Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Friday, October 21, 2016

We Need To Talk

It's time we begin to land this 2016 election plane. It flew a little too high and ran into turbulence. It's time to talk it down.

Change is hard for people. We've seen a lot of changes in the last eight years, two changes being the first black president and it looks likely the first woman president. This has rattled some Americans. The legalization of same sex marriage and protection of LBGT rights has caused some to push the panic button.

People no longer talk, they shout, they scream, they make vile threats. The conspiracy theory labs and the false rumor mills have become big business over the last eight years. Language is foul, mean and full of revenge.

Often these days I remember a quote I used to repeat often to myself while trying to hold my own against religious fundamentalists out for jihad. "If in fighting the beast you become like the beast, you are no better than the beast." (I'd love to know the source of that quote.)

How can we begin to talk this noisy violent plane down? It easy to want to have the last word, to get our pound of flesh. We need to recall often the words of First Lady Michelle Obama, "When they go low, we go high."

I have a hard time with controversy, I run from it. That makes it very difficult to hold my own in today's political environment. Politics and religion were two of the three reasons I fled Texas. It's easier for me to flee than to stand and fight, but what would happen if all the people who think like me ran away from the problem? Sometime we've got to stand and fight for what we believe. The question is, how do we do it without becoming like the beast we're fighting? I don't have an answer. I'd like to hear what you think. What can we as individuals do to bring down the temperature?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Too Many Doctors

You've heard about too many cooks in the kitchen, well, Bob has one too many doctors. His primary care physician is just a little too involved in his case. I understand the reason behind having a primary care physician to oversee and coordinate care but in Bob's case it's one too many most of the time.

All the angst I went through over Bob being 'called in' by the hematologist was for nothing. The primary care doctor messaged him he needed to see Bob. That recent bad bruise on Bob's arm excited a few people in the medical community.

Frankly, they need to stay out of the hematologist's business. We were not alarmed by the bruise. We've been at this blood business a very long time. We're on top of it. Yes, Bob's lab reports are awful but they've been awful for years. Nothing new. I have enough going on caring for Bob without an over active doctor added to the mix.

Now some good news. This morning we saw the new cardiologist and are so pleased to have him on Bob's care team.

I watched the debate which is unheard of for me as I avoid controversy at all costs. Our son was quite surprised to learn I watched a debate. I assured him this was not typical, not a real debate.

My question this morning is, does it LEGALLY matter if Donald Trump accepts the results of the November 8 vote? For harmony and the good of the country the losing candidate should graciously concede to the winner. Isn't the election actually out of either candidate's hands?

For those who would bring up Gore/Bush, don't bother, nothing close to this situation. The state of Florida has a law that requires a recount if the results are too close. That law kicked in and then, as I understand it, Bush took it to the Supreme Court and the rest is history. Gore won the popular vote, Bush won the electoral college.

Surely this country's future does not hang in the balance, subject to the whim of a sore looser.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Few Things

I like to find catalogs and websites that offer products to aid the elderly.  Today I came across two such sites reading Time Goes By. Check these out, you might find something handy, Elder Store, and Active Forever.

I see the Oregon Militia is recruiting in the event Hillary Clinton becomes president. The trial for the Bundy brothers occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve is still going on in Portland. We're going to get a reputation as trouble makers if this nonsense keeps up.

People tend to think of Oregon as a very liberal state. It's often lumped in with those 'west coast liberal' states. Not exactly true. Eastern Oregon is not liberal. Oregon's governor is often referred to as Portland's governor because Portland votes liberal, and the population density keeps the state a blue state. Over the Cascade Mountains the population is more sparse where there's a lot of government controlled land, farms and ranches. The people there tend to be much more conservative but don't have the numbers to turn the state red.

I plan to stay on this side of the mountains hoping I don't run into any militia members. I've never thought of militias as friendly people. Aren't militias usually mad about something?

I've about moved on from the election. The polls I watch indicate Hillary will likely be the winner. Hillary doesn't need to measure the drapes in the White House, she can go right to work. I'm beginning to add the Twitter people I will follow once the election is over. I'm getting excited to see the make up of the House and Senate. I'll be watching closely who Hillary appoints to her cabinet and the institutional heads. I don't want to see repeats from Bill's days. I want all fresh faces.

I took Bob to have blood drawn this morning and saw a medical assistant there that I literally could not tell if the person was male or female. I was seated where I could discreetly watch this person going about their work. Finally, it dawned on me, what difference did it make?

I had no plans to have sex with the person, and I saw nothing that would make me uncomfortable sharing a public restroom. Why should I care?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Here I Sit

It's a rainy Sunday afternoon. I'm quite sure Sunday is the longest day of the week.

Fall has arrived, leaves cover the ground. Fall is my favorite season and I enjoy seeing piles of fallen leaves. I do not enjoy sidewalks covered in wet leaves. I took a walk in the rain this afternoon and enjoyed it but I was not relaxed. I have a new walking stick, not a cane, a stick. I was very glad to have it as I find wet leaves a safety hazard.

