The Unfortunate Family of Unwanted Surgery: It’s a Tragic Story…

This post title is the answer I got upon foolishly inquiring what my 8-year old and her friend were actually doing stuffing those popped and withered balloons with cotton, patching them with duct tape, and then drawing gnarled faces on each with a permanent marker. The result was reminiscient of the shrunken apple heads we made as kids, but more morose — and with a much longer shelf life (plastic doesn’t grow).

“We’re making the Unfortunate Family of Unwanted Surgery, Mom. It’s a tragic story…”Little_shrunkenheads_1

Uh, who the @#!!%^& teaches kids these things today? It sure weren’t me, I think.

But somehow I just know there’s a tie-in to my disease here — the fact that on bad D-days, I tend to rant about “not going back to the hospital!” and “not having my kidneys flushed!” and other medically incorrect tirades. Somehow I know that my daughter “gets it” enough to be thankful that I’m not checking in for surgery (as some of our friends have recently, although unrelated to the Big D).

Sometimes I just get morbid. I guess we all do. A newly diagnosed friend wrote to me recently:

“It is one hell of a shock that I’m still coming to terms with. Thoughts of mortality, life expectancy, and your family depending on you flood your mind — your assumptions about being immortal and indestructible suddenly get rudely torn down.”

TRUE… And in light of these feelings, I was especially heartened to learn that the California HealthCare Foundation is offering sizable grants to researchers working on “chronic disease self-management support — providing patients the education, motivation, and equipment to make behavior changes… (which) leads to improvement in health status, increased patient satisfaction, and, in some cases, reductions in utilization and costs.” What this means is, they’re putting money into helping PATIENTS manage their own chronic conditions. Amen.

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2 Responses

  1. Kassie
    Kassie December 13, 2005 at 6:37 pm | | Reply

    Sounds to me like “Lemony Snicket meets Diabetes”!

  2. Scott Strumello
    Scott Strumello December 19, 2005 at 12:18 pm | | Reply

    I’m not convinced that that the California HealthCare Foundation grants to researchers working on “chronic disease self-management support — will actually lead to improvement in health status, increased patient or reductions in utilization and costs. Frankly, the money would be better spent in trying to find better treatments rather than trying to convince patients how to live with marginally adequate treatments. In particular, I like the idea of SmartCells, Inc.’s nanotech solution to insulin therapy (see http://www.smartinsulin.com). Funding the afforementioned programs are the problem, not the solution. Note the criticisms that the Islet Foundation made to Congress on the NIH/NIDDK’s mis-placed funding priorities, and why they did not necessarily serve the needs of patients with diabetes. See the following link for more detail:

    http://www.islet.org/35.htm

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