Archive for the ‘HEALTH’ Category

ER horrors start at home!!!   1 comment

Wish I could have video taped the day I came home from the hospital walked into my apartment, saw all the IV bags stored in my refrigerators along with all the accessories needed including the IV pole—only one thing missing AND THAT WAS THE NURSE WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO HOOK ME UP TO GET THE NECESSARY ANTI-BACTERIA TO FIGHT THE INFECTED BLOOD!!
I was told it was necessary that I get the IV every 24 hours without fail (though I was never told what would happen if I missed a period.) Who goofed up? The Cardiologist who was supposed to get it set up? The social worker? The Head nurse? The insurance company? At this point it didn’t matter as I had no idea what to do after I called everywhere to find out that those who could help me were away for the rest of the New Year’s week.
The only decision I could come back to since I couldn’t find a doctor to admit me to the hospital was to go to the ER!Oh what a mistake that was though I still don’t know what I could have done instead! For 5 days I spent between 8-10 hours in the ER room seeing people being taken care who had come in way after me not matter what time I arrived.
Logically I could see the degree of emergency would enter the picture upon who was taken first but after 5, 6, 7 hours sitting, reading, listening to people literally groaning out loud, seeing people coming and going knowing your treatment would only needed 30 minutes things started to build. Add all the ‘discharge’ papers you gave to go through, the waiting for wrongs that never came, getting home around 11 PM and Midnight only to have to immediately go to sleep and once again arrange a ride back to the ER.

I had to go to my HMO insurance transportation to get a ‘early trip’ ride and sometimes they didn’t have a ride for me or even arranged one but no driver showed up and as had already mentioned there was always the Uber $46 one way ride.
I won’t get into the amenities, or should I say the lack of them in an ER, but one doesn’t except luxuries though it would be nice to have a little comfort, not  very hard chairs, better, quicker attention paid to patients!  It was the unbearable wait, the not knowing how long before YOU will be taken care of, paid attention to, some recognition.
No, I wasn’t in pain but after 6-7 hours waiting I was ready to walk out and that was only the first day!!
I will say the doctor on duty and 2 of the nurses got to know/recognize me and the last day they took me in almost immediately, gave me the 30 minute IV and even dispensed with the multi-page discharge papers that I already had 5 copies!

Posted January 7, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH

and then it got worse!   1 comment

On December 28 I was discharged from the hospital with the understanding that on December 29 a nurse would come to my apartment and set up a IV machine to continue to blood testing to get rid of all infected blood so my aorta valve wouldn’t get infected and cause dire problems.When I got home the IV med was delivered, the IV pole was delivered, various hoses and ‘doodads’ were delivered but NOT a nurse in sight nor would there be one before January 3 Monday!There was not a doctor, a nurse, a medical office open. available due to the New Year’s Weekend. Not having a single person to help intercede gave me a hopeless feeling I never felt before!

An aside before I get to my week of ER horrors!! I’ve looked over the hundreds of discharge papers and no where did I see the name of 2 procedures I went through one of which involved a tube down my throat to take x-rays but also left my throat very sore for several days and I was unable to eat, swallow and/or chew food! That was followed by a procedure first with clear liquid and then a vile liquid that caused me vomiting and diarrhea for 3 days and my introduction to adult diapers.

Oh yes, have I mentioned that I don’t have a car and have to depend on my HMO transportation, TOPS which is a city transit option and such things as Uber,  Yellow cab and Lyfte. In the case of the first you have to give 48 hours notice and in the second 24 hours so when you need to go to the ER neither is really an option!

How about, after 9 hours hanging around an ER and it is close to midnight, you are exhausted, tired and need to get home calling Uber and they are only charging $46 for a one way trip that normally costs $10.45!

You can always call for your HMO ride and then be put on hold for 1 hour 18minutes and 4 seconds (see picture at which point I hung up! and took a Yellow Cab for  the $10.45!)


