Quality of life or Quantity of life?

How would you answer this?

 

If you have ever heard that question before you know where this blog is going.

Today, Well yesterday…it all blurs together when you are sleep deprived, a very dear friend of mine was asked this very question by their doctor.

I was there in a supportive role.  Expecting such a thing did not lessen the sting.

Quality of life and death with dignity or Quantity of life while we do all this stuff to prolong your existence.

Many of you reading this might very well be asked this one day.  How will you respond?

More than the how is they why?

You and I walk through our daily life expecting the sun to rise in the morning.  We anticipate that whatever is on our schedule for this day we will have to deal with.  Taking the kids to the doctor or school or possibly some problematic task to tend to at work we know it is on our calendar.

All of these things are distractions really.  They are distractions from our own mortality.

If you are one of my many followers you no doubt have read my account of the accident that befell me years ago.  You know that I faced death once.  Facing our own mortality is different than facing your friends or families death.

My friend through some herculean efforts by different medical facilities could possibly live months to years longer.  The steps necessary to pull that off would interfere significantly with not only their life but those of their loved ones.

How would you face such a thing?

If you put out your friends and family in a pretty big way, you could live longer.  Your quality of life would be limited.  You could ostensibly live a reasonably normal life other than spending several hours a week tethered to some machine.

My heart breaks for my friend.  I don’t know what decision I would make if it were me, so it is impossible for me to judge them.

This situation runs askance of my beliefs, but I do think that assisted suicide should be legal.  While Hospice is wonderful the person going through it must suffer while the organs and other tissues die from lack of nourishment or the buildup of toxins cause them to shut down.

Why in god’s name we cannot just allow them to go with a morphine drip is beyond me.  This country alone kills tens of thousands of babies every year but is hung up on letting terminally ill patients push a button that starts a morphine drip. This action slowly overwhelms their body with a sedative allowing them to just float away.  It is, in fact, an overdose.

As they sort out the legal details of who is paying for what the patient, my friend is in limbo as to where they will go to live out their remaining days on earth.  Calls are made, but of course, they are not returned in a timely fashion.  Insurance will not pay for long-term care if Hospice is involved and Medicare will not pay for Hospice if they still need medical care.

The merry go round of the bureaucracy is never-ending.  To them everything is numbers.   A funeral today is up to $20K if you already have a plot!  That is here in Dallas.

Everything is about money!

Listening to the doctors, I got the idea that they were talking them into death with dignity and quickly as it is less expensive to keep you around since you need so much care.

Possibly I am jaded as I sat there for days on end watching my friend decline.  I see the bureaucracy, and it is rampant!   Wading through it is a nightmare.

  • Do you have a living will?
  • Do you have life insurance?
  • Do you have a regular will?
  • Do you have a long-term care policy?

No, not selling anything like this and I certainly do not want to bring you down.

You who follow me know that I love people and I want the best for my friends.  In a genuine way that includes you who follow me here.

One never knows when the sun is not going to rise, and that is a sad but true fact.  We don’t know what is in store after this life is over.  We hope that we will be back with our loved ones and even snowball the cat.  I see the afterlife that preachers sell, and I will not sell that here.

Having said that, I think and believe that faith is essential.  A spiritual connection is paramount to dealing with the death of the body.

Christians call it fire insurance and I scoff at that.  I must admit that if you don’t take it too seriously, it is funny.

I have many thoughts on this subject, and if there is interest, I will expound upon them at a later date.

If you are a spiritual person I encourage you to lift me up in your thoughts and prayers.  I have this friend who will be dead in a short while, and I have another who suffers from an incurable disease that will most certainly end their life as they know it as well.  Two close friends at the same time.

This will present a considerable loss to me personally.  My writing has already suffered as the characters are taking a hiatus while I deal this.

My thoughts are with the one on death’s door and the other who is trying to find death’s door on which to knock.

Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and prayers.

Much Love -TW

 

Healthcare the Final Frontier

Hate is a poison that you take in hopes that it will affect someone else.

