Tuesday December 5, 2017

It was 45 degrees, cloudy, and windy when Al took Colin at 7:30.

The hospital called me at 10:30pm Sunday night. Bob had coded and was back in ICU. I called Frances and Al, dressed, and headed for Winston. They were there and had been back to see him when he arrived at 11:50. We stayed at the hospital until 3am. They were starting him on a chilling protocol where they lower his body temperature for 24 hours and keep him heavily sedated to protect his brain function and other organs while he recovered. At this point we only knew he blood pressure had dropped and caused the event.

We went home to Frances and Al’s where we all dozed in recliners fully dressed just in case we got “the call”. At daybreak Al headed up here to take care of Colin and home front. I called to check on Bob. He was “stable” so we spent the morning resting. Dr. Lee called to let me know he had aspirated on the junk in his lungs which cause the crash not the heart.

We ran errands and had lunch then back to the house to rest and let Frances handle some stuff she needed to do via phone. We went out for a quick dinner then I called to check on Bob. He was still heavily sedated and “stable”.

This morning I called the hospital at 6am. They were warming him back up and would be trying to bring him slowly out of the sedation today. I headed back up here around 7am and Frances headed to work.

I will get things done here today then go back down to Winston this afternoon to stop at the hospital to check on things and to be in Winston just in case things go south again. Al will remain here taking care of the home front.

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34 Responses to Tuesday December 5, 2017

  1. nick flandrey says:

    Oh damn. Have faith that this is just a temporary setback. It’s hard to stay positive in the face of things like that, but it does help.

    As always, we’re pulling for you both,


  2. DadCooks says:

    Barbara, you and Bob are in my every prayer. My strongest hopes, wishes, and prayers for you both. Bob is lucky to have a strong woman like you. I am sure he knows that and he will do his best.

    Peace, Love, and Hope.

  3. Dave says:

    I agree with everything Nick and Dad said. I can’t say it any better than they did, so I won’t try. Wish there were something we could do to help.

  4. Denis says:

    Continued best wishes to you both. I can’t say it better than has already been done.

  5. nick flandrey says:

    Something to inspire Colin:


    The sheep had its moment, but Jim wins in the end.


  6. Clayton W. says:

    Best wished for RBT and OFD both. Get well soon.

  7. Ray Thompson says:

    It is just astounding to me how quickly things went downhill requiring major surgery and hospital time.

    As much as RBT had complained about the cost of health insurance this is one instance where the lack of such coverage would have been a financial disaster. Liens on property, a debt that could never be resolved, perhaps loss of savings. I suspect the cost of the care has probably well exceeded $600K and will go higher.

    As much as I hate obuttwadcare, the cost, the absurdity of the subsidies, and most importantly the insurance companies, without such coverage many people would fall of the edge. My wife had kidney stones blasted, billed cost about $20K. She needs to have it done again, cost about $20K. Without insurance that combined $40K would have been a financial disaster for me. I could have paid but it would have put me on beans and rice for a couple of years.

    What irritates me is the networks and the providers at the hospital. The hospital is in network, the surgeon is in network, but the only choice for anesthesia is out of network. Simply no other option. The anesthesia group does this on purpose. They know they can charge more to the patient by being out of network. In my mind since I am using a networked facility I should get network rates and deductibles. Nope. Don’t like it go somewhere else. But such a facility does not exist. All network facilities use non-network providers.

    Oh, and in a non-emergency situation the hospital requires payment up front. If you pay more than what insurance actually says you need to pay the hospital is quite clever at padding their services to cover the overage.

    Anyway, enough of my bitching. Good luck with RBT and my prayers are also with him to get back to a somewhat normal life with a reasonably speedy recovery. I am anxious to here his comments on the experience.

  8. nick flandrey says:

    “Without insurance that combined $40K would have been a financial disaster for me. I could have paid but”

    There are at least 3 other scenarios:

    1) you/she wouldn’t have had the litho-tripto-whatever treatment. This was the ONLY choice for most of history.

    2)you’d have had a different insurance plan, with either better or worse, cheaper or not, coverage.

    3) without massive price fixing and collusion, with open pricing and competition, the treatment would be reasonably priced and you could pay for it out of savings, or a supplemental ’emergency’ plan.