Posted January 6, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH

Hospital wasn’t THAT bad but then….   Leave a comment

(Who has the sense to take pictures of their bloody floors when bleeding all over?  Thanks for cleaning the place Julie!)
It all started Sunday December 19 falling off my recliner (I think?) and then I found myself in Broward Health Center on Monday and spent until Tuesday December 28 in room 3034. The nurses, starting with Ashley who put my robe/gown on—first time I ever remember a nurse doing that as I always remember struggling tying the robe/gown in the back.Ashley was the start of a super line of nurses who were to help me–now if only I could say the same about the doctors but more about that later! (Also, why hasn’t someone made the gown/robe easier to get in and out of with Velcro instead of snaps and cords?)In any case even though I have always admired nurses the conditions they are now working are almost impossible. Many are working a 55 hour 3 day shift! They are short of equipment, short of help and always entering the room with a smile on their face.
Now on the  other hand I seldom saw a and/ or my doctor–I was never quite sure what I had and/or what I was being treated for but on Monday when my doctor said I would be going home in and hour and a half I couldn’t but help and smile. I was also told I would be visited daily by a nurse. I WAS NOT discharged in an hour and a half and in fact didn’t get out of the hospital until the next day at 3 PM but that was just the start of a horror I am still going through tonight at 7: 30 PM!!
I hope NO ONE has to spend going to the ER 4-5 days in a row or ‘live’ what I am going through now. I am, basically, an optimist but I am having a real hard time lifting my ‘spirit’ right now.

More to come.

Posted January 5, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH

The Invasion Begins!   Leave a comment

The villain–the big toe–that started it all!! Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream. It can occur spontaneously, during certain tissue infections, with use of indwelling genitourinary or IV catheters, or after dental, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, wound-care, or other procedures.

Bacteremia may cause metastatic infections, including endocarditis, especially in patients with valvular heart abnormalities. Transient bacteremia is often asymptomatic but may cause fever. Development of other symptoms usually suggests more serious infection, such as sepsis or septic shock.

OR  What diseases are associated with Streptococcus?

Group A streptococci (GAS) can cause various diseases, including strep throat, skin and soft-tissue infections (eg, pyoderma, erysipelas, cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, myositis, osteomyelitis, pneumonia, abscess), severe systemic disease, and long-term nonsuppurative complications (eg, rheumatic fever, acute glomerulonephritis)

I do know I have a ‘bad’ blood infection but right now that’s all I know and so I am on an IV which is a whole story itself and problem is if it gets in to the aorta valve it could be lethal!

Posted January 4, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH

Take a poll: Choose 1 or 2   2 comments

1)  In the 3rd picture I am still trying to figure out which is the  string beans and which is the  beef?!? This is a Broward Health Center liquid diet sample. (I did lose 16 pounds in the hospital but…..)


2)  “Your Diagnosis”


Elevated WBC count

Lactic acidosis


Acquired stenosis of aortic valve




Fever and chills


  More about the diagnosis tomorrow–I might become a doctor after all!!!


Posted January 3, 2022 by greatmartin in HEALTH

QUARTERLY HAIRCUT!!   Leave a comment

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I went to see my primary doc yesterday and we had a fairly long talk as he patiently listened to my moaning and groaning about the previous week with the cardiologists and hospital. He changed the bandages and said the incisions were healing nicely. Then he asked me for my ‘list’ as he knows I always bring a list of questions when I come to see him and this time was no different!

I seemed to be growing double nails at the tips of each nail plus they are cracking, splitting and are not only very brittle but are turning red! He explained that can happen when someone has heart trouble which was also the reason for my skin being very dry.

I, also, told him that I wanted to change my cardiologist(s) plus I didn’t want to deal with any doctors working out of Broward hospital unless they also had access to Holy Cross—the much better hospital in my opinion!  (In my old age I am becoming an expert on hospitals, doctors, treatments, etc.!)

When I asked him what hospital he was working out of he threw me a shocker by telling me that the Senior Medical Associates were recently bought out and that they did not want their primary doctors to be associated with any one hospital!!

Seems like I have to start doing a lot of research, starting with talking to my insurance company.Oh yes, at the same time my insurance company has changed the dental network they are providing which means I have 6 weeks to get everything done with my current dentist and he has been adjusting my new partial  bridge since April!!

PS My barber wanted to know what happened to my hair, what I was using, as it has turned a white white–ah, some more research. How can anyone say they are ‘bored’ being retired?!?!??

