Posts Tagged ‘Government’

Choose a side

June 3, 2010

I received two invitations via Facebook to “Like” a political party this week. I turned them both down.

I wholeheartedly believe in our system of government and I have voted in every election since I turned eighteen. I’ll vote for the candidate before I vote for the party, but I usually vote *COUGH*. (That’s a nice way of saying “I ain’t telling!”) But when I have the opportunity to discuss Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) with government officials, I try not to get involved in partisan politics. The Funky Heart doesn’t support one political party over another.

In its early stages, a heart develops as a long straight tube – almost like a drinking straw. In a few days it is viable and actually starts to beat! Later, it rolls over to form a U shape and the U begins to grow together, forming the organ we have all come to know. If you are going to have a Congenital Heart Defect, this is when it begins. 124 out of 125 times the heart forms perfectly, but that one time – 1 out of 125 – there is an imperfection that leads to a heart defect. And all this occurs before your mother even knows she is pregnant. By the time your future mom goes to the doctor for the official confirmation, you could already have a Congenital Heart Defect.

That’s the reason I try to keep the Funky Heart politically neutral. Our government – from the federal government on down – is highly partisan right now. If you identify with THIS party,  you may not be able to build a relationship with members of THAT party. Both sides can have good ideas, and the voters can change the power alignment during any election.  So I feel that it is best to set my personal preferences aside and be able to work with members of any political party.

Newborn children obviously haven’t chosen a political affiliation. Both Republicans and Democrats have heart defects.  So do Independents, Libertarians, and even Green Party supporters. Even those people who choose not to vote at all are affected by them. So if you ask me to choose sides, that’s fine.

You can just count me with the people affected by a Heart Defect.

The Stupid is strong in this one, Lord Vader!

March 6, 2009

Oh, boy.

According to Mark Twain, there are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics. This one is a doozy.

There is a group in Australia that seeks “the truth”. The problem is, their truth usually involves a new conspiracy theory every day, and a government agent behind every tree. Yesterday they decided to give us “the truth” about medical myths, and mentioned the words “heart defect.” My Google Alert sent me an e-mail about it.

These guys are so off the wall that I’m not going to link to their website and give them the traffic. But here’s what they had to say:

It is absolutely amazing how frequently nutritional deficiencies are diagnosed as physical diseases or disorders. Let me give you an example. There’s a common heart disorder called mitral valve prolapse. This is the diagnosis you’re given when you have a heart valve that doesn’t maintain the correct shape. They’ll tell you it’s a congenital defect. They’ll say it’s something you were born with and, unless the valve is repaired through surgery, your heart will never beat correctly and you’ll have heart problems for the rest of your life. What they won’t tell you is that this is almost exclusively a nutritional problemIf you were to take nutritional supplements, or get nutrition through whole food concentrates, then your heart would begin to literally “shape up.” It would become more firm and the posture of your heart would rapidly improve, thereby eliminating the symptoms that were previously called “mitral valve prolapse.”

Complete and utter stupidity. What’s worse, it is malicious stupidity… the author isn’t just mistaken, he/she is bending reality to fit their own personal agenda. This group is way out there, I tell ya – they also believe that the US Government controls Facebook (to keep a better eye on you, citizen!) the United Nations has a plan to implant a computer chip in everyone’s head, and that Fluoride causes your IQ to drop. If the last one is true, then these guys brush their teeth much too often.

I know we had an earlier post about this subject, but the point needs to be slammed home: Do your own research, and only follow the advice of a doctor you trust. And even though you trust your doctor, back check him. Keep looking for information, use your knowledge, and follow your gut. Communicate effectively with your physician – a doctor’s medical knowledge, coupled with your understanding of your/your child’s heart defect, is an awesome weapon.  Use it.

And pay no attention to those yahoos who know “the truth”.

Chronic Care in a new Healthcare System

January 25, 2009

Today’s entry is going to walk a fine line. I promised myself when I started this blog that I would not get political: after all, a Congenital Heart Defect develops long before a person’s political philosophy does. But there is an ill wind blowing…

Laurie Edwards over at A Chronic Dose has a great post on the need for chronic illness care. A healthy person’s need for usually has a finite beginning and ending date. They fall in the bathtub, for example, and break their leg. There’s a need for surgery and rehab and pain medication, but under normal circumstances that will end. The doctor will say that your leg looks good, there is no need to come back unless there is a problem. Chronic care patients, on the other hand, make continual trips to the well. Medications, treatments, supplies, the occasional hospitalization – the costs keep coming.

Lots of ideas are being tossed around for national health care reform. Kevin, MD contends that Medicare for all isn’t the answer. One reason, according to the Happy Hospitalist, is that FREE=MORE. Put a free soda pop dispenser on every floor of your hospital, and your customer satisfaction survey numbers go up! Dr. Wes agrees with Happy – give a little, and people tend to take a lot.

The Covert Rationing Blog thinks the decision has already been made, and we’ll eventually become a single payer system. The real fight is going to be if citizens are allowed to spend their own money to pursue healthcare. Apparently the answer is “no”… the State of Maryland is already considering  steps to make Private Pay illegal. Kevin, MD even goes so far as to call it “Health Care prohibition.”

When you are in control of the wallet, you get to choose what the money is spent on. Think about it – your child wants a piece of bubble gum, he comes running to you to ask for a quarter for the bubble gum machine. If you don’t want your child to have gum, you say no.

Mr. Government Health Man? Sir, I need to have my pacemaker replaced, the battery is running dry. Can I have a new one?

No, I’m afraid not. You see the doctor six times a year and you take 15 different medications. You’re draining the system. I’m sorry.

I’m draining the system? Mr. Government Health Man, Bill went to the doctor for pain in his ankle last year, and he had a bone scan, and an MRI, and X-Rays, just to prove that he had twisted it! I need my pacemaker, why don’t you go yell at Bill?

Obviously, these last paragraphs are an exaggeration. And I wish I was smart enough to say “This is the way you should reform health care…” but I have no idea where to even start.

But I know what scares me.

“Like sands through the hourglass…

December 4, 2008

… so are the days of our lives.”

Ever notice that the sand in the hourglass on the daytime show Days of our Lives never runs out? It just keeps going forever and ever and ever…

To bad it has nothing to do with reality. There was a very alarming report in the Boston Globe that states the bad economy could drain Medicare part A pretty quick. When that money runs out… it’s gonna get nasty. Doctors are already upset; the government is running them out of business. Some doctors are doing their own laundry to save money and others can’t afford to replenish their drug supplies. It’s getting scary out there, folks.

If I were a doctor I’d probably be looking for something else to do. Some of them are, and others are changing their mind about going into medicine in the first place. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently did a study that showed the numbers are dropping as the demand is rising. Massachusetts is already getting slammed. The Canadian system isn’t the answer, either. USA Medicine is ahead in technology, but the men and women of the Maple Leaf have better office systems. An alliance is looking pretty good right about now.

Dr. Wes bemoans the fact that healthcare costs are climbing more than inflation. Health Insurers are willing to forget about pre-existing conditions (Yay!) and insure everyone if the Government does certain things. (Now wait a minute… where’s the money coming from?) And whatever happened to all that savings that was supposed to occur if we switched to generic drugs?

We need to close the bar and then check ourselves into rehab.