SHOULD IT BE A CRIME?

While I’m still in the midst of a writer’s block, I’m pissed!  Well, maybe pissed is not the right description of what I’m feeling.  I’m also amazed, confused, a little scared and, at the same time, see some humor in this world!  Yes, I’m rapidly cycling all of these emotions and more because of Covid-19.

What started me down this road is my vacation to Hilton Head with my dearest friends and Renee.  Abe and I have traveled together for years.  Whenever we get together, the child in me comes out to play.  I get younger, laugh more and really enjoy life, at least for a while.

Unfortunately, this trip is different.  The President’s admission to Walter Reed Hospital should have awakened the country to the need for wearing a mask!  The President’s infection should scare the crap out of everyone.  It hasn’t.

Yesterday, Abe and I (both wearing N 95 masks) were getting on an elevator in our hotel.  Abe had a case of vodka on his shoulder.  At the far side of the elevator was a maskless man, his 3-year-old son (masked) and his wife (masked, as well). The young father told us that we needed to get off the elevator as the rule was one family at a time.  We got off.  While we could have maintained adherence to the six-foot rule, there was no reason to argue. 

In Hilton Head, South Carolina, not wearing a mask is illegal.  People still won’t wear masks.  This young father, while keeping the six-foot rule when it fit into what he was doing, obviously was not going to obey the law when it comes to wearing masks.

Given that President Trump has run his own experiment proving that even the President needs a mask and, given that in SC wearing a mask is mandated by law, and that if Mr. No Mask were to get infected his young child would be at risk, then could not wearing a mask be construed as child neglect? 

Sound harsh?  It is!  It’s time to get harsh and serious.  The law states you have to stop at a “stop” sign.  Running a stop sign puts you and your community at risk of harm.  Can you imagine if some drivers decided that stopping at “stop” signs was inconvenient and started running “stop” signs?  Well, as long as running a stop sign is an offense that the police will ticket you for, the vast majority of people will stop.  Until the laws governing mask are real laws and not just mandates, and until the police ticket people for not wearing a mask, there will be more Mr. No Masks.  The majority of people will get away with not wearing a mask.  Those, like our President, who get sick, will regret it!  They will infect their friends and family.  You may even see them on the news as the reporter tells you a heart wrenching story of the life and death of a young father and his child from Covid-19.

So, wear your mask, keep at least 6 feet apart, wash your hands and get your flu shot. By the way, Americans like to make up their own rules, justifying their actions based on internet garbage.  Simply put, stop it.  Follow the rules as if they were “stop” signs and maybe you’ll avoid big trouble.

Here’s your music and a joke. 

A man just back from a long trip through the tropics starts feeling very unwell. He goes to see his doctor but passes out in the office and is rushed to hospital for tests.

The man wakes up alone in a private room, feeling awful, wondering what is happening to him. Soon, a phone by his bed rings:

“This is your doctor. We have the results of your tests. You have an extremely nasty syndrome called BASE. It’s a coinfection of Bird Flu, Anthrax, SARS and Ebola.”

“Oh my god! …What’s going to happen, Doctor?”

“First we’re going to put you on a diet of pizza, Fruit Leather and wafers.”

“And that’ll help me???”

“Not really, but… it’s the only food we can fit under the door.”

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THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT

Renee and I are binging on a Netflick series about the devil.  Lucifer, the devil, takes a vacation on earth and teams up with a homicide detective to solve various crimes and punish the bad guys.

Lucifer’s relationship with the homicide detective and later with a psychiatrist start to soften and humanize the devil.  Despite the fact that no one believes him, Lucifer, who never tells a lie, tells everyone he is the devil and often talks of his father (God) in derogatory terms.  Lucifer blames all of the world’s misery on his father.  He’s not happy with his mother either.

The show, while hysterical, is also what my friend refers to as a chick flick.  Lucifer and Detective Decker fall in love and much of the show revolves around the on-again off again relationship.  Realistically, the show is a psychodrama as the writers dissect the relationships between:

Detective Decker and Lucifer

Lucifer and his father (God)

Lucifer and his mother (Goddess)

Lucifer and his brothers (Angels)

Lucifer and his demon friend

Lucifer and his psychiatrist

God and the devil’s mother who he sent to Hell

In the last episode I watched, God visits earth and ends up in a psych ward.  Lately, with all the insanity going on in the world, I’ve postulated that God must be on vacation.  After watching Lucifer, I now wonder if God is on vacation and in a psych ward somewhere.