Posted November 23, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE


On July 21, 2008, I stopped smoking just before I was wheeled into the operating room to receive a pig aorta valve to replace the one I had and my only thought was “Why a pig valve in a Jewish boy?” In any case I haven’t smoked a cigarette since that day!Everything was going fine though I would think that Jew/pig and, also, I had read that the ‘lifetime’ of a replaced valve was about 20 years but really didn’t spend too much time on either though I will admit a conflict about pigs as it was the 4 pound ham I ate one night over New Year’s Eve that caused my going to the hospital with congestive heart failure and a relative of THAT pig provided the valve I needed to save my life–so I cut back on eating bacon and pork, not completely.I won’t get into the whole story about the ’10 year lifetime’, 2021 being 13 years, dealing with 2 new cardiologists, their not mentioning the valve but starting to ‘push’ a pacemaker and after referring to an expert in that field I didn’t hear anymore until I was told I was booked into the hospital for a aorta replacement in August but that was cancelled because ‘the machine was broke’–what machine? The Coke machine?
In any case it was at that point I started to think of the cardiologist that had done the pig valve replacement operation and that I should try to get in touch with him as I was very comfortable with him and he spent a lot of time answering my questions but I kept putting it off.I would bet that I dealt with and spent more time with the Nurse Practitioner of the 2 new cardiologists then I did with both guys but that was okay because she is great! I won’t go into everything because I have no one to blame but myself for not following through looking for the original cardiologist or asking any and old questions of the new guys.I went in knowing very little of what would happen before, what to expect during the operation and what to look for after the operation—THE LATTER WAS A HUGE MISTAKE!! Won’t go into details but I have never experienced any kind of fear when it came to my body whether the congestive heart failure, the pig valve replacement, having my appendix taken out in my 50s. etc., etc., but I was terrified, horrified, waking up in the middle of night in the hospital this week bleeding, and in pain, from a place I never excepted or warned that could happen.I don’t remember seeing either doctor before, during or after the operation except when it came to discharge time and that in itself was an additional horror. (Oh yes, the doctor did say I wouldn’t have any problem with breathing–BUT I DIDN’T BEFORE THIS DOCTOR!!)
I got home Wednesday afternoon and though I could walk and didn’t need help doing anything I am floored that for 3 days now I have slept from 1 AM straight through to 1 PM without waking once which is very odd for a guy my age plus I who have never been a ‘napper’ find myself napping 2-3 times between 1 PM and 1 AM!!!I have zip energy–took me about 3 hours to type this–and made the decision to NOT go to the ER and to wait until Monday to call my Primary doctor for advice and to call my insurance company to track down my ‘old’ cardiologist and see if I could come to his office.
This is really the first time I have had  uncomfortable experiences/feelings with doctors and will be the last.  A word advise from an old man:IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR DOCTOR, IF HE/SHE DOESN’T ANSWER QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD HAVE OR WON’T LISTEN TO YOU PLEASE, PLEASE GET ANOTHER DOCTOR!!!PS With all my moaning and groaning (and, yes GAINING 12 pounds the 24 hours I was in the hospital!!!) as you can tell I am well enough to smile, take selfies and I talked about getting a my semiannual crew-cut and shave with our local barber!!

Posted November 20, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE EVENTS

Why Medicare is so expensive?!!??!?!   Leave a comment

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Things are getting crazier EVERY day!! I was reminded of the Marx Brothers, Abbott & Costello, the Keystone Kops, Laurel & Hardy, etc. today. (For those of you old enough to remember them—mmmmm—wonder who is their equal today?)

After not being able to call any of the medical offices about my going to the hospital on the 14th I finally was able to connect with the nurse practitioner who was handling the aorta/hospital/heart paperwork for the 2 cardiologists–she was surprised that my insurance gave me 3 days for the procedure but she didn’t tell or say anything about THE procedure EXCEPT the machine (WHAT MACHINE???) is broke and that she would get back to me Wednesday—no, Thursday–and we will go from there!!!

WAIT!!! That was only the beginning of the day!

