Encounter With A Doctor

My mom had an “encounter” with her ophthalmologist. At least that’s what the bills says.

 I’m assuming this medical practice bought some off-the-shelf software that didn’t allow for an office visit. Or is this a new medical term that meets the needs of the insurance company?

 Or maybe it really was an “encounter.” It just struck me as an odd way of stating things on the bill.


When Peter Pan Came to Visit

Today was the first day a home health aid has been hired to help my mom get dressed and moving in the morning. She has dementia and gets overwhelmed in the morning. We also want to make sure she’s taking her meds regularly. Sometimes we’re not sure if Mom’s perception of reality is a little off target.This morning there was some miss-communication and the aide came late.Then my sister called me…she was all concerned because Mom said the woman put make-up on her and was dressed like Peter Pan. Sandy though she was hallucinating. I said well maybe the lady put Oil of Olay on her face and Mom’s calling it makeup. What’s Peter Pan look like? I didn’t have a peanut butter jar handy to look at, but I didn’t think there was any cause for alarm.

“Well he dresses in a long blue top and wears tights!!”

Well maybe that’s how the lady was dressed. I don’t know. Maybe Mom couldn’t think of another word, like clown. You’ll have to ask the agency what the gal had on. Calling her Peter Pan doesn’t really sound that bad. She said she was dressed like Peter Pan…she didn’t say she was flying across the room. I can go out there and look at her face and see what she looks like if that will help….I need to drop off some soda anyway.

To me, most of the scrubs the health care aids wear look kind of like pajamas. But what do I know about health care fashions. Peter Pan sounded like a reasonable description to me. Some of the scrubs have cartoon characters on them. I sometimes struggle to find just the right word to convey a thought.

Later my sister called back after talking to someone at the facility. Turns out the aide was wearing all blue. She did put some face cream and a little lipstick on Mom’s face…..she said most of the ladies kind of perk up when they have a little make-up on.

When I got there, Mom told me she liked the way the gal had put together her outfit. She really did look nice with everything matching. Mom described how she was so groggy this morning that she thought maybe she had dreamed the lady had come in and helped her. Mom pointed to her eyebrows and said the woman had put something on them.

Two weeks ago my sister said she and Mom stopped by her house to pick up something Mom needed. “I don’t know why she thought it was there, I couldn’t find it.”

Dear sister, there were about three items in Mom’s empty bedroom closet. You will find what you were looking for on the bed now…..sorry to spoil the surpise.

Are Online Videos Overrated?

Are Online Videos Overrated?Seriously folks, everywhere you look on the web…somebody wants you to watch a video. Local newspapers, radio stations, small businesses, everybody. It seems as if every organization with a website thinks they need a video. Some firms just want to introduce their company, concept, or products.

Every news outlet of any size seems to think we have an endless appetite for viewing videos online. On any topic. Not just those that are enhanced with a visual….see the bridge blow up, or watch the big game play.

Then there are the “how-to” websites regarding everything you can think of. I’d rather skim several written articles looking for information than sit through an online interview and hope I can gleam some information from the video. Now if this same interview is on TV…I’ll wait and listen.

I’m sure these videos aren’t cheap to produce…I’m just wondering who’s watching all of them? Have we reached the saturation point?

Maybe this is a generational thing.

Once in awhile I log onto YouTube and search for some silly videos…something to make me laugh. I’ve looked for Christmas song videos, make-fun-of-George Bush spoofs, and old movie or TV clips. But I only do this maybe one or possibly two times a month. And I might only stay on the site for just a few minutes and move on because I’m bored or don’t feel like looking for more stuff to watch.
It reminds me of sitting in front of the TV clicking the remote trying to find something to watch when nothing is grabbing my attention or matches the mood I’m in. At least on YouTube I don’t have to wait for a bunch of video commercials. (Not yet, anyway.)

On a rare occasion, I’ll decide I need to “watch” an online news story….and 99.9% of the time I’ll give up before the segment even starts because I lose patience waiting for the commercial to play and the desired video to download. I’m a Today Show addict, but if I miss some piece of information or have to leave before a particular story…I’d rather just read the script online than wade through the pain of getting the video to play.

I turn the TV news on every morning and evening and let it play as I get dressed, fix dinner, or clean house. It’s effortless. I’ll even have two TVs with the same channel on in different rooms. When they get to the sports, I might run to the laundry room. If nothing is catching my ear, I’ll switch it off.

I do love going to the internet for true “breaking news”… whether it’s local or national. I’ll check the temperature to decide what coat to wear. I’ll surf through my local newspaper to read the obits or kill time. But for the most part…I’ll ignore/avoid the videos.

Now I do like news slide shows. I don’t view a lot of them on a regular basis…but I like the pictures of the week or disaster sequences.

So tell me, am I in the minority? Are you watching lots of “news” videos online? Am I just an old fuddy duddy stuck in a time warp…or do Generation X, Y, Z….whatever…watch lots of online news and information videos on a regular basis? Or do you confine your video viewing to Super Bowl commercials and entertainment? And here’s your Bonus Question – do you think online video advertisers are getting their money’s worth — or do you think the statistics are misleading?

