An Unfortunate URL

As noted in the post below, we have no AC. The unit is about 24 years old and well… it’s likely beyond repair.

Plus it’s the middle of summer in the south and getting someone out to look at it and repair/replace it means waiting a while. I think we’re lucky we found someone to come look at ours tomorrow.

But then there’s the weekend… please send cool thoughts our way!

The Rest Of The Story

See update here

See the first part here.

I ended the last post with my father being admitted to the hospital for further evaluation of his dizziness, low blood pressure, and slow heart rate. Simply being in the ER had made his arthritis flare up so severely, he needed narcotic pain med to tolerate it.

Up to the floor to a nice room furnished with a bed that was, if anything, more uncomfortable than the ER cot. It was also suffering from bad wiring so that it constantly had the call light on, which effectively translate into the call light not working at all.

Except for the ER hospitalist who admitted my Dad, every person we came in contact with was friendly and trying to do their best. It’s hard to do that when you’re dealing with malfunctioning equipment and equipment that causes unnecessary pain to your patients.

After the nurse fiddled with the call light for a while and tried to figure out why it was so warm in this room, she called maintenance. What else could she do? Well, obviously maintenance was overwhelmed as they showed up 30 minutes before my Dad was discharged the next day.

In the meantime, Dad says he feels like he’s smothering, but at the same time he’s cold to the point of shivering. He insists my brother and I go home that he will be fine. This is a tough thing for us to do (for reasons I won’t post about), but we do because we don’t want to upset him by arguing with him. He said if either one of us stays, we’ll just keep him awake all night.

During the night, the inflatable mattress that’s supposed to make this hospital bed more comfortable deflates in the middle section. I believe I’ve covered my Dad’s severe arthritis and do I need to point out that this didn’t help that pain?

Also during the night the smothering feeling my Dad was complaining about has become a general shortness of breath. So let’s recap this 86 year old man’s recent onset symptoms:

Low blood pressure
Slow heart rate
Shortness of breath

If I have any health professionals or anyone with strong Google fu, you’ll be able to figure out what at least one probably diagnosis is.

Enter the same obnoxious hospitalist from the evening before who writes on the discharge orders to discontinue the diuretic and heart medication (which has a side effect of lowering blood pressure) that my Dad has been on for years. The written orders do not say to taper off the heart medication.

No cardiology consult was requested and no interest shown in the addition of shortness of breath to his symptoms.

My Dad is by this time ready to leave. He feels worse than when he came to the ER. And he wants to make his radiation treatment. (I don’t think I mentioned earlier that he has Stage I NSCLC.) By now all Dad wants to do is go home. So we do.

By early afternoon, the shortness of breath is bothering him much worse and he goes to his storage shed to get a 3 year old bottle of oxygen (with 3 year old tubing) that I didn’t even know he had. This makes me very unhappy and I tell him he shouldn’t even try to use it because his blood oxygen saturation had been good. He says he that can’t be true because he can’t breathe.

Fortunately, the oxygen tank and tubing aren’t working. While he’s fiddling with that I suddenly remember that he has a lung doctor! Why yes, I am really, really slow sometimes. I look at the clock and tell my Dad that we can make it there before 5 pm. We’re in the door at 4:45 pm.

After the routine vitals, the RN comes in, a nurse practioner. She questions him, checks his oxygen saturation (96) and listens carefully and thoroughly to his lungs. Thanks to electronic medical records, she can see the results of his chest xray and other information from the ER visit.

It’s then that I fell in love with this woman. She said that the hospitalist was no more qualified to order discontinuation of his heart medicine and diuretic than she was and told him he should not change it until he’s seen his cardiologist. She explained that the cough he’d seen her for two weeks before and the current shortness of breath combined with the radiation warranted a prophylactic round of antibiotics and that a round of prednisone would get him feeling decent again until he could see his cardiologist.

She explained that he had multiple risk factors for fluid build-up and that discontinuing the lasix could be dangerous.

It’s a shame we can’t all take prednisone all the time. It’s a feel good drug like no other. And since Dad’s cardiologist is out of town all this week, it will sustain his energy until his appointment next week.

