Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from New Zealand

a NZ Christmas tree "Pohutukawa" near Piha Beach 20 mins from  my house

In 2009 I pondered how it is weird to experience warm weather at Christmas.  After 4 years of living in NZ, it is still weird.  Christmas is a Christian holiday combined with the pagan winter festival plus Santa and Reindeer...  Santa wears a wool suit.  He lives at the North Pole.  His sleigh is made for snow.  Lights decorate houses in winter where its dark at 5pm.

In 2010 I shared a few negative experiences I've had this time of year. 

For 2011?  Well, the only 'bad' is I haven't managed to send anything to family except flowers to arrive at my mother's in Glenview, Illinois USA.  We managed to get our NZ presents (aka known as "pressies") for all family members here so we'll wrap all those today - and head to mum's for lunch tomorrow Christmas day. 

Growing up in Wilmette in a Catholic family, we used to go to church every Sunday.  On Christmas sometimes we'd attend midnight mass Saturday night.  Last time I went to midnight mass was before I was married probably 1998 or 1999, I was living in an apartment and was supposed to meet a sister and my mother there.  Neither showed up.  They were tired.  My NZ family aren't church goers, yet they are very spiritual and reverent people in their lives, in loving and caring towards each other and other people they know.  Their kindness and love help me live my life here away from my Illinois roots.

Do you need to go to church to be spiritual?  No. 

This year I am happy to be able to share a Christmas holiday with NZ loved ones.  Some of us will be bringing our pets to mum's (dogs!).  There are 3 puppies and 2 adult dogs so 5 wee doggies will be added to the fun at mum's with around 20 adults and one 3 year old. 

Tomorrow should shape up to be a wonderful day of food, family, puppies, pressies and the warm summer NZ sunshine...

I hope you all get to share some food, prayer, joy and happiness wherever you are this year - Merry Christmas everyone!

Lisa G in NZ

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Last Civil Right

The Last Civil Right asks is the condition of black Americans under Barack O: Good, Bad or Worse?

" for someone just because they are black is not a means of payback or revenge. If you even think that for a moment, you are sadly mistaken. You are only hurting yourself by making that decision. That only proves just how ignorant, shallow and unforgiving you truly are. Why is it that 98% of blacks vote in favor of shattering their own circumstances? That’s right, every single time you vote the Democrat base you tighten the noose around your neck. Meanwhile, the rest of the community suffers and remains in shambles. You keep the shackles on by voting for those values. When will we learn that social programs and handouts are not working in our favor so that we can move forward towards success? Dumbing us right on down, and we are repeatedly keeping ourselves enslaved by doing so. That is the very message we are sending out to others who are looking in our direction. That is the future we have chosen for our children."

Good questions... It is looking much worse to me...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

D's "blame the rich" to get USA "poor" to vote for them and stay on plantation

Who are the "poor" in America and how "bad" off are they really?  Not bad off at all actually.  The whole "blame the rich" meme being fostered by communist-dems also known as "class warfare" is to blame those "evil, facist, racist" Republicans (see video!) and RICH people who keep the poor 'down'.  Down on the plantation?  That is where communist-dems WANT the populace.  They give people free stuff to get them to keep voting them into power.  I'm not saying anything new.  You know this already - is is obvious, isn't it?

Rush Limbaugh mentions this week "Percentage of poor US how does which have various amenities: Refrigerator, 99%. Television, 97%. Stove and oven, 97%. Microwave, 82%." The list goes on. That's what it looks like. It's a chart. So Koko will put it up and you'll have a chance to take a look at it, 'cause I had the call and guy made a great point. More and more people are told -- more and more middle-class people are told -- they are living in poverty, and furthermore they're told that the rich are the reason; the rich are responsible. That's how Obama is running a scorched earth. That's how he's gonna divide and rip this country apart as part of his reelection campaign."

Look at some statistics from Heritage in their article Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?


