GOOD, BAD, AVERAGE

Here’s a multiple-choice question for you.  Pick the most accurate answer if you can:

A. Yesterday was a good day.

B. Yesterday was a bad day.

C. Yesterday was an average day.

While this appears to be an easy question to answer, it’s not!  What makes the answer difficult is that the answers are often determined by many factors.  Here’s how my day went.

The morning hours were good.  I wrote an article I was pleased with.  Physical therapy went well and I was “On” most of the morning.  Yesterday morning was an “A.”

At noon, I sat down to eat lunch and review my Facebook page.  On my high school page was a death notice.  A kid who sat next to me in math died.  While I haven’t seen him in years, I felt the loss.  Anytime one of my classmates dies it’s a reminder that I’m on the downhill side of life.  Yesterday, at noon, was a “B”.  

Yesterday afternoon, my doctor did a shave biopsy on my back.  Renee was worried about a mole that was changing so Dr Rosen biopsied it.  I’m blessed to have found Dr, Rosen.  Her skill set is excellent and the biopsy was painless.  She got an “A+.”

Last night, I received several calls from former patients.  Reminiscing with them was enjoyable, so I called a couple of other patients to check on them.  Last night would have been an “A” if my back hadn’t hurt.  The surgical site ached.  My lower back hurt as well.  Last night was a “C.”

If I look at any given day on average, “C” is the correct answer.  The point of this exercise is that every day has its good points, its bad points and its average points. If you’re having a bad day, wait it out knowing that an average or good day is coming. 

Sometimes, when things are bad, knowing that good days are bound to come helps.  Conversely, while good days are great, recognizing that bad days are bound to come lessens the impact of the bad day.

I often imagine that life is a roller coaster, with ups and downs:  the higher the up, the sharper and scarier the down.  In the end, the ride finishes on solid ground.  If you know that there are ups and downs ending on flat ground, you can enjoy the ride.  If you have no idea what the ride does, it’s going to scare the shit out of you and be a bad experience.  

Have a great ride.  Click here and listen to the music.  It fits today’s article to a tee.

Roller coasters are like your first-time having sex.

For the amount of time it takes to get there, you wish it lasted longer.

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THE ELECTION VIRUS

WOW, it’s almost over! No, not Covid, the Election Virus.  Yes, the Presidential election acts just like a virus and is every bit as dangerous as Covid. It spreads over the airwaves, infecting every household across America.  It turns normally sane individuals into devote radicals who attack anyone who doesn’t agree with them.  Rather than planting flowers, infected suburbanites plant signs in their yards professing allegiance to whichever virus has infected them.

The Election Virus attacks the civil, truthful area of our brains.  If you don’t believe me, just watch TV for a couple of hours.  Watch the virus grow as it proclaims that a particular individual (fill in any name you want) is an unfaithful cheat, liar, and is going to ultimately destroy the universe as we know it.  She’s really a socialist who is going to kill our democratic state. 

Her opponent is equally as bad.  He has allied himself with the devil and anybody who supports him must be evil and willing to sacrifice the elderly and the young to get him elected.  He’s a liar as well.  In fact, if you listen to the commentators, all candidates are liars, hiding the truth about their

 intentions until after they are elected.

How do you know a candidate is lying?  His lips are moving!  Proof positive of the premise that they all lie can be found in the Presidential Debates.  The moderator asks a question and the candidates go into a 2-minute speech that doesn’t answer the question.  The candidates banter back and forth (still avoiding giving an answer) spewing forth hatred and inuendo but never answering a single question.  The virus seems to penetrate deep into the brain, killing off civility and decorum. 

Unlike Covid-19, we have a cure for the Presidential Virus.  It’s called elections.  Yes, go out and vote.  Elect whichever scum bag you believe is the least likely to destroy the universe as you know it; and, miraculously, the signs will go away, the fliers in your mailbox will disappear and the airwaves will be sanitized, removing those hateful advertisements.

Unfortunately, the damage is done and the divisiveness caused by this horrendous virus will linger a longtime.  Then, as always, it will return on its predestined 4-year cycle.  What a pity!  Covid kills people. The Presidential Virus kills our faith in others and our ability to tell the truth from the lies that make up the heart of politics.

I honestly believe that good hearted people go to Washington with the best of intents and then get infected with the political viruses that have devoured our hearts and souls.  What a pity!

Only 5 more days!

Here’s your song.  Listen to it and you’ll realize how well it portrays today’s political environment.  Here’s your joke.  Who’s on first?  It is a perfect example of the debates!