I’ll be going back to my Dad’s soon, but the thing I’m undecided about is exactly how to word the nastygram I want to send about the obnoxious hospitalist and his lack of follow-up and follow-through. Fortunately my siblings are better at that kind of thing than I am.

UPDATE — July 22, 2009 (read the comments for earlier update)

This morning, I got a call from the head of the customer relations department of the hospital. The first thing she assured me of was that none of their junior volunteers would ever be asked to deal with patient or family complaints, ever.

She was very nice, apologetic, and assured me that several departments would be hearing from her about our complaints about the facilities and explained that problems with the doctor would still have to be addressed by the VP of medical staffing, but that she would also forward her notes on our conversation to him as well as the hospital CEO.

I’m Back

See update to the medical story here. 

I left last Friday to go to a niece’s wedding in Arkansas with my father. She was married on July 4th in a beautiful outdoor ceremony near Little Rock AR. The photos on the site’s page do not come close to the majesty of the setting. They do justice to the facilities, but not the nature surrounding them.

My father mentioned on the drive up there that he’d been having dizzy spells which, at first, sounded like orthostatic hypotension. He’s 86 and I really thought that this was probably natural for his age.

However, the day after the wedding, he was more than tired. He was suffering fatigue. He had no energy and no appetite. I decided to stay another day or two. In all honesty, it wasn’t just that, it was also my innate dislike of leaving wherever I am. I’m pretty much at home anywhere and hate moving. Staying another day or two sounded great to me and I have the most understanding husband in the world.

Tuesday morning, my Dad was feeling dizzy sitting down and lying down. We eliminated the possibility of it being an inner ear infection because he’s suffered those numerous times and it certainly wasn’t that bad.

We got an appointment to see his PCP Tuesday afternoon. He confirmed my father’s suspicion that his blood pressure was low and they decided to discontinue two medications that might be contributing to his problem.

We go home thinking the problem is solved. Wednesday morning, 11 am — blood pressure is 106/51. Pulse is 37. (This machine had been previously “calibrated” with an RN’s manual BP reading.) Checking BP again, the reading is 81/45 with pulse still 37. My choices are… call an ambulance (and first responders) or attempt to transport my father 40+ miles to the nearest ER.

I take my hat off to Little River County’s first responders. Before I was through giving the ambulance service all the pertinent info, a trained first responder was in the house. His BP reading was a bit higher, but he noted the pulse was irregular. Within minutes of his arrival another first responder (who also worked as an EMT for the ambulance co.) arrived and confirmed the irregular heartbeat and slow pulse rate, although the BP was within normal ranges by that time.

Keep in mind while reading all of this that my father is 86 years old.

When asked where he wants to be transported, my father names the hospital where his wife is getting rehab after a hip replacement.

His transport takes 45 minutes. During this time he is sitting up in a gurney. This means that his legs are, at best, a 45 degree angle to his torso. He is then transferred to a standard ER “bed” which is not capable of raising the knees or ankles to a comfortable position for a young person not suffering from near-crippling arthritis.

Imagine that you are 86 years old and that doctors have told you that your back/hip/knee/wrist pain is inoperable and that the best they can do is narcotic pain relievers. Imagine that you’ve always thought that you didn’t need pain medication, that your mind could overcome it.

Now you are put in the most uncomfortable position a human can be in for 4+ hours. Imagine that all your blood relatives suffer from painful arthritis. Imagine a doctor questioning you as to whether you are REALLY in pain or not… the same doctor who thinks your BP of 110/60 is fine even though you are in writhing pain.

At least this doctor listened to (or gave into) the ER nurse with 29 years experience who insisted that my father was experiencing REAL pain. She administered 3 demerol shots during the 10 hours my father was in the ER.

My father was admitted for “observation” overnight. I will post later (if I feel like it) about how that turned out.

It Has Come To My Attention That My Blog May Be Boring

Though it couldn’t have been said in a nicer way, I think my favorite bartender would like for me to get a life. Or something. Something like he way overestimates the blogging value of my accumulated sticky notes.

