’s office, which is at the hospital next door. I live next to a hospital. My friend had a cancer scare. Luckily everything worked out and he was totally fine, but this was a check up for something and we went to a cancer doctor, an oncologist.

I sat waiting in the waiting room and in walks the UPS guy and after him the FedEx guy with deliveries. Both of them knew me since they were my delivery guys, too.

Both of them separately had such a worried look on their faces. They asked me if I was ok, and I don’t think they believed me that I was there “for a friend.” But it was so nice to see their genuine concerns.

It’s weird that I would have the same delivery guys as the hospital which is a huge complex. Even though I am next door, I am in a neighborhood full of houses, you can’t see the hospital from the street, it’s on a lot of property and is sort of a campus, so you would think they had their own delivery thing going on.

But then again, I would see the delivery guys in the center of the village, about a mile away in the other direction, so I guess they covered the whole zip code or something. Many times I would be walking by in the downtown area and they would give me my packages as I walked by, saving them a trip to my house later in the day. It was more of a convenience – they would do this early in the day and their schedule would have them coming to me later in the day, sometimes 6 or 7 pm. So it was nice of them to give me the packages at 10 am as I walked by, rather than have me wait till the end of the day.

Anyway, this cartoon reminded me of that. I didn’t get the idea for the cartoon from those situations, but after I drew it, it reminded me of those situations.

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The nurse needed nursing

My father was in the hospital recently. Nothing major, he had hurt his leg, he had to have it checked out. He would get anxious at times and I guess to calm him down, they had some sort of nurse in the room with him. She was just there for comfort, not to actually nurse him, more of a sitter. For a few days it was a different person each day.

It was unnerving at first, but then sort of turned into a reality tv camera – you know, it’s there, but you don’t notice it/her. You go about our conversations and business and she is just taking it all in, but you ignore her – you know, “Don’t look at the camera!”

Well, one nurse was a complete mess. She complained of having a headache, she had a backache, she also said her blood sugar was 300! and she some other issues. She complained about not having eaten, she wanted to know where her replacement was so she could go down to the cafeteria and eat.

She didn’t get the memo to shut up and just “film” the scene.

My father was cracking up. He said, “She is supposed to be taking care of me, but I think I have to take care of her!”

Other than all that, she was very sweet, at times she reminded me of my grandmother, my father’s mother.

One man sitter was noisy as hell. He totally ignored us, which was good; he was on his cell phone most of the time, talking loud, which was bad, almost yelling; he was a loud talker. I had to literally shout over him to be heard in the room!

Dad’s home now. The nurses/sitters are off “filming” someone else now.

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Is she a judge or a doctor?

This cartoon ran the other day and of course there was a lot of arguing over it. Most people felt that masks were not needed now or ever.

I don’t like to do political stuff because it’s not what the readers expect from me, but this really isn’t political. I’m not taking sides, I’m not saying wear a mask or don’t wear a mask. I’m just asking if a judge should be making medical decisions?

You may agree with the CDC or not, you may agree with a doctor or not, but why should we be having a judge make the decision on whether we should wear masks on airplanes and even Uber rides?

There was a report by the Associated Press that says Most people in the US want masks for travelers.

This cartoon below is from 1918, regarding masks during the 1918 pandemic.

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The stamina to not eat what you hate

This cartoon got quite a few comments yesterday. It seems that everybody has a story on what they hated to eat as a kid. I think I didn’t like liver and possibly spinach. Spinach I like today. Liver never.

I don’t think my mom forced me to eat what I didn’t like, but I do remember her telling me to try it.

One thing I have almost daily is olive oil, I take a spoonful daily for the omega threes and to be in step with those blue zones around the world, and I also put it on things when eating. But I didn’t like it as a kid and my mom was telling me how good it is for your health, I remember. She said I would get used to the taste. I eventually did.

One lady mentioned spaghetti, in a comment. She didn’t like that and was forced to eat it as a kid. I can sort of understand that, as I am not a big fan of spaghetti, but I’ll eat it, I don’t have to be forced to eat it, but I wouldn’t order it in a restaurant.

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My dad’s brother

I was visiting my dad in the hospital (nothing major) and a nurse came into the room to see him. She asked if I was his brother!

Should I be insulted? But when I think of it, he looks younger than his age, so maybe it was a compliment to him. I’ll take it that way.

It reminds me of when people ask women if they are pregnant, or when are they due, and they aren’t even pregnant!

He’s being held prisoner

The Health Care system in our country is the worst – but that’s no secret.

Last Saturday, we brought my father to the hospital. He had hurt his leg. About three weeks before he fell and ignored the wound and after awhile, it got infected. So we, or I should say, one of my brothers drove him over to the hospital. And he is still there! They are keeping him captive, it’s like he is in prison.