While the show is believable, it has one flaw.  Lucifer owns a night club.  To be more realistic, the writers should have made Lucifer an insurance executive or politician.  Of course, that would create a lot of issues with the main character as the devil takes great pride in the fact that he never lies, and we all know that politicians and insurance executives have perfected the art of lying. 

While this is not one of my better articles, I really think you ought to watch this show if for no other reason that it has a cast full of very talented and beautiful actors and actresses who will entertain you and make you think!  Wouldn’t it be nice if the Devil could be tamed?

Here’s your music and a joke.

One fine day, a priest, a rabbi, and a high priestess decide to all go fishing. They manage to get to the water, and off they go. One hour later, the high priestess says, “I think I forgot the food!” She steps off the boat, walks across the water, gets the picnic basket, and walks back! As they are eating, the priest thinks, “What a display. Jeez, where does she get off walkin’ on the water?” Right then, the rabbi says, “Oye! I forgot the drinks.” He steps right off the boat and walks across the water to get the drinks. By this time, the priest is very frustrated! He excuses himself, and as the priest steps out of the boat, he falls in the water. The high priestess turns to the rabbi and says, “You think we should have told him about the rocks?”

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TEMPLE YOU TUBE

I went to my brother’s temple for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.  My brother lives outside of Nashville and I live in Indian Trail, NC.  I didn’t have to shave or put on a suit.  I didn’t have to drive 8 hours.  Instead, I turned on the TV and tuned to You Tube.  Services were being broadcast across the country on ZOOM or You Tube, making it easy for anyone who wanted to join in to do so.

While I was on You Tube, I looked up the synagogue of my youth and was delighted to find that Rabbi Panitz, a brilliant theologian who communicates better than most clergy I have listened to, has multiple of his sermons posted for interested people to enjoy and appreciate. I also found a treasure trove of theologians discussing various religious topics.  Rabbi Friedman’s podcast entitled, “The Soul and the Afterlife.  Where do we go from here?” was of particular interest.

As Renee and I age, my belief system continues to change and evolve.  I continue to have lots of questions and no answers.  I’ve been complaining for months that there was nothing to do and nothing that held my interest or was intellectually stimulating.  I think I’ve found the answer to my boredom.  You Tube has come to the rescue with many hours of stimulating beliefs to devour and process.

Rabbi Friedman’s podcast was a good start and a believable explanation.  My current belief is that there is a hell and we are in it.  I figure heaven must exist and must be really well run.  Over the years, I’ve had a host of patients who complained about everything.  Some of them bitched about everything to the extent that I fully expected that once they died, they would come back.  I would not have been surprised had their ghost awakened me with complaints: “The food is terrible, the beds are too hard, my roommate is too loud, you have to wait for everything!”

Oh well, I’ll listen, learn and one day discover.  Unfortunately, by the time I’ve discovered the truth, I’ll be dead.  I wonder if I’ll publish a blog in heaven or wherever I end up.

Here’s your music and a joke. 

A cab driver reaches the pearly gates. St. Peter looks him up in his Big Book and tells him to pick up a gold staff and a silk robe and proceed into Heaven. Next in line is a preacher. St. Peter looks him up in his Big Book, furrows his brow and says, “OK, we’ll let you in, but take that cloth robe and wooden staff.” The preacher is shocked and replies, “But I am a man of the cloth. You gave that cab driver a gold staff and a silk robe. Surely I rate higher than a cabbie!” St. Peter responds matter-of-factly, “This is Heaven and up here, we are interested in results. When you preached, people slept. When the cabbie drove his taxi, people prayed.”

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MAY OR MAY NOT

As a practicing physician, I always hated the months of September and October.  In the medical world, autumn is when insurance and pharmacy plans started selling their newest products to the public and the business world. Patients are either given the opportunity to change or are forced to change by their employers.  On the surface, the changes are meant to decrease the financial impact of the ever-rising cost of insurance and medications.  In reality, the changes counterproductive and sometimes dangerous.

Patients who are well controlled on their current treatment regimen are often forced to change their medications as they are not on their new company’s formulary.  They may also be forced to change their doctors as their doctors may not be on their new insurance’s panel of approved physicians.  Along with the above-mentioned changes, patients will often need to come in to the office to discuss the changes and the possible side effects or drug interactions that may result from the change in therapy.  Further, there may be a change in preferred hospitals and pharmacies. 

