Spouse had some surgery done. It requires some Physical Therapy afterwards. This is a minor rant about some of the many stupidities I ran into at Kaiser over the last few days.
For anyone not aware of Kaiser, it is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) where you get mediocre first line care as there are a lot of Flappers who’s purpose is to stop you from reaching expensive Specialists and other M.D.s of merit. But, once past the Flappers, the care is quite good and the costs to you quite low. Basically a variable “Co-Pay” from about $5 to $50 depending on what your employer / group negotiated. This can cover up to full on major surgery.
The front end of the shop can be quite bureaucratic and not the sharpest tool in the shed. This time was worse than most. IMHO a combination of the Covid Crap and a more “novice full” staffing level.
This is NOT a slam on the staff. It is a poke at Management. MOST (almost all) of the staff were POCs. (People Of Color… a term that, were I one, I would resent. Why? Classifying people by skin color is just dumb. Then it sounds a lot like POX, an association I’d not like, but I get it anyway via synesthesia of sounds. Then the echo of “pock marks” trudges by in an Aspe “shower of associations” way… as the language centers pre-compute all paths and then picks the most correct one…). I remember one, yes, ONE “white guy”. Almost everyone was in what looked like the “20 to 30” age range, and only a few looked “40 something”. NOBODY looked 50s to 50s+.
My overall impression is that the Old Hands went elsewhere to get better wages, those close to retirement took it, instead of The Jab, and the Pure Bloods with enough experience to KNOW what crap the jab was just walked off when The Mandate came down. Making room for a lot of new graduates, folks imported from other countries (lots of various accents…) and “Wannabees” that didn’t make the cut before. Well, OK, good on them for getting a leg on the ladder. But it sure looks like they are very short handed (zero staff at Surgical waiting room / check-in desks…) and largely “noobies”.
But the actual surgical staff were good. We’ve used this particular surgeon for a couple of decades.
At just about every turn, they asked “are you vaccinated”. We got to answer this question at least a dozen times. You would think they could just put it in a record and keep track of it, but nooo….
In essence, this is a “Your Papers! pleaze…” moment.
First at the entrance to the hospital. Again, just inside the door at the information desk. The entrance query is to route you to a ‘rapid testing’ station for the ‘unclean’… The Vexxinated are allowed to just stroll on in, no test required.
So now the first Stupidity is ignoring the FACT that the Vexxinated do get covid, and do spread it quite effectively. In essence, they are quite willing to let the Vexxinated haul in the latest Vaccine Escape Variant and spread it around, but a completely free of illness or symptoms Pure Blood gets to sit at a small desk for 12 minutes, on display to the lobby, while waiting for a rapid test.
The Rapid Test is better than before. No probe up to the nasal ganglia and / or nose bleeds. Just a long Q-tip like swab around the ends of the nostrils. However… You get to put name and phone number on a paper that tracks your results. So, am I, against my will and without my permission, in a DataBase to be shared with Government Agents and GEBs as desired by them? Who knows.
Then you get a Scarlet Letter, er, “wrist band” to wear that declares to all involved that you were tested, and though clearly a mental defective are not presently a risk to others from Chinese Wuhan Covid. (The FACT that all the Vexxinated running around shedding virus could be a risk to ME is ignored…)
The Plan Gang Agley
I’d planned to just sit in the car and not enter. Depositing the spouse into their hands for surgery. They had no “orderlies” to bring her in, so I got to fight with their weird “wheel chairs” that have some kind of “do not roll” locking bar you must pull to make it go. At the door, handed it (and her) over to a desk clerk who went the rest of the way to “check in” on the ward”. This was FINE at drop off, letting me avoid the Scarlet Letter station and process. I expected the same at pick-up as they had not said otherwise. But Nooo….
Bone surgery is now “outpatient” surgery. They required me to be present during the “Physical Therapy Training” as they are showing the patient what to do while they are still drugged up from Surgery and foggy from the opiates. This is the next Stupidity. The patient is still somewhat “out of it” and you are giving them “at home” instructions? OK… More on this below…
So I’d arrived to pick her up at about the expected time, some 7 hours later.
