Sunday, November 29, 2009

Too busy to write

I have been one busy girl these days. Unfortunately, writing has not been one of my priorities. Sorry guys!

There is a 3 year old in my home. My niece. She has taken almost all of my attention - besides a new book I read. It was called "Leaves of Hope" and was Christian Fiction. It was okay. It was about a girl from Tyler, Texas - who comes home from her "big city" job in NYC to see her widowed mother to find a HUGE family secret. It takes her across the world to Africa, India and England. Falls in love, finds the "truth" and loose ends tied.

Quick read. Light Hearted.

I am reading another vacation "light read" - Savannah Breeze. A silly book about a 3-times divorcee who falls for the wrong guy and opens a cheap motel on Tybee. Oh yeah - light, light, holiday read.

Next thing to think about - New Year - New Beginnings.

Have you began thinking of these things yet? I am slowly doing so. Work. Personal. Physical. Spiritual. I have some thinking to do. Some changes to make - or rather - some improvements.

Speaking of improvements. I am watching some hideous true-life reality-docu on MTV about the Jersey Shore. Can I say one thing about these girls and guys - GAUDY. Vulgar. Tacky. Yuck. Sorry. Yet - another show proving how tacky this area is - to me.

Okay, I am just babbling.. trying to catch you up while I am on vacay.

I will get serious again, for now - I just want to babble.

Until next time..

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I guess I need to list my "Thankful" items

I feel like I HAVE to list the items I am Thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day.
To perfectly honest, it has been one helluva year.

I did a photo montage of the good days. I take my little red digi cam with me everywhere. So I DO capture the moments that make me happy.

Those moments are always good.

Okay. With all of the trials and tribulations Yass and I have gone thru this year with immigration and $$$ and jobs and what not - here is a list of the things I can truly be thankful for.. (let me dig deep down...)

1.Each other. Yass and I are finally back in the same country together.

2. A fabulous and fun wedding reception party - Arabian Nights. And more important - it was not ME who fell this time at a party. lol

3. My purple flats are wonderful.

4. I now know how to make tahina. The Secret is out!

5. I still have a very cool job.

6. I bought my little bug this year. Always wanted one.

7. I found a Christmas Tree for $20.

8. Finally found my "natural" hair color.

9. Broke my addiction to guacamole.

10. I managed to "quit" all of my extra-curricular activities that took away from me lounging on the couch. Now I can truly practice laziness.


Happy Thanksgiving. *bah humbug*

Friday, November 20, 2009

Home - But Not Home - Yet it IS Home.

I am BACK! Sorry for the delay in writing.

Let's see - I left off on Tuesday - and yes, I survived the visit to the cardiologist. Yass DID go with me, but as luck would have it - they did not allow him in the first exam room (where the EKG takes place.) So my silly little fears were put to rest. LOL

EKG - Beautiful. Tumor? Nope. Next steps - Sleep Disorder Study. Oh yes.. my little twisted readers, I just might have sleep apnea which could be contributing to my higher bp readings in the a.m. LOVELY.

The D-O-C prescribed swimming. Yep. I guess once I get thru a few things, that will be the next item on my to-do list.

Weight - doing good!

Diet? Blew it at my parent's home. Oh yes.... I traveled home for a Thanksgiving feast (a week early) and ate soooo many mashed potatoes with GRAVY and I drank several caffeinated beverages and had pie.

Bad Bad Bad.

But I am home, and back to normal.
Speaking of home.. this is home now. My reality. It is official. I don't even recognize my life in the land before the present.


Yes - the big Green Card interview took place. Waited 2 hours for our BIG 10 minutes interview.

Question - Show me your ids.


Raise your right hand - Do you swear to tell the truth.. blah blah blah..


Yasser - are you a terrorist, worked as a prostitute or ever a member of the communist party?


How did you meet?

this that the other

Who is this in the picture?
My dad

Okay - We need your vaccinations. It says you never had any.

How could I get into the country without them? Blah Blah Blah.

We do not have your records

Here is the certified copy from the Ministry of Health from Egypt turned into the embassy so I could ENTER the country.

Not acceptable.
Here's a new form. You have until December 18th.

What next?

You are approved pending receipt of Vaccinations. Expect Green Card in 4 - 6 weeks after you send your records.


Yes. That was it.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am just too shy.