The most meaningful one (but one I actually threw away) was a series of question marks. I will reproduce it here for you:


“WTF” would have been somewhat more informative. I think. Perhaps what I really need is to spend more time drinking in bars employing really great and wise bartenders.

As noted here, I seem to express myself better in comments on others’ blogs. I hope that’s a passing phase.

Sunday Cruising

If you’re not reading Behind The Stick every weekend, you’re missing out. 

Amba is blogging hot right now. Just keep scrolling, you’ll find everything from anthropology to zoology. Her comments are very good too. Just skip any made by me.  

Art and Mirrors.

Men and Belly Button Lint.

Sippican Cottage (whose furniture I want) is running a series called Whose House. Check out the essays while you’re there, he’s always interesting.

Having trouble comprehending the magnitude of the bailouts, stimulus, and budget? Assistant Village Idiot puts it into perspective.

How the International Space Station Crew prepares and eats peanut butter and honey.

Lucy in the Sky with Lemons.

Let’s end on this note: Follodor and Farts.

I’ve Been Incomputicado And Here’s What I Missed

An impending wedding! Congratulations to Althouse and Meade.

An impending birth! Congratulations to Talina and N. Do not worry about not having the perfect nursery setup. My father tells me that his youngest stepsister did fine with a dresser drawer as bassinet. It’s the love that matters.

Interpret the data for yourself, but to me it says that older folks who majored in the humanities know more about the fox and the grapes than anyone else. Now, before you start thinking that older folks who majored in the humanities are smarter than anyone else, consider that the grapes might have been sour.

I won’t even pluck my eyebrows.

Obviously, I have missed more, but this is where my attention span ends.

I’ve Been Living In The Real World

Since Saturday, I haven’t been online more than an hour total, and most of that was looking at proofs of my daughter’s latest family photo session. Realizing that I cannot afford 32 11 x14 prints is causing some stress!

Saturday, we had a family reunion on my mother’s side for the first time since 1994. My cousins have children and grandchildren I’d never met before. We realized we’d only been getting together for funerals for the last 15 years, and that we needed more. We had so much fun we’re planning another for next year.

All of my mother’s siblings have died. My father is the only one left of that generation in the family. We are fortunate that my oldest aunt started gathering genealogical information about the family when she was a teenager and kept at it until she was no longer able to travel. Her daughter went through one box (there are more) of her mother’s photos and distributed them to the oldest child of each sibling. What a wonderful gift that was!

My sister and I have taken the information my aunt gathered and put it into genealogy software and have continued the research. Everyone enjoyed looking at the wall chart my sister printed.

Little Sister is in the states for another week and a half, so I won’t be online much until after she goes home. I could be, but I have found that I really do not like using a laptop. My wrists are spoiled to my split keyboard and my eyes to my big monitors.

Family-wise, there’s a lot going on that’s not bloggable so I may be a bit distracted. Um, I mean more distracted. Possibly less intelligible too, if that’s possible.

Friday Night Beer Drinking Links

Most of the people I know who drink beer don’t need any excuse other than beer exists. However, at least for the first link, having a beer or two makes some things more palatable. Or not.

“Could it be the worst food product ever?” The answer is in the comments.

What better place on the web to visit while having a beer than Behind The Stick? To make it even better, What are the odds? comments contain a nice list of movies to put on your Netflix list for future Friday nights.

There is not enough beer in the universe for this — The Ontology Of Voltron, not Transformers — to make sense to me.

Tea Party first. Save the beer for the after party!

Do you doubt sometimes whether drinking beer is useful? Do you doubt the aesthetic effects? Here’s proving you have nothing to worry about: The Beer Can House.

Sunday Morning Surfing Around

Crack That Code – It’s going to be fun when my grandchildren are old enough to have toys like these. And chemistry sets! Yeah.

Origin of Black Lawn Jockeys – I did not know this, but it is a wonderful example of how NOT knowing history can turn something upside down.

Under the Hood – the making of the inauguration.

I never have this much fun at the grocery store.

The White House kitchen. More photos, a virtual tour. A note says the site is under severe strain. I guess everyone is interested in the White House these days!

Why are women emotional? Good question.

