Saturday, January 24, 2009

Good News

After I returned from Owasso yesterday afternoon, I called my brother-in-law to see what the doctor had said about her broken hip. He said the doctor showed them the x-rays and the hip had healed nicely. He said the doctor didn't know why her physical therapy had not progressed faster. She has sat in a chair for nine weeks, only lately with her feet elevated. She has had physical therapy of some kind almost every day but no one pushed her to get on her feet on her own during the day and walk with the walker.

So my brother-in-law told the doctor he wanted to take her home next week. He said their primary care physician would be the one to approve that. The last time he spoke to her doctor, he told him the osteopathic specialist was in charge of her care. They just pass the responsibility back and forth. He will talk to their doctor as soon as he can get a hold of him.

In the meantime, my brother-in-law pushed to get her on her feet. She resisted that but the therapist insisted on it. She walked halfway down the hall and back with the walker.

My suspicion is that the doctor and the nursing home wanted to get their full 100 days out of Medicare. For one thing, neither doctor ever visits her at the nursing home and I can count on one hand the times they visited her when she was in the hospital.

Having taken a medical coding course, I suspect they have billed medicare for regular rounds. My niece has been with her every single day and has never seen a doctor there and only saw one four or five times during the four weeks she was in the hospital.

I realize I am being a skeptic but I think I have every reason for that. It has been nine weeks since her fall. It is and always has been my contention that you must be assertive with doctors and take your health care into your own hands. I don't trust most of them to give their patients good care and careful monitoring.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Trip to Owasso

Today Bob will go to Bartlesville for a Red Cross class there. I will go to Independence and pick up Juanita, my 87 year old friend, and take her to Owasso, Oklahoma with me. She doesn't get to go anywhere anymore except just around Independence because of her macular degeneration. Owasso, is just north of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and has a new shopping area. She has never been there. I have been there twice, the last time in April. It's about 70 miles from Coffeyville and about 15 miles further from Independence but no further then a trip to Joplin.

It will be a nice mild day and Slinky can stay outside. He has been staying outside during these warm (60-70) days. He loves it. I will put his water out there so he will have that.

I don't need a thing but they have a new Olive Garden and we love to eat there so we will enjoy a lunch anyhow. We will check out the sales. I could use a couple of sweaters to replace the two that the moths got into last year. In winter I mostly wear jeans and sweaters.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Real Quandary

I did some house cleaning this morning, read until I finished Bob's book, "The Appeal" and then worked a bit in the yard cleaning flower beds. Finally we went to the market and picked up some grocerys.

Afterward I went to the nursing home to visit my sister for an hour or so.

It's been nine weeks since she broke her hip and my niece, who goes in and sits with her mom every day for most of the day is wearing down. Today, as we stood outdoors after we left, she broke down and cried. It's been a terrible strain on her. I told her to stop going and let her mom depend on the buzzer to get help. But she can't bring herself to do that. She's such a goodhearted woman. I do not believe my brother-in-law is going to be able to handle my sister 24/7. He does not have a clue what he is in for. She is not always lucid and is still not up on her feet walking. We don't know why. The doctors tell us nothing. She had x-rays yesterday and she has a doctor's appointment tomorrow and hopefully they will learn something.

Why on earth has it taken nine weeks and she still isn't walking with her walker except when the physical therapist is there?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Surprise

Day before yesterday I sent a long letter to the editor about Martin Luther King and President Obama's inauguration . It came out in yesterday's newspaper on the front page and took up fully a quarter of the page. I was shocked. I figured it might appear Sunday in the letters to the editor.

I think the American people will see very soon the difference between an intelligent and thoughtful president and the one we have endured for eight long years. Hopefully, they will vote more carefully in the years to come. An informed electorate is vital to sustain a free nation. It's bad enough that the people allowed the Supreme Court to select Bush in the beginning, when Gore plainly captured the popular vote by half a million votes but to re-elect him was almost unpardonable. I would have thought they would have noticed how many mistakes and bad decisions he had made in his first administration. And the fact that he allowed Cheney to really run the show and Rumsfeld to run the army, was incredible. Well, it's's finally over. Now we can sit back and see if this new president really has a handle on how to get us out of the messes the Bush administration created for us by all that deregulation.

And the unspeakable Cheney...whatever the reason for the wheelchair yesterday, he won the last battle concerning his papers. The historians sued to be sure he would not destroy his papers upon leaving office and the courts ruled they trusted him to do the right thing and choose which ones to leave to history.

"The Court expects," the judge said, that White House officials "will, in good faith, comply with the representations that their officials have made, by way of testimony, in this case." As a result, she granted summary judgment on the White House's behalf and lifted a five-month-old injunction mandating the preservation of Cheney's records.

One of the plaintiffs, Stanley I. Kutler, an emeritus professor of history and law at the University of Wisconsin Law School, said he remains worried that "when the Archives goes to open Cheney's papers, they are going to find empty boxes."

Cheney "spent most of his time making sure he left no footprints," said Kutler, who has written two books on Watergate and President Richard M. Nixon's White House tapes. "Why did he fight this order so much if he did not have the intent to leave with these papers? I'm guessing that a lot of it will not be there."