Tampering with long standing, successful treatment protocols never made sense to me.  Insurers and pharmacy benefits managers actively sell their products as being new and improved.  Last night, I watched a Medicare Advantage commercial on TV.  I wanted to scream!  The insurer touted a host of free services that “MAY” be available to individuals who sign up for their policy.  According to the commercial, the policy “MAY” have a “ZERO” dollar copay and “MAY” provide for glasses and dental.

So, how does the insurer provide so much free stuff?  They don’t!  Instead, they “MAY” provide some freebies, but they take away freedom.  At a minimum, they tend to have restrictive physician panels, medication panels and copious amounts of meaningless data collections.  A year prior to my retirement, I inherited a very complex patient who needed three tests and four specialist referrals.  The patient had switched to a Medicare Disadvantage policy and was shocked to find that it took my office 6 months of work to finally get approvals for the referrals and tests ordered. Needless to say, he was furious.  Luckily, the 6-month delay in care did not result in any harm.  It could have!

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.  Before you make a switch in coverage, review it with your doctor or his billing department.  Obviously, if your employer forces the change, there probably is nothing you can do and you’ll probably need to comply with the new rules.

One last point.  When you hear the word “MAY,” think “MAY NOT.” “May” and “may not” always go together.   Make sure you know what you are getting and what you are losing.  Can you live with what “MAY NOT” be a covered option?

Here’s your music and a joke.  

30 Nasty Things A Woman Can Say To A Naked Man
1. I’ve smoked fatter joints than that.
2. Ahhhh, it’s cute.
3. Why don’t we just cuddle?
4. You know they have surgery to fix that.
5. Make it dance.
6. Can I paint a smiley face on it?
7. Wow, and your feet are so big.
8. It’s OK, we’ll work around it.
9. Will it squeak if I squeeze it?
10. Oh no… a flash headache.
11. (giggle and point)
12. Can I be honest with you?
13. How sweet, you brought incense.
14. This explains your car.
15. Maybe if we water it, it’ll grow.
16. Why is God punishing me?
17. At least this won’t take long.
18. I never saw one like that before.
19. But it still works, right?
20. It looks so unused.
21. Maybe it looks better in natural light.
22. Why don’t we skip right to the cigarettes?
23. Are you cold?
24. If you get me real drunk first.
25. Is that an optical illusion?
26. What is that?
27. It’s a good thing you have so many other talents.
28. Does it come with an air pump?
29. So this is why you’re supposed to judge people on personality.
30. I guess this makes me the early bird!!!


source: http://www.jokebuddha.com/Maybe#ixzz6ZB9zXdjm

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MEAL PLAN

My writer’s block continues as I search for a topic that will awaken my creative juices.  Everything revolves around Covid-19 and the upcoming elections.  I’m so sick of hearing the same things regurgitated over and over again.  I’m fairly certain that the overflow of data and pseudo-data is what has doused my fire!

So far this morning, the only thing that has held my attention is food.  When you are working on eating healthy and losing weight, getting excited about food is counterproductive.  Yet, here I sit pouring over the computer, hunting for healthy recipes for tonight’s dinner.  I think I’ll make Carolina pulled pork.

I’ll have to modify the recipe as it calls for brown sugar and sugar is a relative no, no.  To keep it healthy, I’ll use a lean pork tenderloin rather than a fatty pork butt.  I’m learning to use an Instant Pot, so I’ll slow cook the pork over many hours.

I’ve lost 6 pounds in 6 weeks.  I guess that’s not bad although, when I was young, I could lose 10 pounds in the first week.  I think you get the picture. Aging sucks.  Nothing works the same!  I need a roulette wheel with body parts listed instead of numbers.  I could spin it every am to find out what’s not going to be working today.

Today, it’s my hands.  I have bilateral trigger fingers that were getting better, but this am are flaring.  I truly don’t know why.  Yesterday, it was my back.  Tomorrow?  We’ll just have to see.  Meanwhile, I’d love to have a second roulette wheel designed for Renee.  Hers would be labeled with 10 yes slots for every no slot.  She could spin it in the morning and . .  . Well you get the picture.

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

A mother is in the kitchen making dinner for her family when her daughter walks in. “Mother, where do babies come from?” The mother thinks for a few seconds and says, “Well dear, Mommy and Daddy fall in love and get married. One night they go into their bedroom, they kiss and hug, and have sex.” The daughter looks puzzled so the mother continues, “That means the daddy puts his penis in the mommy’s vagina. That’s how you get a baby, honey.” The child seems to comprehend. “Oh, I see, but the other night when I came into your room you had daddy’s penis in your mouth. What do you get when you do that?” “Jewelry, my dear. Jewelry.”