Today I have my follow up cardiology appointment at 3pm. Yasser has agreed to go with me. BIG change for him. He seems to disconnect when something "scary" is happening.

What concerns me today - and don't laugh - but one of the first things I have to do is take my clothes off for an EKG. Now.. should not be a big deal - but when you are under florescent lights - laying there in your undies is not my idea of a great date with my hubby.

Yes people - I am very shy when it comes to nudity or showing skin of any kind. Always have been. I know this is very personal - but I am dreading it.

I gave Yass the option to not come. But he said he really wanted to. He is showing support and how can I deny that? But seeing me lay there getting an EKG is EMBARRASSING.

I do get to put my shirt and pants back on when I head into the consultation room. But - the doc will ask me to lower my pants so he can check my pulse in thighs. AGAIN - not something I am looking forward to.

It's funny how something like this has overshadowed everything else in my day... like whether or not I have a tumor on my adrenal gland. ;-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lifestyle changes are T-O-U-G-H

I have made it one month on this total lifestyle change.

I have to pause for a minute.


H-A-R-D. T-O-U-G-H. But I have made it one month and I have to announce, I feel awesome!!

If you are not aware of what I am doing, I am trying to create a new, healthier lifestyle that will keep me around a really long time. ;-)

It all began with me 1. wanting to get my blood pressure back in order 2. get back that body I used to sport. lol

I found a few ways that work for me, and I am happy to report - I have dropped one pants size in one month. No, I have not weighed myself, but I went shopping for a new pair of jeans - and it was painfully obvious, time to go down one size. WOO Hoo!

Here are some of the things I have done:
1. Drinking only water and sometimes hot tea. (I allow myself one soda a week.) The truth is, I have slipped up a few times and grabbed a double espresso - but it was only 2 x in one month. Much better than every day!

2. Completely cut meat out. The diet my cardiologist put me on is a Mediterranean diet. Red meat only once a month. Chicken maybe once a week. Fish often. But for me - I decided to cut it all out. I don't like fish, I am not a big fan of chicken, and red meat and pork are no nos... sooo. Also. ... Yes yes.. here it comes ... I am moving a bit more to the animal activist side.. sloooow process. (I am sitting on a leather couch. But I really feel bad about it. :-( )

3. I am eating more middle eastern foods and dishes. High fiber, high in Omega 3 fatty acids and definitely tasty.

4. Using spices instead of salty seasonings.

5. Cut out fried foods. Yes, I have slipped up about 4 times in the month. But what an improvement!!!

6. Obviously exercise - I am not doing as well in this area. But I have been super sick most of the month. Now that I am better, imagine the improvements!!!!

So - I wanted to share, but I also wanted to admit it has not been easy. I miss my potato chips and dip (which I have NOT had all month.) Hard, Hard, Hard.

But I am trying... I am trying..

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Who knew I would ever have to defend??

For the past week or so, people I know have stopped me to ask me how Yasser was dealing with the incident that happened at Fort Hood. This question is a valid one, and since most people I know in America do not know any muslims, I figure this is their way to get a personal view into what "other muslims" think.

Let me begin with - he is completely disgusted by the act of this man. No one finds sniper behavior or the killing of innocent people okay. Not in any religion.

For some of my friends and family in Egypt - if you are not aware - there was a horrific incident on a military base in Texas. Fort Hood is the largest U.S. military base - home to more than 53,000 active duty soldiers, many of whom have served multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a major concern there as at any base.

The suspect, identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire at a military processing center at Fort Hood . Hasan, 39, is a graduate of Virginia Tech and a psychiatrist licensed in Virginia who was practicing at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, according to military and professional records. Previously, he worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

A federal official said Hasan is a U.S. citizen of Jordanian descent. Military documents show that Hasan was born in Virginia and was never deployed outside the United States.

In the end, the shooting rampage at Ft. Hood came down to a gunfight between two civilian base police officers toting standard sidearms and a 39-year-old psychiatrist armed with .357 Magnum and a pistol equipped with laser sighting and extra bullets, officials said.

Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, disturbed about his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan (not Iraq, contrary to earlier reports), reportedly entered the Soldier Readiness Processing Center just before 1:30 p.m. Thursday. He took a seat at a table. It seemed as if he was there to help soldiers who were undergoing medical exams and finishing paperwork before shipping out to war.

