Tuesday
Oct182011

Branson Heart Center's Appointment Challenge



     Now that the Skaggs Hospital's new Medical Complex over on Highway 248 is finished and occupied, the Tenant Doctors are busy taking care of Branson's sick.........well at least  they are caring for those who are well enough to navigate their "pre-appointment/patient screening" protocol.   Perhaps, if my medical issue is a gout flare up or a painful knee, I can fit myself into the appointment schedule optimized for the doctors, but what if I sense that I am having a "heart problem".  I now know that my choices are to rub some dirt on and tough it out, or take my chances with an overworked and non-specialized Skaggs ER doctor, or I can call Cardiology Consultants at their shinny new offices  over on Highway248, with ambition to see a Board Certified Cardiologist for a comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment..  I have tried all three, and while my heart is  still beating, I am offering up my Angie's List Feedback.  Best Choice: tough it out; it's free and you won't be misdiagnosed  Worse Choice: Skaggs ER, you almost certainly will be misdiagnosed and it will cost you about a $1000.  Most Unresponsive Choice:  Call The Branson Heart Center at  417-348-8290 and visit with a cheerful young "Care Consultant" who will explain to you that your symptoms will be pertinent only at a later time after you have provided a mailing address to which they will mail a "Medical Records Release Request Form" which, when, as, and if filled out properly and returned to The Branson Heart Center will be filed as a precondition to The Heart Centers mailing requests to all identified providers.  If you are precise in your undertaking of the "Appointment Challenge", Julie, or Michael, or Jennie will confirm that no appointment can be made to see a doctor, until all of the solicited records have been received and reviewed.  If you would like an estimate as to the average wait time for the records to be returned or the then subsequent wait time for the actual appointment to be made, the pleasant young voice will steadfast hold to their position that they have no idea.  How long does it actually take?  I don't know, I am still waiting for the call.  PS:  If the though has occurred to you that you might be able to game the Appointment Challenge by going to the Clinic Manager to complain, forget about it.  Darrell, the Clinic Managers hands are tied.  He and what minimal clinical staff is available to him operate at the pleasure of Skaggs Hospital which means that, like all Skaggs Hospital Groups, they operate in a "constructive bankruptcy nighmare".  Indeed most of his energy is probably spent  patronizing Skagg's need for cash, not worrying about heart attacks..    Perhaps your best choice will be a direct Lax/Bankok flight with a waiting car to carry you to a new state of the art diagnostic center  staffed by well trained people who have not yet figured out how to replicate America's "fucked up" health care system.

Monday
Oct102011

"It's not that hard".........Howard Schultz


     Each time I hear Howard Schultz, the Starbuck's guy, voicing  his view that  politics is ruining the economy and thereby the nation, a flicker of hope wells up in my gut.  His candid, reasoned, and grounded dialogue is encouraging.  For me however there is a "credibility gap".  Given Schultz's prominence, and his Democratic leaning, why has he not had a a "sit down" with Obama to find out directly why  he and the President are so out of sync. Surly these guy talk.  A public reconciling would be informative.  That this conversation is not out there, either first hand or recounted, is perplexing and perhaps even suspect.

Monday
Aug012011

High Tea Pummels Low-T

     For weeks now the only refuge from the "Debt Crisis" coverage has been the absurd "Big Pharm" commercials misleading the nation's "Uneducated" about how to defense their miserable lives from overwhelming fatalism.  If your favorite SNRI anti depressant doesn't adequately dial you down then maybe your a low ability dude and need some "Abilify" to insure that you reach a "who gives a shit" state of mind . If to the contrary, you want to stay in the game but are just to frightened to do "Conan Behaviour", you are perhaps suffering from Low-T and need a Testosterone Hit.  For sure our articulate and even tempered Commander and Chief is of the later ilk.  Will Obama next year fall before the Tea Party juggernaut?  Who knows!  He may well successfully sell moral ism, arguing that he is the "suffering messiah" who honorably agreed to "take one for the team".  If it turns to be so, then it will be a season of "Tea and Sympathy".

Monday
Aug012011

Ozark Moutain Bank Goes Highbrow!

