About Me

When not at work with students, I spend my time in my room either reading, calculating something using pen and paper, or using a computer. I read almost anything: from the pornographic to the profound, although my main interests are mathematics and physics. "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -Erasmus

Monday, November 29, 2010

after the discharge

My Mom was discharged from the hospital last Saturday. We left the hospital 9pm and got home around 11 pm because of two things: a traffic jam and a stalled engine. The jam we survived; it was due to a long line of trucks.

As for the stalled engine: It happened that the engine of my brother's car wasn't getting enough gas because of the filter. We weren't towed home. Instead my brother removed the filter and the hoses connecting filter, gas tank, and engine. To clean it, he sucked the gas from the hoses and the filter. As he said, "Real men drink gasoline."...

My Mom is still unable to move her right side, but she can talk, drink and eat. She'll need physical therapy, and then occupational therapy. We also need to make sure that she takes her meds. Dr. Navarro is still a problem because in spite of the stroke, she still believes in that guy even though high cholesterol levels may in fact be the cause of the stroke.

What makes me suspicious of Dr. Navarro's claims is the lack of peer-reviewed publications in decent medical journals. One can always claim that clinical studies were done, but without peer-reviewed papers supporting those claims, it's just hearsay. It's difficult to get my Mom to understand why, as a scientist, I react this way. There is a process that new knowledge has to go through before it becomes accepted by any scientific community; publication in journals and peer-review is one of the mechanisms that scientists use to eliminate crap. (I am, of course, taking the charitable view that Doctors constitute a scientific community. If you look at history, doctors have a sorry record. After all, they believed in bloodletting until the late 19th century!)

My Mom learned about Dr. Navarro from AM radio, at DZBB. (Is there a connection between advancing age and increasing patronage of AM radio?) It's the Nazi saying (I think it's from Goebbels) in action "A lie repeated thousands of times becomes a truth". It should probably be modified to: "If it's said often enough on AM radio, it becomes the truth." Maybe there ought to be a warning sign on new units: listening to AM radio may be hazardous to your health.

During the weekend we took turns being her minder, but we faced a problem during weekdays. All of us had work, and we're still looking for hired help. For now, my Aunt will be here for a few weeks to help us out.

When my Aunt heard that my Mom had a stroke, she bought airline tickets and traveled all the way here from England. She's British, married with adult children. She's now retired from being head nurse at a hospital there, and it's good to get help from a pro. Since she's the second eldest in my Mom's family, she will likely not take much nonsense from my Mom, but she'll be much gentler, I think, than I could possibly be. I'm extremely grateful that she's here.

I went to school today to get some paperwork done. I started marking papers around 1 pm and left school around 7 pm. I estimate that I was able to do only 20 % of the total. This is only marking my student's papers. I wasn't able to get any problem sets done. The massive amount was collected during the week I was alternating hospital stays with my other brothers. I'll continue with it tomorrow.

No comments: