Today’s Medicine

Permit me a personal moment to offer some opinion about the current state of health care in the US.  I have a prescription for high blood pressure medicine.  It’s not too expensive, and it doesn’t seem to have annoying side effects, like some medications do.  And I’m one of the fortunate ones that can’t tell if my blood pressure is too high or too low (fat chance).  So, for me, this is a minor concession to the march of time that doesn’t really hurt.

I took the last pill yesterday morning.  Two hours later, the prescription bottle was dropped off at the neighborhood pharmacy for re-fill.  When I went back at 5:00 PM, they told me the prescription had expired and a call had been made to the doctor’s office for a new prescription.  This has happened before, and I guess I understand why your physician won’t give unlimited re-fills, but 3 re-fills for BP medicine seems a bit conservative to me.

Another visit to the Pharmacy this morning resulted in another denial of service, as in "We still haven’t heard from your doctor".  I then called the voice mail system of my doctor’s office, went through the message tree, and finally was allowed to leave a message about my need for a renewal of my prescription.  The recording urged me to leave a call back number, which I did.

This afternoon, I got smart and called the pharmacy to check the status of the re-fill.  Through their message tree, finally to a human being, who gave me the bad news: "We still have not heard from your doctor".  So, back to the message tree at the doctor’s office, where, after too much time, human contact was established.  I was then told that my prescription was ready for pick-up!  Stupid me only took a few seconds to realize that my new prescription was written, but that it was up to me to pick it up and deliver to the pharmacy so that I could receive medicine.

At no point did anyone tell me what I needed to do to make this process work faster and better.  The doctor’s office says they can’t spend the time on the phone calling in prescriptions, because the pharmacy lines are always busy (I guess they are trying to work through the message tree at the doctors’ offices).  Both groups are way too busy to call the customer in this deal.

Folks, this is the 21st century.  Never have so many people been able to communicate faster with each other in more ways. I got voice mail on 2 phones, multiple e-mail accounts, a web site, and can text message if nothing else works. Maybe the big problem with healthcare and healthcare providers is that they haven’t embraced the technologies that the rest of us use every day.  How many prescriptions could the physician’s assistant process if she/he could e-mail the pharmacy?  How much time and gas could I save if the pharmacy e-mailed me to tell my stuff was ready for pick-up?  How about the doctor’s office e-mailing me to tell me that I could pick-up the new prescription?

Hello, Hello, Hello, is anybody there?  Hello, Hello……….

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The Word of the Day

One of the great pleasures in life for those of us afflicted with curiosity is the joy that comes with the discovery of something new.  Simple or complex, large or small, important or trivial; the fact that something new is found is enough in itself.  Sometimes, something once found continues to provide new discoveries on a regular basis.  And so it is with Dictionary.com. Not only is it a wonderful reference for anyone that enjoys language, it also provides subscribers with the word of the day. Sign up immediately.

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Ports Imbroglio Explained

Every politician with an opinion and a constituency has laid out his/her two cents worth on the Dubai Ports acquistion of P&O.  To those of us who like to study issues before bloviating (at least, most of the time), these political types seem to sink to their lowest when attempting to score points on issues they do not understand.  From the heights of hyseria to the depths of dyspepsia come utterances that have little connection with fact.  We can always count on the folks at National Review to inject some calm and reason to the discussion.  For Jim Geraghty’s take, go here.

For a link to their site, which everyone ought to have in their favorites, go here.

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Internet Questions Answered!

A confession:  I know just enough about computers, the internet, and the technology to impress my Luddite friends, but not enough to get myself out of the jams I get myself into.  I own a desktop pc and a laptop, with a wireless router connected to a cable modem. Somehow, by the Grace of God, it all works most of the time.  But along the way to increased knowledge, your research scientist found this site…….and got so excited he jumped up and down and lost his pocket protector.

May you learn as much as I did…..

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President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Given the current state of worry about Iran’s attempts to develop nuclear power, build nuclear bombs, and their stated intention to attack both the US and Israel with every weapon at their disposal, perhaps it is time to learn a little more about the President of that evil country. Here is his biography, provided by the folks at Global Security, a site rich with opportunities for the curious among us.

H/T Big Lizard

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Althouse

Professor Althouse has long been on my list of favorite bloggers. Indeed, due to her good name, she appears at the top of my list.  I urge you to visit her blog, here.  I, for one, have always been curious about the workings of the Supreme Court, and in one of today’s posts a reader comments favorably on the link to the audio of Supreme Court arguments that Professor Althouse pointed to several weeks ago.  Curious, as always, I followed the link, and you can, too, here.  Enjoy.

And, thanks, Professor Althouse, for the link.

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Data Mining/Able Danger

Curious about data mining?  Does the name Able Danger mean anything to you?  Just how paranoid should a healthy, normal person be?  Is Big Brother moving in just around the corner, and the HOA doesn’t know?  All of these questions are under current investigation by your intrepid seeker of knowledge.  For some of the answers, we look to the New York Times (no, this isn’t about the wiretapping controversy)……….in this article.

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Bode Discussed

In an earlier post, I referenced my inability to understand the essence of the Bode Being and the adoration of his legion of fans.  Although I considered his participation in a traditional olympic sport at least worthy of respect, I could not make that leap for the X Game types that participated in events that seemed to scream "look at me" instead of "respect my athletic abilities displayed in a environment of sportsmanship". Call me old fashioned, or perhaps call me grumpy, but one of the virtues of moving through life is the accumulation of experience, and my experience told me this whole scene was "bad to the bone".  Curious as to whether or not I arrived at my conclusions in a total vacum, I found another human being that shares my pathos…….in the Washington Post.

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Truth from the Middle East

Like many, I have tried to understand the events in the Middle East.  I read books, I keep up with the various organs of the press, and I avail myself of the insights from the blog universe, some of whom are listed in my favorites.  It’s hard to keep your bearings in the face of so many opinions and perspectives, where many of the arguments are focused, powerful, logical, and reasonable.  Faith versus secularism, moral equivalence versus values, Christian versus Muslim; sometimes it’s all too confusing for your humble blogger to see the light through the fog of propaganda.  Happily, in the eternal search of the curious for answers to all of the tough questions, this humble seeker of knowledge occasionally stumbles upon a site that provides clarity to the confusion of conflicting viewpoints. Herewith some much needed perspective from one that knows.

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