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INSURANCE

I just read an article on KevinMD that took me back in time to my first meeting with what was to become America’s Grandmaster, the insurance industry.  Most of you remember a time when there was no insurer standing between you and your doctor.

Yep, you paid me and then, if you had insurance, you submitted the bill to your insurer, and he reimbursed you.  School physicals were $15-20.  Office visits were not much more.  Lab and x-ray done in the office were at bargain rates.  So, what happened?

One day I was working in my office when two suits asked if I could spare them a few minutes to talk about the future of medicine and the insurance industry.  Their cards revealed that they worked for one of the larger insurers.  I had some free time, so I had them brought to my office.

To cut to the chase, they offered me the first insurance contract I had ever seen offering me access to their insured patrons for a discounted rate and a new rule book.  I thanked them and promised to review the contract and let them know if I was going to sign it.

“Oh, you’ll sign it!” is one of those statements you try to forget but that eventually resurfaced.  He continued stating that, if I didn’t sign the contract now, I would probably not be able to get future contracts.  He inferred that his company would put me out of business.

Summing up my youthful arrogance, I reached in the draw and pulled out my tape recorder.  I asked him to repeat what he just said so that I could go to the States Attorney and he responded with, “You obviously don’t know how big we really are, you should sign the contract.”

I showed them the door.  Later, I told Renee I would never sign their contracts. We would practice as before.  Boy, was I young and stupid?  I really didn’t realize how big and all powerful they would become.  I get a little nervous anytime I write anything negative about the beast.

Oh yeah, they are the beast and it’s almost impossible to find a medical practice that has not been consumed by the beast and his contracts.  So, what can you and I do?  Nothing! 

Well, there is one thing.  Thank your physician for the care they give you. While thanks will not make up for their cut in pay on a monetary basis, it will shore-up their emotional side and keep them practicing.

Here’s your music and joke for a day.

Four insurance companies are in competition.

One comes up with the slogan, “Coverage from the cradle to the grave.” 


The Second one tries to improve on that with, “Coverage from the womb to the tomb.” 


Not to be outdone, the third one comes up with, “From the sperm to the worm.” 


The fourth insurance company really thought hard and almost gave up the race, but finally came up with, “From the erection to the resurrection.”

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PANDEMIC FATIGUE

PANDEMIC FATIGUE; I’ve got it! I just watched a podcast by ZdoggMD that introduced me to this term.  I’m fed up with the doom and gloom associated with Covid-19.  I’m stressed out all over the choices I have to make.  I have the worst cabin fever I’ve ever experienced.

Zdogg makes very valid observations about “Pandemic Fatigue” and the importance of figuring out what we deem is really important (what we value).  He then lists what each of us can do:

  1. Respect the opinions and values of others
  2. Treat others as if they are adults
  3.  We should have zero tolerance for those that shame others
  4. Recognize that there is still much about this virus that is uncertain, none of the science is perfectly clear
  5. Follow the advice of the public authorities

As for me, I’m having a pity party this weekend.  I’ve weighed what’s important to me; and, right now, it’s to enjoy what life I have left.  A major part of which is food. So, I’ll eat. I’m off my diet long enough to feast on steamed blue crabs shipped in from Baltimore and corned beef on seedless rye shipped in from Chicago. 

I’ll continue to mask in public and practice social distancing; and, of course, I’ll wash my hands.  Hopefully, I’ll get to enjoy an in-person Thanksgiving.  Oh, yeah, I will return to dieting.  I value the ability to walk and carrying 35 extra pounds of fat makes walking difficult.

While I agree we respect the opinion of others, I am disturbed by the number of people who have already decided that they will not be vaccinated when the new vaccine is available.  I’ve fielded multiple questions about this and have told everyone the same answer. I won’t know what I’m going to do until I actually see the scientific data pertaining to the specific approved vaccine.

Here’s your music for today and a joke.

A congregation honors a rabbi for twenty-five years of service by sending him to Oahu for a week, all expenses paid. When he enters his hotel room, there’s a nude girl lying on the bed.
He picks up the phone, calls his temple, and says, “Where is your respect? As your rabbi, I am extremely angry with you.”
Hearing this, the girl immediately gets up and starts to get dressed.
He says, “Where are you going? I’m not angry with you…”

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LIAR

Yesterday, I started a new TV series called “Liar.”  I also watched the Presidential debate. The debate and TV series had much in common. Both dealt with liars and both proved that discerning the truth can be next to impossible.