Normally I don't look to the New York Times Sunday Review for "good old fashion belly laughter", but yesterday was an exception. Yes, "Web Advertising" often produces some strange content/advertiser bedfellows, but for God's Sakes how many of the very few East Coast Elites reading the Times Culture Section might have taken in the expensive "Banner Ad" from the Ozark Mountain Bank Seriously, what a stupid waste of money.  The Bank should be trying to give away their phantom $100, by putting flyers at the Unemployment Office, or by sponsoring a Blockbuster Promotion. (They could give away a "Winter Bones" Video with every $10,000 CD)  Washington seems to have no exclusive franchise on stupid.  We here in the "Ozark Mountains" be wastin' what little we ain't done spent!

Saturday
May142011

A Sore Foot and a Weak Mind

     For weeks I have endured a painful gout/arthritis inflamed foot.  After a steroid packet yielded reprieve/confirm/resume, I settled in to the minimum doses of indomethacin that allowed me to get vertical.  I am not attracted to alternative medicine/therapies, and although I have occasionally downed a blackcherry extract with unconfirmed benefit, I usually pass on the latest and greatest "web-remedy".  Yesterday, however, in a moment of naive curiosity, mixed with pain, I played patient for a co-worker who moonlights as a massage therapist/reflexologist.  Her siren song extolled the miracle of a "negative-ion foot bath".  With nominal death risk anxiety, I emersed both feet in a plastic container filled with bottled spring water water laced with Morton's Sea Salt, into which my "therapist" placed an electrode device connected by insulated wire to a blinking box accepting 110v electrical current. (Of course it was safe...she bought it on Amazon).

     Within minutes the clear water in the white container started to stain with streaks of brown/green/red, and a scummy foam began to form around the submerged devise.  Close inspection revealed that the weak coffee colored water held in suspension massive numbers of granules ranging from speck to pin head size. I did not shout out "Cured at last, Almighty Lord, I am Cured at Last", but, I did think that something had happened that I did not understand.  My therapist, now joined by a seasoned Registered Nurse and a much experienced Licensed Practical Nurse, who had been invited to "audit the session", explained that the water, now super saturated with "negative ions"  had, "through a complicated chemical reaction" bound to heavy metals, joint inflammation matter,  and excess minerals,  being drawn from my body by "magnetic force".  The residue,  excreted through the pores in my feet, would, I was assured, fix my damnable sore foot.

     It has been but a few hours since my "brown water miracle" and with pain still a foot, I have turned to Google Search to pass the time until, as any decent practioner will confirm, "the cure manifests".

     Fourteen minutes have now passed, and I now have a fairly comprehensive understanding of the "brown water non-miracle", compliments of wikipedia and a few derivative reference papers on the general subject of 'Ionic Bonding", a well known occurance within the complex of electromechanical force.  Without a lot of detail...ionic bonding is a kind of chemical bonding that arises from the mutual attraction of oppositely charged ions.  The most common type of ionic bonding is seen in compounds of metals and nonmetals.  When a highly electropositive metal is combined with a highly electronegative nonmetal, the extra electrons from the metal atoms are transferred to the electron-deficient nonmetal atoms. This reaction produces metal cations and nonmetal anions, which are attracted to each other to form a salt.  The metals of the electrodes l lose or gain mass, and react with the salt (or other electrolyte) in the water to form colored salts which may or may not be soluble.  Or put more simply.....after the unit is allowed to work for several minutes, the bath will fill with iron-chloride (with or without feet). It is from the electrolytic interaction between sodium chloride (salt) that was put into the water, and the iron in the electrodes. (This process can be easily repeated by dissolving a spoon full of salt in a glass of water. Connect the poles of a 9v battery to two large nails and place them in the water (they must not touch). First you will see gas bubbles, than after a while the water turns brown.) As for the gooey, frothy floating stuff.....the water containes oil and sweat from a participants skin, which will react with the Sodium Hydroxide (Lye, or NaOH) produced by the electrolytic reaction to form soap, which in combination with the chlorine and/or Hydrogen bubbles, will make a nice froth, which adds to the nastiness.  In summary.....salt water reacts to electrodes, and basically form iron/rust. Lab test on the water after a so called treatment come back as just iron/rust. No parasites, heavy metals, or toxins. 

    This is too fucking bad.  I was so hoping for a miracle..... but I will not dispair!  Having been a Business Major at a State University, I totally missed physics and organic chemistry and, so it would seem, a capacity for rational thought.  I will most likley bite on many more "miracles" in my days because Google's AdWords knows I'm a Mark!