science

The Problem With Doctors

Well, the problem is not with doctors themselves but when you have multiple doctors and the “failure to communicate” to quote Cool Hand Luke.

This is a relatively new issue for me. Most of my early adult life was spent in the military. So most doctors were in one building, the base hospital. For soldiers that were assigned to units other than the hospital itself, they had a “Battalion Aid Station” (BAS), basically an Urgent Care center. They could go there for “sick call” (early morning time for folks with colds, injuries etc..) and usually, they saw a P.A. (Physician’s Assistant). If they needed specialized care they would have an appointment made for them or were sent to the ER if needed (i.e. a broken bone that needed to bet set immediately).

Once they were under the care of a specialist, a surgeon, urologist,  internal med, orthopedist or OB/Gyn for the ladies, they would stop by the BAS, get their medical records and go to the appointment. This way the specialist had all tests, x-rays, lab work etc.. right there for each and every visit. It was a fairly good system. And if one doc had a question for a doc in another department, it was a simple walk down the hallway or just a phone call away.

What do we have now? Multiple specialists spread all over creation who only talk to each other when the patient asks. And then only if “the situation needs it”.

Case in point. I had blood work done last week. I asked the lab tech if the results of the labs ordered by my primary care doc be sent to my bi-polar doc, and the labs ordered by my bi-polar doc sent to my primary care. “Nope”. It’s not on the order.

Now I understand HIPPA laws. Back in the day, when I was doing websites (thankfully I don’t so that anymore), the Christian group I was playing webmaster for (and yes I was a “Christian” at that time and belonged to the group) wanted a “prayer request” page.  When I pointed out that a page listing names and illness and such violated HIPPA laws, they didn’t seem to care. They wanted it anyway. When I refused to do it on the grounds that as the “webmaster” it would expose me to a federal lawsuit, they still didn’t seem to care. The “We’re should be allowed because it’s for a good cause” was the mindset. No need to say I am no longer a member of said group.

But back to the blood work.  So I had to call my primary care doc had her office fax over the lab work to both my cardiologist and my bi-polar doc. No worries there. Her office is quite up to standards electronically, as is my cardiologist. My bi-polar doc? Not so much. The young lady I spoke to was very confused as to what I need to be sent and to where. How difficult is it to understand that I need the lab results the doctor you work for ordered sent to my primary care doc? Apparently quite difficult, as she called me back several hours later asking why did she need to send the lab results that my primary care doc had over back to them? So again I had to explain I only needed the results that YOUR doc has sent to my primary doc.

One thing that would fix that is a general repository of medical records. A giant database that everything goes to and any doctor you see, whether it be a new primary care if you’ve moved, or a new specialist you need to see, can pull your data out of the “cloud”.  But that is not likely happen. Too many hackers and that would be a prime target. If that data was breached and held captive people would die.  And that’s not good.

But what about a scheduled day once a month for doctors to get together and discuss patients that they have in common. I imagine a “Skype” or a conference call, doesn’t have to be video, where doc “A” can talk about patient “X”‘s recent lab work, and doc “B” may express concern that it may be cancer, while doc “C” says, it may just be a drug reaction. I figure if every doc took one day a month to handle their patients with multiple specialists, they could discuss every one of those patients at least once a year, and maybe every 6 months, with as many of the other docs as could attend. Maybe I’m just dreaming, but there hs to be a better way for doctors to communicate.

Got any better ideas?

Peace,
B

More End-Of-The-World Craziness

This morning over on Twitter (@beachdaze if you want to follow me), Emily Miller (@emmillerwrites to follow her) of RNS (@RNS to follow them) posted the daily Slingshot. It’s a short roundup on interesting religious articles. I usually find at least one, if not more articles that I find  more than amusing.  Today’s was about Nibiru or Planet X as it’s been called.  Supposedly this “Planet X” is going to collide with earth on September 23, 2017. Yes friends, we have but days, no, just hours to live! Why were we not informed of this earlier? Surely NASA (more likely Elon Musk) could have come up with a rocket to whisk at least a remnant of humanity away to safety.

But no. And why? Because it’s all BS anyway.  David Meade, the crackpot behind all this is using numerology to decipher the dates.  Numerology? And the number 33 specifically. I just can’t make this up!

Read the entire article here.  Make up your own mind. I’m pretty sure come September 24th, around 5:30PM, I’ll be opening a craft beer as usual. Feel free to join me.

And of course there’s a video for you too.

Peace,
B

Hurricane Irma & Others

And Florida has once again survived yet another “killer” hurricane. Hurricane Irma was a storm you only see every 500 years, but it came just days after Hurricane Harvey which was a storm you only see every 500 years.  So either something has gone terribly bad with the space-time-continuum, or Mother Earth is really pissed at us humans right now.