I’d love to hear about your online video habits…and please include your age. Don’t be afraid to tell me I’m the one who is out-of-step.

Not For Prime Time TV

Posted On February 25, 2008

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I’ve been home watching daytime TV lately. I’ve noticed that daytime television commercials are kind of depressing compared to those aired during the prime time evening hours.Marketers must think that everybody home during the day falls into one or more of these categories:

  • Uneducated/untrained (unemployable) – time to get some vocational training
  • Seriously injured from work or an accident, or from bad medicines – needs a lawyer
  • Unhealthy/retired and in need of assistance to pay for medical bills and/or to buy a scooter to get around
  • Have no credit, work at night at a minimum wage job – needs to buy a junker car from a place that offers easy credit (and overly high interest rates)

I’m watching Oprah now, and these commercials are looking up a bit. I guess the employed, healthy folks are starting to come home now.

I’ve noticed when I fall asleep on the couch and wake up in the middle of the night….there are opportunities to call a phone number and connect with some hottie, buy into a “get-rich” program, or attend truck driving school (same as one of the daytime choices).

The Boob Tube. I don’t think TVs have tubes anymore. But they have boobs…women flaunting their breasts, and people airing their personal problems.

Maybe I should get cable. Maybe the daytime commercials would be more inspiring. I could always listen to music. But then I’d fall behind on my law degree. And my psychology minor. You see, I’m watching a lot of court TV programs. Where real people make fools of themselves to save a little money on their divorces or lawsuits. And they get their 15 minutes of fame.

I don’t watch soap operas. I see enough daytime drama. Real life is dramatic enough for me.

Go Away, Ralph

Ralph Nader is running for president….again. Please, give it up, Ralph.

I used to be a BIG Ralph Nader fan when he was just a consumer advocate. But here he is again, running for the President of the United States…and no, I don’t think the third time will be a charm. Are the Republicans behind this, trying to guarantee another loss for the Democrats?

I don’t even care what Ralph has to say about why he’s running.

Watching Ralph Nader run for president is like watching a has-been try to relive his/her youth.

It’s like this, Ralph. I think you’ve already insured your place in history….many young people will only remember you as the guy who kept running for president. Stick with your consumer work.

It’s about as much fun to watch Nader run for president as it is to see an aging beauty queen parade around in a too-short skirt, a low-cut top, false eyelashes, and a blonde wig after her 60th birthday. Very few women can pull this off well, and I doubt that Ralph can pull off the presidential gig.

Some people remember Bob Dole as an early pitchman for Viagra, forgetting whatever else he did. Did he just need the money? (Thank God we now get to see good-looking older guys dancing and singing Elvis songs on ED drug ads.)

Ralph, you’ve contributed enough to society…you don’t have to keep proving yourself.

So please, Ralph, don’t make another fool of yourself, wasting cash that could be used to fight for the environment and the rights of consumers. Accept your role as a mover and shaker outside of the White House and stay out along the beltway. Leave us voters alone.

Blogging Toms & Flashers

Are we becoming a nation of Blogging Toms and Blogging Flashers? Is this a good thing?

Many people blog about very personal issues…baring their troubles to the world. On one hand, this is a good thing…we can all learn from each other and writing can be very therapeutic for the patient.

However, I do worry about people revealing too much when they blog about very personal aspects of their lives under their real names. It’s like you’re shouting to the world. And if you’re blogging about your children’s troubles, is that fair to them? Are you too quick to pigeon hole them in the eyes of society? Are you revealing just a little too much about them…stripping them of their anonyomity before they come of age? What repercussions could lie down the road?

Most bloggers are private citizens….not celebrities. I don’t think politicians — until they have fallen — would blog their troubles in such a public manner.

I guess blogging is just an evolution from the days of Phil Donahue to Oprah, Dr. Phil and Jerry Springer, and Divorce Court. But those shows don’t always use your last name.

Once you broadcast your troubles….whether they be marital, financial, or health related…..you may not be able to reclaim your privacy should you later decide you want it. In a small town, do you really want to draw additional attention to yourself? Does everyone need to know all of your business? You know people love to talk.

It’s a cold, cruel world out there. It’s also the world of Google. If email never really goes away, what about blogs?

Privacy is not such an old-fashioned value that one should be too quick to discard it.

Britney Spears vs The Neighbors

I know more about Britney Spears than I do my own neighbors. And the reason is very simple. I’m a news junkie. The first thing I do when I wake up — before I even get out of bed — is reach for the remote and click on the Today Show.

I want to know if something blew up around the world… if some famous person died….do I need a coat? I have successfully managed to block out the Presidential race until last month….serve no news before its time….but I keep hearing things about Britney and her kids, drug problems, relationship with Dr. Phil. I really wasn’t paying much attention…blocking her info out… in fact I’m not even sure why she’s so famous. I had to look up the spelling of her name for this blog. But a friend dressed like her last Halloween. So I guess it’s all your fault, Rozie, that some of this stuff is starting to sink into my brain…and yes, repetition does work eventually. (Advertisers and marketers know this.)

