Friday, January 20, 2023

Medical Malpractice Gangman Style

OK, so I guess we need to get this out of the way:

So, what does that have to do with medical malpractice? Absolutely nothing. Pure clickbait.

Moving on to the actual malpractice.

Over the weekend of January 7-8, Florida Medical Center's IT staff attempted to upgrade the entire system that pretty much all local doctors, labs, etc. use. They failed. Not just a few glitches or a bug here or there. Completely and utterly crashed and burned. Everything, phones, fax, medical records, appointments. It was all toast. Staff were forced to call patients on their own personal cell phones to cancel appointments indefinitely. Now here we are two full weeks later and most offices are still closed or operating at reduced capacity. One of my doctors actually went back to paper records. It's the 1970's all over again. What's next? Bell bottoms and afros?

For me personally, this couldn't have happened at a worse time. I previously posted that I was having some problems with my lungs. That deteriorated into full blown bronchitis that I still haven't manged to fully shake. At least enough of the systems were up and running yesterday that I was able to get into my cardiologist (just in case this is something far more serious that bronchitis). It will be interesting to see what has been lost in this whole fiasco. Medical history? Labs? Scans? When my cardiologist pulled up my medical records, all I saw was a mostly blank screen.

I addition to all that, I have medications that I get patient assistance for from the manufacturer. See, Medicare hates diabetics. My insulin, that I need to stay alive, cost over $400 for a 90-day supply. By contrast, something that's really medically necessary like boner pills, I can get for $15 for a 90-day supply. How does that even make sense? Anyway, because of that I have paperwork that needs to be filled out every January and sent in. Part of the form is my information, the other part is the doctor's information. I filled out my part, highlighted and marked with sticky notes the two places the doctor need to complete and sign. I dropped everything off at the doctor's office. Two weeks later, I called the manufacturer to follow up and of course, nothing had been sent. I called the doctor's office and they promised to take care of it right away. Then I get a letter from the manufacturer telling me the application is incomplete. I call and sure enough: everything the doctor was supposed to do was blank. Call the doctor's office. Sorry the office is closed and even if the nurse were around our fax machine isn't working. (And no, I cannot fax it myself. It has to be faxed from the physician's office.)

What I'm waiting to see is IT geek heads on pikes out in front of the Medical Square. Screwing up this badly back in my day would be instant firing and being black-listed from any IT job. Ever. I can't say with any certainty what happened but for everything to be out for two weeks it had to be some sort of database conversion gone bad. About the same time I got out of the game, there was a new "theory" just starting to float around that software developers were too important to bother testing the crap they write. Just throw some crap out there and let the user find all the bugs and fix on failure. That's probably ok if you are writing some Facebook game, but mission critical software needs to be tested. Updates to mission critical software need to be run against production data on a test server before you... well... screw the pooch and shut down every doctor office in an area that is about 75% seniors right in the middle of cold and flu season.

Welcome to living in the third world.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Welcoming the New Year

I'm welcoming the new year at about 2AM thanks to whatever is wrong with my lungs. Laying down is nearly impossible without going into a coughing/choking fit. I've already seen one doctor about what the hell is going on and I have appointments with at least two more with a chest CT in there somewhere. Bronchitis has already taken down both of my parents; my mom was so bad she ended up in the hospital for a couple days. My dad isn't that bad yet, but he's heading in the same direction. From what we hear, everyone is getting kicked in the head with whatever this is. 

Regardless, I can already see that I'm going to end up with five new doctors and 16 new medications. Happy New Year to me.

For us, last year wasn't anything special. We didn't do anything or go anywhere. Just plodded along putting one foot in front of the other. About the only significant event of the year was that Debbie was able to get a very part time job for the six months that we are in Florida. It's only $100 or so a week, but even that little bit takes a lot of pressure off, especially with the way the price of everything is jumping. I was hoping that 2023 would be different, but it's not off to a promising start. We have at least one big event that we are already planning for; my dad turns 90 this year so we are throwing a big bash up in Michigan around the middle of May. I'm not real clear on how we are going to pull that off when we can't even get onto the property until the end of April, but we'll make it happen. 