Hasan, who had prayed at his mosque that morning, allegedly mumbled something to himself -- it may have been a prayer -- then jumped up. Witnesses reported that he said: "Allahu akbar," Arabic for "God is great."After that, the blood began to flow.

Thirteen people would die; 38 others were injured. As investigators began their probe into the motivations of the gunman, President Obama urged people Friday to reserve judgment until more is known. Base commander Lt. Gen. Robert Cone said that Hasan remained hospitalized, unconscious and on a ventilator.

In a statement released Thursday, Hasan's cousin, Nader Hasan, said his family is "filled with grief for the families of today's victims."

They also said "Our family loves America. We are proud of our country, and saddened by today's tragedy," the statement said. "Because this situation is still unfolding, we have nothing else that we are able to share with you at this time."

Again - this is horrible. But the one thing I can't stand - is that people are pointing back to the religion.

I remember the days when not to long ago, I would cringe every time I heard that a religious leader molested a child. I would cringe even more when I found out they were a catholic priest. (I am catholic.) Obviously - this is not the norm in the catholic church - nor does any catholic condone this horrific behavior - the same is true for the Islamic religion. No one condones killing innocent people.

I work in Public Relations/Media Relations - and I made a joke that what is needed here is a good PR blitz to show the "happier, loving" side of this religious group.

And that is what I wanted to share. Look - I am not saying I agree with some of the things listed in the Qu'ran. No. What I am saying is, as a woman who is married to an arabic speaking, mosque praying muslim - THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT BAD.

To sound like a country person - There is crazy everywhere. And there is. As a society - we like to pin the crazy with a label. Let's find one thing that is the most important to this person. If a man is of Jordanian decent - we can guess that he is probably muslim - people of muslim faith are usually quite devout - so let's point the issue in that direction.

There are some scary websites out there that specifically try to vilify Islam. I found one in particular - Jihad watch -if you read this website it would terrify you. Now on the other hand, check out - The Islamic Religion - this website breaks down everything you need to know without showing the "fringe" portion of society.

Looking back at the title of this blog - "Who knew I would ever have to defend?" - it is so true. I never thought this little catholic girl would ever find herself saying.. no no.. that's not what is taught.


If you are thinking about the crazy Taliban group - remember - what is the best way to become a war lord?? Use religion. Thinking about Iraq? This is a territorial dispute around various denominations of muslims. The US is there for our own $$ interests.

I have been to the middle east. I have family and friends who live there. I even hosted an Iraqi exchange student in my home for one year. (Who happened to be a Kurd and very anti-Saddam.)

I just want people to know: our vision of what has happened is not good. Yasser is just as disgusted as the next person. I am disgusted. Though I think this person did what he did because he is not well. Mentally.

I also think what is going on across the sea is nothing more than poor countries getting taken advantage of by a few "screwy" war lords who are nothing more than bullies looking for $$$. It is easy to over take and dominate a group of God fearing, peaceful people.

Educate. Ask questions. Feel remorse. Seek understanding.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I am SUPER DUPER excited to have an official vacation. Yes, yes, yes. What a heck of a year - and I feel like it is finally wrapping up very nicely.

First of all, the recession is lifting. For those of you who are new to this blog - it means that UAB will finally be paid off! I have been ordered to pay a hospital $800 a month for a past bill (meningitis.) This was the last bit of that, and I will now be able to eat again. LOL

Actually I laugh, but it is really not very funny. We struggled really, really bad these past 4 months. All of the extras were gone and it was a blow to my personal economy. This morning was "pay day" and let me tell you what - I am RUNNING to get my eye brows waxed. Tweezing is not my strong point. So now, my little luxury items are returning.

Second, I passed all three health tests. At least I know that my blood work was good, my 48 hour urine analysis was good and my renal doppler showed no stenosis.

I have not heard about the tumor on the adrenal gland, so I am waiting.

I have another appointment with the cardiologist on Tuesday. I am looking forward to seeing if any changes have taken place. I have been eating VERY well. I did not exercise as much as I would have liked. But, I did make some progress. I am encouraged to think that I can join a gym for December. I think this is the next step.

As for work - a MAJOR turn around. I was given more responsibility and they are praising me. WHAT?? I keep hearing - "This is the Nicole I remember" - etc. Soo.. when I succeed, ooh this is Nicole - when we have challenges - what's going on? I have one answer - the freaking economy folks. Whatever - I am going to ride this one out and enjoy being on top for a while.