When they arrived, they waited 12 hours for a bed, there’s a bed shortage in hospitals all over the US and today, over a week later, he is still taking up a much-needed bed, because of incompetence at the hospital and the insurance company.

I won’t name the hospital or insurance company, but the people there are idiots and the insurance company would rather pay for his over-a-week stay at a hospital than pay for a wound vac, which is what he is waiting for. He should have gone to a better hospital, one our family has used for years, but he said he wanted to go to somewhere closer to home. But this is maybe 10 minutes closer and he wasn’t in an ambulance, it wasn’t an emergency, he didn’t need to go to the closest place.

I went yesterday and tried to speak with his case worker at the hospital, who was in hiding and refused to come out of her office. All the nurses on that floor lied to me, to my face – telling me she was busy, she was on the phone, she was in a meeting – she wasn’t – she was just avoiding me and the situation. At one point I heard someone say, “Get security,” meaning, throw me out of the hospital!

I can get loud, but I wasn’t loud, I was just insistent and demanding. I had many legitimate questions.

Finally the case worker came and said the wound vac would arrive yesterday afternoon and he would go home, but that was the story for the past week. Nothing came, he is still there today. I don’t believe the case worker is working on the case or pushing to have him receive the wound vac and have him released. I know hospital workers are overworked these days, so maybe that’s her attitude – pure exhaustion.

It’s so frustrating thinking that he is perfectly healthy and could be at home while his leg heals. But he’s stuck in a bed. Every time I go visit, the bed next to him is taken by a different person – those people are in and out, but he lingers.

Bed are scarce during this time of pandemic, is it any wonder when they are giving beds to people who don’t need it?

He is in prison. It is literally as if he is jailed. He isn’t hooked up to any machinery, he is just there – in bed, taking up space. Waiting.

I won’t go there today, I get too upset, more than he apparently is; my brothers and other family members will visit. But it’s such a foolish thing – he is just captive. What really bothers me is that this it the hospital where my mother and brother died. I want Dad out – released today.

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Getting back to normal

I ordered these

I finally decided to get back into shape. For most of my life, I would say since high school, I’ve worked out with weights at the gym and at home, but mostly at the gym. But since the start of the pandemic, I have not been back to the gym and that’s been bothering me.

It closed and never reopened and I can’t find another gym that I like. So I’ve been putting it off.

I tried the workout bands, and those are great, but still, I can see the loss of muscle and weight gain.

My slap in the face, the turning point, happened when I needed to fit into a suit last week. The pants did not fit! I’ve been a 31 inch waist since high school, but I needed a larger size – 33-34, and that didn’t sit well with me. So I decided to get weights and workout at home.

I had put that off because I live in a condo and I wasn’t keen on having the weights drop on the floor, but I think I can manage not to do that. Also, I like going to the gym, I like the whole routine from getting up early in the morning, the socializing and the actual workout. But since my rude awaking last week, I realized I need to workout now.

I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and looked around, but they didn’t have the sets I wanted, the things I had seen online. I did pick up the weights in the store and try them out and boy, did that feel good, but another rude awakening was that I could only lift half the usual weight!

Luckily muscle has memory and I plan on getting back into shape real fast.

I ended up purchasing adjustable dumb bells online. They have these sets where with the turn of a button, it changes the weights and you just life the bar up which will then consist of the weight you want to lift, so there’s no screwing on different plates to adjust the weights. I’m really looking forward to this.

I was concerned about the delivery driver having to life all that weight, but I guess since they sell it, they must be used to delivering it. So today, my new weight set arrives and I can maybe start to get back to normal!

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Kayaking (beaching and boarding)

One of my friends bought a new kayak. It’s a blow up one. I never saw one like that before. Seems like a rubber raft to me.

He is coming over this week and we are going kayaking. I live on the bay, so we’ll launch from out back.

I told him that we have a few kayaks in the backyard that belong to neighbors, and anyone can use them, but he insisted on buying his own. He didn’t actually buy it, he won a gift certificate from a sporting goods store and decided to get the kayak with the certificate.

I haven’t been kayaking in years. For so many years I was in the ocean or bay almost daily. I kayaked, paddle boarded, swam and just hung out at the beach. Even when I was younger and was supposed to be working, I would get home and my mother would say, “Why do you have a tan? I thought you were at work all day!”

Some days I would just go out to the beach, have lunch, and then get back to work, other days I would spend all day out there. But it was almost a daily thing for most of my life. I need to get back to that.

I took this picture today, it’s a still shot from a video I took of a guy paddling by early this morning.

I’m working on getting back in shape for the summer. Actually for the rest of my life. Hopefully this and all pandemics will be a thing of the past. This kayaking and eventually paddle boarding and swimming should get me back in shape. Time to lose the pandemic weight I gained.

Stay tuned!

This is one of my favorite comics I did in February.

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