Watching the weather reports as I sat at the Port Orange EOC (Emergency Operations Center), I saw the devastation that the Caribbean Islands received. Having cruised to some of those islands, I was heart-broken to see the damage. South Florida, where I grew up was hit very hard. Lots of flooding. My older brother and I were texting back and forth (he’s in the Atlanta area now) about past hurricanes. We lived about 10 – 15 miles from the coast in Miami when Donna hit in 1960. I wasn’t even two yet, so I don’t remember it.  He told me we had about 3 – 4 of water in the yard from storm surge. That’s pretty bad.

Since I’ve retired from the Army and moved back to Florida, we’ve had a fair number of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. In 2004 we had three in rapid succession. Charlie did a great deal of damage to the Daytona Beach area. I remember driving with my younger son (older son was out with his National Guard unit doing hurricane recovery) trying to find a chain saw. A neighbor’s tree fell into our yard taking out our power lines and blocking the door of the shed. Which, of course was where my chain saw was. So we needed to buy a chain saw to get to our chain saw. Nobody had a chainsaw to sell, but we did pick up a nice 5Kw generator that we use to this day. Which was good, since we were without power for ten days.

The next storm was Frances, but she wasn’t too bad. But the third storm, Jeanne seem to sit on top of us for days, just dumping water. Our street was flooded, but it didn’t reach the house so all was OK.

Last year we had Hurricane Matthew. Since Matthew went straight up the east coast of Florida without really making any landfall in our area, there was a lot of wind and rain, but not too bad as we were on the west side of the storm. I spent one night in the EOC working to keep the IT infrastructure running. Then went home and cleaned the yard of all the oak tree debris.

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The calm before the storm. COPO EOC.

This year was Irma. She couldn’t make up her mind where she wanted to go. She was going to follow Matthew’s course and go up the east coast between Florida and the Bahamas. Then she started shifting more west. At one time she was going to go straight up the middle of the state, basically targeting Disney World, and head towards Tennessee where my granddaughters evacuated to. Next morning, she was going up the west coast, leaving Daytona out of harms way.  Finally she made landfall in the Big Marco Island area of the west coast, looking like she was going to ride the coast line. Nope, turned easterly and headed back to Disney. Maybe she doesn’t like the rat (Mickey Mouse) anymore that I do.

So my brother and I are texting back and forth, while I’m in the EOC, he’s in Atlanta, his wife and mother-in-law are just outside of Orlando and it looks like they’re going to take a direct hit. The only good thing is that Irma is now “only” a category 2 storm. Not the major category 4 it was at first landfall. But now the track also takes it straight to Atlanta! And since it’s moved more easterly, Daytona is gonna get hid hard again. We just couldn’t avoid this storm no matter where we were.

But, since I lived to tell the tale, all is well. I did my three shifts in the EOC, the house survived with only minor damage, lots of debris in the yard, and the apparent loss of our papaya tree.

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Only damage to the house. One piece of fascia was blown off.

And while I was doing my work at the EOC, Wifey® put on her Wonder Woman outfit and went to work. She not only cleaned up the major debris from our yard, she did it for the elderly lady next door who is the process of moving out and selling the house. Pretty big pile she made too.

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Debris Pile.

She says that there’s one branch she can’t move by herself. But all in all, she did wonderfully. I absolutely love how she’s not afraid to jump in and get stuff done when it needs to be done.  Thanks babe!  Love ya!

Now we wait for FP&L to get our power back on. It usually takes days for us, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s property value.  Take care of the guys in the higher tax brackets before fixing the peons.

But what do I know?

Hope you all made it through the storms OK.

Peace,
B

A (Near) Total Eclipse

Tomorrow afternoon those of us in Central Florida will get to experience a partial solar eclipse. This is, apparently the first time in 99 years that parts of the continental US will actually get a total eclipse.

I understand the dangers of gazing into the sun at any time, especially during any phase of an eclipse.  Our local school board is taking, what I believe, to be extreme measures during our local viewing time. To quote:

“Due to the dangers associated with viewing the eclipse, all outdoor activities, such as athletics, physical education, extracurriculars and extended-day, will be held indoors beginning at 1:15 p.m. until the eclipse ends at 4:15 p.m. The district is sharing important resources with students, teachers and parents to take advantage of this educational experience, as well as encouraging safe viewing of the eclipse on appropriate television channels or online websites. “

I remember when I was in 5th or 6th grade (we’re talking about 1967 – 68) we had a partial eclipse viewable in Miami. Did we have to sit inside and watch TV broadcasts? Nope we went outside and were taught the safe ways to view an eclipse. I don’t think there were any mass-produced “Eclipse Glasses” at that time, so we did the punch a hole in a piece of paper and view the image on a second piece of paper, and made “box viewers”. Awe, the good ol’/bad ol’ days.