I expect the next year to be somewhat interesting with inflation officially still running at over 7% (the real figure may be as much at twice that) and the Fed still aggressively raising interest rates. Cars, housing and higher ed have already taken huge hits. We've talked to a couple local businesses and they are still reeling from Covid shutdowns. My parents' church here in Florida is in serious trouble. Personally, we are hanging on to every penny we can just in case things really start to wobble. We'll see if we can pull out of this or if we crash and burn in 2023.

With all that in mind, have a Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas?

I usually post some funny videos for Christmas, but (and I know I've already said this several times) I'm just not feeling it this year. Part of it is that the damn doctors have been cutting on me again, most likely for no good reason whatsoever. The surgery was relatively minor, but because of where the incisions are located, I can't sleep in bed. The recliner isn't bad for sleeping per se, but I tend to wake up every hour or so, then call it quits after about four or five hours of "sleep". 

I know. First World problems.

And just to rant a bit (yea, yea; I know) what the hell is up with that little twerp Zelenskyy waltzing into the Congress of the United States dressed in a sweatshirt and demanding more money? And as if that were not bizarre enough, the couple of Congress critters who did not stand and applaud the little shit endlessly were called Putin-supporting fascists. This wrongthink shit is right out of Orwell's 1984. Look. Is it so hard to think that the Russian invasion is wrong and that Zelenskyy is a corrupt little dirtbag who is using aid to his country to buy mansions all over Europe? The bastard has shut down Orthodox churches, seized their money and put priests in jail. How does that make him a defender of freedom and democracy?

And all of it so Pelosi's husband's Raytheon stock goes up in price.

Enough. Try to forget about Western Civilization circling the drain for a day or so and have a... 

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Friday, December 09, 2022

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

Matthew 7:15-20

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Never fear, I haven't suddenly seen the error of my evil ways and switched this into an Evangelical blog. 

No, we are going to talk about the Democratic Party. Specifically how they just threw the working class under the bus. Again. A Democratically controlled House and Senate along with the Democratic corpsicle-in-chief voted to "outlaw" the railroad workers strike without forcing the rail companies to address any of the demands the workers were making. Workers wanted paid sick time (without some ridiculous requirement that they give a months notice of when they were going to be sick) and an end to being on-call 24/7, being required to work multiple back-to-back shifts, etc. "Joe Biden" slapped them down without a second thought. Nice. Sounds like the perfect time to hew that particular corrupt tree down and cast it into the fire....

Speaking of knowing someone by their fruits, Russia continues to demonstrate its bona fides as a conservative nation by shutting down all promotion of LGBTQ+, especially among children. This will play well with the Iranians of course, but it will also draw the interest of other conservative nations in the Middle East and Southeast Asia like Vietnam and Indonesia. I'm sure it will also go over well with Russia's new bestie, China. Of course all the usual suspects here in the States will raise holy hell, but does anyone with a pulse really think Putin cares? In fact, I suspect he takes great pleasure in kicking the impotent hornets' nest called the United States of America.

I don't have much else. This has been the Month from Hell so far with endless doctor visits to figure out what is going on with my right eye. My dysfunctional medical "team" currently has two theories. Both can lead to blindness, one can also cause strokes. The medication I'm on to treat it can also cause blindness and strokes, just somewhat more slowly. Meanwhile, I have a biopsy scheduled for the week of Christmas to confirm, at which point I may continue with the medication that can lead to blindness or stroke, or I may be switched to another medication which can also lead to blindness or stroke, but via a completely different process. Go, modern medicine,,,,

Because of all of that, Christmas plans will likely be low-key; dinner with my parents followed by a rousing game of dominoes. We do have plans to attend the annual Christmas Ball at our Moose Lodge to support Toys for Tots and a small party with some friends, but otherwise not a lot. What can I say; just not feeling it this year. I wonder if I could find a Krampus costume?