I need to stop watching the debates

Last night I had a dream that I was arguing with someone (not sure who) about how McCain’s healthcare plan made more sense, because while Obama promised that he’d be able to reduce premiums by up to $2,500 a year, McCain is giving $5,000 refundable tax credits—at least double the savings of what Obama is promising.

Unfortunately I didn’t dream long enough to see how McCain’s plan was better for the uninsured. Maybe tomorrow night.

Grandpa update

FYI, my grandpa has started to get a bit better from dialysis thrice weekly. He’s still not the same, but he’s been making some progress with physical therapy. He was able to dress himself a bit, but his muscles are still very weak.

Grandpa update

Well, my grandpa had another code blue, but was revived again. He has some sort of heart damage, and they’re doing a scan now to check for a pulmonary embolysis. They plan on running a heart catheterization tomorrow, but he’s also scheduled for dialysis tomorrow.

He’s not functioning like he was just a few weeks ago. It looks like he’ll need permanent assistance for just basic needs like bathing and using the bathroom from now on. In any case, prognosis is not looking too good.

My mom seems exhausted, and everyone else is too.

Prayer request…

My maternal grandpa has been in kidney failure for a few days. He had some surgery on Monday to put a hemodialysis catheter into his neck, and he was supposed to have four straight days of dialysis to see if that would jumpstart his kidneys into working again. Well, his heart went into atrial fibrillation (the heart spasms instead of beating) this morning, and he went code blue (legally dead) this morning. He was revived and he’s conscious and “doing well” (whatever that means at this point). In addition, this has been very stressful on my grandma, and she’s contracted pneumonia. My parents and aunts/uncles have been working hard to take care of them and be up at the hospital with my grandpa.

I’m very fortunate, as an adult, to have all of my grandparents still, and my relationship with this particular set of grandparents is very close. I would appreciate any prayers you could offer for any and all of my family.

Small world

So…I was watching the trailer of Ricki Lake’s new documentary on the maternity industry that was posted in the last post, and my COUSIN is in the trailer. That is SO WEIRD. I mean, I think it’s her; if not, it’s her twin. Anyway, she’s the one saying, “This is pitocin, which is the medicine given through the IV that causes contractions.” I’ll have to make a phone call to doublecheck, but Rachel, you’ve met Stacie; is that her?

Update: It is her. She’s a maternity physician’s assistant in Long Island. Weird.

Ron Paul and non-interventionist birthing

I’ve seen a couple people ask about Ron Paul’s view on midwifery (being he is an OB-GYN). Rachael Companik linked this. He is all for non-intervention.

This is in no way support for Ron Paul; I am just pointing this out, as I would support his view of this issue.

(Note: I’m a state employee; I can’t support a candidate publicly.)

Sicko

Rachel and I just finished watching Sicko, and I must say it was interesting. While I think a lot of Moore is hype and manipulation, he does give some insights into the problems we have in our medical system.

We have private insurance. We pay a lot for it. Our premium is over $500 a month. I’m thankful for it, even though it’s a lot of money. I had to get a tetanus shot last week, and I watched two very obviously sick people (if I was diagnosing them, I would have said whooping cough and measles…but I’m paranoid) get kicked out of the doctor’s office within a 30 minute time period. A third person was on the phone trying to get a referral. It was pretty sad.

The whole system just makes me a bit sick. In one scene of Sicko, a patient gets meds for 5 cents in Cuba…meds she pays $120 for in the US. This reminded me of Paul Farmer’s work in reducing the cost of tuberculosis meds in Haiti. It’s just sickening how cheaply that stuff is produced and how expensive it is to buy.

In another scene, Cuban doctors take a lady off of five of her nine meds because half of her meds are useless. She’s paying a ridiculous amount of money for meds she doesn’t need. Welcome to America.

I don’t know what the answer to this problem is, but something has to change.

What women aren’t being told about Childbirth

Disclaimer: This is not intended to spark a debate. I just thought it was an interesting read.

The United States is also one of the only wealthy countries where the maternal death rate is climbing. In 2004, the most recent year for which information was available, the maternal death rate in the United States jumped to 13 deaths per 100,000, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. This marks a significant increase from just four years earlier when it was 11 deaths per 100,000 births. Maternal death rates continue to be significantly higher for African-American and Hispanic women.

Among developed countries, the World Health Organization reports, 29 have better infant mortality rates than the United States, including Slovenia and Cuba, and 41 have better maternal mortality rates.

Why are women in the United States more likely to die from childbirth than their peers in other industrialized countries? The rising rates of medical intervention and surgery in birth and their attendant risks are a big part of the answer.

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Spooky

Apparently, the number of med school department heads with financial ties to pharmacy companies is even higher than once thought. This new study by a Harvard med school researcher and Massachusetts General doctor Eric Campbell is eye-opening.

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