I called my pulmonary doctor’s office to check if they got the referral for my appointment on Monday September 27 at 1:45 PM and if he had scheduled the CT exam on Monday September 20 at the Broward hospital and if a referral was needed for that—I, also, explained what was going on about the hospital the previous week and I don’t know if I will be able to keep the following 2 appointments. Their response????? What CT exam??? What appointment with Dr. Singer on the 27th at 1:45 PM?!?!? I checked the calendar on my computer desk and I checked on the calendar in the kitchen–both verified the appointments!

Wait!! Round 2!

I decided to call Michelle, my primary doctor’s office manager, who is really on top of everything–no, she didn’t know about the hospital appointments because neither cardiologist or the nurse practitioner had informed her about it or what was going–all she had was the appointment for the neurologist in January 2022! When I asked her about the CT and Singer appointment she told me they never inform her what is going on and that my insurance never informs her about referrals. She added that the only time she knows what other doctors are doing is when I tell her or I bring in their reports or if I call her for a referral for doctors that I know need one for me to see them .And now Act 3!!!Take a look at the pill bottles above and the dosage of each.  I went to CVS to pick up 4 prescriptions and, since I was there, get my annual flu shot. No problem with either–well with one of the meds. My insurance covers most of my prescriptions except for Eliquis, Breo and Prasugrel. When I got the Eliquis I saw there was only 1 jar with 60 pills (taking 2 a day)–I explained to the woman behind the counter that I usually get 3 months supply as whether I get 1 month or 3 months it costs me a total of $9.60 which is why I take the 3 month supply.When I got home–instead of taking a shot of scotch or eating a carrot cake–I had a cup of tea, made my entry about the flu shot and took out the pills to put them away.  When I first started taking Eliquis I was taking a 5mg dosage once a day but between that, aspirin and Prasugrel I was bleeding profusely when I hit myself on anything so the cardiologist stopped the aspirin and cut the Eliquis dosage down to 2.5 mgs.

Do I really have to tell you??? Yes, it was the 5mg dosage not the 2.5!! First of all at 5mgs the pill is too small to cut in half and second of all IN FLORIDA THE LAW IS ONCE YOU TAKE A PRESCRIPTION OUT OF THE DRUGSTORE YOU CAN NOT RETURN IT!!!

I called Tim, the pharmacist, and explained what happened but he said there was nothing they could do about. By the way Michelle who I mentioned before gave me sample 20 boxes—14 tablets of 5mgs each–when my primary mentioned to her I was now on it.

I now have 14 boxes left with 196 pills for a total of 376 pills of 5mgs each which will go to waste and that is a waste!!! I will call Michelle and see what she can do as far as maybe giving them to patients who they are prescribed for, at least the boxes if not the jars!

Do I have to mention that I didn’t even have a chance to call my dental insurance and/or insurance
caretaker to look into that whole replacement business–I left messages and they are supposed to call me back—I’m waiting!!

More of the farce to take place tomorrow I am sure!!

Posted September 7, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, LIFE EVENTS, medicines

Annual doctor’s rant!!   1 comment

I believe I told you that on June 1 I went to Broward Hospital for am MRI and they ‘lost’ my denture and bridge—okay, the hospital agreed to take care of all the expenses for the replacements–briefly since mid-June I have been going to the dentist at least 3-4 times a month to have the new bridge adjusted and still doesn’t fit right–I can’t eat in public with them–today I had another appointment, another adjustment plus I now was getting an infection on my gums–I decided to discuss with the dentist starting from scratch with a new bridge model and he beat me to it saying they would take a new impression of my bottom teeth and go from there–then came up I would have to pay the difference between the one they made and the new one–I counted to 50 before I said anything–he said he would talk to their accountant and get back to me and I very, nicely, said it was their mistake and asked why should I be paying anything  and, aside from that it is they who should be talking to the hospital about any more charges–right now who pays is on hold as he waits to get the new material for the new bridge BUT that is nothing!!