"Housing and Poverty

Of course, the typical poor family could have a host of modern conveniences and still live in dilapidated, overcrowded housing. However, data from other government surveys show that this is not the case.[19] Poor Americans are well housed and rarely overcrowded.[20] In fact, the houses and apartments of America’s poor are quite spacious by international standards. The typical poor American has considerably more living space than does the average European.[21]

Forty-three percent of all poor households own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.[22]

Nearly all of the houses and apartments of the poor are in good condition. According to the government’s data, only one in 10 has moderate physical problems. Only 2 percent of poor domiciles have “severe” physical problems, the most common of which is sharing a bathroom with another household living in the building.[23]

Food Shortages, Nutrition, and Poverty

It is possible that most poor households could be well housed and have many modern conveniences but still face chronic food shortages and undernutrition. Poor families might have microwaves but a limited and sporadic supply of food to put in the microwave. Government surveys show that this is not the case for the overwhelming majority of poor families.

On average, the poor are well nourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children. In most cases, it is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than higher-income children consume, and their protein intake averages 100 percent above recommended levels. In fact, most poor children are super-nourished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.[24]

However, even though the poor, in general, have an ample food supply, some do suffer from temporary food shortages. For example, a poor household with an adequate long-term food supply might need temporarily to cut back meals, eat cheap food, or go without if cash and food stamps run out at the end of the month.

Still, government data show that most poor households do not suffer even from temporary food shortages. As Chart 7 shows, 92.5 percent of poor households assert that they always had “enough food to eat” during the previous four months, although 26 percent of these did not always have the foods that they would have preferred. Some 6 percent of poor households state that they “sometimes” did not have enough food, and 1.5 percent say they “often” did not have enough food.[25]

The bottom line is that, although a small portion of poor households report temporary food shortages, the overwhelming majority of poor households report that they consistently have enough food to eat."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Frontline evidence from a Maine Walmart on welfare reform needed

Remember everything free on your EBT?  Did you think that video was parody or closer to reality?  Hmm...  One girl who worked a couple of summers at Walmart has written a good article on how welfare reform is really needed in Maine, USA. Her article applies to everywhere welfare is abused!  A snippet:

"I understand that sometimes, people are destitute. They need help, and they accept help from the state in order to feed their families. This is fine. It happens. I’m not against temporary aid helping those who truly need it. What I saw at Wal-Mart, however, was not temporary aid. I witnessed generations of families all relying on the state to buy food and other items. I literally witnessed small children asking their mothers if they could borrow their EBT cards. I once had a man show me his welfare card for an ID to buy alcohol. The man was from Massachusetts. Governor Michael Dukakis’ signature was on his welfare card. Dukakis’ last gubernatorial term ended in January of 1991. I was born in June of 1991. The man had been on welfare my entire life. That’s not how welfare was intended, but sadly, it is what it has become."

Read the rest here ... and remember:

Funny xmas pix over at RR

Check out some really funny and weird Christmas photos Reaganite Republican found... because nothing says Merry Christmas like a stuffed dead cheetah, eh?  lol

Whittle: a voter's guide to Republicans

Another great video from Bill Whittle, more at Declaration Entertainment...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

still unexplained after 2 years of social medicine

in this diagram, my internal abdominal oblique and tendionouse inscriptions both seem to hurt?
I have had abdominal pain on and off for 2 years.  After various tests by socialized medicine, I have not been given a definitive idea of what the problem might be.

Permanent lower abdominal cramps

Two years ago the pain started like monthly female period cramps (these are great fun, just ask your girlfriend, wife or mother!) which lasted over a month.  I started taking lots of ibuprofen.  Cramps seem to worsen. 


Went for ultrasound to check female parts and appointment with intestinal specialist.  All OK on the ultrasound. Cramps really bad one morning around 3am so went to emergency clinic.  African doctor said no more ibuprofen, I was making issues worse.  Switched to panadol (tylenol) which is paracetamol.  Had to take 4-5 days a week sometimes 8-9 pills a day.  My local doctor recommends I see a dietician and agrees with intestinal specialist I should get a colonoscopy. Local blood tests confirm very low iron and low iron absorption.  I'm given couple months worth of doses of codeine for bad pain. I take it periodically when needed.