What I do would like to know is as follows:

What’s in my neighbor’s garage? The old guy is about 80 (WWII vet license plate) and yet he and his similar aged wife are out every winter dealing with snow vs. their cars. Not only does he have to shovel the snow, but she’s scraping the car windows. (Teamwork.) Avoiding scraping the car is the one incentive that keeps my garage clear for vehicles. What’s in all those boxes? It looks like there’s just a path to walk through the garage into the house.And why do they park one car in the neighbor’s driveway when it snows? What good does that do? You still have to scrape all the windows. I guess maybe it gives your more room in the double driveway to maneuver the snow blower (when it works) or a shovel.

And why doesn’t that neighbor sell that house? The woman’s been dead over a year now. It looks meticulously maintained on the outside? Are the kids fighting over what to do with it? Waiting for the real estate market to recover?

Why is the kid across the street moving? He just moved in not even a year ago. Did he marry that girl in December? Does somebody have a new job or did somebody lose a job? Was she in the picture when he bought the house, or does she hate it? The last guy fixed it up and then was transferred…according to the old guy mentioned above.

Most important to my life…where did that tree limb come from in my yard? It wasn’t there two hours before it appeared. We didn’t have any wind. It was a nice, pretty day. It’s not even facing my tree like you would expect it to. Is there any correlation between the limb and the young men who were sitting outside last fall in the neighbor’s backyard when it suddenly appeared on my side of the fence? Are the neighbors getting tired of looking at it as it now sits between the two houses? I think of it as natural art. It’s too big for me to break up without a chain saw. I’ll get my brother over here one day. Somebody could steal it if it bothers them. I wouldn’t call the police.

In the meantime, I wish I could see which tree it actually broke off of. Would be nice if I knew more about horticulture….or the neighbors.

Why the Staples Commercial Works

Have you seen the Staples commercial where the wimpy little office nerd is panicking because the printer is out of ink? He’s have a tizzy-fit because it’s a Dell printer and you can only buy ink from Dell. His co-worker hits the Staples easy button to solve the problem.

You may think this commercial is over the top, but let me tell you — it’s not. It’s very much  reality-based.

I  worked in an office that had a Dell printer and I was in charge of keeping it in ink. Until recently, you could only buy Dell ink cartridges from Dell….from their warehouse “somewhere” by ordering online or on the phone. You could not pick one up. You would have to wait at least overnight.

Even though my co-workers were college educated, they couldn’t/ wouldn’t cope with the printer when it had trouble. For example, they’d just walk away if there was a miss-feed…wouldn’t even bring it someone’s attention. So much for teamwork.

One day I had a temporary IT worker screaming at me we needed to buy a new printer immediately as it wasn’t printing. He wouldn’t listen to anything I said about my past experience with the toners, etc. This guy is at Sam’s Club on his cell phone, he’s yelling at me that he needs to buy a new printer. He’s got one of the partner’s credit cards, and he’s telling me I need to “approve” the purchase…when I had no authority to do so. Bottom line…on that occasion, and one other….. even though the printer was indicating there was a problem with the toner….the paper drawer was empty and that is why nothing was printing. The “low toner” message apparently outweighs the “out of paper” message…which promptly appeared when I switched to a new toner. After shaking the old toner and putting it back in the machine (these toners are about 90 bucks each)….and adding paper…out popped perfectly fine copies.Even Dell will tell you the toner warning is only a guideline…the machine counts copies, it doesn’t know how much actually ink you used. (You may have printed pages with only a few lines, which use very little ink.)

If you hear someone laughing at this Staples commercial — they have probably had contact with a Dell printer.

Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine (for me)

The staff at Mom’s retirement community told us a local hospital has a program where they spend a couple of hours evaluating seniors’ mental and physical status.

Mom’s been taking an anti-depressant, but doesn’t seem to be feeling any better. On Saturday she tearfully told me she wanted to jump out the window. I told her not to as she was only on the third floor, and thankfully she said she is too much of a coward.

I called the hospital today to make the evaluation appointment. I took pot luck as far as which doctor to see…I just picked the best day and time for me. At the end of the conversation, I asked the appointment gal how many geriatric doctors were on staff. She starts reading down the list of names, “Morely, Thomas, Tran, Flaherty, KEVORKIAN”. I laughed, “Well Mom might want to see Dr. Kevorkian.” I guess she’s heard it all before as she had no response.

Out of the Blue – A Funny Response

Paul Karason has been treating himself with a silver  for years. He first came up with the silver concoction in an effort to cure his dermatitis, but claims it cured some other health problems he had instead.

In the process, the silver has turned his skin blue.

As mentioned in a previous post, my mother is in the beginning stages of dementia, but she still has a great sense of humor. Today I asked her if she had seen the man who turned blue from the medicine he was taking…and her quick response was, “What was he taking, Viagra?”

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