With our somewhat screwed up world, everything becomes a political football. (pun intended)
I am not going to try and figure out the answer for healthcare. Is it a right, privilege or commodity? I would say, (yes!) While we argue about socialism again with political Einsteins like Bernie, our hope seems somewhat lost. Healthcare is a commodity like food, water, electricity and so forth. You want it; you pay for it.

The rub comes when we have large parts of society who are somewhat irresponsible with their resources and misspend them. Working in the ER, we saw lots of accidents or gunshot victims with gold teeth or tattoos, beautiful clothing, packages of cigarettes and no insurance. On top of that when the toxicology reports came back many were full of drugs or “recreational chemistry.”

Folks, if you work two jobs, are dead tired on your feet, and still have the family to take care of, seeing this will piss you off! The people who live in ivory towers are removed from reality. Also, the people who cannot (or will not) find work, are also removed from reality. Their idea of reality is not mainstream.

Reality is working your ass off, watching your paycheck taken from you in fees and taxes, and then seeing the freeloaders calling you a racist for not wanting to pay their way too! That is tough stuff. It is hard not to become jaded. When gaming the system is an art, that we could write a dummies book about, something needs to change.

Here is why…
I have such a friend who worked two jobs and has taken care of families and been there to assist others when they down. “A good person!”
She recently was diagnosed with Cancer.
Cancer is a scary word, and if the body is not treated as a whole, the prognoses can get bleak.  The doctors order test and procedures, and she pushes forward dutifully going to this doctor or that. The chemo makes her sick; the surgeries are painful. Her hair is all but gone, and then she sees yet another specialist.
This doctor wants to do XYZ . The insurance company declines it, and then the ballet ensues. Phone calls are left, and messages and e-mails from you to many who don’t  care about their job are written. They sit in their chair for eight hours and talk on the phone when they have to. Communications go unanswered, and another form letter is pushed out the door, denying coverage.

While your phone call to them is critical to you, where they are concerned it is simply another task that they have to do.  This can be put off until after lunch or Monday or whenever they just are forced to deal it with it.  Your problem is not theirs and they don’t care.

The text from their friend or family or perhaps what is going on with facebook ranks higher than what you need.

Their hope is that you just give up.
Here is the issue. When someone is sick whether it be cancer or some other illness the entire body needs to be treated as a whole thing. Spirits need to be high and the person not only should be kept comforted but, comfortable. They do not need the frustration of dealing with auto adjudicated edicts from the damned insurance company.

Why are they auto?  Becuase the people who have the job to assist you are more concerned with where they are going for lunch or who Jane is sleeping with, on some tv show.

I worked behind the scenes for too many years, trust me; this is life in corporate America.

Hate and anger feed cancer; I am convinced of it. Hate is a poison that you take in hopes that it will affect someone else. Foolish person, hate is killing you.

Frustration with a  stuffed up system breeds anger which breeds hate.
Any time there is a decline in coverage an actual human should be required to look at the original request and see if the nurse or doctor forgot to check some box. Instead of looking for ways to deny coverage, they should be required to look for any way possible to pay for it. I realize that is counterproductive for the bottom line but folks, that is where the problem lies.

So here is another idea I am going to give away!

Someone who knows the healthcare industry and insurance industry should provide a service and sell it like insurance. The service would be the go-between, between your doctor and your insurance company and you. Like we have agents for car insurance we need an actual agent to deal with the insurance company.
You call your agent and tell them; I am going in for testing I may have something wrong.
Your agent then gets involved on your behalf and slogs through the red tape of bureaucracy and employees who don’t want to do their jobs, and is your advocate.

Instead of you fighting with a system that you are most probably ill-equipped to deal with, your advocate does it for you.
Usually, we call these lawyers, but I don’t think we need lawyers. With all of the layoffs in the insurance industry with the outsourcing and ravages left from the Obama Care debacle, there should be a plethora of folks who might want to tackle this and make a company out of it. Maybe the H&R Block folks who might not have work in the near future could take on the mantle of Health Advocate. HA for short.

