Tag Archives: MEDICINE

$25 vs. $300 K, that is the question?

bariatricsugeryMost of you know I had bariatric surgery in early 2008 and ended up losing and keeping off one-hundred plus pounds. The decision to to do so significantly changed my life in many positive ways.

Since then I have heard it reported that those who suffer from diabetes are frequently symptom free shortly after surgery. Doctors don’t really understand this phenomenon but it is seems related to the surgery and not subsequent dietary changes.

The subject was recently discussed on the NBC Nightly News and suggested that bariatric surgery be used as a cure for diabetes and not just weight loss. NBC reported that they average cost of a bariatric procedure is $25,000 and frequently not covered by insurance policies unless the patient is “morbidly” obese. On the other hand, the cost of treating a person with Type II diabetes over their lifespan averages around $300,000.

Seems to me the insurance industry needs to revisit this issue.

Followup #1 to drug discussion

heroin-gearAs a follow up to a previous article about the growing drug related explosion in America’s prison population here’s a couple of things that have come to my attention:

  1. A reader sent a link to a New York Times article about the heroin problem in Rutland, Vermont. Since heroin is a major drug of abuse the article could have implications to most communities American communities.
  2. A lot of people on want to rant on and talk about how horrible the drug situation is but very few are willing to actually get involved. Recently a group organized in Greenfield to try finding answers. Pretty much it is three people sitting in a room once a week waiting for others to come join them.
  3. There have been a couple of reader comments at the end of my original article and also
  4. several made on Facebook. Here’s examples from Facebook.

1. Well I realize I no longer live in Ohio but being from there and still call it home, would like to put in my two cents on this matter.. I live in a state where Medical Marijuana has been legalized..I agree with it and encourage it, especially when people have

Continue reading Followup #1 to drug discussion

Chillicothe’s Historic Carlisle Building

The Carlisle Building in downtown Chillicothe has sat in limbo since it fell to arson in 2003 and the famous Emmitt House in Waverly recently went up in flames. I came across an article in the Columbus Dispatch about the loss of historic buildings in our part of Ohio and included was information about the possible salvation of the Carlisle Building. Carlisle is such a landmark in Chillicothe it would be sickening to see it someday fall victim to the wrecking ball.

For details read the Dispatch’s article. Click HERE.

Chillicothe landmark, the Carlisle building was gutted by arsons in 2003.
Chillicothe landmark, the Carlisle building was gutted by arsons in 2003.

Obamacare v. VA for all my friends!

Larry 'n NassauToday I went to the Veteran’s hospital in Chillicothe for an eye exam. It was my first visit for that particular service and one again it went off without a glitch. Everyone was professional, courteous, and genuinely friendly. It was without doubt the most thorough eye exam I’ve ever had.

The main exam was done by a student ophthalmologist from Ohio State University and his work was followed up by a staff doctor. The doctor told me my eyes were typical of people my age but to be sure they hadn’t missed anything they needed to take a series of photos of the interior of my eyes. Once finished I was sent to the optical shop to pick out a new set of spectacles.

Like any eye doctor’s office they had a selection of frames covered by the plan and others that cost extra. I chose a set of frames within the plan but had to pay an $85 for transition lenses. The terms of VA optical care allow one pair of glasses a year at no cost for the basics. I only had to pay for the transition option.

Continue reading Obamacare v. VA for all my friends!

Random Interest: Syphilitic Map

Using data gathered from Civil War conscription records of Northern soldiers the US Army ordered the creation of a map showing those areas of Northern states where the highest incidences of syphilis were found. While Ohio was relatively free of the disease Northern Kentucky, Wisconsin and the Hudson River Valley weren’t so lucky. The article in which I found this information does not give any reasons for why syphilis was more common in certain areas.

The darker the color the higher the rate of syphilis. At the time of the map’s creation syphilis was untreatable.

Just Sayin’: The Fiction of Fox

Long ago it became clear that the Obama haters were becoming totally crazy about the passage of the Affordable Care Act. I’ve been around countless people who hate the law but don’t know crap about what the law does. All they know is what Fox News and talk radio has told them. They allowed, of all people, Sarah Palin to convince them the ACA was going to kill old people.