I am soooooooooooooooooooo excited about my niece and sister coming to spend Thanksgiving with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First of all, after my cardiologist appointment, I will pick up Yasser and drive straight to Georgia to my parent's home. We will see our family and relax with them. I have not seen them since August 8th.

Wednesday morning we have our Immigration - Green Card interview. We will knock that one out easily. Then we will head back to my parent's home and enjoy an early Thanksgiving dinner. We have all day Thursday with my family - then Friday morning we are heading back to Birmingham. We hope to bring Heather & Autumn back with us and they are staying for a week or two or maybe more!! :-)

I am sure I will have so many excellent stories and pictures from their visit!

I get Wednesday - Sun - then the whole next week off for Thanksgiving. Woo hoo!!


Monday, November 9, 2009

I support a Public Option for Health Care.

Get mad and get ready to respond if you must, but I am in favor of a public option. I have some very personal reasons why I support this, and I felt the need to share them.

Unfortunately, I do not have the energy to research 100% what all I would need to share in order to help you understand this. Back in the day, working in television - I am sure I would have spent hours reading document after document (trying to make sense of it all.) Working for the American Heart Association and seeing our official stance definitely helps makes things a little more clear.

Aside from all of the political mumbo jumbo - here is why I, Nicole Abdou, supports a public option. (Notice I said OPTION.)

I want to tell you a story that is going on right now. I debated whether to use this person's name or not - so to ere on the side of caution - I decide to call her Jane.

Jane is 25. She is a very close friend. Rarely sick, works hard - heck, usually works more than one job, pays her taxes, votes, and takes care of her finances alone. Jane works for a small magazine in advertising. She has this full time job, and works as a nanny on the side. Jane's company has less than 20 people, so insurance is not an option thru her work. Jane tried to get insurance through several different companies (individual plans) but was denied due to being a few pounds over the actual weight limit. (This is common now, with so many companies laying off, and people searching for insurance - the criteria for individual insurance has gotten very strict.) Let's say you weigh 20 pounds more than you should. Heck, most people do. That would disqualify you from insurance without some form of an open enrollment.

Jane has been having some stomach issues for the past two or three months. Lots of acid reflux, so she changed her diet and began taking a little purple pill or even other OTC items. Did not help. Suddenly Jane begins to get very ill after she eats - no matter what she eats.

Jane decides she must go to the doctor. But going without insurance is too risky. She found another company (maybe not as good as some of her first choices) and she finally gets approved for insurance. Her insurance does not kick in until the first week in December.

This past week, Jane has been violently vomiting after every meal. Foam, blood, bile are all that is left. Finally, after laying on her bathroom floor for hours, she begs her room mate to drive her to the ER. There, she finds that she must pay $200 up front and then they would proceed.
After hours of tests, a mass of stones were found in her gall bladder. More tests are needed before she can have it removed, and these tests are not available until Monday. Because Jane does not have insurance, she is discharged from the hospital and sent home with some meds to sleep it off until Monday.

Jane goes to the GI doctor on Monday only to discover that she will have to return on Wednesday. She has yet to eat, is still violently vomiting, and has a slight fever. Over and over in the doctor's office they tell her how expensive this will be.

Jane doesn't have a choice. She can't eat, she is very ill, and her gall bladder could burst. She is not getting the proper testing and her needs are not being met in a timely manner - why? No insurance.

Circle back to me. Yes me. I have insurance, damn good insurance. When I first moved to Birmingham (in 2005) I got really sick. Literally - 4 days after moving here. I ended up with meningitis. I was admitted to the hospital on a Saturday. I moved here the Sunday before. Because my insurance was still out of Georgia - it was considered out of network. After numerous tests and drugs to keep me alive, I ended up with a $35,000 hospital bill - all but a little over $6,000 was covered by my insurance.

The hospital gave me 30 days to make a payment. I was always told - pay something, and they will leave you alone. When I first moved here, I did not have a job. I moved with my husband - who is now an ex-husband- and I was depending on him to support me financially. No payment was made to the hospital. I was turned over to collections. A company would not take less than $400 a month. At this point, I found a job - but was not making what I needed to cover my basic bills. I tried to negotiate with the collections company, but nothing worked. I even sent a $50 check, and they took it, but said it was not enough.

