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Tag Archives: Dear Diary

Dear Diary

Lets see. What’s new recently? Wrestling is officially over for the year. I happened to be the “trainer” for junior’s regional wrestling meet. Was busy most of the day. It seems as if the coaches give kids Coumadin before the meets. I haven’t seen so many nosebleeds in a long time … except maybe last year when I was the “trainer” for a wrestling meet. Not only nosebleeds, but there were also head injuries, an eye injury, and a broken arm. Nothing some 3 inch tape and gauze pads can’t handle, though. During the match, I had a firsthand experience of why the UnAffordable Care Act isn’t going to help as much as many people believe. Again, it boils down to the fact that healthcare insurance doesn’t equal healthcare access. A dad walked into the meet and from a distance I could tell he was having difficulty breathing. He was stopping every so often while he was walking so that he could lean on the wall or sit down and catch his breath. He made his way over to me and asked for a favor. Could I write him a prescription for ciprofloxacin? He had these same symptoms with pneumonia in the past and that is what his doctor prescribed to clear it up. This dad is a great guy, but he doesn’t live the healthiest lifestyle. He smokes. He’s heavy. He drinks quite a bit. I also knew from previous discussions that he had a history of anemia. There were literally 10 diseases that popped into my head that could have been causing his trouble breathing – besides pneumonia. “You really have to go to the hospital. You need blood work and a chest x-ray, not a prescription for antibiotics. Besides, even if this is pneumonia, ciprofloxacin probably isn’t going to help. And if the pneumonia is bad enough to be causing you trouble breathing, you’ll need to be admitted anyway. This is serious.” “I can’t afford it. The doctor’s visit will be $75, the chest x-ray will be $250, and my insurance won’t pay for any of it. I am having trouble paying my bills as it is.” “But this is your life. I would rather see you have to pay a couple extra bills and be around for your kids.” “I’ll be okay.” I kept an eye on him during the meet, and he ended up leaving early. I even texted him later in the day. He wrote back that he was okay as long as he was laying on the couch. I told them that I could call some people at the hospital to see if we could get him discounted testing performed. He said that he still couldn’t afford it. I hope I don’t read about him in the obituaries. It just sickens me that our government provides no-cost “insurance” for poverty-stricken people who earn no money, but many of the working poor get nothing but a mandate. If we’re going to make the system better, why can’t the government provide access to health care for everyone?

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Dear Diary

I hate the movie Pitch Perfect. Actually I like the movie itself, but my kids won’t stop singing the frigging songs. I have heard the songs from that movie in my sleep for months now. The latest thing that my kids have taken to doing is re-enacting the “cup” scene where Anna Kendrick sings You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone using a cup. Before school in the morning, “you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.” At night after dinner, it’s a chorus of “you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.” Without a doubt I am NOT going to miss that damn song when it’s gone. I can’t take it any more. Ditto for Don’t You Forget About Me. My head hurts just thinking about the words. When I try to go to sleep, then it’s the dogs’ turn. About half of the nights of the week our boxer snores … loudly. Most of the time Mrs. WhiteCoat will call her name and wake her up to stop the snoring. Sometimes, Mrs. WhiteCoat has to throw a slipper at her to wake her up. When that doesn’t work, she’s actually had to tip over the bed a couple of times to get the dog to wake up. Even that didn’t work last night. After being dumped out of bed, the dog woke up, climbed back into bed, and promptly started snoring again. By that time, I was awake and I was tired. So I sat up in bed and yelled like a dog … I barked at the top of my lungs for about five seconds. I think it roughly translated into “wake up and be quiet or I’m going to tie your ears in knots.” Our older dog sat bolt upright in his bed and was looking at me with his head cocked to the side. The boxer was doing a John Belushi imitation (forward to 0:30) spinning back and forth trying to see where the attack was coming from. One of the girls let out a scream from down the hall. I laid back down and then I couldn’t sleep because I was giggling to myself. But the snoring stopped. Once Mrs. WhiteCoat went to sleep, she had bizarre dreams. In one dream she was trying to get into our oldest daughter’s room, but she couldn’t get the door open. So she broke the door in. It was freezing in the room. Our daughter was sitting on the bed and she could see her breath. “Come on, let’s go,” Mrs. WhiteCoat said. “I can’t move,” our daughter replied. So Mrs. WhiteCoat ran into the room and grabbed her, then headed for the door. The door closed and she opened it. While doing so, she bumped something behind her. She turned around. It was her carrying a laundry basket. Her mirror image dropped the laundry basket, pointed at our daughter, and said … “check her potassium level.” Then she woke up. And no, we didn’t check her potassium level. What are we going to put for the reason … vision in a whacked out dream told me to? Almost back to normal after surgery. There’s still a bulge there and yes, it is the hernia. Just some postoperative swelling. Have to wait another week before I get back into normal activity. It’s strange not feeling the area pressing up against my pant leg like it used to. And after about six days I no longer feel like I have a weight tied to one of my “boys” … if you know what I mean. Still a little sore walking ...

