Thursday, July 28, 2011

Have Purse Will Travel!

I spent some time in Chicago last week, but, more on that when I get some batteries and can download photos! As the time for the trip was approaching and our temps were in the upper 90s with heat indices of110-115 I knew I'd be HOT in Chicago. Soooo, I made myself a small purse with a side spot for a water bottle.

I made a long strap so it could go across my body for carrying ease. I used fabric I had in my stash--some vintage(the brown with flowers) and some new(the polka dots).

I put three pockets inside--one for my epi-pen, one for my phone, and one for my water bottle. It also had plenty of room for my sightseeing pamphlets and coin purse. I lined the water bottle pocket with insul-brite which helped keep it cool.

Not only did it save me from dying of thirst, it saved me some cash since I just refilled the water bottle along the way, and it saved my back since I wasn't carrying my heavy purse. Now I need to plan another trip so I get my money's worth put of it!!
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What If We Treated Doctors The Way We Treat Teachers?

I came across this while reading blogs today. I don't remember which one, but thank you for posting this.

Food for thought-----
"What If We Treated Doctors The Way We Treat Teachers? A good friend and colleague who is now in Chicago first gifted me with this parable. It's been in my thoughts lately as my wife pursues her medical degree. In fact, she and I have talked about this at length, and when making comparisons between how physicians and teachers are treated, she is just as astounded. Parallels are occasionally noted between medical training and education, especially the capstone clinical experiences present in both professions. Let us pretend that physicians of all specialties were held to similar measures of accountability and enveloped with the same kinds of discourses that we see in education reform debates. What might that look like, and how would the general public, in addition to doctors, feel about that? It would not take a skilled social scientist to observe that, despite exceptional achievements in treating disease and diagnostic technologies, for example, the medical profession is failing. It has failed in its tasks to disseminate good information about health, quash misconceptions, fight corporations and health lobbies that keep people sick, and prevent high rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, particularly in low-income populations. What do we do about this? Well, I have a few proposals listed in no particular order:

a.. We must begin to hold all physicians accountable, regardless of specialization, to certain quantifiable measures of health, namely cholesterol levels, blood pressure, weight, and BMI. All patients assigned to a physician must meet specific annual minimum standards of health. Bad doctors will be those who do not meet their patients' annual minimums, and they may be subject to certain penalties if the health scores of their patients do not improve in a reasonable amount of time.

a.. It will be mandatory for the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as all of the major governing bodies in medicine, to set a goal for reaching universal health and well-being in the United States. That is, a target year will be identified in which every person will achieve the ideal values in cholesterol, blood pressure, and BMI. Future targets may include assessments of mental health. A specific interval of time will also be determined to assess all patients for these values. Although pharmaceuticals may be used to stabilize or improve health outcomes, the patient must not be on any medications at the time of assessment unless approved by an official of the administrative body of the national health assessments.

a.. Quantifiable variables will be utilized to evaluate all practices and hospitals. All of this information will be made public. Additionally, medical schools will be evaluated based on the quantifiable health of patients in the care of their graduates. Medical schools will subsequently be ranked based on the health outcomes of their graduates' patients regardless of specialty. Given more advanced statistical models, these numbers could ultimately be used to assess the impact of pre-medical programs at the undergraduate level.

a.. In certain high needs areas, such as family practice, emergency medicine, or in practices in low income areas, alternative routes to being licensed will be provided. Moreover, data will determine what skills are necessary to impart in the curriculum of such programs. For instance, if a certain community prevails in specific medical conditions over others, then time will not be wasted covering rare conditions so that alternative programs can operate expeditiously.

a.. Barriers to participation will be lowered in certain instances, in the form of direct subsidies or significant tax exemptions, for the opening of small hospitals or short-term care centers by private organizations or motivated members of the community.

a.. Any hospital or practice is subject to a turnaround plan if minimum health requirements are not met. Should the facility not meet those requirements of minimum annual health, the entire staff will be terminated and reconstituted with more competent practitioners. Moreover, staff may be required to enroll in continuing medical education in advanced and remedial level re-licensing courses, including basic physics, chemistry, and biology.

