Friday, March 29, 2013

Generational Diogenes

After studying the cynic philosophy for a few years, I've come to the realization that every generation throughout time has had it's own local version of Diogenes, a controversial character who travels in dog-like fashion throughout the countryside in search of an honest man.

And what I've recently discovered is that the Arizona baby-boomer generation had Mr. Peabody.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Talk To Your Pharmacist Before Self-Medicating

A few years ago, when I was working for a retail pharmacy chain, I noticed a nice couple checking out products in the vitamin section of the store. They seemed a little confused about the various choices, so I stepped out from behind the counter and asked if I could help them out.

The woman had a bottle of ferrous sulfate (iron) 65 mg tablets in her hand. She said that her doctor told her that she needed to supplement her diet with iron, and to take 325 mg three times daily until her next appointment. But, she also said that she found what she needed and didn't need my help, and began to walk away.

Sensing a serious error about to occur, I asked her how many tablets she was going to take each day? She turned around and told me 15 tablets - 5 tablets (325 mg) three times daily.

I can't tell you how relieved I was that I went out to talk with them.

Pharmacists know where I'm going with this, but many others may not. Sometimes the labeling on OTC (over-the-counter) and prescription products can be confusing. That's why, even when you don't think that you need to, YOU MUST TALK WITH YOUR PHARMACIST before self-medicating, and before taking any medications or supplements.

For the public, let me describe the potentially serious problem that was averted -

The doctor told the patient to take 325 mg of iron. But, what he actually meant was to take 325 mg of "ferrous sulfate", an iron supplement that contains 65 mg of "elemental" iron. The OTC bottle of iron that she had was labeled to show the amount of "elemental" iron per tablet. This nice lady thought she needed to take 5 X 65 mg in order to get 325 mg of "iron". If she hadn't talked to me beforehand, she would have taken FIVE TIMES the dose of iron that she was prescribed by the doctor.

Now, you may say to yourself, "that's no big deal, it's just a vitamin". But, that assumption would be a BIG MISTAKE. Iron is a very toxic supplement when overdosed, especially in children. Taking such a high dose of iron, and especially for a prolonged period of time, could have potentially been fatal. This couple thanked me profusely for my intervention.

So you see my friends, pharmacists ARE superheroes. We ARE able to use our powers for good, to save lives, and to make a difference in peoples' health care. But, maybe you've already heard of me.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Other Dave

Life changes people; especially when it involves 1 billion volts of electricity. “Super Dave” Manning, was on his way to a pro golf career when lightning permanently changed his perception of reality.

The Other Dave from The Other Dave on Vimeo.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Who's Really Exploiting The System?

If there's one common complaint that I've heard coming from retail pharmacists and techs nationwide, it's about dealing with seemingly able customers who they consider are abusing the welfare system. I've even heard some of them say that they "hate" those leeches. Although it's never bothered me as much as some of my former colleagues, I can understand their anger.

Imagine working in pharmacy located in a poorer section of town and constantly dealing everyday with customers who seem to have no overt physical problems, dress nicely, drive expensive vehicles, and perhaps even wear more bling than you, and who then use Medicaid/AHCCCS/ Workers Comp or some other type of social welfare program to pay for their prescriptions.

And to top it off, you find out that some of those welfare recipients can't speak English, increasing your suspicions that they might not even be Americans!

It's not hard to understand why those pharmacists and techs are angry at people who they think are exploiting the system. They've struggled, they've sacrificed, they've worked hard and put up with a lot of bullshit to earn everything they've got. Why should their hard-earned tax dollars be spent supporting people who are being allowed to suck off the system? Who wouldn't agree with that? I know that I do.

Of course, things aren't always what they seem to be.

I'm sure that many welfare recipients aren't exploiting the system and truly need the help. Although a few of us have probably said it, wishing that we could be in their shoes to live their lives of ease isn't the answer. If you've dealt with some welfare patients behind the scenes, and see how they really live, you wouldn't wish their quiet lives of desperation on your worst enemies.

That being said, yes, I'm also sure that there are some welfare patients exploiting the system. And you want to know what? It's not fully their fault. Lack of enforcement is the problem. Exploitation of any system would rarely occur if it was designed appropriately and the rules enforced to protect it.

But, exploiting the system is what America is all about. That's how we roll.

The problem with America today hasn't been caused by some poor schlub who may taking advantage of the social welfare system. America, and the rest of the world too, is in crisis because of the lack of enforcement against corporate crime, and corporate welfare. That's where most of our tax dollars are being spent. That's where the bulk of any type of investigation and reform should be directed.

