Best FDIL Ever

Reasons that my FDIL is the best ever:

  • She completely gets me when it comes to handbag purchases and is uber supportive and encouraging even if I don’t really need another one.
  • She agreed to watch all 10 hours of “The Thornbirds” with me even though Barbara Stanwyck and Richard Chamberlain mean nothing to her.
  • She likes to have a companionable glass of wine and some girl talk to pass the time while the hunter/gatherers are gone off to Pep Boys to hunt for car parts.
  • We can do girly things together like using paper nut cups during cocktail hour, so very unlike the hunter/gatherers around here who stick their giant paws right into my Stangl “Rooster” lug-handled soup bowl to gather as many nuts as they can get in one handful.

Truth

Like most living human beings, I bridle at the thought of a death panel deciding who lives and who dies. I’ve probably had more time to think about this that my readers have because I have had a long career in the dialysis business. Did you know that there once were panels that decided who was worthy of receiving life-saving kidney replacement treatments?

It wasn’t that long ago. In fact, it was happening right up until 1972. Dialysis machines were limited, each treatment was long and expensive and there simply wasn’t enough to go around for all who needed. Some of the criteria for being accepted were quite surprising.

  • Age. No older people were accepted, meaning anyone over age 55.
  • Marital status. Single? No dialysis for you.
  • Value to society. Never mind no dialysis in jail programs which proliferate now, if you had a criminal record for anything you weren’t going to be granted access to continued life.
  • No other medical conditions except kidney failure. No diabetics, no people with bone disease, no blind or deaf people. No nothing.
  • Employment. You had to have a job. No wasting any high-demand treatment on those who were too sick to work and contribute to society.
Think about it. Would you qualify for dialysis in 1971? Here’s an article from a 1987 medical/legal journal – ironically making an argument for rationing heart transplants – that has an interview with one of the panelists:

Chilling, is it not? The 1987 article still holds this record because the facts haven’t been white washed or disappeared from memory. You’d have a hard job finding any reference at all to it in contemporary journals. So that is a true and recent example of someone else deciding life maintaining treatment.

When it comes to self-determination of end of life situations, this is the truth:

“It’s not something that we like to talk about, but doctors die, too. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared with most Americans, but how little. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care that they could want. But they tend to go serenely and gently. Doctors don’t want to die any more than anyone else does. But they usually have talked about the limits of modern medicine with their families. They want to make sure that, when the time comes, no heroic measures are taken.” Why Doctors Die Differently 

link via Maggie’s Farm

I’m sorry they used the word “treatment” in that second sentence – it would be more accurate to say “end of life treatment” because that’s what we’re talking about here. There’s a big difference between making your own decisions about end of life plans and being denied treatment for non-terminal situations based on your age, your social habits or if you’re a U.S. congressperson.

Anyway, if you know any people who’ve been in healthcare for any length of time, you recognize the truth in this article. Go out and find a nurse anywhere in this country and ask them if they’ve ever joked about getting a tattoo that reads DO NOT RESUSCITATE across their chest. I bet they have. I’ve said it and I’m not joking.

Having A Fit

News bulletin: I’m going to a bra fitter. It might not be today, although today is a good day for it. One does not just walk out the door and head for the bra fitter. It’s the kind of thing one has to build up to doing.

I tried to find the proper terminology for bra fitter but the closest I could come was a corsetiere, but that is not quite right. I guess we’ll stick with the plain spoken term bra fitter.

Interesting, but not original:  In the French language, the term for brassière is soutien-gorge (literally “throat-support”). Ha. Ha. Amirite, ladies?  For ladies of a certain age, hiking things up to where they started out would pretty much result in throat-level imagery.

Ah, well. The image on the right is no exaggeration and I suppose this is how things are going to end up for me. I imagine I’ll have to down scale my orchid corsage to fit once my throat gets involved with my foundation garments.

Bird Bath Update

I went to my favorite junk store this week and lo and behold! – $30 bird baths!

Stupid Blackberry camera. It's really a nice mottled royal blue like the picture on the box.

So, I don’t know. The color is nice but I don’t really care for the shape. In my experience, if you buy something based on its cheap price, you are stuck with it almost as long as you would be with a more expensive item that you really love.

But a person would have to be a fool to pass up a ridiculous bargain like a $30 bird bath.