They had gone to a “we will call you when ready” system so I had to be “with cell phone” the whole day. First off, not everyone has a cell phone all day. I’m partially deaf and don’t hear the high pitched chimes all that well (unless I’m within a couple of feet, that is NOT often the case when at home – in the car I can’t hear it over the noise and answering is illegal anyway). Further, the number they had for me is an old dying phone that lives on the charger… So I had to forward it to one that works better. So I’m supposed to depend on this rickety string of events to not have the spouse feel abandoned?
This is the next Stupidity of Kaiser: WT? It may be great for 20 something millennials with an implanted cell phone in their palm, not so great for the Medicare Generation getting most of the medical treatment.
So I asked at the Front Desk about “any estimate of when? Just a guess about how many hours maybe?” (and I’m not late am I?). What I got was a 2nd hand non-answer of “we will call when ready”. I pressed. “No, they can not even guess when.” In response to my “So you have no clue at all?” the response was literally “They have no clue”.
I’ve worked the Orthopedics ward. I’ve been with Spouse and her Mom and others through surgeries. There’s a fairly standard amount of time, post op, to “about when”. Yes, it is plus or minus an hour or two, but you pretty much know “about 2 to 4 hours” or “waking up now” or “just got here, go have lunch…”.
I’d brought our little dog in the car, expecting he would like to take a walk in new places (as we often do) and that we’d be company for each other as we waited for the Orderly to bring the Spouse down. That was not to be.
Having been told ~”Go away kid, you bother me, just sit on your damn phone like we told you to do” (in essence). We, dog and me, got to sit in the car in the hanicapped space (where they are ALWAYS out of parking spaces)for about the next 3 hours. Time that could have been spent getting lunch, letting others use that space, and letting the dog have a bit of a “pee run” on bushes somewhere. Then the phone rang:
“This is nurse ~Ratchet, I’m sorry, we didn’t tell you. Someone NEEDS to be here during the Physical Therapy instruction. Let us know when you can get to the Hospital.”
I informed them I was parked directly in front of the hospital entrance in THE closest space and could be right up. That’s when I got to experience the “Your Papers Please!!” process and the 12 minuted “sit on display in the dunce desk” process. I used the opportunity to educate each Minion about the FLCCC, the iMASK protocol for prophylaxis, and to say the words “Ivermectin Prophylaxis” often and not too quietly… I’m sure it fell on ears more deaf than mine…
Scarlet Letter Wrist Band on display, I was then told to take the elevators upstairs, go to the Surgical department, use the phone to call “pre-op” and someone would take me in. OK… “Got a number for Pre-Op?” Nope. Any idea how it works? Nope. So you are sent on a Treasure Hunt.
I got to the floor and saw numbers counting down toward my goal (x-hundred a round number) so x35 then x30 etc.) so headed down the hall. Nope. at x05 you reach the end. Turns out x00 is the other direction… Reaching x00 I was greeted by an empty reception desk and 2 (what looked like) empty desks with glass partitions for “discussion”. And a sign saying “call xxxxx for pre-opp xxxxy for post-op, xxxxx etc.) in small type. I called.
OK, did the name and such exchanges, was told “Go through the double doors and I’ll escort you”. NO “double doors” in sight, but there were a set just outside the office entry. OK, I went through them. Long story short, there were two OTHER double doors NOT visible from the desk with phone that were the “right ones”, instead I got a nurse to let me in through the “back double doors” to the area I was supposed to be at (where Nurse ~Ratchet was already waiting having no doubt had this experience before and when I didn’t show making a run for the back door. She informed me about the “right” double doors…. Here’s another Human Factors Stupidity. You could not put some arrows on the floor? Or say “Double Doors past the reception desk behind the glass wall”? Or ANYTHING useful?
Whatever. I’m in. There’s the Spouse in the bed. We’re ready for the discharge instructions and be on our way. Which happened about 3 hours later…
The Short Form
The Very Nice Nurse was flitting about explaining all sorts of “Stuff” that I’m supposed to remember. Spouse is still very drug woozy and not remembering. Exercise Schedule. Use and timing of ice-water bath cooling machine (that came home with us). Each drug, what it does, what the “schedule” of it will be (for 7 drugs. Yes, 7 different schedules and such. Verbally). Showers, wraps, etc. etc. I remembered most of it, I think.