Your recipe.

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200,000 PLUS

Two hundred thousand lives lost.  Take a few minutes and let that settle in.  For the last 6 months, the news has bombarded us with the Covid-19 death toll on an hourly basis.  I really think that we have been desensitized to such a degree that 200,000 deaths have very little impact on our society.  

Certainly, it has not impacted the deniers, those individuals and groups who have sold themselves on the premise that Covid-19 is a hoax.  Then there is the group who hate/refuse to wear masks.  You would think two hundred thousand lives lost would be enough to convince you to use a mask even if you were convinced that masks were worthless. 

What have you got to lose?  The chances of wearing a mask causing harm is ridiculously small.  The chances of social distancing causing harm are also small.  So, maybe you don’t get laid as often.  Can you live with the consequences of wearing a mask and practicing social distancing?  I certainly can.

When I started in medical school in 1974, I would have laughed at you if you told me 200,000 lives would be lost to a viral infection in 8 short months.  I would have told you that modern medicine was on the cusp of eliminating measles, mumps, polio and smallpox.  I would have explained that the influenza vaccine was a modern-day miracle reducing the incidence of deaths from influenza significantly.  

In fact, over the 40 years I practiced medicine, I experienced fewer and fewer deaths from infection.  If my memory serves me well, I don’t believe I had any deaths from infection during my last 5 years in practice.  Once upon a time, I had a large “sick” waiting room and a small “well” room.  The sick patients far out numbered the well patients.  Then came the Pneumovax vaccine and the tide turned, with well patients out numbering the sick patients. 

So, what happened?  Did nature just screw us?  Did we become too complacent?  We prided ourselves in having the best medical care in the world.  At one time, I believed we were the best.  I don’t anymore!  Our system is so screwed up that doctors are called providers and spend large parts of their days providing data to their employers, insurance companies and the government.  Patients can’t afford half of what is ordered and are at the mercy of their insurers’ clerks, begging for approval of medicine and test.  By the time I retired, I had concluded that the insurers were a de facto government and that doctors and patients’ sole job was to bolsters the insurers profitability at any cost. 

If we had a system that demanded the best possible patient care and not the collection of data, a system that re-invested the majority of healthcare profits into research and development of new treatments/technologies, then we might already have a vaccine and reliable testing for Covid-19.  Certainly, we would not have lost 200,000 souls.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 has brought out the worst in us all.  It has become a political issue, dividing us into many camps.  Covid-19 has created an atmosphere of distrust, false science and manipulative statistics.  Covid-19 has stoke all kinds of conspiracy theories that read like a Vince Flynn novel.  Personally, I think we were attacked.  I think we are in the midst of WW III and have lost the battle and maybe the war.

What’s going to be left when Covid-19 is controlled?  Will life ever resume as it was prior to the year 2020?  The only thing I know is that the American medical system is doomed.  It needs to be gutted and rebuilt from the ground up.  I can’t believe that I’m going to say this out loud, but I think a single payor system is a must.  Unfortunately, I can’t imagine that there is a way to control the bureaucracy involved while maintaining a humanistic, caring foundation.  I’m sure the politicians aided by the insurers will guarantee that any attempt to revise our perverted system will fail.  There is just too money involved.

Two hundred thousand lives lost so far.  What a pity!

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

This drunk wanders into a hotel lounge where an insurance convention just happens to be taking place. The drunk is hell-bent on causing trouble and he yells, “I think all insurance agents are crooks, and if anyone doesn’t like it, come up and do something about it.”

Straight away, this guy runs up to him and says angrily, “Hey! You take that back right now!” The drunk sneers and asks, “Why, are you an agent?”

The man replies, “No, I’m a crook.”

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GOING CRAZY

I’m bored.  I’m experiencing the effects of a writer’s block.  As a matter of fact, this is the longest writer’s block I’ve ever experienced.  I think part of the problem is the constant background noise of politics.  Yes, the political pundits, the journalists, the protestors, the candidates and the internet keep bombarding the public with threats, doom and gloom.

Covid-19 is responsible for the rest of the background noise.  The medical pundits, journalists and internet tsunamis of controversy and conflicting “facts” fill the airways with doom and gloom, also.  The end result is maddening.