Saturday Surfing

Six Degrees of Separation theory may leak like a sieve. It’s still an intriguing idea and fun to play with, though it may be a Big World after all. (via Gene Expression)

Time Out.

“Is it a faux pas to make a gift of faux poo?”

Give Geese A Chance.

Meerkats, ferrets, children, and VapoRub.

2D reality in a 3D illusion.  (via Marginal Revolution)

Kudos to Jeff Skiles. This was a team effort of many people, some who had trained for it and some who hadn’t (the passengers on the plane and on the ferry boats, for example.) People were on the wings almost immediately after the plane came to a stop. Well, as much of a stop as it was going to come to in the river’s current. In less than 8 minutes, passengers were being taken about ferries and rescue boats. (via Rachel Lucas)

Strangest search term ever: 1a8846fefa19f4391919f99ef11ece80785de72a25fd20c9. But what’s really neat is that Google asks “Did you mean to search for: 1a8846efa19f4391919f99f11ce80785de72a25fd20c9” which returns no results, but might after I post this!

ThinkHost: Pretends To Provide Webhosting, Pretends To Be Green

My LittleSister can’t get to her website dependably. Neither can I. Bet you can’t either. Nobody could yesterday. The really huge problem for LittleSister is that she can’t even get into backend to point the domain name somewhere else and just move the site.

Thing is, the tech support at ThinkHost is just horrible. Back in October, she opened a support ticket about a specific issue. It was something she’d always been able to do with other hosting providers with a few clicks – additional FTP functionality. That’s so easy on the three providers I’ve used that even I can do it.

Like a good customer, she went to their Knowledge Base for information. She found they suggest using a virtualFTP thingie (whatever that is) and that ThinkHost would set it up for a fee and it would then triple her monthly hosting fee.

The funny part is that they finally answered her original question after 15 days of telling her they couldn’t. This was after a message from tech support telling her how to cancel her account if she wasn’t happy with their service.

Now, I’ve got to let you know that I would never have signed up with this hosting service in the first place. And yeah, LittleSister knows that. She’s OK with me bursting into laughter within seconds of viewing the homepage.

What made me laugh? The logo tag: powered by wind and sun. Of course that explained LittleSister’s problem! She lives in Scotland and probably hasn’t seen the sun in several days. Yes, this is nonsense, but it’s just the way my mind works. Then again, ThinkHost is based in Portland OR and I’m wondering how much sun they’ve had recently too.

The site says “we provide world class hosting powered by renewable energy. let’s change the world together — join us today.” That is misleading because it is, of course, impossible. What they are doing (and is discussed on their site, so they’re not trying to hide it) is buying renewable energy tags, which sound a lot like carbon credits which have always struck me as similar to complex financial instruments, ie., useless and worthless paper.

Not that there’s not money to be made on carbon credits — my father owns timberland and has been approached with offers to buy his carbon credits. His scam-o-meter alerted him to the fact they don’t really make sense and he didn’t sell because he didn’t want to be involved with scammers on any side of the scam.

To LittleSister, this green thing sounded good. She is a good-hearted person and wants to do things in a way that is best for the ecology. And she’s a progressive and we agree on very little politically. But durnit, she’s my sister and she was scammed and that really irritates me.

I have little doubt that the collective at ThinkHost thinks they are doing good and no doubt at all they are trying. If they want to succeed, they are first going to have to refine that little thing about “world class” hosting. It doesn’t mean leaving your customers in the dark to save electricity.

What I do not believe for one minute is that the “green” and “progressive” angles are not marketing tools. When someone signs up for hosting with ThinkHost, they are buying conscience relief; psychological carbon credits. They are paying higher (in my opinion, at least) prices for the hosting because the company is in political agreement with them, plants a tree for each customer and gives progressive non-profits discounted hosting.

OK, that’s a bit snarky, but geez… I can’t help it! (sorry LittleSister). But you agree that non-profits are not helped by poor service and technical support. I know you do.

It occurs to me that these greenies may be simply capitalists/opportunists with a niche product designed to empty the pockets of greenies and progressives. Except they picked on my sister. Nobody should pick on my sister, ya know?