Eventually the Physical Therapist shows up and we do some exercises, some various things required for discharge (like peeing and standing up without passing out…) and we get the OK to leave. Then a new Nurse shows up as it is nearly shift change. WHILE THE FIRST NURSE IS STILL THERE, we once again go over the ice cooling bath machine, the exercises (that were ALSO explained by the P.T. in detail…), the drugs (again), etc.
You would think they could coordinate with each other when standing all of 6 feet apart, but whatever. First nurse was on the computer doing some sort of ‘ready to leave / end of shift stuff’ so not listening, I think…
Eventually, we are allowed to do the discharge. I’m sent (carrying a couple of bags of “Stuff” (cloths, Ice water bath machine, directions – everything verbal also on paper, etc.)) to the pharmacy to pick up the basket of drugs prescribed. In the pharmacy the pharmacist is ALSO wanting to go over all the drugs AGAIN…
I said “I’m a geek, I have my own PDR, the nurses up stairs went over the drugs twice already, and we’ve had all of them before.”… She thankfully just did a look at each one and very short “For Foo” with me chiming in some of the potential “issues” and I was out fast.
Really? 4 times you think I need to know about the drugs? Don’t think I can read? What? About an hour wasted, all told.
Now the new “protocol” for picking up a patient is that they want ME to call the SPOUSE from my cell to hers to say when I’m ready for pick-up. Spouse left her phone at home so as not to lose it. OK… The Nurse said instead they would “wait 10 minutes” then come down. I pointed out I was in THE closest space to the front and would be down and ready faster than they could be… It fell on deaf ears again…
At The Car
So I’d picked up a basket of drugs and unloaded my bags into the car, moved it in front of the hospital at the pickup zone (all of one lane away…) and me and the dog did “walkies” around the various bushes in the front. He was very much relieved ;-)
About 10 minutes after re-parking to the front, a different person (Orderly?) brought out the spouse, we loaded up, and headed home. By then it was sprinkling, so we got to walk into the house in the rain, a bit drug woozy…
All told, Spouse was settled and done about 12 to 13 hours after we set out in the morning. Maybe 14…
A Martial Arts Stupidity
While I was just starting the paperwork at the “Unclean Issue Scarlet Letter” station, my phone rang. Physical Therapy Department Clerk wishing to set up a home P.T. visit and “ask a few questions”. Um “I’m filling out the Scarlet Letter paper now, can I call back in a minute?” Basically “no” as it was 4-something and they check out at 5 and I’d have no hope of arranging the home visit P.T. until the next day when it was overdue. OK…
So another Stupidity. Call with minutes to go for a service required next business day and where the next day the call likely can’t happen in time. Furthermore, since the P.T. checkout happens on the ward, why can’t THEY just say “tomorrow OK and this is your correct address?”. Oh Well…
So the Scarlet Letter test was delayed a few minutes while I “took a call”…
The caller ended with “Any weapons in the house”? Now this is about as supreme a Stupidity as you can get. It shows a complete and STUNNING lack of understanding of Martial Arts. Or watching any Jackie Chan moves. EVERYTHING can be a weapon.
In one movie, Jackie uses his shirt as a flexible weapon to catch the arm of a knife attacker, then as garrote. Got clothes or a towel? You have weapons.
I, brilliantly, answered: “What?…” /sarc;
“Knives, clubs, guns…”
OK, composure returning, first off, NOBODY needs to know if I’m exercising my Constitutional Right to owning guns. Especially in an era where “confiscation” is the Dimocrat Buzz Word. Secondly, a house without “weapons” is one that is empty of EVERYTHING.
Entering my front door, the kitchen is to the side. It is a small “Galley Kitchen”. On the counter nearest the door are 2 x BBQ spatulas with relatively heavy ends and sharp edges, a small battle axe in a way. 2 “Kabob Skewers” (a very fine pair of Dirks if I do say so myself), and a couple of minor tools that could also be used if desperate. Such as the knife “sharpening steel”. An OK Dirk, but a bit more blunt than ideal at the tip. Good enough, though. Good noggin rapper though ;-)
In the drawer below that is the silverware tray. LOTS of “butter knives” and large forks useful for poking. But the real winner is the next drawer down. A 1/2 pound “spouse sized” hammer for hanging pictures and such (nice small Battle Hammer) and 3 or so “dirks” aka Philips Screwdriver & Slotted Head Screwdriver.