About 3 months later I was sued. Just recently, it finally made it to court. Luckily, I make a significant amount more than I did when I first moved here. I am working back in my field. But this bill remained. The court ordered me to make payments to the company. I offered $150 a month, it was denied. I was sent into garnishment of $800 a month from my paycheck. Yes - $800 a month. These past three months were hard for us. Yasser cannot work due to immigration laws (yet), and I am doing everything I can. We are still holding our head above water, but it has not been easy.

Too many times average, tax-paying, hard working (and even insured) citizens are getting jerked around. My friend Jane and I are not the picture of what many people think their tax dollars would be paying for. More so for my friend - we need an option. For me, we need to make the insurance companies become a little more competitive and offer better coverage. We need lower costs for health care.

Here are the facts (as I see it):

1.The number of uninsured citizens has grown to over 45 million (although this number includes illegal immigrants, etc.).
Since health care premiums continue to grow at several times the rate of inflation, many businesses are simply choosing to not offer a health plan, or if they do, to pass on more of the cost to employees. Employees facing higher costs themselves are often choosing to go without health coverage.

No health insurance doesn't necessarily mean no health care since there are many clinics and services that are free to indigent individuals. However, any costs not covered by insurance must be absorbed by all the rest of us, which means even higher premiums. In all fairness, the 45 million uninsured number has been called into question since in includes illegal immigrants, people making over $75K who choose not to buy coverage, and others who have options for coverage but choose not to get it. The true number of people without options is closer to 15 million.

2. Health care has become increasingly unaffordable for businesses and individuals.

Businesses and individuals that choose to keep their health plans still must pay a much higher amount. Remember, businesses only have a certain amount of money they can spend on labor. If they must spend more on health insurance premiums, they will have less money to spend on raises, new hires, investment, and so on.

Individuals who must pay more for premiums have less money to spend on rent, food, and consumer goods; in other words, less money is pumped back into the economy. Thus, health care prevents the country from making a robust economic recovery. A simpler government-controlled system that reduces costs would go a long way in helping that recovery.

3. We can eliminate wasteful inefficiencies such as duplicate paper work, claim approval, insurance submission, etc.

Think back to all the times in your life you've had to fill out a medical history, answering the same questions over and over. Think about all the insurance paperwork you've had to fill out and submit.

Our current health care system generates an enormous amount of overhead. Every time we go to the doctor, a claim must be submitted, an approval department has to go over the claim, checks have to be mailed, patients are sent co-pay bills, and so on.

The thing that's especially wasteful is that each doctor's office usually maintains their own record-keeping system. A universal health care plan would allow us to build one centralized system. There would be no need for maintaining insurance information or wasting time submitting claims. The work savings in the banking and postal areas alone would be worth billions every year.

4. We can develop a centralized national database which makes diagnosis and treatment easier for doctors.

Most doctor's offices maintain a separate record-keeping system. This is why you always have to fill out a lengthy health history whenever you go to a new physician. This is a problem for several reasons.

First of all, it's wasteful of both time and money. Second of all, patients may lie, forget, or do a poor job of explaining past medical problems. Doctors need accurate information to make a proper diagnosis.

Last of all, separate systems means we have a tougher time analyzing data at a national level.

For example, are incidents of a certain disease dropping? How often is a certain illness associated with a specific set of symptoms? A centralized national system would allow us to do data analysis that we never dreamed possible, leading to medical advances and increased diagnosis efficiency. The main argument against a centralized database is that certain insurance providers may deny coverage if they find certain past medical problems. However, if the government is paying for everything, that should never be a problem.

5. Medical professionals can concentrate on healing the patient rather than on insurance procedures, malpractice liability, etc.

Doctors have to take classes now simply to understand all the insurance plans out there; they are often restricted by insurance practices, such as what tests can be ordered. Doctors must practice defensive medicine to avoid getting sued. Some physicians are even leaving the profession rather than deal with all these non-medical headaches.

A simplified universal health system would allow doctors, nurses, and other medical professions to simply focus on doing what's best for the patient. Medicine is a complex enough subject as it is. Our current system just adds to an already mentally-draining profession.

6. Free medical services would encourage patients to practice preventive medicine and inquire about problems early when treatment will be light; currently, patients often avoid physicals and other preventive measures because of the costs.

Because many people are uninsured and those that do have insurance face high deductibles, Americans often forego doctor visits for minor health problems or for preventive medicine.