I used to enjoy opening my emails and reading about my extended family and friends.  Now, my email is full of junk, political and medical video clips and articles.  Paranoia rules!  Everybody is either searching for the truth or selling their version of the truth. The way I see it, I’m going to die under a socialist regime or despot, all alone in an ICU kept from the ones I love by Covid-19.

A good example of the madness that has consumed my friends and former patients are those people who have already stated that they will not get immunized against Covid when the vaccine is available.  We know absolutely nothing about the proposed vaccine.  How can you make a decision based on a complete absence of information?

I’ve shut down.  I’ve put on my earphones and spent hours listening to books.  I listen to music.  I’ve sat outside and tried to meditate.  I’m spending more time cooking and cleaning.  I’m looking for something positive to do.  I’m failing.

The gym takes up 30 minutes.  Walking takes up another 30 minutes.  That leaves a lot of meaningless time.  I’m driving Renee crazy. I’m going crazy.  I used to read medical articles and listen to medical podcasts.  Now every article and podcast are on Covid-19. So, what’s a guy to do? Telling Covid to go to hell doesn’t work! That leaves me with:  First, stop whining. Second, take a nap.  Third, Renee let’s play! Fourth, ask for reader input. Fifth, take another nap!  Then, start all over again.

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

Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your children!

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.  This is the 58th time I posted this joke.

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Happy New Years

I want to wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year.  This past year has been a year of change.  As happens every year, some of the changes have been good, some bad but most of the changes are mixed blessing and curses.

As we start the new year, we have settled in Indian Trail, North Carolina and are adapting to the many changes in lifestyle caused by both Covid and the southern lifestyle.  We seriously miss our Illinois friends.  Keeping up with the friends we left behind has helped keep us sane, but nothing will replace actually being with them.

We are actively meeting our new neighbors and I’m happy to say that my nextdoor neighbor has two beautiful dogs that I’ve become friends with.  Living in a community where everyone is old is certainly different.  The fact that everyone I’ve met is healthier than me is definitely upsetting but also has helped fuel my desire to exercise and lose weight.

Parkinson’s is a cruel companion and an ever-increasing body of research suggests that diet and exercise may delay the disease and lessen its impact.  I invite each and every one of you to be as fit and “WELLTHY” as you can by exercising as if your life depends on it.  Your life may actually depend on how buff you are!

There are many other diseases which may be prevented or improved with exercise, weight loss and a proper diet.  Please, dedicate this year and all future years to staying healthy and happy.

For those of you who are workaholics, all I can say is I’ve been there, done it and can tell you that the price you will pay for hours away from family and the gym won’t be worth it in the end.  Americans live to work while Europeans work to live.  Life is too short!  Learn to work to live and make the most out of the life you have.

Renee and I wish you all a very healthy and happy new year.  

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I DON’T KNOW

The one thing my patients never wanted to hear me say was, “I don’t know.”  While saying, “I don’t know” was the appropriate and honest thing to say, it often meant the patient was going to leave my practice in search of the answer, a move that might get them into worse trouble than they were already in.  So, why bring this up now?

I just listened to a podcast by a professor at Stanford who reviewed his findings on Covid-19 and his thoughts about where the American medical system, government and the press went wrong.  Instead of saying, “we don’t know but we are actively seeking answers,” we broadcast our current knowledge as if it was the gospel.  

In time, our knowledge grew and each time we learned more, we published a new gospel.  The more versions of the gospel of Covid that existed, the more defenders of the gospel joined the conversation and the conversation eventually turned into a war of words and science. Currently, there are so many versions of the gospel that no one knows what to believe.

Do we wear mask or don’t we?  Do we keep our distance from others or don’t we?  Is it safe to send our kids to school or isn’t it?  Do we put your local mom and pop businesses out of business to protect the community or don’t we?  The list goes on and on and, as of right now, we still really don’t know.

What we do know is that the flip flopping of the world’s specialists, governments and journalists have created a mess.  That mess could have been avoided by simply stating, “we don’t know but we are actively seeking answers.”  Unfortunately, not having a reputable source of information has driven many to the internet for answers and the internet is full of mistruths and lies.

So, what do we know?  What we know is that it will take another 6-12 months to assess the world’s data and develop a true picture of what we are dealing with.  I don’t know enough to tell you what you should do.  However, I can tell you what I think.  I think we should err on the safe side whenever possible.

Wearing a mask is not going to harm you unless you have advanced lung disease.  Keeping others at a distance is not going to harm you unless you are prone to depression and social isolation is going to lead to a worsening of your depression and possible suicide.  Whether to send your kid back to school or not is highly dependent on your child’s personality and your family dynamics.  I can’t tell you whether you should get vaccinated as I don’t have any information on the Covid-19 vaccine. 