From1984 until I retired in 2019, I did school and college physicals.  During a routine college physical, I would talk about safe sex, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and, believe it or not, rape.  Yes, over the years I saw students who were damaged by sexual assaults and rape.  To everyone’s surprise, I also saw males who were raped.

When first presented with the idea that a male could be raped by a female, most males looked at me like I was nuts!  Some remarked that, if a woman wanted to rape him, he gladly give in.  They thought the whole thing was a joke.

I assured them it was no joke, then proceeded to detail a male rape one of my patients was involved in.  It certainly was not a joke.  The young man in question went to a frat party.  He met a young woman and they hit it off big time.  A few drinks later and they were in his room.  He was in seventh heaven when she started loosening his belt and lowering his zipper and they made love.  He awoke the next morning, under the covers, wrapped around this beautiful woman that he surely was going to call his girlfriend.

Then, she woke up, looked at him and screamed, “You raped me!”  The authorities were called, and the investigation begun. The story told above is related by my patient.  Her story is obviously different.  So, who is the liar?  After months of hardships for both parties, the charges were dropped.  

Apparently, she was very religious and had planned to be a virgin when she married.  At first, she swore he must have drugged her; but, after her friend testified, it became apparent that she was a consenting party. Luckily for my patient, her friend was in the other bed in the room making love with my patient’s roommate.

Watching the miniseries “Liar” is freaky as the stories are almost identical.  My patient never got over the rape accusation.  To this day, there are those who believe he is a rapist who got away with it.  The damage to his reputation is permanent.  His emotional scars are huge.

Alerting patients to a risk requires giving them a solution.  I advised my young students to never accept a one-night stand.  Knowledge of the person you are going to sleep with is vital.  Further, it is wise to avoid drugs and alcohol until the relationship is solid.  Next, ask for permission and be sure you have it.  Lastly, be responsible for contraception and STD prevention.

Remember, it is very difficult to discern the truth from a lie even when there are fact checkers like those who work for the networks and reviewed last night’s debate.  The last thing you want is to have the police acting as your fact checker.

Here’s your music for the day and a joke. 

minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.”

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”

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SUPER SPREADERS

I had a brilliant thought last night as I was going to sleep.  The only problem is I can’t remember it this morning.  In the past, some of my best work has been done in that quasi sleep state that occurs just before I go fully to sleep.  I should have gotten up and written it down, but I didn’t and now it may be lost.

My sleep cycle is terrible.  I can’t find a comfortable position.  Once asleep, I can’t stay asleep as I, like most 69-year-old men, have to get up to pee.  I thought 69 would be a great age.  I graduated high school in 69 and 69 is my favorite . . . number.  Boy, was I wrong!

Covid-19 is continuing to rape pillage and destroy as it comes around for its second attack. It’s a scourge of biblical proportions. I want to paint the doorpost of my house with lambs’ blood and pray that it passes over, but I won’t.  My neighbors would not like that.

We have two big events coming up, both of which spell trouble.  Election day looks to be one super spreader event.  I voted last week and there was not 6 feet of separation.  Hell, 1/3 of the people voting were not wearing mask.  Renee and I maintained an 8 foot radius around us and we were masked.  The line was 90 minutes long.  Please go out and vote but be careful.  I suggest eating a lot of cabbage the night before and using the gas produced by the cabbage to defend your personal space.

The second big event is Thanksgiving.  As families come together for the holiday, the chances of spreading the virus to loved ones increases geometrically.  Killing an elderly parent with love and a portion of Covid-19 is going to haunt you forever.  If you are going to have a family gathering, it might be wise to isolate yourself for the 2 weeks prior just to be on the safe side.  Two weeks of isolation is not too much to ask of you in order to spend time safely with family and loved ones while giving thanks for having survived one of the worst years ever.

While I’m on a roll, let’s not forget Black Friday.  This year, Black Friday may well live up to its name.  I know that the sales are too good to resist but going to brick and mortar stores may lead to going to brick and mortar mausoleums at a later date.  That sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I hope I’m just an alarmist but waiting in line to save $300 dollars on a TV just isn’t worth it.  Use the internet and stay healthy.

Well, that’s my uplifting message for today.  I still haven’t remembered my brilliant idea.  If it comes to me tonight, I’ll be sure to write it down.

Here’s your music and a joke.

How is sex like a game of bridge? If you have a great hand, you don’t need a partner.