Thus, health problems that could be caught at an early stage or prevented altogether become major illnesses. Things like routine physicals, mammograms, and HIV tests could prevent major problems. This not only affects the health of the patient but the overall cost of the system, since preventive medicine costs only a small fraction of a full blown disease. A government-provided system would remove the disincentive patients have for visiting a medical professional.

7. Patients with pre-existing conditions can still get health coverage.

One of the biggest weaknesses of our current health care systems is that patients with a past or current medical condition such as cancer or asthma often cannot obtain affordable health coverage. Some insurance companies won't even give a policy to such individuals, or if they do, they will cover everything BUT their past diagnosed conditions.

Anyone with an expensive illness or disease must then often face one of two choices: use up all their own money, or leave the condition untreated.

In a universal system, no one with a pre-existing condition would be denied coverage. People could change jobs without fearing the loss of health insurance.

Now I do see problems that could arise... please note there are many "kinks to work out.
Here is what I see as an issue:

1. There isn't a single government agency or division that runs efficiently; do we really want an organization that developed the U.S. Tax Code handling something as complex as health care?

Quick, try to think of one government office that runs efficiently. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? The Department of Transportation? Social Security Administration? Department of Education?

There isn't a single government office that squeezes efficiency out of every dollar the way the private sector can.

We've all heard stories of government waste such as million-dollar cow flatulence studies or the Pentagon's 14 billion dollar Bradley design project that resulted in a transport vehicle which when struck by a mortar produced a gas that killed every man inside.

How about the U.S. income tax system? When originally implemented, it collected 1 percent from the highest income citizens. Look at it today. A few years back to government published a "Tax Simplification Guide", and the guide itself was over 1,000 pages long!

This is what happens when politicians mess with something that should be simple.

Think about the Department of Motor Vehicles. This isn't rocket science--they have to keep track of licenses and basic database information for state residents. However, the costs to support the department are enormous, and when was the last time you went to the DMV and didn't have to stand in line? If it can't handle things this simple, how can we expect the government to handle all the complex nuances of the medical system? If any private business failed year after year to achieve its objectives and satisfy its customers, it would go out of business or be passed up by competitors.

2. "Free" health care isn't really free since we must pay for it with taxes; expenses for health care would have to be paid for with higher taxes or spending cuts in other areas such as defense, education, etc.

There's an entitlement mentality in this country that believes the government should give us a number of benefits such as "free" health care. But the government must pay for this somehow.

3. Government-controlled health care would lead to a decrease in patient flexibility.

At first glance, it would appear universal health care would increase flexibility. After all, if government paid for everything under one plan, you could in theory go to any doctor.

However, some controls are going to have to be put in to keep costs from exploding.

For example, would "elective" surgeries such as breast implants, wart removal, hair restoration, and lasik eye surgery be covered? Then you may say, that's easy, make patients pay for elective surgery. Although some procedures are obviously not needed, who decides what is elective and what is required? What about a breast reduction for back problems? What about a hysterectomy for fibroid problems? What about a nose job to fix a septum problem caused in an accident? Whenever you have government control of something, you have one item added to the equation that will most definitely screw things up--politics. Suddenly, every medical procedure and situation is going to come down to a political battle. The compromises that result will put in controls that limit patient options. The universal system in Canada forces patients to wait over 6 months for a routine pap smear. Canada residents will often go to the U.S. or offer additional money to get their health care needs taken care of.

4. Malpractice lawsuit costs, which are already sky-high, could further explode since universal care may expose the government to legal liability, and the possibility to sue someone with deep pockets usually invites more lawsuits.

When you're dealing with any business, for example a privately-funded hospital, if an employee negligently causes an injury, the employer is ultimately liable in a lawsuit.

If government funds all health care, that would mean the U.S. government, an organization with enormous amounts of cash at its disposal, would be ultimately responsible for the mistakes of health care workers. Whether or not a doctor has made a mistake, he or she is always a target for frivolous lawsuits by money-hungry lawyers & clients that smell deep pockets.

Even if the health care quality is the same as in a government-funded system, the level of lawsuits is likely to increase simply because attorneys know the government has the money to make settlements and massive payouts. Try to imagine potential punitive damages alone. When the government has the ability to spend several trillion dollars per year, how much will a jury be willing to give a wronged individual who is feeble, disfigured, or dying?