In 2008 I had a pig aorta valve replacement–it has, generally, a 10 year life span–last November I told my new cardiologist (that’s a  whole other story) that I was concerned about the valve and was thinking maybe it was time to do something about it–long story short–since we discussed that I have seen the cardiologist maybe a total of 3-4 times for not even a total of 60 minutes plus I was introduced to another cardiologist in the office who I met twice, once when I was sedated for and/or after a test at the hospital–this is when a doctor I have never seen said I need a pacemaker on June 9th!! Next I heard I had to see a neurologist and no one in the cardiologists office knew why but I was set up for one in January 2022!!!!! 2 weeks ago I got a call from the heart doctor’s nurse practitioner telling me that she would get everything straightened out and that she was able to get me an appointment with a neurologist at Broward Hospital for September 14th and she would get back to me.

Keep in mind I was the only one who said anything about a valve replacement (heck I won’t go into the new cardiologist taking me off warfarin blood thinner that I had been on for 21 years with only ONE problem over 10 years ago and putting me on 3 blood thinners causing me to bleed profusely twice in the past month) and then I came home this afternoon and opened this letter–no discussion about it–no talking about scheduling it–getting the letter on the start of a long holiday weekend–no instructions about preparation—nada, nothing, nil.

And as I read the letter I could feel my blood pressure going up and then I talked to myself, decided to rant and rave and now I am calm, cool and collected but still don’t know what is happening! LOL

Posted September 4, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH

Have a cuppa   1 comment

In British English, a “cuppa” is acup of tea!In 1972 when I entered Transactional Analysis Therapy one of the first things pointed out to me was that I had an addictive personality. Part of that was an all or nothing at all attitude whether it be on a diet or not, whether it be drinking a case of diet cola a day, smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day, drinking alcohol until I was drunk or as it has been not smoking a single cigarette since July 2008 or not a drop of alcohol (not even in cooking because though it may evaporate my thinking would be, “Oh well, I had wine I might as well…….”), not a sip of cola, diet or otherwise, since science came to the conclusion in interferes with losing weight—hey, I need an excuse for the weight gain, though my doctor doesn’t buy it!I didn’t drink any coffee until I was in my twenties and then it was coffee every moment I was awake and not drinking alcohol!

I used to be a iced tea drinker but not too often and then I found out that I was becoming addicted to Aleve PM and Lorazapam for no reason at all as I didn’t need help to sleep. I did stop drinking regular coffee except 1 cup when I woke up or when I went out to eat, filling in with decaf.
I read an article about chamomile tea (which I still don’t pronounce correctly!) and decided to give it a try. I used 2 teabags to a cup plus a sweet ‘n low (okay, another addiction!) and a ‘shot’ of lemon juice. I stopped the Aleve and Lorazapam and all was going good.A few weeks after I started the tea I noticed The Dollar Tree was selling the chamomile tea plus others like peppermint which was caffeine free so I bought a couple of boxes and started to have 1 bag each of chamomile and peppermint (plus the lemon juice and sweet ‘n low!) If that wasn’t enough a few weeks ago they were selling a variety of teas and Winn-Dixie was having specials on tea from both Bigelow and Celestial but it was the new teas from The Dollar Tree that got my attention and, all of a sudden, during the day I was having the following:1) Herbal Helpers Detox Boost which had Tumeric, Chai Masal, Rosehip and Hibiscus plus green tea  2) Herbal Helpers Immunity Boost which contained Corlander, Ginger, Cinnamon and Clove 3) Herbal Helpers Energy Boost containing Aswagandha, Licorice and Cinnamon.  All contain natural antioxidants and none caffeine.

After checking out what the various herbs were—come on–do YOU know what Aswagandha is?!?!—and going to their web site: I started a routine of having the various teas at home and winding up the day with the chamomile and peppermint mix.Of all the teas the only one I didn’t like was called “Get Burning” which has a touch—too much of a touch—of chili pepper spice and black pepper which has too much of a ‘kick’. It also is made of Rooibos–an herb only available from South Africa–which sounds interesting and I would like to try without the other herbs and spices mixed in it.

Okay, I am doing the addiction thing again but all these are supposed to be good for my health and I am asleep before my had even hits the pillow. Mmmmm—wonder what my cardiologist will think of my mixing all these herbs with my meds???

Meanwhile want to come over and have a cuppa???

Posted August 23, 2021 by greatmartin in HEALTH, Teas

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