Bathtub reading, health care and almost-back-to-school soak

August 10, 2009

Part-time blogging has its problems.  There’s a good post to be done on the trouble with superintendents in the Dallas area, but it requires more digging for links than I’ve had time to do.  There’s a post on test results that isn’t done.  There are a number of posts on teacher resources.

Health care needs  about 20 posts on specific facets, I figure.  Most of them will never get done.

Much of the weekend found our family at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, doing an unintentional and surprise study on health care delivery in emergent situations.  This was prelude to a longer unintentional study on the delivery of rehabilitation following stroke.

Faith versus science: No real contest:  Science shines out, at every turn when the chips are down.  No one involved is a creationist, but of the six people in our family there including the kids, we’re talking three elders, a moderator, a patriarch.  Prayers form an adjunct to the medicine, and don’t get in the way of delivery of the medicine.  During one operation I mused on how the near-nanomachines that did the work were developed using the evolutionary paradigm.

Without evolution theory, almost all of modern medicine would be impossible, or haphazard at best.  On the day P. Z. Myers and the secular club investigated the Creationism Museum in Kentucky, I kept thinking “thank God for evolution.”  I don’t regard Ken Ham as the epitome of evil, but his work to spread false ideas about how the world works detracts from better health care in three ways:  First, it sucks money from the fight against disease and degeneration; second, it discourages good students from pursuing careers in healing people by leaving them wholly unprepared or unwilling to pursue knowledge; and third, it throws up  hurdles for research, by slandering the reputations and intentions of scientists who need our support to build the necessary instititions and do the required research, and discouraging contributors and other funding.

All of our prayers were directed to the benefit of science, contrary to Ken Ham’s evil hopes.

Stand up for good science in your schools. One of the kids in that class may invent a new clot busting, or artery-healing drug that will save your life, or the life and faculties of someone you love.

No kid who avoids evolution and hard science in school will invent life-saving devices or practices.

There were other lessons, too.

  • Speed counts in a stroke situation.  In an odd coincidence, my wife and I were by the fire station when the ambulance roared out.  It was good to see cars get out of the way and stop so the ambulance could pass.  Seconds save lives — pull over and get out of the way when an emergency vehicle comes up behind you.
  • All the talk of miracle drugs is just talk if there are medical reasons a particular miracle drug cannot be used.
  • It’s a lifesaver to have at hand a list of the pharmaceuticals one is prescribed.  Different kinds of strokes require different treatments; same with a variety of other afflictions.
  • Take a book to the hospital.  They are called “waiting rooms” for a very good reason.  There is no guarantee the program on the television will not be a brain-sucking intellectual vacuum.  No guarantee of a television.
  • Do you have emergency numbers on your cell-phone, as well as on a wall at home?  You should.  It makes things much, much easier.  Why don’t you add them right now?
  • Whiners who complain about the provisions in the health insurance reform bill that provide training for more doctors and nurses, think about what you would do on Saturday afternoon if you needed a crack neuro-radiologist/surgeon and a machine to give real-time images of blood-flow in a brain.
  • Fancy machines are expensive.  When the surgeon lays out the dangers and potential benefits of a procedure, you don’t want to have to think “will this cost more than $100?”  It will cost much more.  It’s unfair to your loved ones to have their life’s span or quality determined by how many Ben Franklins you have in your wallet at that moment.
  • Family are important.  Call yours today and let them know you care.

Update – more on stroke: You may want to view earlier posts on the remarkable story, TEDS lecture, book and writings of Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain researcher who herself experienced and much recovered from a devastating stroke.  Lecture here, more information here.

Other readings before the pages get too limp:

My fingers are all pruney now.  Enough reading for one soak.

Help your friends see things more cleanly, too:

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