The one thing I know for sure is I want a doc who is not afraid to say, “I don’t know.”  Knowing what I didn’t know and admitting it was one of my best attributes as a physician. Often, to help my patient understand why knowing what I didn’t know was important, I would draw a triangle and divide it into thirds.  The tip of the triangle represented what I know.  The mid-section represented what I knew that I didn’t know.  The base, and largest area of the triangle represented what I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

Recognizing that a large part of the world’s knowledge falls in the base of the knowledge triangle is humbling.  It also is very helpful as it means that you can never stop studying and looking for answers.  It also provides hope that, being persistent in your quest for answers, will be rewarded.

When your doc says, “I don’t know,” thank him/her and then ask him/her what to do next.  When pressed for an answer, I would refer my patient to a specialist or even to Mayo Clinic.  Unfortunately, if I didn’t know the answer, my specialist/Mayo were highly unlikely to have the answer.

Confused?  It’s not uncommon to be confused when there is no obvious answer.  Again, err on the side of caution until you know more.

Here’s your music and a joke.

One day Grandpa was watching Junior playing with an earthwormGrandpa said, “Junior, I will give you $10 if you can put that worm back down in its hole.”

The kids thinks and thinks, then runs into the house and returns with a can of hair spray. He sprays the worn all over and as it gets stiff he stuffs it down into the hole. Grandpa gives the boy $10.

The next day Grandpa comes out to where Junior is playing and gives the boy $20. The boy looked up in confusion and asked, “What’s this for?”

Grandpa smiles and says, “That’s from Grandma!”

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DIURETIC

This article is very personal.  I find that most individuals are not willing to share this type of information and therefore quietly live in misery.  Hopefully, by being upfront about the problems older individuals suffer with, I can start a frank conversation and help you realize you are not alone.

The story starts when I was a young physician.  When we were young, our schedule was primarily based on our work schedule (unless you were a fulltime mother) and secondarily by our family needs.  Most of us set an alarm to wake us up in the am and had a defined bedtime as we needed to be awake and functioning at work.  On occasion, patients would complain that taking a diuretic adversely affected their lives and schedule.  I really underestimated the urinary problems caused by diuretics and the impact frequent urination had on my patients. I’d simply tell them, “That means the medication is working.”  Now that I’m on a diuretic, I’d like a do-over!

I always thought that, once I retired, I would no longer have a schedule nor an alarm clock.  Boy was I wrong.  My schedule now revolves around my medications.  I take a diuretic named Lasix (furosemide).  Diuretics cause you to urinate more than usual and once I take mine, I have to be near a bathroom.  What a hassle.  My urine output usually increases over 6 hours and God forbid I have to go somewhere after taking a Lasix, I’m in deep shit (should be deep piss).  While this is probably too much info for some of you, it is a real problem.  I spent years advising patients how to live with a diuretic but never really understood its true impact.

My solution is to start my diuretic at 4-5 am or not take it on days I need to go out in the morning.  I have to be very careful not to take my diuretic in the evening as it disrupts my already poor sleep.  When I practiced medicine, my favorite thing was to sleep to 9 or 10 on Sunday.  Now that I’m retired, I can’t sleep.  If I sleep until 4 am, I’m blessed.  That’s another topic for another day.

I have Parkinson’s which causes mobility issues.  Mobility issues and diuretics don’t go together well.  Having to go to the bathroom 6-8 times in the morning is fatiguing and humbling.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come close to wetting myself.  My crystal ball tells me that Depends are in my future.  I have to applaud the manufacturer of Depends.  The name is perfect!  When and if you wear Depends depends on how quickly you have to go to the bathroom and how likely you are to be incontinent.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to do to try to lessen my diuretic dose is cut back on my salt ingestion.  I am a salt-oholic and use all kinds of salts on a daily basis.  While reducing salt intake is supposed to help, I’m not convinced that it has helped.  I’m also not convinced that giving up salt is worth it.  

So, if you have a similar problem, make sure you discuss it with your doc and make sure he/she understands just how disruptive it is.  Certainly, if you have any ideas how to lessen the impact taking a diuretic has, please share them with me. 

Here’s your music for today and a joke.

You don’t appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older. Little things, like being spanked every day by a middle-aged woman: stuff you pay good money for in later life. Emo Philips

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