Well, what's done is done now. I have no doubt we will never get the entire picture now. The man that nominated himself for vice president so he could run the country from that position (knowing full well he could not be elected) won this last battle after all.

Another thing that the new president needs to do is to stop calling this war "The War on Terror". That gives fuel to the Islamic world who feel we are labeling them all terrorists and is not a smart idea at all.

The Nation explained "War on Terror" was useful only for the President, but irrational for the nation. Terrorism is not an enemy; it is a method of using violence to gain political objectives. Its tactics are usually employed by weaker, irregular groups against governments that possess organized armies and the modern means for waging war formally and more destructively (both methods of violence may target and destroy the lives of innocents). Terror campaigns are cruel by nature but in some instances are regarded as righteous, when the violence is used to liberate oppressed peoples from colonial rule, as in Vietnam or Ireland, the creation of Israel or even the United States".

After all, the British considered the American patriots to be terrorists.

The new administration needs to come up with another term to use to describe what we are confronting.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Historic Day

Bob and I missed the inauguration this morning. He had a doctor's appointment in Bartlesville at 9:10. But after we got home, I checked in with one of the websites where I sometimes post and found he had made these remarks in the speech. When he made them, the camera turned to Bush and I guess his face was a study.

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint."

I have the very strong conviction that this president will be a classic.

Busy Day Yesterday

I went to Service Office and Supply yesterday and picked up the class newsletter and Bob and I worked for a couple of hours, folding and stamping it and getting it ready to be sent out today. I made brownies for the Living the Questions group here last night. I also made a pot of chili for dinner. We had brownies with ice cream over them for the dessert for the group.

It was a good evening. There was lots of good discussion.

I had to bring Slinky back in the kitchen though. It got too chilly for him.

We go to Bartlesville today for Bob's Dr. Eslicker (skin doctor) appointment and then a hurried trip to Independence after that for my MC3 board meeting. We will eat at Calico Cafe after that. They have a buffet with a lot of choices for Bob.

Then I want to come home and work on my scrapbook of John and Leslie's new home. They now have the painting and "knock down" done on all but the great room and she is ready to being painting it after they finish the great room. They are beginning to see some progress again after a very slow December.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Big Celebration

The Martin Luther King Celebration in Independence was to a packed house. Dr. Jackson gave a rousing sermon to a cheering congregation. The music was great too. It was quite different from the quieter celebration in Coffeyville the day before.

The only damper on the evening was that our speaker, Dr. Timothy Jackson, from Bartlesville, got the time wrong and was thirty minutes late. Luckily there was a lot of program before his sermon and he was not late for his sermon.

Afterward, we all gathered in the all purpose room behind the church and had refreshments. There were 153 there, compared to the 52 at the Coffeyville celebration. Thorough planning made the difference.

Anyhow, it's on to the Barach Obama inauguration celebration now! I hope it goes off without a hitch.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Second Martin Luther King Celebration

Tonight is the second Martin Luther King Celebration...this one is in Independence at the Church of the Brethren at 6:30 this evening. Again, I will take cookies. I was chairman of the planning but turned the bulk of it over to the two black pastors since it was important to them to do the planning. I did get the speaker for them.

We have church at Crossroads this morning and our budget business meeting. Then this evening, we will attend the services at Independence and the reception afterward. We received the Independence Reporter first this morning. We take the Independence Reporter and the Coffeyville Journal. There on the front page of the Reporter was a nice sized picture of Dr. Tidwell, the speaker, and Dr. Paul Price, who served as master of ceremonies for the service yesterday. Under that picture, was a good sized story about the services.

Finally, an hour or two later, the Journal came and we looked for some kind of story about that service. There was not a word.

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Journal. I hope he prints it because I am sure those that made the effort to attend that very interesting service of celebration yesterday are just as disappointed as we were not to find a mention of it in our own newspaper.

Here is my letter:

Dear Editor,

Yesterday morning, Saturday the 17th of January, PINCH of Coffeyville sponsored a Martin Luther King Memorial Service at 10:00 at First Christian Church in Coffeyville. Refreshments followed the service and a good number of the people who attended stayed for the fellowship. We hoped to see a story about the service since we had as a guest speaker, Dr. James E. Tidwell, professor of English at Kansas University, who is a former resident of Independence, Kansas. Imagine my surprise when the Independence Reporter arrived first and there on the front page was a nice sized picture of Dr. Tidwell and Dr. Paul Price of Coffeyville, who acted as master of ceremonies for the service, and a very good story underneath it.

I was excited to see the Coffeyville Journal, my hometown newspaper, to read what they had to say about the service. I was appalled to find that not only was there no picture, but there was not a word about the service anywhere to be found either.

Want to know why subscription numbers are off? I can tell you. We can get the national news and, yes, even sports, from the internet but we cannot get our local news there. The only place we can find that is from our hometown newspaper. At least, one would think that would be the logical place to find local news.

When I was a young woman and worked at the Journal as a proof reader, I wrote "Little Locals" on Saturday evening from tidbits called in from the community. I believe it was one of the best read areas in the newspaper because it was "little locals".

You might try re-instituting that feature again.

It certainly wouldn't hurt the circulation and it might help keep avid readers like me happy.