October 18th, 2013



So I go home tomorrow and I have a country to go home to, apparently. The United States of America is back in business.

And for what? I'm talking about the closure. And that this is only a few months reprieve before the nincompoops do it all over again.

And it wasn't even a full closure, with all sorts of exceptions. And then the unmitigated gall to strike out at some of the things they forced to close in the first place.

I'm sorry, but National Parks and museums being open are not a priority. If you didn't want WW II veterans to be shut out of the WW II Memorial or White House tours or the Smithsonian, you shouldn't have shut them down. If you're feeling the heat from your constituents, own up to it. Say I'm one of the idiots that forced this closure over an ideological fight that a minority of us believe or I was too chickenshit to oppose. Aren't you proud of me? Aren't you glad I pissed on your vacation, in a country where vacations are hard to come by, except for Congressmen? Aren't you thrilled that we harangued Park Service employees for imposing our will on the citizens? People who aren't allowed by law from speaking out personally against your nonsense.

You appropriated the money, the Administration spent it per your law, so pay your damned bills. Don't try to throw the burden of your desire for cutbacks to fall on the poor, the sick, the uninsured, the people with preexisting conditions. Don't have hissy fits over your incorrect, nonsensical and frankly contradictory views on socialism and fascism. Don't create fiscal crises with your continued worshipping of tax cuts, while failing to restore the tax rates on the rich to where the system actually worked. Don't bleat about more tax cuts when the last several rounds both hurt the treasury and failed to create any jobs.

Stop trying to invoke sympathy from a middle class when your every misguided policy seems to want to destroy that middle class and prevent future citizens from joining the middle class. Quit hawking the woeful bogeyman of welfare and election fraud when it isn't a problem. And will you let places like the National Hurricane Center actually help people and reduce all that property damage you don't want to pay for, unless it's the Right States? Your hatred of science is making a hash of things and will drive this country into the ground if you're not careful.

And stop being so surprised when the majority fail to capitulate to your blackmail. Learn what the word compromise means -- Hint: It doesn't mean I get what I want when I threaten to hold my breath until the country turns blue and the world economy asphyxiates.

This whole charade was and is useless. Yes, I am grateful that there is still a government as I leave to go home and continue my recovery and that the economy has been spared a meltdown when I couldn't do anything about it.

We do not need any minority group to hold the government hostage. Don't like the President? Run a candidate who can win. Don't like the defects of the so-called Obamacare? Fix it. Come up with proposals which not only can work and get votes, but doesn't make things worse while you feel smug.

And can you actually read the Constitution instead of making it up as you go?

Yeah, I don't go off on political rants often, but this has been damned frustrating to watch this unfold from a hospital room. You cannot know how frightening to know whether you will have a home and care and a job to go home to. It has been a useless exercise in bullying and tantrums, not good governance.

Grow up.

Dr. Phil

T-1 (Friday)

Well, therapy here at the Fuller Street facility is officially over. The next OT/PT sessions will be home care and then outpatient.

And today's sessions were short. OT came up to the room and we stretched out the left shoulder and worked with 4 and 6 lb. weights. Left arm movements much improved. Talked about doing things at home. At PT we did some cane and free walking. The four-footed cane was delivered, but UGH. It weighed a ton. Seems despite the preference for the lighter 250 lb max cane, they shipped a 700 lb. cane. Not only wasn't this like the one I was using for weeks, but it didn't come close to matching my own single point cane, and there are a couple of applications where I will use both together, and it totally throws off the rhythm. The right quad cane just came and it's fine -- and I had to sign a paper that said yes, there would probably be no warranty due to overloading perhaps. Doesn't bother me.

We also had ordered a larger model sock aid -- sort of a plastic scoop with a rope -- but the one that came seemed too small. Back in my room we grabbed the one I had been using here and the little one and all its packaging rattled around in the Big one. That, too, came in this afternoon.

I had also asked for a bag for the walker, as opposed to a net or a wire basket. The model walker I got came with a wire basket, but the company said they'd send over a bag but wasn't sure it would work. Turns out we were both right. There is no space between the seat and the rod for the straps, but I made it fit on one side of the basket. Best of both worlds.

So now all the parts are in and we're ready to go. One more dinner and a wake-up...

Dr. Phil

Flu The Koop

We've gotten flu shots for over 20 years, and compared to some of the loo-loo flues we'd gotten before, they work pretty well. And GVSU has been good about making flu shots available to all staff and dependents. 2013 is, of course, complicated. When I thought I might get out of here and driving, there was at least one date at the Holland campus I figured I could make.

But I also started looking at getting a flu shot before I left. After all, Spectrum was starting to do staff and had advertised. And I was told that at some point they'd go floor by floor and offer flu shots to all who wanted them. But they hadn't yet.

So this week I asked the nurses several times. They asked up the line and the last answer I got was that they hadn't printed the consent forms yet. Until tonight, when the nurse came back with a needle, a vial and the paperwork.


So I got my flu shot. Now I've heard from several people that this year's vaccine tends to make a person's arm sore. And the nurse pointed out that they were using a longer needle this year, to make a deeper intramuscular shot. And that I should flex the arm a lot afterwards. Okay. Duly noted.

My unscientific thought is that since this year's vaccine is based on the last flu season's top two strains plus their best guess at a third strain, that the late sonofabitch flu that laid many of my students low and I'd thought I had gotten back in April... that this strain is the one responsible.

Or not. (grin)

Anyway, in a few weeks, now that I will be back amongst all you wild people, will be protected. More or less.

Dr. Phil