I’m through. For now. If you are in the market for web hosting, please overlook ThinkHost. How green can a site be if their service increases one’s desire to throw things which will then have to be replaced?

This Is Not A Serious Blog

“Opinions, about almost anything” is my theme for this blog. Nowhere does that imply that I must be seriously profound in my opinions. Nor does that imply that I must post about seriously profound subjects.

That also does not imply that I am not deadly serious when I say I have the cutest, most awesomest grandchildren ever (pictorial proof will be provided!)

There are occasionally subjects about which I choose to be very serious. If you are of normal intelligence, you will be able to distinguish these by their tone and a faint semblance of formal argument.

Six Non-Important Things About Me

I’ve been tagged with a meme. A very non-important meme. (Is that redundant?) Cassandra at Villainous Company calls it a crappy meme, but I’ll not go there.

First, the Rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you.
Done that.

2. Post the rules on your blog.
Done that.

3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
Coming up below.

4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
Do I know six people????

5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Now all I have to do is try to find six non-important things or habits or quirks to tell you about myself…

1. I wear Crocs. I realize that some of you may find this disgustingly non-important and block my ISP from ever accessing your site again. But, isn’t it important to know who your “REAL” friends are? Maybe this is not so non-important, but I’m not deleting it because I have to think of 5 more things.

2. My fear of crowds extends to blogs that consistently have over 100 comments on every post.

3. I drink way too much coffee.

4. There are ten small post-it notes hanging off the bottom of my monitors. One of them reads “Insane Complexity” and I have no idea why I jotted that down and put it there.

5. I cut my waffles on the grid. I don’t understand why some people think this is strange.

6. Breaking the rules is fun, so I’m not going to list the sixth thing.

I’m tagging AspenDew, Talina, Lori, the Venomous One. That’s all. Maybe #6 should read “I can’t count.”


Random Thoughts and Links

I’m worried about Baldilocks. It’s been over a month now.

Last night, I dreamed I was marrying Tom Cruise. This is just bizarre because I’ve never had any type of crush on him, not even on any of the characters he portrayed. Now, if it had been Sean Connery…

Knitting Math. (via Tigerhawk) It’s the first time I’ve ever run across the term “dorkosterone”.

Go vote for Junkfood Science in the 2008 Weblogs awards. You can vote once a day. Then go to JunkFood Science and just start reading. You will learn something. Guaranteed.

Public restroom dilemmas.

Stuck DVD

Not my week for playing DVDs. Or CDs. I really don’t know which because two of them are stuck in two different DVD drives. Both discs are replaceable, but I hate to think the DVD player on the “home theater” is screwed up… how do I get a DVD out of the Bose? oh well… as soon as I figure out how to get the one out of my computer DVD player, I’ll work on the Bose.

Or maybe I’ll call the Geek Squad. Or maybe… not. Dear personal Geek Squad where are you? Will you come see your Mommy and help her out here?

Whoa… Facebook Phishing?

facebook-phishing.jpgThis is what Chrome displayed when I tried to open my Facebook page. Where did come from? Anyway, I’m not going to Facebook right now, rather I’m going to bed leaving Symantec doing a thorough scan while I sleep.

I’m too old to be dealing with this crap, you know?

UPDATE: — apparently that’s legit. It’s used by Facebook to serve static data such as stylesheets and images. I got that info here:

Also, check out this TechCrunch article from earlier this year: Phishing Scam Targeting Facebook Users

What I’m Reading Online Today

From Assistant Village Idiot:

Understanding Jewish Thought — There’s really nothing intellectually better than a good discussion or argument in the ‘course of reasoning’ sense of the word, not in the ‘quarrel’ sense.

and How Smart You Are — Understanding the roots and depth of meaning of words allows us to better communicate. The evolution of language is very interesting. See also We Are That Smart.

From The Fire Ant Gazette: Hitchin’ a Ride. You might not fully appreciate this if you live on the East Coast.

From Dr. Isis — Women are twice as expensive as men. Twice as valuable? Not addressed :-)

Via Marginal Revolution, World’s most unanswered music questions. Hmm… or hum. As you wish. Possibly (probably?) of esoteric interest.