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IN MY BABY’S EYES

Did you ever have one of those days that just sucks? I do and this started off as one of those days.  I awoke at 3:18 am and couldn’t go back to sleep.  My body hurt and my mind was going a mile a minute.  I turned on the bathroom light and Jabba the Hut was staring at me in the mirror.  Unfortunately, I was not hallucinating.  Actually, I think I’m heavier than Jabba.

I brushed my teeth and stuttered stepped into the kitchen, My Parkinson’s was particularly bad.  It took 10 minutes to get to the kitchen table and set up my computer.  I started to write and realized that any depressed person reading my article might choose suicide rather than continuing to read it.

I punted and took some meds, then settled into my lift chair and tried to listen to a book.  Concentrating on my book was impossible so I dosed off for 15 minutes.  On awakening, my brain said I should eat.  Instead, I reset my book to the chapter it was on before I fell asleep and started the cycle all over again.  I repeated the doze, reset and dose cycle over and over again until Lisa showed up with Hudson.

Hudson is 7 months old.  People say he looks like me.  The first thing he does is throw me a smile.  The smile is followed by a giggle.  He starts into a cycle of smile, giggle all the while staring at me.  He makes me smile, then I laugh.  I guess he likes Jabba.  

He has a magical effect on me.  My rotten day gets better.  In my baby’s eyes, I see a better world.  In his laughter, I find a reason to smile.  This is the first time I see him roll over.  Rolling over is a major milestone and I see all of his future accomplishments.  My day gets better by the minute.

Then he cries.  He’s hungry, has pooped and needs a nap.  I now see a baby who needs his grandmother.  In comes Renee to the rescue.  He needs grandma time.  When he smiles again, I’ll be there smiling back.

Baby smiles are the best medicine available.  I’ll take all I can get. I’ll even share a few with Renee.

Here’s your music for the day and a joke. 

The nurse told the parents of a newly born child, “You have a cute baby.”
The smiling husband said, “I bet you say that to all new parents.”
“No,” she replied, “just to those whose babies really are good-looking.”
The husband again asked, “So what do you say to the others?”
The nurse replied, “The baby looks just like you.”

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INFLUENZA

Every year in October, I write about the flu shot.  When I was in practice, I invested a large amount of my time convincing patients to get a flu shot.  As a businessman, it was time poorly spent as I made very little money by giving patients the influenza vaccine.

As a physician, it was my sworn duty to protect my patients from preventable diseases; and, even though the influenza vaccine was inconsistent in its ability to protect my patients, it was the best I had.  So, I spent 10 minutes per visit teaching my patients the ins and outs of the flu shot.  Often, my patients would refuse my offer justifying their decision based on crap they gleaned from the internet.

About 10 years ago I had an epiphany.  It dawned on me that, if my patients received the flu shot, I would make $2 but if they got influenza I would make $300.  At that point, I changed tactics.  I started into my educational promotion of the influenza vaccine and as soon as my patient balked, I switch to giving them the economic information listed above.  It worked and a greater percentage of my patients consented and received the vaccine.

The media, insurance companies, internet, and government have done a great job at convincing the public that doctors aren’t to be trusted. Those of my readers who know me well, know that you can trust me.  So, trust me and get your flu shot ASAP.  If for any reason you feel the internet is more trustworthy than your doc, get a new doc.

One last point.  You want to find a doctor to care for you and your family, not a “provider.”  It may sound like the difference is simply semantics.  It’s not!  It’s philosophical!!  I’m a doctor no matter how the insurance company labels me.  My new doc is a doctor as well.  She’ll go to bat for me when necessary.  A “provider” will not.  Ultimately, it boils down to the fact that the “provider” works for the insurance company and the doctor works for his/her patients.

Here’s a song for today and a joke.

Doc – “You’re very sick!”

Patient – “Can I get a second opinion?”

Doc – “Of course.  You’re ugly, too.”

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A GREAT DAY

It’s a great day.  I’ve been up since 4 am and am feeling almost normal.  My Hands are better, my gait is better, but my weight is up a pound.  At 7 am, I went out hunting for a pecan danish.  Renee rarely asks for anything but yesterday I caught her looking for a bakery.  She wanted a pecan danish.

Living in North Carolina after living in Chicago is akin to living on the moon. In Illinois, I had at least 5 bakeries within an 8 mile radius.  I can’t find a bakery within 10 miles of home.  I ended up at Publix Supermarket this am.

They did not have any pecan danishes, but they did have sticky buns.