a.. In addition to in- or out-of-network information and basic demographics, an online data warehouse will be established that will provide all health data and outcomes for every licensed physician in the United States, regardless of specialty. The individual physician's education, license information, and health outcomes of patients will be listed. Should in-network physicians be deemed unfit for local health care consumers, the Federal government, with matching funds by health providers, will offer subsidies for consumers to see other practitioners.

a.. Finally, a certain percentage of any and all physicians' patients will be assigned to them, care of those who qualify will be fully covered by providers. This will ensure adequate racial, income, and overall demographic diversity of clientele. The annual minimum health outcome data of these patients will also be included in the physician's overall quality.

Did I miss any? What if we indeed held doctors and other professionals to the same bloat and condescension that we currently hold teachers? I can predict some of the responses that physicians might make: "We can't control what our patients do or eat outside of our offices to maintain minimum levels of health. Also, these variables -- BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure -- are limited and don't adequately measure a healthy person. And one other thing, you can't expect us to be evaluated based on all patients equally, regardless of family history, poverty, and other complications."


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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Catch Up Time!

Time flies when you're having fun.......or when you are busy, busy, busy!!  The past couple of weeks we have been working hard in our basement which we have been trying to finish since last October.  We are bound and determined to complete it this month so we can move on to something else!  I will share photos when we are done.  I have to admit that my help is sporadic as I work, rest my feet, work, rest my feet, get the picture!  Bud has done the bulk of the work without much help.

I've also spent time going to physical therapy for my foot that I had surgery on, and for the heel of my other foot which has tendonitis from heel spurs. (I'm falling apart, I tell ya!)  I've been wearing a boot some on the heel foot now.  I'm now told that I won't be 100% healed for a year!!!!  I'm still supposed to be on reduced activity.  But, the heel is what is really slowing me down because of pain.  I go back to the doc Monday so we'll see what he has to say.

Bud and I spent a couple of days in Des Moines.  He was at a conference and I visited fabric stores and craft stores.  We had a nice supper and saw a movie, so we did have a little relaxing time.

And, my mom and aunt are here from Texas to help paint Trilby's new house.  I was lucky enough to spend some time helping with that too.  In the heat, no less!!
Mom really did do a little more than sit in the chair in front of the fan with the dogs......she sat in the air conditioned camper with Grayson so Tanner could paint!!!  Tough jobs, but someone had to do them.  (she really has been a lot of help)

One Saturday while Bud and Travis worked at Trilby''s house, I had lunch with these three and their moms.

It's always nice to spend time with the kids and grandkids!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July Fun!

We spent the weekend camping with my sister, Kathy, and three of our grandsons.  Kathy's two grandchildren visited for the day on Saturday, and Tasha, Kyle, and Clara came out several times.
There was a lot of fishing going on.
Grandpa needed a little help with the boys fishing, so Kathy went to help.  He had lost his patience, not to  mention, sinkers, hooks, bobbers, string, fish, etc. etc!!  He tells me fishing with a 4 year old, 8 year old, and 10 year old kept him quite busy enough that he didn't really have time to fish!
We took the little ones to the playground where they had a great time...
well, the boys did anyway! 
 Dakota took a little snooze!
There was a little baseball....
Clara enjoyed the outdoors.
Bud smoked some great ribs that were so yummy I didn't even get a picture of them! 
Of course the boys wouldn't let us get by without visiting our usual ice cream shop....which I also didn't get pictures of!
We were so busy my sewing stuff never came out of the corner!
I can't resist this last photo, so if a little bare butt bothers you....move on!
With two little country boys who are just potty trained, and the timber so close we saw a lot of this!
The raccoons visited us each night, but only got a treat one night when Bud forgot to put the garbage away!  And the deer were close, watching us sit by the campfire another night.  
We love this camping spot, but alas, so do others, and we can't get it again until September!!

"The worst day fishing, is better than the best day at work!"
says Bud!!