5. Patients may be subjected to extremely long waits for treatment. Stories constantly come out of universal health care programs in Britain and Canada about patients forced to wait months or years for treatments that we can currently receive immediately in America. With limited financial and human resources, the government will have to make tough choices about who can treatment first, and who must wait. Patients will like be forced to suffer longer or possibly die waiting for treatment

Of course we could WHAT IF everything until the cows come home. The point is - we need options. I am in favor of a public option. I do not want to put the private insurance companies out of business, but I want there to be an option for those who need it, like my friend Jane.

It is easy to point the fingers and say certain groups of people are expecting "hand outs" - when honestly - unless you have ever been sick, and had life events like the ones I shared above, you cannot understand what it is like to need something. Yes I believe we all deserve the best health care out there. Yes. I do believe it is a right. We are a nation with the best of the best. I also believe in the golden rule - "Do unto others as you would would have then do unto you."

Again - it is just my opinion. But at least I have reasons why I support it. And no, I am not blind to the issues. But I believe the benefits out weigh the negatives. :-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dark Shadows

I have spent a better part of my night and morning watching "Dark Shadows" on Hulu. This is a 1980's evening soap opera based on a governess who moves to Maine and falls in love with Barnabas, a 200 year old vampire.

Kind of creepy - kind of silly.

All in All , I love it!

I have watched tons of good programs: 30 Days (documentaries), Cracked Not Broken, Dancing with the Stars, Mad Mad House - and a few others. Yes, I found a way to entertain myself for the past 4 months without cable or any form of television.

Boys and girls - recession has lifted. We will have cable installed (with premium channels) on Tuesday. *sigh* feels good. Nice lesson learned. One that involves living on almost 1,000 less a month. Wow. Miracles do happen.

I am back to normal and excited to be able to pay the bills and do more. It's nice. Really nice.

That's all really. I have nothing of interest to share today. I know my writing has been more "reporting out" versus discussion oriented. I am just trying to take it easy, deal with some things and move forward. Yes.. move forward.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm back!

Yes, I am back. Not with a whole lot to say.


I think I have been so sick and tired of being sick and tired, it dried up any imagination I had going on.

But I do have to share one thing - I have an itch for travel again. Well - the itch is always there, but I am sooo ready to board a plane (with passport) and go someplace INTERESTING.

I have not been any place of any significance in a while. I don't count a trip to the beach - because it is sooo normal. I know Yass & I cannot leave the country for a while. That's okay.
We were invited up to Connecticut to spend a long weekend with my friends Kathy & Steven (from the TV days) - they live just a short trek outside of the city (NYC that is.) I think it just might be worth a go. Yass needs to see NYC - and I think the winter would be a perfect time. We could easily pic a weekend near my birthday! What a great way to spend my 37th - in the city and relaxing at a fabo CT home. Which by the way - sincerely is FABO.

That may have to "do" for now. But I am not complaining. :-) Another option - and I think we should try this in the summer, is to head to the LA to see Yass's uncle. He has family out in California, and I think it would be nice to take a visit. Of course, they will try to keep us there!! hahahaa.

Yes- two trips - one in winter and one in spring - one coast to the next. That is what we will shoot for. Finances allowing. Of course - God willing.

Okay - maybe I have satisfied my itch. Maybe.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Turn for the worse

I am not sure what happened between yesterday at lunch and this morning - but I am beginning to feel BAD again.

I was sooo tired last night. Which - that is nothing unusual. I am lethargic between 3 & 7pm . However, I started a new med last night for the BP , so I was a extra tired.

BUT - in the middle of the night I started FREEZING. Straight up, crazy cold. At 5:30am, I decided to take my temperature and yes, I had a fever. YIKES. I took two Tylenol, took a warm bath, wrapped myself up in my thick robe, and proceeded to crash on the couch.

Then - about 7:30 this morning, I woke up sweating profusely. I guess the fever broke, but I still feel sooooo tired.

I know I have been trying to cut out the caffeine, and have done a wonderful job for over 3 weeks, but I think today - I need a pick me up.

I wonder what my body was fighting off last night??? I have been on antibiotics for the past ten days for my sinus infection, and yes - it cleared it up. I wonder if something was left behind, and my body was working on it.

Odd, Odd, Odd.

Okay - enough of that.