As such, when you begin to read investigative reports into crimes involving the social welfare system, ask yourself why, especially during this period in time, are such investigations are being conducted?

Is it because the social welfare system is truly in crisis and could cause the American economy to fail? Or is it because the grand old "party of hate" is attempting to redirect your anger away from the real crimes being committed against the American public, in an effort to exploit you?

So, if you feel the need to have to hate people, then make sure that you're hating the right people.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Valibation | A Short Film

Some might call them the new cigarettes - hand held devices. For objects that supposedly increase our connection to the world, it’s amazing to think how solitary they have made us become.

VALIBATION from on Vimeo.

Friday, March 15, 2013

It's National Poison Prevention Week

National Poison Prevention Week is March 17-23, 2013. Is your hospital prepared to handle any type of poisoning referral? Be prepared. Antidotes for Emergency Treatment of Poisonings

Source: Texas Poison Center Network

Free, confidential hotline available 24/7 for poisoning emergencies or questions: 1-800-222-1222. Specially-trained doctors, nurses and pharmacists here to help day or night.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Korea: Open Condom Style

Well, based on recent news reports coming out of North Korea, it's quite possible that more American military personnel could be shifted into South Korea soon.

Knowing that some of the current American sexually-transmitted diseases originated from the country also known as "The Land of the Morning Cum Calm" to soldiers many decades ago, I'd like to remind our service men and women that if you're going to have sex while being stationed in South Korea, and especially in North Korea, to listen to Dr. Jason and practice safe sex open condom style.

Source: The Factory Music Studio

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Papal Conclave Countdown

According to a Chicago Tribune news report today -
Cardinals will hold a final pre-conclave meeting on Monday to discuss the state of their Church, left reeling by the abdication last month of Pope Benedict and struggling to deal with a string of sexual abuse and corruption scandals.
Along with other social issues, these sexual abuse scandals and corruption charges have wreaked havoc on Church membership. Although the Catholic Church still has millions of followers worldwide, many of it's faithful followers have become disillusioned, and many have been leaving in droves.

So, word in the street is that Church leaders also decided to send out their special Vatican reporter this weekend in order to educate non-Catholics about how the concept of Purgatory works, and to try to convince them why they should convert to Catholicism.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare

Escape Fire is a film that tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: what can be done to save our broken medical system?

The film examines the powerful forces trying to maintain the status quo in a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground.

Award-winning filmmakers Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke follow dramatic human stories as well as leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of government, medicine, industry, and even the US military. The film is about a way out. It's about saving the health of a nation.

Watch Escape Fire on Sunday, March 10th at 8PM & 11PM ET on CNN. Here's the trailer -

ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare (Trailer) from Our Time Projects on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ars Magna | A Short Film

Enter into the obsessive and compulsive world of anagrams with Cory Calhoun, a man who took the first three lines of Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be" soliloquy and made them into what's been called the "world's greatest anagram." As you'll soon find out, he may be obsessive, but he's also a genius.

Ars Magna, which means "great art" in Latin, is an anagram of the word anagrams. Watch it and then vote for your 2013 People's Choice Winner, as part of the PBS 2013 Online Film Festival.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

It's time for your morning fix. Beyond being the world’s favorite hot beverage, coffee, as any aficionado will tell you, is a matter of a great art and, often, great snobbery.

But what, exactly, makes the ancient beverage that manifests in your cup every morning a modern masterpiece? Has the process really changed over the years? Success lies in a single word: Care.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Heartbreak Of Drug Abuse

Some people are more susceptible to addiction than other people. But, you'll never know if you're one of them until it's too late. Is it worth the risk? Wanda Jo lost her son Brian to drugs. Brian’s addiction started with smoking pot. It ended in a prison cell and death at age 35.

Source: Navajo County Drug Stories

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Morning Sixto

Just some Saturday morning Cold Fact blues to ring in the sequestration impasse.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Does Horton Give A Hoot?

At the crossroads of our big debate about job growth and our big debate about healthcare debt, the public radio show Marketplace brings this animated short inspired by Dr. Seuss and composed by senior health care reporter Gregory Warner.

Learn how local politicians seeking job growth may encourage hospital over-expansion, driving up our insurance premiums and taxes and even creating a health care jobs bubble.

Hobbs is a fictional city whose mayor has a very real problem: How will he implement his scheme to bring in good clean health care jobs when every other American city is trying to do the same? How far will he go to nab those fabled 'medical tourists?' And how much will this medical arms race affect our insurance premiums and taxes?

Oh The Jobs (Debt?) You'll Create! from Marketplace on Vimeo.