Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dennis Kucinich, get real

Dennis, I love you, but when you talk of Medicare for all, I'm guessing, but I don't think you've had any experience with the real Medicare as a patient or as a doctor. Medicare is full of stupid inefficiencies, nonsensical rules, crazy-making bureaucracy. For example, I use an intermittent straight catheter. Either you know what that is or you don't. Look it up if you don't. I reuse catheters, which drives some these rent-a-nurses crazy but it's OK with my urologist. I got catheters through Medicare when I started. I got home delivery of four, count 'em four, catheters a month, the Medicare allowance. Guess how much that cost.

Congressman Kucinich, when he gets on his soapbox, reminds me of a story my father used to tell, about these old radicals in the village in the old days. There was this one guy, Danny the Red, who used to say, "Come the revolution dogs won't bark. Why do dogs bark? Dogs bark to protect private property. Come the revolution there won't be any private property. Dogs won't bark."

A perfect syllogism. Come the revolution, Dennis Kucinich.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Health Care in Germany

I highly recommend "Sicko" by Michael Moore. I've pretty much forced everyone who visits me to endure the movie with me. What's been fascinating to me are the varied reactions I've gotten to the film, from outright agreement of the premise (watch it for yourself) to skepticism to outright hostility.

So I thought I'd use this blog to collect articles and clips to document health car in other countries, good, bad, or indifferent. I start with a clip about the health care system in Germany. It was somewhat of a surprise to me (it shouldn't have been) that the nations with universal health care don't follow a single model of funding or state vs. private sector involvement.

So, enjoy

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Vision

I’ve been diagnosed since 1984 (I was 36 at the time and I hope to one day to be able to say that I’ve had MS for half my life). I was walking for ten years, on crutches for a while and not walking (or standing) for the past six years. A few months ago I had another exacerbation and fell from my chair and broke my leg. I’ll make it with a little help from my friends.

We have to start thinking outside the box. You can get a shower seat, shower bars, a ramp, and the like, and get yourself set up for a while, but MS usually progresses and accidents can happen and some equipment becomes unusable as time goes on.

We want (need) more than most average individuals can get on their own. We need to band together and find a solution that fits our needs. “Assisted living” as it currently exists is not an answer. The same goes for nursing homes. Unfortunately there’s nothing in between.

We need collective action to solve our problems. We hate to lose our autonomy. We’re too young and too smart yet to go into nursing homes or assisted living that doesn’t meet our needs.

This is my vision, I think it’s within reach. PWMS need a place where we can get

· regular physical and occupational therapy,

· massage therapy,

· yoga and meditation classes,

· roll-in showers (when ordinary bath chairs become too difficult to use),

· modified bathrooms and kitchens for wheelchair access,

· a pool for aquatherapy, invaluable for relief of spasticity,

· accommodations and respect for individual dietary regimens,

· non-interference with individual choices of resident’s medical treatments,

· respect for individual choices of alternative therapies,

· housekeeping help (e.g. laundry, shopping).

I know this is going to run into money. Most of us are not in a position to bear the full cost. I don’t have the answer in my back pocket. If I did it would be a reality already. But that’s why I call it a vision, and when you consider the costs of the alternatives my vision looks cheap and what value would you place on self respect? This can happen!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Zanaflex and Cipro

A lot of us take Zanaflex (Tizanidine) for spasticity. We also get Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) prescribed to us once in a while for UTIs. You gotta check this out (see drug interactions/contraindications).

Thursday, September 27, 2007


If you say "I fell in love with you", would you rather I cry inappropriately or laugh inappropriately?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

we MS people laugh and cry "too much"

I read in a medical journal that we MS people laugh and cry "too much", or even, God forbid, inappropriately. This is not a pathology. It is a gift.

Stop wasting our money!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007