If you really want to know the facts, versus the myths, about Obamacare spend a little time at factcheck.org and learn something that is based on fact and not Fox fiction.

Click HERE.

A Reality of the ER

Larry 'n NassauRecently I watched an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. One of the pieces that night dealt with the refusal of 26 states to sign up for expanded Medicaid benefits for the working poor. Those Americans who are not seeking a free ride but are working one or more low-end jobs and still can’t afford medical coverage.

Under the president’s ACA program these people who are too poor to buy insurance and too rich to be eligible for Medicaid would receive subsidized medical insurance. Currently, however, they have only one way of obtaining medical care, a trip to the emergency room. Most of us know from experience there is no more expensive way of getting to see a doctor. My head still reels over the $9,000 bill my insurance company was presented for my obtaining a Rx for Vicodin at a Florida ER room.

Continue reading A Reality of the ER

A Canadian on Canadian Healthcare

Back when the Affordable Care Act was being debated, prior to it becoming law, the opponents resorted to an infinite number of tactics to kill it, often times resorting to distortion of the facts and outright lies. Since its passage the Tea Party controlled House of Representatives has voted to kill ObamaCare over forty times and most recently brought about the shutdown of the federal government trying to prevent the law from being funded.

While I have never liked the ACA I have supported it as a step in the right direction. What I want is a single-payer, government operated system that provides universal coverage for all Americans, regardless of income. A Medicare for all similar to what exists in our neighbor to the north, Canada. However, anytime one refers to the Canadian or British systems the far-right critics come out of the vapor spewing all sorts of claims about the national healthcare programs in these countries being total failures. I have listened to countless debates about the ACA, read any number of news articles, a couple of books on comparative healthcare systems, and talked with a number of Canadians and Brits about the reality of their systems. I have yet to find any significant evidence that ACA’s critics claim. I have not yet spoken to a Canadian or British citizen who speaks badly about their nation’s system

In the past year I have made a couple of Facebook friends who are citizens of countries who have universal healthcare systems. One of them is Tracy Tom…..n who is Canadian and lives in British Columbia. I recently ask Tracy to speak about their system and the following is the exchange between the two of us. I hope you’ll find his remarks informative.

QUESTION: Tracy, in the past several years I’ve spoken to several Canadians, including a cousin who is a registered nurse living outside Ottawa, and they have all spoken highly about their health care system. I’ve also read a lot about the negative claims made

Continue reading A Canadian on Canadian Healthcare

Seriously, Pat Robertson is Freakin’ Nuts!

One just has to ask, short of death, will the bullshit statements emanating from Pat Robertson’s mouth ever stop? Well, apparently not! Today I came across a story and video about him claiming that homosexuals are deliberately spreading AIDS by cutting unsuspecting straights with special rings they wear just to spread the virus.

Notes on Ageing: The Grandpa Sweater

larry photo for blogGo back in your mind and think about your grandparents and all the old people you’ve known, they all wore sweaters or long-sleeve shirts during the winter, even if the thermostat was set at a comfortable level. Now, picture me sitting in my living room with the thermostat set on 71, wearing socks, natural fleece lined slippers, flannel PJ bottoms, t-shirt, and a button up long-sleeve cotton sweater.

According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center old people feel the cold more because their metabolism has slowed and it becomes more difficult to keep up that perfect 98.6 degree body temperature.

Personally I think it has to do with something the sweater industry, with the backing of the natural fiber lobby, is slipping into our denture paste.

“You Don’t Die from the Flu”

Just read where some jerk off Houston, TX councilman voted against spending federal money on vaccinating that city’s children. Councilman Jack Christie, the lone no vote, is quoted as saying, “You don’t died from the flu.”

Apparently this dude is unaware that tens of thousands of Americans die from the flu each year or that in 1918 there was a world-wide flu pandemic that cause the death of 50 million people. Another example is the Asian flu pandemic of 1957-58 that killed almost 70,000 Americans, especially the elderly.

For the past 300 years the world has typically experienced three major flu pandemics each century. Armed with my memory and the Internet it took me less than five minutes to gather the above information. I’d hope a politician in a position to dramatically affect the lives of millions would at least take that much time to become informed before casting their vote.