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Dear Diary

Well, I thought we escaped it, but we didn’t. The past week has been full of emesis, diarrhea, and disinfectant spray. Just when we think that things are on the mend, someone else in the family starts having a stomach ache. The vomiting is the worst. When it starts out, it sounds like a loud belch … until you hear the progression of the sounds. Yeah. Too much information. But on a good note, I have seen that my kids are immune to boredom. They were able to watch the same episodes of Disney sit-coms a half dozen times and still got mad when I turned off the television. I’ve cut back on my work hours a little which gives me some extra time to hang out with Mrs. WhiteCoat and the kids. Kind of fun taking a morning to walk through the mall or going to lunch and catching a matinee before the kids get home from school. In fact, I took about a 30% pay cut from previous years, but we’re happier than we were before, I get to see a lot of the kids’ events that I used to miss, and we pay a lot less in taxes. Last weekend at one of my son’s wrestling matches, I had some mom from another team call me an asshole. Probably won’t be the last time. And I wasn’t even the one instigating. Wrestling matches last 1:30 each round. There are three rounds per match. It was a team meet and my son’s team was just barely beating another team — whose parents were sitting in the bleachers right next to us. During one of the matches, their wrestler was getting beat and, while on the mat, he signaled the referee that he was hurt. The referee stops the match and the wrestler jumps off the mat and goes to get some water. Several of our parents started yelling. Wrestlers aren’t allowed to take water breaks in the middle of matches. The opposing team’s parents started yelling at us. I kept my mouth shut. Mom from their team: “You all can just shut up!” Mom from our team: “You BETTER not be talking like that to my family.” One of our team dads yells “Your kids get water breaks? Our kids don’t get water breaks. Is that in the rules somewhere?” A loudmouth mom from the other team yells “Hey SHUT UP. He has ASTHMA.” Then I just let out a spontaneous laugh. I wasn’t laughing at the kid’s medical problem. I just thought to myself that I’ve been doing it wrong all these years. I should just be giving patients drinks of water instead of steroids and albuterol for their asthma attacks.  What a dunce I am. Loudmouth mom looks at me and yells “What are you laughing at, ASS-HOLE?” Them’s fighting words, of course. But I kept my mouth shut. I just smirked at her, held my water bottle high in the air, and took a long swig. Mmmmm. Breathing better already. The water didn’t help as their wrestler got pinned shortly after his water break ended. I had about a half dozen snarky comments that I wanted to blurt out at the mom, but I didn’t want to start a brawl in the stands. So I opted to have another long swig of water. Mmmmmm. Next week I’m having another surgery … on Valentine’s Day no less. Hopefully not a big deal. Just getting a hernia repaired. I’ve been dealing with it for a while, but now it has gotten big enough that it hurts, so ...

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Dear Diary

The holidays have been eventful so far. In the “I wish I had my camera ready” department: Driving down the main drag in town where all the stores are located. A man in Clifford the Big Red Dog outfit is walking up and down the street with a sign saying that puppies in the pet store on the corner are $100 off up until Christmas. At the stop light someone sticks his head out the passenger window and starts yelling at Clifford. Clifford keeps walking. Rolled down the window to hear what the guy in the car was saying and heard him yell “don’t buy there – they sell puppies from puppy mills!” Clifford drops the sign, spins around, and gives the motorist two front middle toes. Went to a holiday party and was discussing the economy with a friend. Said that he was having problems with home life. His parents moved out of their house and are living with him in their spare bedroom. His adult son and his son’s fiancée are living in his basement. Another adult son dropped out of school and is living in his attic with a girlfriend. His quote was “I don’t have a home any more … I have a commune.” One of our family members went to the big goldfish bowl in the sky on Christmas Day. The kids won a bunch of goldfish at an amusement park 5 years ago and the goldfish have been part of our family ever since. Flash started swimming upside down a few days before he died. The causes of upside down swimming are apparently related to a swimbladder problem in fish. We treated him with antibiotics for possible infection and gave him peas to combat possible “bloat” since peas are a laxative for fish. Despite antibiotics and peas, Flash died. He had a good life, though. There are sooooo many people showing up in the emergency department over the holidays. Our hospital is packed. Of 26 beds in the emergency department, 19 were being used to board inpatients at one point during my last shift. Makes seeing patients a little more difficult when there’s nowhere to put them. Everyone in the waiting room is wearing masks because most patients are suffering from influenza-like illness. My informal survey of patients is that <10% of patients I treat for influenza symptoms have been immunized for influenza. Both the immunized patients on my last shift were elderly and had mild symptoms compared with their non-immunized counterparts.