Look, if you make millions of dollars with my idea, please keep me in mind, at least buy some of my books!

If you are a patient, who needs such a service tell me what you think.
Would something like this work?
I think having an advocate on your side to deal with the crap while you focused on getting better would assist many and possibly cut the cost of healthcare.
Many claims that are denied are simple coding errors, but since a computer looks for every dot to be filled correctly and adjudicates the petition based on human filled in dots, that is where the bulk of the problems arise. It is a simple truth table to the computer. IF A+B=C then everything is a go. One bit out of place, and it is denied.

Many just don’t bother to fight it and guess what, you are fighting for your life, so I get it.

Send this to @RealDonaldTrump about a million times, and maybe he will see it.

We need a little common sense in the industry and a little compassion for those who are dealing with illnesses like cancer. We need to keep the special interest and politicians out of it as they are responsible for the mess we have today. Many are paying thousands of dollars a month for insurance they will never use. If they do need it one has to wonder what it would cover.

Would it be better just to pay your way for the cheap stuff and then not have insurance and go to the ER anyway? That is the current system for many Americans and non-Americans alike. And that is one reason the cost of healthcare is so damned high!

You are indeed paying for the deadbeats and yes that is socialism.   If you can afford to pay for it, you pay in spades.

If a senator has issues, do you think he or she worries about what will be paid for?

To quote Lilly Allen, “It’s not fair!”

Go check out some of my books. If you are a sci-fi person or a romantic kind of person I have it all. If you need a laugh, which we all do, go and check out some of my novels. Warm-hearted romance, to a nude romp through the galaxy in Saga of the Starduster.

Much Love – TW

Do ads work?  My Sunday afternoon thoughts.

 

A young father learned over this weekend that one of his commodes was not working.  Using the plunger as one might think to do, soon a toy came floating to the surface.  One more flush and still water did not go to where it should have, instead, it flowed over the bowl and onto the already overly wet tile floor.

Not happy about this, the next trip was to the hardware store to buy one of those snakes that you twist and crank while the wire makes its way through the clog.

Once again another toy is retrieved via the snake.

 

Do ads work?

 

Yes but not always as intended, you see this ad targeting parents to get insurance for such events planted the seeds of an idea in his young children.  While I am certain that his children were not upset with their toys, the idea of them transforming in this vortex of liquid, disappearing into the void of pipes under the house was inspiring to their young minds.

They may have never thought of that idea without the seed planted by the advertising firm.

When Dumb and Dumber was released, people actually were killed pulling some of the stunts in the movie.  Admittedly this was the “hold my beer and watch this crowd.” It is a sad fact that some people need a keeper.

Some ideas are so stupid that anyone with a brain should know not to do it.  While you cannot blame the children for mimicking something that they saw on TV, you can most certainly hold those young people from high school up, accountable, they should know better.

There was a story circulating on Twitter where people were dressed in women’s underclothes parading around a freeway blocking traffic.  Soon you see one young man dancing around in a bra and slip when a large green bus takes him out of the picture, “Exit stage right!”

 

Was he hurt?  We don’t know.  It probably did not feel too good to have a large bus hit you and remove you from the freeway.

When people do stupid things who are accountable for their actions, should the drivers of cars and such be criminally liable for hitting such people?

Should the creator of that ad for insurance be responsible for flooded bathrooms everywhere that toys made their way down the commode as a response to children seeing it?

Should the folks who hit those men laying on the freeway as they did in dumb and dumber be held liable for their part in the deaths of those idiots?

Darwinism has some major truths to it.  Survival of the fittest is how it works  The “hold my beer and watch this crowd” could become an endangered species.  “You can’t fix stupid.”

Yes, ads work.  Sometimes they work a little too good in that the message gets lost in the actions of actors.

Have a great rest of your weekend, Enjoy the eclipse tomorrow if you are where it will be visible, and by all means have a great week!

 

Much Love -TW