The Celts (my heritage), seem to look forward to eclipses.

Native Americans, would stay inside during an eclipse as they thought it was an ill omen.  The Vikings saw it as a pair of wolves eating the sun. In Vietnam, a toad or frog is eating the sun.

This article from 2013 National Geographic outlines some of the beliefs from around the world.

So don’t go run and hide and scream “Demons are eating the Sun!!” tomorrow.  The universe will survive, just like we did December 27, 2012.

Peace,
B

Elon Musk Are You Listening?

(Note: I have been sitting at the house this morning waiting on a repair man to fix my (former) beer fridge. So basically I’m now 4 hours late for work)

Daytona Beach and the surrounding environs aren’t all the big. The U.S. Census estimates the entire county population at 529,364. That’s the entire county, we’re only a small slice on the eastern edge.  So why is traffic so damn bad?

It’s takes me 25 – 30 minutes to travel the short 12 miles to and from home to office. Now some it is to blame on the traffic lights.  I swear there is a section of about 3 miles with a light every quarter-mile. And I seriously doubt they’re timed for anything other than a NASCAR driver (the Daytona International Speedway is just down the street). I very seldom get my truck out of 3rd gear in this area. I like to call this the “red light district”.

But that’s not what pisses me off the most.  Here’s my drive in today. Granted it was about 12:30PM so traffic would be naturally heavier than my usual 7:20AM drive time. But it’s not the volume of traffic, it’s the idiots.

First – Sitting at a red light (still in the residential area – nowhere near the “red light district”), I’m second in a line of three cars.  A fire truck is coming at us, but still a good mile away. What does the first car do? Why just sit there and wait for the firetruck to pass of course. They could have very easily pulled up far enough to allow all three of us to get through the intersection and pull off to the right, with plenty of time and space to spare. But instead, they sit there. And after the fire truck goes by, the idiot goes through the intersection, running a red light I might add, and almost causing an accident.

Second – Same street, different driver, another red light (still not at the “red light district”).  Apparently this one has no clue what “right on red” means. Sits through an entire red light, with no one coming waiting on the green. It’s only legal in ALL 50 STATES to turn right on red. Where did they buy their license? K-Mart?

Third – Approaching the “district”.  Guy in left lane doing 30MPH in a 45MPH. Oblivious to his surroundings. Guy in the right lane, with right turn signal on (bonus for using a turn signal) is apparently lost as he is slowing at every possible right turn to see if that’s where he needs to go.  Me? I’m stuck behind them both.

Here’s a video that sums it up, there will be more below, so you can continue reading while listening if you wish:

If you think I’m only stressing because I gave up beer five days ago, you’d be wrong. Even though I am questioning that decision, that fact remains that I have been screaming at other drivers for years.  Now I not one to lay on the horn and flip the bird. I yell and scream in the comfort of my personal sanctuary, the truck. And I do my best not to “act out” when the little ones are with me. Well, I do try, doesn’t always work.

So I wonder how people who live in big cities can drive at all. My brother lives in a suburb (or “bedroom community” if you prefer) of Atlanta. No way in hell I’d live there with all that traffic. One thing I will say for the Army is that they tend to make their facilities in smaller towns. Of course there are some that are located next to bigger cities, but not that many. And of course, once the Army (or any military branch for that matter) moves in, the community will grow. Not always a good or bad thing.

Now I have the 5PM “rush 15 minutes” to look forward to on the way home. I wonder what kind of idiots I’ll see on this trip. Probably the usual, no turn signals, 10MPH under the limit in the left lane, slowing down for green lights “in case it changes” (my mom was famous for that one), coming to a complete stop before turning right and so many others.

So what does this have to do with Elon Musk? This; Sir, you have made the Telsa automobile a success. You have made the Space X project an even bigger success. I mean, landing a rocker booster on a platform floating in the ocean? How could you top that?  Easy – Star Trek transporter. If anyone can do it, it’s you.

Just think, when you’re ready to go somewhere, program in a set of coordinates and push a button and like magic you’re there. Forget something, just go back the way you came and get it, then back to where ever you were going to begin with. Quick and easy.  No idiots getting in the way.

So please Elon, I begging here. Otherwise I’ll have to arm my truck with photon torpedoes to clear the road, and no good can come of that.

Think about it? Please?

Peace,
B

Random Readings

I’ve been reading a lot of science books lately.  Authors like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Michio Kaku.  Most of it has been over my head, especially the math.  Maybe if I had showed up for class more often in high school I would have had a better grasp of the concepts.  But in any case, the image above clearly explains the whole picture. I still don’t understand the equations, but now I understand where they fit.

Maybe it’ll help you too.

Peace,

B

Image credit my Twitter friend Queegs Vulgar Beauty.