Wednesday, June 23, 2010


A derecho is a severe straight line storm that is as damaging as a hurricane. We don't get them often but we had a spectacular one in July 1980 in the morning lasting all of 15 minutes but the effects lasted much longer. Working in a mostly glass laboratory, we had a good view of it. No sirens so we didn't have to huddle in the dank, feed room. The sky turned dark green and winds up to 90 mph came through uprooting trees, power poles. I could see Shanna's daycare go dark in the first minute. We were looking out of a south window but the winds were due west. The glass was buckling but we stood there mesmerized. End result: no power for a week, the loss of a birch tree that was mostly dead anyway and the neighbor's cottonwood due west of us had to be taken down. Good as that nasty tree covered our lawn and lungs with its cotton balls regularly but its many branches littered our lawn in its death throes.
We are scheduled to get another derecho soon but it seems to be losing power as it heads our way.

Not a good day today! Apparently there are several forms of Medicaid: not all forms cover the same institutions. She was supposed to choose the right plan after 45 days, which is not up yet, but apparently Medicaid chose for her the plan that does NOT cover UM and told her to pick a new doctor oblivious to the fact she already had to switch and is already dilated, etc. UM called her up to tell her this this morning saying it often happens. Hopefully this is fixable. She had an appointment with the public health nurse this morning who knows the ropes and will hopefully get this straightened out ASAP. I am awaiting a phone call to tell me this or I know the rest of the day will be spent dealing with this mess.

I did make some money yesterday..maybe. In Boston, I noticed an ad in the free newspaper for a study on breast cancer patients that had chemo. I called them up a few weeks ago to enroll to fill out 2 surveys that net me $60. They said they'll take 45 minutes each to fill out but I did the both of them in 30 minutes. Bizarre choices: You have 2 treatment plans: Treatment A: 100% chance of survival but 100% chance of temporary hairloss with 40 % painful mouth sores versus
Treatment B: 90% chance of survival but no hair loss or mouth sores. They kept adding and taking away side effects, different ones tweaking the percentages over and over. In general I went for the ones giving the highest chance of survival but sometimes they added permanent side effects like never being able to walk again. You could also answer no preference or slight preference. Seems like that old game: would you rather be blind or deaf or would you rather die from being burn alive or slowly squished to death.

My real life situation:
Treatment A: 75% chance of survival with 100% chance of temporary hairloss, 80% chance of fatigue 20% chance of permanent neuropathy 90% nausea. Varying percentages of finger nail loss, muscle pain, neutropenia, diarrhea,constant nose bleeds, severe anemia, infections causing hospitalization, 5% of fatal heart problems, 5% of leukemia down the road, lots of money and time spent
Treatment B: 50% chance of survival but no side effects, no money or time spent

What would you choose?

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