arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #41) - Funny Story*

Has anything like this ever happened to you?  You are a patient in a hospital, the resident physician tells you that you can go home, and they start the paperwork so you can get out.  So you sit waiting for the paperwork to be done when you get a call from the person who is supposed to be picking you up that they are in the emergency room of the only other hospital in your town and they don’t know when they will be released to pick you up.  This happened to me recently!

Hysterical, right?

I should first explain that I have had hospitalizations at least once a year in each of the last three years: 2017, pacemaker; 2018, left hip replacement; 2019, right hip replacement.  I was determined not to have any major medical issues in 2020.  I was sorely tempted to treat this as a New Year’s Resolution.  I never made that resolution because not only have I been awful at keeping resolutions, but I would have busted this one wide open had I made it.  

This year I have not only been hospitalized once, but I have set a new personal record for myself.  In the last four weeks I have spent at least one night in the local hospital on three separate occasions, and spent one Saturday afternoon in the emergency room. 

Take that, New Year’s Resolution!

Most of my health issues this year have been cardiac-related.  The first hospital stay began with the insertion of two stents.  I went home for about a week when I began having palpitations every day.  I was freaking out.  I called the cardiologist's office, who advised me to go to the emergency room.  This resulted in another short stay, another catherization to confirm that the stents had not blocked up and a follow up with another cardiac surgeon to examine my aortic valve which is also getting blocked up. 

The Saturday after my second hospital stay, I had issues with my bladder.   I drove myself to the emergency room where after a few tests and a visit from a urologist, they determined that I did have an infection.  I was given a five-day course of antibiotics and sent home. 

Two weeks ago, I was bound and determined to get through one full week without seeing the inside of an emergency room.  Twas not to be.

On Thursday afternoon, I am working at my computer when I have the worst chest pain I have ever felt.  I have had angina in the past.  I have had feelings of indigestion in the same general area.  I have had muscles spasms in the ribs on the left side.  This pain was all three of these combined.  I felt for sure that I was having “the big one” as Fred Sanford would refer to his frequent heart episodes.

Warrior Queen dutifully drove me to the emergency room, dropped me off since no one is supposed to come in with you due to COVID-19 restrictions, and returned home.  I was treated with the same level of urgency which I have had with my past emergencies, including blood work, EKG and a chest x-ray. **

My cardiologist agreed that I should be admitted for observation.  This was just a one-night stay.  My tests all came back normal; I did not have a heart attack. Rather, I had a stress-related anxiety episode which sure as hell felt like a major heart attack.  I was cleared to go home.

That’s when I got the call from my ride.  She would call me back when she knew more about her condition, and when they would release her.  I sat there reviewing my options.  Cab ride or Uber?  Ha!  All I had in my wallet was my photo ID and insurance card; no cash, no debit card, no credit cards.  I explained my situation to the nurse on duty.  She explained that if I was ready to go home and my ride wasn’t ready to get me, they could call Uber and the hospital would pay for it.

As luck would have it, my ride called back within an hour and said that she was being sent home.  Huzzah!  The best news I had heard in four weeks of catherizations, x-rays, blood work and other miscellaneous tests.  I told her to go home and rest until I knew when I was being released.  Another hour went by and I was able to call my ride to come get me.

And how was your September/October?

*Well, at least I can laugh about it now!

**Which reminds me.  Yo, Mr. President!  Where’s your chest x-ray?

(Thank you for reading.  PS:  Warrior Queen and I are both home and feeling better now.)

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #40) - “It’s Johnny’s Birthday…”

 

So sang George Harrison and others while recording songs for the All Things Must Pass set to mark John Lennon’s birthday whatever year they recorded it.  On Friday, October 9, Lennon would have been 80 years old.  I doubt that he would have lived to be 80, but it would be nice to report that he did live a nice full life as an artist, activist and leading voice of his generation against global injustices.  It be would be nice to state that he lived to a ripe old age, but…

So today let’s enjoy two from Lennon:

 


Have a safe week everyone and as always, thank you for reading.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2 #39) - Grappling With Empathy

Okay, let’s get this out of our system now.  The President has been diagnosed with COVID-19 after months of downplaying (his words) the spread of the illness, and rejecting common sense notions of mitigating the spread of the disease.

Liberals can smirk here.  Thank you, Karma, for your diligence in proving once again to all of us that what goes around comes around.  Or the chickens have come home to roost.  Or be careful what you wish for.  Or…pick your own self satisfying cliché of smugness that the President is finally dealing with the disease on his own, personal level.

There, feel better?  Okay, time to move on.

Many of us have been raised to believe that when one of us is down we should not wish him or her ill will.  This is even true when that other someone may otherwise be doing everything they can to smite us.  Traditionally this has been known as “turning the other cheek”.   It’s time for us who have been appalled by and criticized the President since Day One for his overall rejection of democratic norms to be the adults in the room.  It’s time for us to express the empathy which we have continually rebuked him for not having towards other people.  We need to wish him and his family that they get well soon.

Yes, it wasn’t easy to type those words, but there is a price to pay for being the adult in the room.

We will never state that doing the right thing is easy, but it is the thing we need to do at this moment.  After all there may be a silver lining to come out of all of his suffering.

This could play out in one of three ways.  He could recover quickly and resume his campaigning.  Or his recovery could be a longer-term situation given his age. The President could hand over the duties of the Oval Office to Vice President Pence in this scenario.  We the American public may be let in on this eventuality from the outset, or the President could, in the name or preserving his legacy, allow everyone to think that he is still vital and in charge while Pence is stuck doing the actual work.

Or he could succumb to the illness.

So, let’s consider each of these scenarios.  First, he recovers, completes quarantine and goes back to the campaign trail in the last remaining few days before the election.  We would need to watch his response carefully.  A normal person would be humbled by their near brush with death and act accordingly.  He could use his time off as a way to teach the rest of us that the disease can be overcome.  Or, more than likely given his impenetrable narcissistic nature, turn every personal appearance up to election day into a Bragfest.  He could boast that he beat COVID-19 and it was no big deal after all.  He would then, no doubt, make the long jump to the conclusion that his victory makes him the natural choice to continue leading this country.

A longer recovery time could create sympathy for him among swing voters who feel sorry for him.  Let’s be clear: yes, we should empathize, but we should not take our emotions to the level of extreme pity so that it comes around and bites us in the ass later. A longer recovery time could be the one thing his Republican enablers in Congress need to convince them that he is incapacitated beyond resuming his expected duties. 

This could mean a longer term for a President Pence.   We might still have a Constitutional crisis, but it wouldn’t be the one we’ve been expecting.  In any event we would have the tools, thanks to the Founding Fathers, to alleviate this crisis. If only Congress had the cojones to use the tools.

In another scenario, God could accomplish what the Republican-led Congress refuse to do.  I do not want this to happen.  I do not want the President to die in office.

This would only elevate him to martyrdom.  His legacy, as horrible and racist as it is, would become more legitimized than it is already.  If you think there’s no living with his MAGA supporters now, just let him die in office.  Liberals and progressives may not be able to stand it.

Thus, we must find the strength inside each of our souls to overcome our basest tribal emotions to hope the best for the President.  This is what we have been expecting from him all these years.  It is what is expected of all of us.

(Thank you for reading. Okay, empathy.  You win!)