Across from that is the stove. 6 “throwing knives” or small daggers in the “steak knife wooden block”. A small cast iron skillet (aka “Kabong-er” and / or small shield from knife attacks) and a medium sized one sits on the stove top too. Next to those, 2 “knife blocks” for kitchen knives. I count 4 or 5 “short swords” there (depending if you think a serrated bread knife counts with the rounded end). 2 x Chef’s Knives, 2 x Carving Knives, and that bread knife. Also 4 more “daggers” (aka paring knife and small chopper).
Oh, and hanging on the wall behind the stove is my Chinese Hatchet – AKA Meat Cleaver. Paired with the French Rolling Pin (standing next to the knife blocks) it’s a nice set of “defensive club” that is also good for banging noggins and the cleaver as your choice of spine side skull cracker or sharp side appendage remover via the cleaver sharp edge…
OK, that’s the first 5 feet into the kitchen. After that you start getting into more interesting “weapons”…
Any small appliance on an electrical cord is either a garrote, or a slungshot, or both. “Flexible Weapons” are a rich and diverse group. The Slungshot is ancient and underappreciated. Basically “something heavy on a rope”.
Slungshot – A general term used to describe a weight on the end of a flexible handle. Very broad term. No one really knows the origins of these weapons, possibly from sailors.
Sailors slungshot – a basic model. Made from 9mm jute rope, approx 28″ long, the length of the adult arm, weighted with a steel ball bearing. Lots of reach, when swung will get up to a high speed, delivering a devastating punch.
More at the link…
Even a shirt can be rolled up and used as a “Flexible Weapon” (see Chan, Jackie…) or here for more formal examples:
This is all before we reach the living room (fireplace poker as spear, shovel as kabong-er, broom as thrust parry and eye poker) or dining area (chair leg as club – again see Jackie Chan movies…) and more.
So all this did the Aspe Flash through the visual / associative memory link in about 2 seconds and the higher centers pondered “How to explain this in 2 seconds or less” for about 1/2 a second. I answered:
“I AM a weapon. Years of Karate.”
That seemed sufficient that no more questions came.
But really, Karate means “Empty Hand”. I come to you with empty hands… as in my hands are my weapons. One hand shape is “knife hand”, for example. The “weapons” of Karate were originally ordinary objects as “weapons” were forbidden to the Okinawans. The Nunchuk were simple “rice flails” found on every farm. The Police Side Handle Baton derived from the well crank handle. Etc.
Everywhere you go, you are surrounded by weapons. A pen is a nice short dirk or dagger. A belt is a nice garrote. (shoe laces can be better though…). The classic of western bar fights is the Beer Bottle busted to make a slashing cutting edge knife. Truckers all know the fine ancient art of Tire-Iron. Scissors well known to house wives everywhere… (3 pair in the cupboard other end of the kitchen, one each in bedrooms, bath, and living room). And so very much more. (Soup can in hand as striking club enhancement – dozens in the kitchen… Pepper shaker as blinding chemical agent, etc. etc.)
The only honest answer I could give is that the weapon is the mind of the user. “I AM a weapon”…
And don’t get me started on Ethernet Cables as garrote or fishing pole as whip or bicycle air pump as club or … The simple fact is long skinny and hard is either a “poking thing” or a “whipping thing” while short and stout is either a club (“blunt object” favorite of Murder Mysteries everywhere) or a filler for a slugshot (even if the slungshot is just your arm holding a soup can…).
Once you start looking for “blunt objects” and “thin stiff objects” and “flexible objects” you start to realize that just about everything but water is one of them (and for water you just have to get it into the breathing apparatus…)
So for me, this was THE most Incredible Level Of Stupid Kaiser could manage. “Are there any weapons?” Is it a house with people or ANY stuff in it? Then the answer MUST BE yes, absolutely.
The Stupid, it burns…
But one does wonder why they would ask that particularly stupid question.
I’ve just received a minor “nag text” of about 10 SMS messages long… on my cell phone (which number I’d given on the Scarlet Letter form) nagging me about vexxines and how to get more “information” from them… MIS-information is more like it. It really REALLY bothers me that I know a LOT more about Covid than this supposed Professional Medical Organization… Sigh.
Now they are hitting my text message rates too…