After much waiting, I finally got the results from my cardiologist. He said my ticker is pretty good, a little calcium but he said within normal range or something and that I should stick with my meds. But the big news is I finally got the green light to join a health club! Woot! Gonna get in shape!
My heart goes out to those surviving seniors and the families of the victims of the great tragedy in L’Isle-Verte, Quebec. What a horrible way to go. I think of my 88 year old father and others in my family of similar ages when I see the story of L’Isle-Verte. For the uninitiated here in the US, there was a major fire in an old folks home where virtually every one, except for a small few, had perished. Between the blazing fire that quickly spread to the death-inducing freezing hitting North America, that had almost little to no chance. Once again, my heart goes out to those who survived and the families of the victims.
A 20 year-old man came down with appendicitis in October of this year. He posted the bill on Reddit and it has gone viral. The US Health Care system is a topic of much debate, not only in the US but around the world. A lot of countries get ‘free’ health care, so needless to say, this has stirred up a lot of conversation.
As someone who is chronically ill and disabled, I’ve seen this situation more than once. Luckily I have Medicare, but that doesn’t mean my doctors won’t over charge. My mother suffered a heart attack back in 2007, and add to that unfortunate event was the fact that she was without insurance because her previous one had lapsed and we were desperately looking for one until she too could go on Medicare. Suffice it to say, even with a portion of the bill forgiven, it wasn’t enough and my parents were financially wiped out. My father, now 88, lost nearly 7 decades of savings in one fell swoop.
We like to rag on the insurance companies, and don’t get me wrong, they are in my eyes co-conspirators in the draining of this nation’s wealth. But we also have to look at the medical establishment. Yes, doctors and medical practices do face a lot of costs, especially malpractice insurance and other similar liabilities. But much, from what I’ve been told even by them, of the costs is peer-inflated. Basically, because X raised their prices, so must Y and thus one sees a chain reaction.
Besides doctors, you have hospitals and medical suppliers also charging crazy amounts. I get it, if you make a medical widget or a pill, you need to see a return on investment. But having owned stock in some medical supplier companies, and really you all should just download those freely available annual and quarterly reports these folks put out, they freely admit charging 10-to-100X the cost of something. Many pharma companies flagship products are based on research the public has already invested in.
The Cons and Libertarians like to talk about how we need a free market in medicine. That if the government “got out of the way,” we would see lower prices through competition. This is a major fallacy for one simple reason: the medical establishment does not believe in competition. The AMA alone controls the supply of doctors in the United States, and they are akin to an old medieval guild. In order to have a market one needs to have price transparency. You can easily find out the price on a grocery shelf for all products, and we can price compare many goods against other stores. There is no such price transparency in medicine. Hospitals only post some pricing and more often than not that information is hard to get. And of course, one cannot price shop while having a heart attack.
Maybe we do need a collapse of the medical system to rebuild it. We obviously do not have any political means of enforcing any real competition among medical providers. And we sure as heck do not have any political means of establishing something like the UK’s National Health Service, let alone Single-Payer.
Still under the weather, something is going around. Yesterday I had a fever, my kidney and everything else feels like its on fire.
Having what I call a “red night cap” (no its not a certain booze…but don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind.), this one isn’t so sweet, but it does have some good nutrients and detoxing agents:
1 handful of strawberries
2 red apples
One would assume that the juice of the carrots would sweeten it up, but the grapefruit dominates here. Going to let these good stuff work their magic tonight as I sleep.
Today I wanted to try something new and bold. Pears were on sale the other day so I picked up a bunch at Jerry’s Fruit Market (they have some of the best prices on fruit and veggies in the Chicago land area!). For breakfast today, I had used the following recipe from Joe’s website:
2 Nashi Pears
2 Green Apples
2-3 Sticks of Celery
It worked out very well. Sweet but not too sweet. Regular pears were substituted for Nashi ones and I threw in an extra Granny Smith Apple as well. Tomorrow I’m going to have to try another different pear recipe from Reboot with Joe.
In the meantime, I did something daring by coming up with my own damn concoction! Now I’m a lover of spicy foods, from Mexican to Kung Pao Chicken, its one of my secret sins you could say. This afternoon, just before typing all this up, I looked to see what I could add from the fridge. Bad news was I was running out of veggies, the good news was that I had some peppers left. Let the voodoo begin!
Here’s what I had for my “Afternoon Kick”:
2 handfuls of spinach
2 celery stalks
1 orange (what the hell, why not?)
3 carrots (they were the last three might as well add some color, eh?)
1 red bell pepper
1 habenero pepper
1 cayenne pepper
and because I hate myself, I even used a few drops of Tapatío hot sauce and a touch of Bacon Salt (once again..why not?)!
I won’t lie to you, this will clear your sinuses. The drink is EXTREMELY intense, but not exactly 4 alarm fire hot. More akin to ordering Popeyes Chicken spicy actually. But it was good, the tomato and peppers really come out as the strongest flavor followed by the celery. Now when the machine starts the juicing processes, you see the orange and red from the carrots and orange start fighting along with the colors from the pepper (oddly enough the cayenne was a clear color), the end result was something that looked like a pea soup…or one that came from the bowels of Hell! Just kidding, but the damn drink does have a kick to it. Fair warning.