Thursday, December 31, 2015

Gift Wrapped

You had a heart attack a couple of years back.
Undeterred, you're still smoking every day.

But you had chest pain the other night.
So you came to the ED.
No, not by paramedic ambulance called to your house, with all the latest technology and pharmaceutical wonders at their fingertips right there in your in your living room.
(Too easy, right?)
Instead, you waited a few hours - to make sure this was really something - then had your wife run a few red lights driving you in to see us.
Then you came in, went to the bathroom, and then waited to register to be seen.
Without telling anyone why you were here.

Of course, your full arrest in the waiting room a minute later kind of let the cat out of the bag.
Lucky for you it was late at night, during the slow time, and we all came running.
And somebody jumped on chest compressions for you in about 10 seconds.
And kept on doing it until we got you onto a gurney and into the code room.

And you were in V-fib, of course.
So we zapped you a couple of times, cranked on your rib cage for a few cycles in between, and pumped you full of code drugs, sunk an ET tube on the first try, and got a pulse back.
(Did it sting? Do you remember any of this now? Just wondering...)

And then we shipped you off to the cath lab, and then they sent you to the ICU.
Who fixed you, and sent you home again.

As much fun as we had, we hope next time you'll call 9-1-1. First.
And not risk your wife plowing into a vanload of innocents when she's running red lights on the way to the ED.
Or you arresting in the passenger seat 10 minutes away.
Or dropping somewhere between the cars in the farthest reaches of the parking lot, and us playing hide-and-seek in the dark after your wife runs inside and tells us about it.

So maybe it's time to lose 50 pounds and ditch the Marlboros for good, eh?
Because you did nearly everything wrong, and evidently God's not done with you. Yet.
Congrats, man.

Happy New Year.
Enjoy it.
Oh, and you're welcome.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Refugees, Politics, and an instructive fable

In reference to the most recent post at Florence Is Dead, regarding the thought that 2,290 Syrian refugees here since 2011 is not enough, the following:

We currently accept around 1,000,000 immigrants per year to the U.S., and that's just the ones who come here legally. (We can ignore the other 10-20 million here illegally we're currently supporting every day for another discussion another time.)
That's more than the sum total of legal immigration for all other countries combined, on the entire planet, and has been so for decades, year in and year out.

So given that the "refugees" in question are some 5,000-10,000 miles away (depending on where in the US we're talking about), and have to pass over any two of three continents, or over two complete oceans between them, to arrive here in this hemisphere, skipping past any 40-50 other countries en route, the correct number of Syrian refugees we ought to be accommodating here is therefore right around zero.

If you can find any of them who relish individual liberty, representative government by democratic republic, long for the benefits of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, the blessings of (mostly) free market capitalism, and eschew enforcing religious tyranny on all others at the point of a sword, and they have a working knowledge of English and our American history, by all means, send them - to get in line behind everyone else seeking a better life.
Just because 8 billion people want to move here (or to Europe) as part of the Free Sh*t Army doesn't nor should it grant them any claim to American citizenship, nor even to legal immigration status. Which is precisely the reason most of Europe is calling up troops and building fences to keep their hordes out, and why the governments there who ignore that are about to find themselves ousted. Or worse.
(That's the best event, assuming another couple of Paris-style incidents don't push the entire continent to the cattle trains and barbed-wire camps stage, which is hardly a new or surprising thing over there, historically speaking.)

But importing hordes of people to this nation from Third World poverty, without any marketable skills, and saddled with an allegiance to a repressive theocracy which authors the most brutal forms of repression, torture, and slaughter against women, gays, and every other religious faith is right up their with someone wondering what would happen if a person shoved a grenade up their tailpipe with the pin pulled out.

The two clearest examples of what that looks like for real need be gathered from no further back in history than Beirut in the 1980s, and Sarajevo in the 1990s. Anyone in any doubt should vacation there, and report back to the group on the experience.

And the enclaves of precisely the second generation economic refugees in Europe already admitted in better times (from Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, etc. - all former French colonial leftovers), and now without prospects, plus bearing no love for the country that sustains them, were the precise breeding grounds for those who conducted the Paris attacks. The correct term for those who kill their hosts isn't "refugees", it's "parasites". So let's be scientifically and pathologically accurate, shall we?

If someone is feeling the call to help Syrian refugees (who comprise some single-digit fractional percentage of the hordes now descending on Europe - the rest are from anywhere and everywhere other than Syria), then by all means, send as much of your personal resources as you'd like: to help them survive and make their way on their own continent, ideally in some safe enclave in their own country, or at worst nearby and geographically much closer. They belong in a place where they have some reasonable hope of someday returning to their own native homes, and staying alive in the meantime without resorting to trying to float to Europe on a raft made of floating debris, or walking on foot to the countries with the best welfare payments.

Better for them, better for us.

Anything else is tongue-kissing syphilitic lepers, and doing mouth-to-mouth on drug resistant TB patients, because compassion without cogitation.

Nursing is about using our heads along with our hearts to help people.
My namesake's fable about The Scorpion and The Frog comes to mind.
Bonus points for bravery/stupidity: putting this question to nurses at Loma Linda UMC in San Bernardino, today.