My friend Lene Andersen wrote a very informative and entertaining article (as usual), and this one discusses total hip replacement and everything that goes along with it. If you’ve ever wanted to know about what it feels like to have a total hip done, and what things to do and not do, check it out!
So, it looks like I’ll be going under the knife again in just four short weeks. After years of procrastination, it’s time to face the fact that my right ankle can no longer exist in its current state. You wouldn’t think it possible, but a crooked right ankle can affect knees, hips, shoulders, the neck, and, worst of all, the back. My back has been hurting more and more as of late, and it all comes down to the ankle replacement on my right side that somehow, mysteriously, and possibly spontaneously (or so I’m told), became crooked. So, to make a long story short, I now have to undergo another procedure to correct the first procedure. It’s like Russian nesting dolls, I tell you.
Those of you who read my column regularly know that I’m a big proponent of pain medicine, and I regularly discuss how it is getting more and more difficult to obtain these medications. This is due to the demonization of opioids in the media, as well as prescription drugs being the target du jour for America’s ridiculous “War on Drugs.” Those of us who are in chronic pain have a growing crisis on our hands, and vary rarely do we receive any help from the major news outlets. Fortunately, though, Consumer Reports has just published an article about pain medication, and even though I haven’t read it yet, I’m sure that it responsibly weighs the pros and cons of opioids and helps to dispel some of the myths and half-truths that are whipping the public up into a frenzy of anti-opioid hate.
Could it possibly be? Researchers in Osaka have discovered a “misfiled” protein that coats the outside of certain molecules in the body. They claim that it is this protein that is being identified by the body as a foreign substance and why the body is subsequently attacking itself. If this proved true, a cure could be literally five years away!!
Last time, I gave you the last piece of writing before I underwent the knife once again. This time getting my ankle replaced, I spoke about all the old fears and concerns surfacing anew. Well, the surgery has been postponed, much to my chagrin. Postponed not because of any valid, medical reason, but because of medical politics, a subject that I have spoken on before.
With the debt ceiling deadline date approaching, both sides of the aisle in Congress are scrambling to come up with a spending cut plan that will pass muster when it comes time to vote. No one is quite sure what should stay and what should go — except for one thing, that is. Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security seem to be universally accepted as ripe for the cutting.
Out national debt is somewhere in the neighborhood of fourteen trillion dollars, and it is Continue reading “To Walk Or Not To Walk: Humanizing Medicare Cuts” »
A few days ago I experienced one of the most painful episodes in the entire tenure of my life with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had to be rushed to the hospital in the back of an ambulance, and then spent six hours in the ER while I was “repaired.” As I was lying on the gurney, I began to think about what life would be like if I could not count on the support structure I have availed myself of for years. Sitting in that hospital, I realized that having people you can rely on when you need help is probably the single most important asset in Continue reading “The Import Of Support” »
Medical insurance. To some, all these two words signify is a cost that results in a bit less salary, or a backup plan in case any of those “what ifs” actually happen. To others, it means a political cause to rally for or against. To a few of us, though, medical insurance can be a godsend or a source of stress and worry. Either way, it’s a necessity. Anyone who suffers from chronic illness can tell you the value of an accommodating insurance company, or the headache of a stingy provider.
This week will mark the passing of the two-month boundary since the operation to “de-bulk” the bones of my left foot took place. It has been a long crawl since the progression of healing has not been as swift as I would have hoped. Of course, the fact that my body’s ability to repair itself has been compromised comes as no surprise, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to deal with.
As many of you who follow my column know, the bones on my left foot had become overgrown on the top and side of my left foot. This was due mostly to an old Continue reading “Getting Back On The Horse” »
Fail first policy. To the unknowing, it sounds like another one of those ill-conceived foreign policy doctrines, or possibly a method for dealing with the runaway deficit. It certainly doesn’t sound like something that might end up affecting each and every one of us where it counts most, but that’s exactly what may happen.
Fail First policy, also called “step therapy,” is the practice of forcing doctors to prescribe the least costly drug in any class to patients first, even if the physician wants to begin treatment with a different medication. Medical insurance companies Continue reading “Fail First Policy and Why It Will Likely Affect You Someday” »