Medical errors are nothing new. After all, as educated, trained, and experienced as health care professionals may be, at the end of the day, they ARE still people.
And the biggest trait of peopledom is that we are fallible.
We have all heard the horror stories of wrong kidneys being removed, surgical instruments being sewn up inside a person - heck, last week, a man's penis was amputated without his permission.
Not even kidding.
The man had gone in for a routine circumcision, and the doctor "thought he detected cancer in the organ", so he removed it entirely.
You would think you might, oh, I dunno, ask before summarily wacking off - er, sorry, amputating a man's penis, right?
Well, unfortunately, general anesthesia had been administered (come on, for a simply circumcision???), so the man was unavailable for a consult.
Phillip Seaton, 61, and his wife are now suing Dr. John M. Patterson and the medical practice that performed the unexpected yanky his wanky (all credit to Long Duk Dong) for “loss of service, love and affection.” They are also seeking unspecified punitive damages from Patterson and the medical practice, Commonwealth Urology.
I hope they get everything that's cum - er, crap, my bad - coming to them for being subjected to an irreversible game of Pop Goes His Weasel.
As I said mistakes are made fairly regularly. Most of the time they do not have such dire consequences as with Mr. Seaton, or someone whose one good kidney was lifted, now leavng them on a donor waiting list and hooked to a dialysis machine.
Sometimes the errors are just clerical - and funny to boot.
71-year-old John Grady Pippen found this out recently when he went to Curry General Hospital in Oregon complaining of agonizing abdominal pain.
After examining Mr. Pippen and prescribing some pills, they also gave him the printed instructions relevent to his condition. You know, that paperwork which is generated by punching in some codes (flu, stitches, cramps, hamstring pull, etc) and given to you with your bill.
His read, "Based on your visit today, we know you are pregnant."
As was the pause which surely followed his reading of the document.
The "oops" was a simple clerical computer coding error - so no, this Grandfather is not going to be on the cover of People magazine anytime soon.
I am happy to report his stomach pain condition is improving - but then, laughter is the best medicine, right?
Received an email this morning from Mary Lou in Florida about Kellie Pickler's newest song / music video, Don't You Know You're Beautiful.
I just checked it out and it will be required viewing when my daughters all return from their respective endeavors tonight.
In a world where a ridiculous premium is put on perfectly porcelain white teeth, a size "0" booty in designer jeans, and magazines take glee in calling celebrities "fat" and "supersized" when they so much as eat a donut, it is easy for girls to look in the mirror and simply feel they don't measure up.
And while I realize it is easy for someone as gorgeous as Ms. Pickler (with her perfectly porcelain white teeth, and size "0" booty in designer jeans) to dispense platitudes such as this, I still think it has merit, and the messenger delivers it in an adorable fashion. The video is full of images of normal girls, all shapes, sizes, colors, even girls ripping up the soccer field like my lovely ladies do - and they ARE all beautiful.
Enjoy with your daughter - or just enjoy on your own. Don't YOU Know You're Beautiful? I know you are. :O)
One of the most decent of the old guard actors, a truly nice man, dedicated husband, loving father, activist, philanthropist, and a man who produced a pretty nice Marinara sauce, died Friday of cancer.
Rest in peace, Mr. Newman. You truly were one of a kind.
My thoughts are with Joanne - theirs was a beautiful, enduring marriage to learn from.
The "news" broke earlier this week, and it is now the bold headline on the cover of People magazine featuring Clay Aiken and his adorable infant son, "Yes, I'm Gay"
I put the word news in quotation marks up there because, well, let's be honest here, I don't think anyone was truly shocked.
OK, ok, I've read enough boards to know some delusional Claymates were rending their tear stained garments, trying to "pray away the gay", trying to come to terms with this violation of their undying love.
But they need to get a grip.
I don't profess to have the greatest "gaydar" in the world - heck, when Nsync was at the top, I adored (read: slobbered over) Lance Bass for God's sake - but when it came to Clay Aiken, I knew.
I also didn't care. The guy is a supremely gifted vocalist, a down to earth, compassionate human being, and funny to boot.
I applauded him when he and his friend, Jaymes Foster, decided to have a baby together. Why the hell not? And if he ever falls in love and decides to get married? I'll applaud that, too.
I don't understand why a gay or a lesbian wanting to get married, OR raise a child is such a big deal. I really don't.
That worn out crap about marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman because that's how it's always been? Spare me. We heteros haven't exactly done a bang up job in the marriage stakes - over half of ours end in divorce.
