Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I suppose it could have been much, much worse, but the birthday balance sheet teetered a tad more to the crap side of things than I would have preferred. My aging grandfather wound up in the hospital yesterday after what was supposed to be a fairly routine artery-stenting procedure revealed that his femoral arteries have completely shut down and his kidneys aren't far behind, a condition that would have been prevented had his totally swamped old-people doctor in Mesa bothered to check the pulses in his legs a couple of years ago.

I mean, for fuck's sake, the vet checks my dog's femoral pulses every time I take her in for a checkup; would this not seem to be a fairly obvious first thing to poke at on an old dude who has chronic intense leg pain and, oh, a couple siblings who have lost limbs to poor circulation?

There might be a metaphor for socialized medicine in here someplace, but probably not. He got in to see doctors without any trouble, and everything was covered through some combination of Medicare, the VA, and private insurance. But it wasn't until he left the giant senior citizen metropolis that is Mesa for the summer and called a different doctor in tiny tiny Pagosa Springs, Colorado, that the lightbulb went on next to the simplest possibility on the list. And now, despite having a mind that is still razor sharp despite pushing ninety, it would appear that his body's trashed.


Oh, and speaking of the dog, who is also aging poorly, the new med that is intended to flush excess ammonia from her system works really well. Unfortunately, it works so well that she flushed said system by shitting up and down the hall in the middle of the night. The poo trail suggests that she tried to make it to the door, but failed rather spectacularly. Happy birthday, Boltgirl!

On the plus side, I did enjoy a lovely dinner courtesy of one of the kids, good company courtesy of the whole family and a family friend, had ice cream out the wazoo, and managed to win at cards for the first time in forever. Nothing caught on fire and nobody died (not yet, anyway), so we'll call it a wash and hope for less excitement next year.

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