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Dear Diary

Dear Diary Some things just don’t make sense to me. Why do dogs just like to eat random objects? Lately, it’s been a case of “guess what the dog ate today” around our house. Eraser. Hairbrush. Tube of toothpaste (she loves toothpaste). Martial arts training knife. Our other dog just walks around with his tail between his legs when he sees something chewed up on the floor because he thinks the other dog will blame him for it. Then we get the great idea to lock spazzy boxer pup in the bathroom so she won’t have to sit in her cage for 12 hours while the family drives to a football game and back this past weekend. No, that was Ms. WhiteCoat’s idea. I had nothing to do with it. We returned to find the door broken, the stripping ripped up from the door jamb, and a bathroom that looked like it was being renovated. Our vet calls it separation anxiety. I call it something else. Then the dog gives us the big googly eyes when we get home as if to say if only we had provided her with a doggie counsellor to help control her impulses, none of this would have happened. Where do all the damn headphones in the world go? I have this pet peeve. I hate it when people take my things and don’t put them back. With six people in the house, no one will own up to losing whatever it is that’s missing. So if things go missing more than a couple of times, I buy 10 of them. Kids kept stealing my combs out of the bathroom, I bought a 20-pack and threw a few in each kid’s room. Kids were taking all of my pens, I got a 100 pack of the pens I like from Staples for like $20 and bring up handfuls from the storage room when they go missing. Tennis balls to play with the dog go missing – I bought 50 used ones off of eBay. Of course, half the missing balls were in the gutter, but now we have extras. Also have a half dozen nail clippers laying all over the house. But mine are left alone. One thing that just doesn’t reach the saturation point of missingness is headphones. I had a couple of good pairs of ear buds that went missing. So I went online and bought 10 pairs of them for $4 apiece. Within a week, they had all vanished. Not a trace. I bought 10 more. Gone within another couple of weeks. WTF? So I said to hell with it and I jog listening to music from the speaker on my phone now. I checked on eBay and no one from this house is selling them. And I looked through the doggie doo and didn’t see any wires, so it isn’t spazzy boxer pup, either. Maybe we got ourselves a gremlin. What is it with our family and insects? First, it’s the ants. Then I leave for work last week for an overnight shift. I get an urgent call from home telling the secretary to pull me out of a room with a patient. Mrs. WhiteCoat is on the other end of the line and is freaking out because our basement has turned into the set for some horror flick. She says there are like 200 flies on the ceiling of the basement buzzing all around. I made the mistake of telling her that maybe there was a mouse dead in the ceiling or something. She calls around to every exterminator in ...

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Dear Diary

The Hurricane Sandy coverage has me absolutely captivated. Hard to believe how much destruction occurred. Reading about all the hardships that people on the East Coast are going through right now makes me wish I could help somehow. My brother lives in Hoboken and we weren’t able to get in touch with him until today. You always assume the worst when that happens. He still has 8 feet of water in his basement and wasn’t able to get out of the house until today. Still only spotty power in his area. He reports that much of lower Manhattan is still dark, tunnels are still flooded, and he spoke to police who said that lines of people trying to get into the city are “the worst they’ve ever seen.” Seeing what they’re going through makes all of our problems seem so minor. Prayers to everyone going through this disaster. Keep strong and keep the faith. Halloween is officially over. Son dressed up as a ghoul all in black and sat up in a tree scaring the kids who came to the house for candy. Said that he was taking after me, whatever that means. Little kids would come up and take candy from the bowl and he would shake a tree limb and stare at them. Some ran away without candy. While he was doing that, some guy in a clown suit with a chain saw (no chain) was walking up and down the street stopping and looking at people and freaking out all the parents. Funny, yet creepy. Only went through 12 bags of candy this year, but we got smart and bought those giant bags of Dum Dums to mix in with the candy, so giving a few lollipops and a candy bar to kids at least made it look like they were getting more. It was difficult getting our kids down to sleep. They all had a sugar buzz and a half eating all the candy they weren’t supposed to be eating. Son was up playing AC/DC at 10:30 on a school night. Oldest daughter didn’t have school today and she slept until noon. The day after Halloween has also permitted me to discover that candy wrappers and lollipop sticks do not mix well with canine digestive systems. When sitting in the living room this morning wondering “what’s that smell?”, we eventually found two piles of doggie puke consisting of a mixture of Science Diet, candy bars, Laffy Taffy, candy wrappers, and lollipop sticks. Cleaning that up was enough to get me to skip breakfast. Mmmmmmm mmmmmm good. Middle daughter just got word that her pictures were up for American Girl. She’s so excited and we’re so excited for her. I’d link to the page at American Girl web site, but don’t want them getting ticked at me. If you want to see her, go to AmericanGirl.com and go to the “Gift Guide”. She’s opening a present at the top of the page. Oldest daughter just got her first IMDB movie credit, hopefully the first of many. She also found out that she made the basketball cheerleading squad. Good work, kiddo. Now that means I’m going to have to go to the basketball home games when I’m just not a basketball kinda guy, but that’s OK. I’ll be cheering loud for everyone. Every year, our house becomes infested with fruit flies. I can’t figure it out. We keep fresh fruit in a fruit bowl and we give Master Oogway fruit in a dish a couple of times a week. Side note: I never did tell everyone that the ...

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