I can’t figure out how I’m fat!  None of the foods I like can easily be found here.  I’d give my left nut for a hot corned beef and pastrami sandwich (the hell with the diet).  I’d also love to find a good Chinese Restaurant, a Polish Deli, a Chicago style pizza and a Lettuce Entertain You establishment.  None exist here.  I’m also surprised to find that southern fried chicken has been replaced by Popeyes and Bojangles.

I have to admit, I’ve fallen in love with pimento cheese and Brookwood Farm BBQ but they fail to fill the void.  Obviously, I’m obsessing over food and I’m not even stoned.  I guess I’m lucky.  I’m 40 pounds too heavy surviving on my own cooking.  I’ve always loved to cook and Renee loves to bake.  So, while I can, I cook and Renee just thinks about baking because she loves me and knows I’ll eat what she bakes. I can only imagine how fat I’d be if I had a few really good eating establishments.

I’m sticking with Weight Watchers and am down 5 pounds.  I have to control my food obsession.  I’m trying to substitute sex but Renee claims I’m killing her.  I tried to substitute exercise but that was killing me.  I think getting a job would help but getting a license to practice telemed from home in NC is not realistic.  I’m running out of answers and am open to suggestions.

In the meantime, I’ll keep writing and work on a book looking at how to transition from health to chronic illness gracefully.  Unfortunately, I’ve yet to figure out how to do that.

Here’s your music and a joke.  

A family is at the dinner table. The son asks the father, “Dad, how many kinds of boobs are there?” The father, surprised, answers, “Well, son, a woman goes through three phases. In her 20s, a woman’s breasts are like melons, round and firm. In her 30s and 40s, they are like pears, still nice, hanging a bit. After 50, they are like onions.” “Onions?” the son asks. “Yes. You see them and they make you cry.” This infuriated his wife and daughter. The daughter asks, “Mom, how many different kinds of willies are there?” The mother smiles and says, “Well, dear, a man goes through three phases also. In his 20s, his willy is like an oak tree, mighty and hard. In his 30s and 40s, it’s like a birch, flexible but reliable. After his 50s, it’s like a Christmas tree.” “A Christmas tree?” the daughter asks. “Yes, dead from the root up and the balls are just for decoration.”

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VOTE

I voted yesterday.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Renee and I went to the local fire station.  The lot was full of cars and the line wrapped around the building.  In years past, voting was quick and easy.  I never experienced lines.  Obviously, something has changed.  We were in line for 90 minutes.

The line was full of old people.  There was no attempt to maintain 6 feet of separation.  A few individuals wore no mask.  A fair amount of people wore their masks inappropriately.  There were no antiseptic solutions.  One woman coughed.  I kept more than 6 feet of separation and stayed away from the cougher.

It felt good to vote but the authorities did little to comply with the official recommendations.  It’s sad when, in the midst of a pandemic, the officials in charge are so poorly prepared to protect the community.  I wonder how other polling places are handling the masses.

When you go to vote, be careful!  Wear your masks, keep your distance and take disinfectant hand spray with you.  Be savvy, watch those around you for any signs of illness and stay away from anyone who is coughing.

One more thing.  Encourage your adult children to vote.  The 30 somethings were not present in the line I stood in. I may be making too much out of nothing but I suspect their generation will be poorly represented for a multitude of reasons.

With so much changing so rapidly, voting is essential.  Let’s all pray that a vaccine is found and Covid-19 is eradicated.  Then, let’s pray that our response to the next viral attack is more effective.

Here is your music and a joke.  The song today is excellent!

A Harley Biker is sitting on his Harley, drinking a beer, by the Zoo in Washington, DC when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion’s cage.

Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the collar of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents.
The biker jumps off his Harley, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings the girl to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly. A reporter has watched the whole event.

The reporter, addressing the Harley rider says, “Sir, this was the most gallant and bravest thing I’ve seen a man do in my whole life.”

The Harley rider replies, “Why, it was nothing, really. The lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger and acted as I felt right.”

The reporter says, “Well, I’ll make sure this won’t go unnoticed. I’m a journalist, you know, and tomorrow’s paper will have this story on the front page. So, what do you do for a living, and what political affiliation do you have?”

The biker replies, “I’m a U.S. Marine, a Republican and I’m voting for Trump.”

The journalist leaves.

The following morning the biker buys the paper to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:

“U.S. MARINE ASSAULTS AFRICAN IMMIGRANT & STEALS HIS LUNCH”

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