Trying to wake up - if only I could see straight. ;-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I am beginning to wonder about how Arab men are raised.


Remember the post where I was complaining about an old co-worker of mine calling her daughter princess all of the time? I think, perhaps, arab men are raised as little princes.

I say this because I am married to a man in love with him self. Truly - madly - deeply in love with himself.

For example, one of my dear friends gave us a photo frame with ten slots for pics. My dear love got prints made - came back and filled the slots. Out of 9 slots - 8 of the pics are of him and two have me in them.


I happened to point it out - and he said - SO?

I definitely live with a DIVO - (male versian of Diva).

This shrine to himself is hanging in our living room.

Lord have mercy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Renal Dopplers and the Odd sound


Had the Renal Doppler scan this morning. Obviously it is a non-invasive test, but it bothered me just the same.

Thump Thump Thump.. or more like.. Thwomp Thwomp.. the sound of my heart beating and pushing the blood to and fro in my kidneys. WEIRD.

The sound of a heart beat always freaks me out.

I had to hold my breathe a lot. Then listen to the swooshing sound of the blood. Again - not fun.

They spent a lot of time on the right kidney. I had to hold my breathe quite a bit on that side.
Then on the left kidney, you could clearly hear how much harder the blood swooshed in versus how it left the kidney.

Not sure if that is normal.


Of course they tell you nothing. I must wait.

Did mention how TIRED I am?????


pushing on...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Slow to motivate

I am a little slow to motivate to write today. I got a total of 5.5 hours sleep. (thirty minutes was a power nap)

I am dog tired.

I spent the evening with some of my friends and the egyptian at a Halloween Festival in the Lakeview District here in Birmingham. Saw some really creative costumes. That's always inspiring to see the creative juices in flowing in others. I love to see the costumes that you KNOW these people spent weeks putting together. Very good showing for the most part.

I have found a way to numb my mind - "Dancing with the Stars." Yes - I know you are probably wondering why someone like me - who took decades of dance classes would just be catching on to this. The truth is, Yass and I have been cable free since late July. I have an old TV - translation - no signal. No TV. None.

I recently remembered Hulu and started watching a few items. First I watched "Mad, Mad House." This was only after stumbling upon it after a night of researching Vampires. (See - I never said I was normal Post.) Then I watched Square Pegs - an oldie but goodie - only 2 episodes of it. I did manage to watch 1 movie - Fright Night, and then began "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas". Finally I settled on Dancing with the Stars - Season 9. Have to say, I am a fan.

I miss dancing so much. No, I will not begin to whine about my finances and how I cannot afford dance classes. But it is true. I DO miss dancing. Watching this show gave me soo much motivation to start back - again. Next goal - head back to the Fred Astaire dance studio and see what magic we can work. All after this stupid personal recession ends.

Man, - not lying - we are B-R-O-K-E these days. UAB is getting $800 a month from me. (And not by choice.) Damn the meningitis. Damn people against a public option for health care. Obviously these people have never gotten sick and have never fallen on hard times. Trust me- if they did, they would change their minds.

Speaking of health care - tomorrow is the big Renal Doppler day. I am praying for a positive outcome. I cannot imagine having to have a stent. How horrible would that be? Well - maybe I am being too dramatic, but I don't think this is where I want to head.

I have stuck to my diet for the most part. I did slip a little today. After dropping the egyptian off at work - I was STARVING - and decided to stop by Wing Zone and feed that craving I've had for a week. I bought 5 chicken wings in honey mustard sauce. Cost less than $5 - and was just 5 wings. But 5 more than I am allowed. :-(

I did exercise yesterday - I bought a Prevention Magazine DVD about a year ago - something about walking. Well - I did the routine and walked 1 mile and used 5 sets of exercises that involved weights.

Progress. But again.. I take 2 steps forward and then one step back.

But in almost 3 weeks this is the first time I slipped up - I really need to give myself a break.

I am looking forward to tackling this week. Actually I am dreading it - but I am trying to see it as a challenge and treat it as that. I have lots to work on, both personally and professionally. I can do this. I can do it all.

I almost regret saying those words. I feel like each time I try to boost myself up, something always comes along and wipes me out. Here's hoping with God's mercy I can sail through the week fairly unscathed.


Interested in purchasing ad space? Your ad could be RIGHT HERE.
Email for more details.


Related Posts with Thumbnails