And for the record, it used to be that women couldn't vote, and it used to be that people owned slaves. Think that it should still be that way?
LOVE. It is not the sole domain of the hetero. It is felt just as equally, just as deeply, just as purely by someone who is gay as it is by someone who is not. And LOVE is what a child needs.
To those who have likened Clay Aiken to Michael Jackson, have called him a pedophile? STFU. Period. You are ignorant, you are hateful, you deserve to be debarked and placed behind a high fence topped with razor wire where you can't bother anyone ever again.
Being gay is a single component of being a person. Just as having brown eyes, small feet, a big dick, lopsided boobs, and a low IQ are but components.
Are there gay people who are pedophiles? Absolutely. Just as there are straight people, black people, white people, Asian people, accountants, US Attorneys, ministers, mailmen, grocery store clerks, and military people who are. Shit comes in all sizes and smells, my friends.
But making a grand characterization like that about someone based on their sexual orientation only shows serious ignorance and fear. Fear of someone different than yourself. And with so many people, different is scary, so different is bad.
As I said, a child requires LOVE. I don't care if it comes from one man, one woman, a man and a woman, two women, or two men. (I was very proud this morning on the drive to school when the DJs were talking about Clay's gayness. Carson piped up from the back seat, "Clay is gay? Cool.")
Clay Aiken is gay, yes. But more importantly, Clay AIken is a loving, nurturing father. And judging by that photo above, little Parker will never be lacking for what he needs most.
"Our economy is in grave danger..." President George Bush addressing the nation
The signs have been everywhere for a long while now. Jobs being cut left and right (last week over 32,000 new unemployment claims were filed). Gas prices are cutting into grocery money (we have to be able to get to work - if we have a job left). Grocery money is being taken from mortgage money (we have to eat). Mortgages are being left with no money. Families are being left with no home.
And now children are being left with no parents.
Shades of The Great Depression?
When the bottom fell out back then, an estimated 250,000 children became homeless, and as their parents could no longer care for them, feed them, they were left to wander the streets - no place to go, searching garbage bins for sustenance. The lucky ones were dropped at churches and makeshift orphanages until their parents could find a way to once again care for them, or until someone else came along with a big enough heart and wallet to adopt them.
Annie it was not. For most of them, the sun did not come out tomorrow.
It was not that those children were unloved. It was that their parents had no hope.
And as money woes spiral out of control, hope is also spiraling at an equally rapid pace today.
Since enacting its Safe Haven law in July - a law intended to provide for the safety of newborns who are not wanted or cannot be cared for, and who might normally end up as another gruesome "dumped dead baby" headline - Nebraska has seen 14 children deposited at hospitals by parents who can no longer care (and yes, in some cases, no longer want to care) for them.
A thirteen year old girl. Two brothers, ages 11 and 15. Nine children from one family, ages 1 to 17. And two others...
In some of the cases, parents have simply thrown their hands up, and thrown the towel in, over behavioral difficulties. But in others, like the case of the nine siblings, financial times have taken over.
Nine children. NINE. Yes, I do believe people should practice a tad more birth control than that. It's one thing when the infamous Duggars make a living out of their assembly line procreation - she is currently pregnant with number 18, and have scored a new reality show - but the average family of four has enough trouble afFOURding two children these days. (And no I do not agree with the proposal of Louisiana state Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, to pay poor women $1,000 to get their tubes tied. I'd rather see more people, rich, poor, in between practice a little more "condom sense.")
Giving a child up cannot be easy - yes, I know there are some pathetic excuses for parents out there who simply should never be allowed to have sex, but on the whole, most parents love their children. For most parents, including me, our children are the air we breathe. Our joy in a world with too little joy. The reason we get up in the morning.
I simply cannot imagine the emotional agony endured by a parent who has found themselves with no other recourse to insure their child's survival than to give them up. And I cannot begin to fathom the turmoil of the child, the feeling of loss, fear, betrayal?
Yes, our economy is in the fiscal shitter. Our homes are being foreclosed on. Our job market is shaky, with people holding their breath as they arrive at work, worried they won't have their job at the end of the day. And as people tuck their offspring in at night, more and more wrestle with how they will continue to feed them, clothe them, shelter them.
It should not be this way. This country is better than what has been allowed to happen to it. Left unchecked, unregulated, greed and corruption have stripped innocent people of their futures, and now, for some, of their children.
We MUST do better, because there is nothing "great" about this current "depression".
For our children, we MUST insure that the sun will come out tomorrow.
How far are we from this becoming a reality again?