About 8-9 months ago, I started seeing a dietician.  I give up coffee, caffeine, soda / fizzy drink and incorporate more fiber and iron into my diet.  This seems to help a bit.  Yet, periodic cramping pain continues.


It took about 1 year to get a colonscopy. I was put on the waiting list Oct-2010 and had the procedure end of Sep-2011.  Minor divurticulitus found, nothing major and no cancer or anything.  Surgeon gives me prescription for couple months of fiber drink.

New, severe pain

Sunday morning 27-Nov-11 I awoke about 3:00am with a new, sharper abdominal pain near the appendix area and shooting upwards.  Felt like a knife inside me.  I took some codeine and panadol.  I went to work Monday but wasn't too happy. Tuesday I stay home and try to self medicate some more.  Pain is intensifying.

30-Nov-11 in hospital

Wed 30-Nov-11 I go to my doctor first thing.  He worries about my appendix.  He sends me to hospital.  My husband leaves work to drive me there.  I'm given some intra-venous pain meds (morphine?) and try to explain my symptoms to a couple of different doctors. 


Later in afternoon at hospital, they Xray my abdomen but apparently not much found.  I send husband home.  It hurts to stand up or walk, but mostly ok if I just lay still. I stay overnight.  No dinner or breakfast but am given more pain medications.  Next morning head of surgical and team of doctors assess me.  He recommends CT scan of my abdomen.  They don't think appendix - my symptoms are different.

CT scan

Next day I get a CT scan at 1pm.  I'm allowed to eat so have some dinner.  Yum: hospital food. One of the surgeons who had assessed me yesterday (twice), came by with CT results around 6pm.  He says he doesn't see any divirticulitis, anything wrong with intestines or any other organs.  CT is a "snapshot" but it is inconclusive.  He says I can go home if I'm feeling OK. He thinks it might just be an issue with an internal abdominal muscle.  He advises it will either get better on its own by just relaxing for a week - but if pain worsens, I have to go back to hospital.  I get a prescription about 8pm for about a week's worth "tramadol". 

On Tramadol

"Tramadol - is a synthetic opioid analgesic indicated for moderate-moderately severe pain. Tramadol, like all opioids, does produce "morphine-like" effects including analgesia, euphoria, anxiolysis (reduced anxiety), dizziness, somnolence, nausea/vomiting, constipation, and sweating. However, tramadol causes significantly less respiratory depression than morphine. In contrast to morphine, tramadol has not been shown to cause histamine release. At therapeutic doses, tramadol has no clinically significant effect on heart rate."

Lingering pain

So after I got home from hospital, I stayed home that  Friday and basically was in bed for 4 days. I took Tramadol here and there and have been taking a dose of Tramadol nightly. I have one more dose left.  Tues night, I did not take any and Wed I woke up with lingering pain - so took another day off work and laid in bed all day.  So what is the end to this story?  I still don't know.  Today is Thu 15-Dec-11.

No diagnosis yet

Two years later... and I still have periodic abdominal pain.  It is slightly better with changes to diet - and with a week's worth of rest and tramadol.  However, if I don't eat for a day or two?  I still have some pain.  I've been ultra-sounded, x-ray-ed and CT-ed.  I feel slightly better?  Sorta...  I can walk around and I'm at work today - will see how long I can sit without pain.  I just took some more panadol. 

Hopefully my liver won't shrivel up from too much panadol. 

My opinion of socialized medicine?  Well, it seems OK so far but I still have some pain and no definitive diagnosis yet.  This is frustrating.  I wonder if Chicago doctors would have figured this out by now...   I'll never know I guess... *sigh*, so if I keel over and die, it was nice blogging with you.  Wish me luck...

internal organs - mine are supposedly all OK