    I’m facing the very same treatment, and if I had no insurance, I wouldn’t pay for it at that price. It’s a different matter when the treatment is lifesaving and time sensitive, which makes it a coercive power imbalance, between you and the hospital, which is why mandatory pre-published rates and pricing transparency would be so important.

    Prices are what they are because the person receiving the service is rarely the entity paying for it (and it’s easy to spend other peoples’ money), and when they are paying, they have no power to negotiate, and no information with which to make informed decisions. Any forum where you have these conditions you end up with a similar dynamic, see also airlines and business travelers.


  9. Ray Thompson says:

    without massive price fixing and collusion

    How true. Hospital bills insurance $16,000 ($4,000 was for other stuff) for the wife’s procedure and insurance only allows $3,500 as that is the contract amount. Thus an almost 70% excessive charge by the hospital. I am certain the hospital writes the extra $12,500 off as a loss on their taxes or takes some other business deduction.

    Worse is the labs that do blood work and other tests. Recent physical some blood test was billed to insurance at $100.00. Insurance only paid $10.00, which was in full (I paid no part of it). That is a charge that is 10 times what insurance paid. If the lab is making money at $10.00 they are ripping people off at $100.00.

    The entire healthcare system is a major scam and rip off scheme.

  10. JimL says:

    I suspect they are not making money at $10, but the cost is not $100, either. The trouble is (as others have pointed out) that nobody outside the accounting offices have any idea what the actual cost is.

    I would so much rather walk into a McDonald’s Dr’s office. Prices on the menu board. Pay the bill & get treated.

  11. SteveF says:

    without massive price fixing and collusion, with open pricing and competition, the treatment would be reasonably priced and you could pay for it out of savings, or a supplemental ’emergency’ plan.

    Quoted for Truth

  12. Jenny says:

    Barbara I don’t know what possible good strangers can do from the other side of the country but my husband and I care about you, and Robert. Reading your and Roberts writings and often learning something new are part of my daily routine. You two have built a good community and your well being matters to this stranger across the country.

    My husband and I have had, regrettably, too much time in and out of hospitals in the last six years. We have had our noses rubbed in our mortality. Our friends and families carried us through the practical physical challenges and we dug deep and found some intestinal fortitude for the rest.

    It sucks. It’s hard.

    But it’s what we mortals do

    You and Robert have a large hidden internet of people who care deeply and are sending their own versions of wishes, vibes, prayers etc for recovery.

    You need but say the word and I am certain that help of a more tangible and practical nature will materialize.

  13. MrAtoz says:

    Oh my, my best for Bob and you too Barbara. Please keep us posted on Bob’s condition.

  14. nick flandrey says:

    “You need but say the word and I am certain that help of a more tangible and practical nature will materialize.”

    Yes. this. absolutely.


  15. Al Carnali says:

    Ditto with what the rest said. We’re all praying and hoping for the best.

  16. CowboySlim says:

    Roger that to the above!

  17. lynn says:

    Worse is the labs that do blood work and other tests. Recent physical some blood test was billed to insurance at $100.00. Insurance only paid $10.00, which was in full (I paid no part of it). That is a charge that is 10 times what insurance paid. If the lab is making money at $10.00 they are ripping people off at $100.00.

    BCBSTX has a behind the scenes relationship with the labs in Texas. My monthly blood work is $65.00. My portion is $3.37 and BCBS writes the balance of $61.63 off. I have read before that BCBS is paying the lab an annual fee that covers most, if not all, work performed by the lab for BCBS insured.

  18. lynn says:

    “Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV vs. Sling vs. Vue vs. DirecTV Now: Face-Off!”

    None of these give me my current usage on satellite DirecTV. But they are way cheaper.

  19. CowboySlim says:

    I cut my Cable TV, ~$140/mo, after the NASCAR season last fall. Used Sling for 2 months for $25 per. Then just prior to 2017 NASCAR season, went back to Spectrum/TWCable for $29.99/mo each for TV, Internet and Landline phone.

    Some NASCAR races are OTA, which Sling doesn’t carry. Also, couldn’t record Sling so if not home, could not watch them.

    Today, could not watch fights on the Jerry Springer show…..OTA covering fires.

  20. paul says:

    Yes, what Al said.

    I signed up for O’care. $142 and change a month. Just a soda more than I was paying DirecTv. Out of pocket is around $2000 before they pay anything.
    Not such a deal but better than last year’s offer of $650/month and $8000 out of pocket.

    I had to bury Schwartzer on Sunday. Not a surprise.

    From the ground to the deck, by the back door, we have what I call Dino Stairs. It’s one 2×6 up and three 2x6s across. Dino was getting real old when the deck was built.

    Schwartzer face planted on the first step a couple of weeks ago. I hoisted him up and he went on his way. He’s been puffed up in the belly and yay, whistling not-smelly farts for the last couple of months. He never acted like anything hurt. Ate like a pig, too.

    This is the dog that was hit on the snout by a rattlesnake… survived that after a weekend at the Vet’s… with his head puffed up to the size of a small watermelon. The neighbor shot gunned an 8 foot rattler a week later at his house. Messy, all up the side of the house.

    He went under the front deck Friday and couldn’t get out. I slithered in on plastic feed sacks, grabbed his front feet and pulled him onto a feed sack. Hauled him into the kitchen, onto a rug, with a towel as a blanket. Fed him supper. Yeah! Turkey stock! He never got his legs under him. But not for lack of trying.

    So, we dug the grave. I put some hay in there and a couple of cookies in my pocket.

    While some folks were discussing what to use, .22 or 380 whatever… totally putting this off…. but walking by and scritching his ears… Dog went on his way.

    Old age and congestive heart failure.

    Eighteen years and 3 months.

    Sure is quiet.

  21. lynn says:

    I had to bury Schwartzer on Sunday. Not a surprise.

    Sorry to hear that. Despite their faults, they are good friends and companions. And 18.25 is quite amazing for a large dog.

    My British Cocker Spaniel, Lady, turned 15 today. She is getting very slow and very picky. She wont even eat half of the canned / pouch food that I now buy her. She will still eat the HEB HF turkey with gravy pouch though. All day long ! And, Vienna sausages. One for me, one for Lady, one for me, …

    When I go on my 1.1 mile daily walk, Lady has to ride in the wagon for the first 2/3rds of the journey. Then she walks normally for a while and then, goes into sled dog mode for the last 1/10th of a mile. Sled dog mode used to be for a full half mile. And my daily 1.1 mile walk used to be 2.0 miles …

  22. lynn says:

    Well, complaining does seem to work occasionally. The sanitary sewer manhole in my front sidewalk started heaving all of a sudden. When it got to three inches above the sidewalk, I emailed the sewer people who promised to take a look at it. About a month later, two red X’s appeared on the sidewalk. Yesterday, they showed up, ripped out two sections of the sidewalk and reconcreted them along with the manhole surround. Now everything is flat and not a pedestrian hazard. I also complained that I had circular cracks in my driveway around the manhole cover. I was told that is my problem.

  23. nick flandrey says:

    Sorry to hear that Paul, we give them our hearts…


  24. Al Carnali says:

    Sad news Paul. Losing a pet is always heartbreaking.

  25. brad says:

    Sure hope things take a turn for the better for our host, and OFD.

    @paul: Losing a pet is hard. Think back to the good times. We’re coming up on it with one of our animals. He’s almost 15, and big dog, so we never thought he’d make it this far. Those darned legs keep slipping out from under him – barely under his control any more. But he’s still cheerful and happy. I joke (but I’m actually pretty serious) that he’s my role model for aging gracefully: totally happy to do whatever he still can, and just shrugging off the rest.

  26. Ray Thompson says:

    I see where the Time person of the year are the women who have spoken out about sexual harassment. I was watching Today on NBC and they were interviewing an actress about the selection.

    The white male is now official an endangered species.

    The actress was describing what has to be changed. Hiring more women, never mind about qualifications. Men must be held accountable for their actions, nothing stated about women. Too many men in positions of power over women, nothing stated about men. Women need to band together to fight and challenge the oppression, nothing about men. Extremely biased opinion and based on rumors, probably gleaned from some women’s magazine.

    Why anyone thinks some actor or actresses opinion is worth anything is beyond me. A typical clueless movie or TV star, net worth millions, talking oppression, lack of opportunity, etc.

  27. nick flandrey says:

    I was wondering this morning about how I’ve been sexually harassed. Seems like anything even remotely sexual or having to do with sex (not the act, but the result of XX and XY) that I don’t like is harassment.

    I guess when I complained in the shop and was asked by the tool crib guy “Does your p#ssy hurt?” I was harassed. I guess when I was moving too slowly and was asked if I needed a pail (for all the milk I was getting out of the task- milk maids being female) I was harassed. I guess when my lunch meeting had his hand “slip” off the gearshift and touch my knee I was harassed. I guess I wasn’t harassed when a clerk handed me a quarter for a copy machine and slyly told me I didn’t have to wait in line when I got back- ‘cuz I didn’t hate it…

    I never thought to keep track of all the ‘bad’ language people used around me. Who knew that 40 years later I could end someone’s career if I did?

    I wonder if all the pussy hatted marchers care about the ‘harassment’ these kids suffered? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5141599/Police-say-officials-Arizona-school-didnt-report-abuse.html -digital rape, forcible sodomy, beatings

    Think any of them got a movie deal?


  28. Ray Thompson says:

    And if you weren’t harassed you could file for discrimination.

  29. nick flandrey says:

    “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” used to be a good guide to severity.

    Of course we know that words do hurt, depending on source, but the idea is sound and an attitude worth inculcating.

    Also “don’t make a Federal case of it” should be in a frame and on every wall.

    But I’m getting old.


  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yeah, I was harassed. That happens as males interact and vie for their place in the pack. It happens with females too, although I’m not familiar with details, I’ll be getting the master’s class with my two daughters. HARASSMENT. The sex part and sexual part is just the mechanism chosen as it is normally an easy area to attack and has rewards for the harasser as well.

    To expect your passage thru life to be entirely free of harassment, and experiences you don’t like is INSANITY. Conflict is the nature of life. To deny the reality of the world around you is the very definition of insanity, but I’ve come to expect that from certain segments of our society. Clear proof that we live in a golden age, they not only avoid the consequences of their insanity, they are rewarded for it. Try that sh!t in Kabul, Islamabad, rural India, or France to see what ‘harassment’ can REALLY look like.


  31. paul says:

    Woot has
    CREE Dimmable LED Flood Light Bulbs (12-Pack), 9-Watt (65w), Soft White (2700k)
    $44.99 + $5 shipping.

    $4.16 each. I think I paid almost $10 for Sylvania bulbs a year and a half ago.

  32. DadCooks says:

    A quick very abridged story of harassment. I went to Navy Boot Camp in Orlando FL, which also happened to be the Boot Camp for the Waves. Boys on one side, girls on the other with the mess hall in the middle. As you can imagine after taps there were a fair amount of “panty raids” going both ways, the MPs prevented most from succeeding.

    The last week of Boot Camp is Service Week where each Company “works’ at some aspect of camp operation. My Company was “lucky” to be the First Company of the New Issue, where the misguided Navy brASS got rid of the Sailor Suit in favor of a double-breasted civilian looking suit and when Boot Camp shortened from 12-weeks to 8-weeks. So we got 2-weeks of Service Weeks.

    The top Platoon (the one that I was Platoon Leader of) got first pick of the jobs. I selected the Mess Hall, and was threatened with a blanket party. I convinced the Platoon to give it a chance (I didn’t tell them that I also got Wave Side of the Mess Hall).

    We left our barracks at 0300 for our first day of Service Week and returned (reluctantly) at 2100. Don’t think for a minute that 10 weeks of no contact (ha, ha) with females is hard on guys. Those girls who had Service Week in Mess Hall with us took every opportunity to find an out of the way place to get their “itches” scratched.

    My Platoon voted me “Best Platoon Leader Ever” and you never saw happier Waves either.

    Those days are now gone forever. We may have got the Sailor Suit back, but women at sea and trannies everywhere have ruined the Navy and all the Armed Services forever.

    Harassment is a fact and necessity of life. It separates the weak from the able (chaff from the wheat). It is a Law of Nature and we must have it to exist.

    Tough, get used to it.

  33. ech says:

    The anesthesia group does this on purpose. They know they can charge more to the patient by being out of network.

    Maybe. Or maybe the insurance company offered and insultingly low rate and wouldn’t negotiate. My wife was once offered a rate below what Medicare and Medicaid paid. She couldn’t accept that rate without dropping what she billed Medicare and Medicaid or she would have been guilty of a felony. That rate was about half what the other plans and she had agreed to. They wouldn’t budge. She refused to sign the contract. Sometimes, the insurance company never contacted her about joining the network. It works both ways. Be assured that the hospital will put pressure on the anesthesia group, or any other group, to join the network if it is a significant part of the hospital’s business.

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