I had cataract surgery two years ago and have been extremely pleased with the results. I am very close to not needing glasses but not quite there. At first I was thrilled to be free of wearing trifocals. It was fun for a while to use the little reader glasses. They are inexpensive and come in a large assortment of frames.

The fun is over now. I'm longing for trifocals again. I'm tired of chasing glasses, and having glasses perched on my nose only to find another pair pushed up into my hair. I need a little correction for reading. I can do the computer without glasses but a tiny bit makes it easier but not the strength of reading glasses. I can see most things on the TV (not a big screen) but sometimes not everything.

Next week I'm calling for an eye exam with hopes of going back to trifocals (with lines). For many years glasses were the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I took off at night. I miss that. Does that make me a creature of habit? Am I hanging on to my past?

In thinking about the election there are a few faces beside Donald Trump's I would be pleased to see no more in media.

Republican faces would be Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and Reince Prebius, to name only three.
Democrat faces would be Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Terry McAuliffe, and Lanny Davis.

Are there political faces you would like to see no more in media?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Little Fretting Going On

Bob does 90% of the fretting at our house but occasionally something provokes me into doing a little myself.  Currently I'm fretting about Bob's appointment this week with the hematologist.

A number of years ago Bob was referred to a hematologist because of a low platelet count. The doctor was quite sure it was Myelodysplastic Syndrome, just needed a bone marrow test to confirm it, but it did not. Now what?

A few months later Bob was not doing well so they tried again. Still did not confirm it.

Then it was off to the medical school (OHSU) to see the guru of blood disorders. His diagnosis was Idiopathicthrombocytopenia. He recommended seeing an immunologist.

We scheduled an appointment and learned Bob had Raynaud's disorder in his hands but nothing else. Nothing new to add to the search.

What is Idiopathicthrombocytopenia? It simply means they don't really know. Apparently this happens in older men more than older women and they go on living and die from something else.

Bob's hematologist chuckled at the diagnosis. I think he thought the guru was teasing. In the early days of all this, when they thought it was Myelodysplastic Syndrome, they mentioned it sometimes went into leukemia.

The Internet says Idiopathicthrombocytopenia does not lead to leukemia.

I'm nervous, perhaps I have no reason to be, but I am.

I suppose every person facing the mortality of a spouse thinks "I wonder who I am? I know who I am shaped by 54 years of living with Bob but who will I be when that influence is gone?"

I said to Susan this morning "I wonder how many decisions I make in a day are influenced by how I think Dad will react," and she said "A lot."

I said "Someday I will have cut flowers in my house and burn candles." She said "And I will buy them for you."

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Back To My World

Have you ever felt change was in the air but had no proof of it? That's where I am these days.  Susan has decided to delay starting work on her doctorate because she sees her dad rapidly declining between her visits now. She wants to be available if we need her. She's a nurse living in Texas. She flys up for a few days about every six weeks.

I think it was last week Bob had five medical appointments. He had a lot of blood drawn for testing. I was surprised to receive calls from four of those offices expressing concern over the results of those tests.

His kidney function studies are not good, tests related to his heart are problematic. The one I'm most puzzled about is hematology.

The hematologist has asked that Bob have blood drawn on the 18th and see him on the 19th. That makes me very nervous.

In spite of it all Bob remains on his feet and moving. Next week we will see both the hematologist and the cardiologist. We will know more after we see them.
As a follow-up to yesterday's post I can now report that I am encouraged by action I'm seeing among younger evangelicals. Perhaps it is true they're a different stripe to the "old" evangelicals. I so hope that's true.
There surely must be a way to require candidates to be vetted before they can file to run for president. We do a thorough vetting of candidates for the Supreme Court, why not the same requirement for presidential candidates?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Super Saints

The last few days I've noticed a rising amount of dismay on the Internet at statements made by evangelical leaders.

"Because Abraham lied, Moses disobeyed God and David committed adultery, Trump should get a pass on his personal behavior."

"My personal support for Donald Trump has never been based upon shared values."

"Voters of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defend religious freedom, create jobs, and oppose the Iran nuclear deal. Ten year old tapes of private conversation rank low on their hierarchy of concerns."

Obviously many in this country are unfamiliar with the evangelical world. I've read evangelicalism among the millennials is different. I hope that is true. You would be wise to consider the following things about evangelicals.

1) pious
2) self righteous
3) attracted to any message of doom
4) attracted to individuals delivering a message of doom
5) warlike in spirit

People who believe they are on a mission for God are not kind people. The loudest among them become the day's charlatans.

Evangelicals tend to collect around charlatans and follow them off a cliff.

They tend not to think for themselves. Tend to stick with whatever their leaders tell them. Reluctant to venture out to information not approved their leaders.

Be not surprised when the evangelical Christian world sticks with Donald Trump and follows him right off the cliff.

When that happens they will get up, shake their heads a bit, dust off their feathers, climb back up to where they started, and do it again with the next charlatan that comes along. They never learn.