Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Departure for Vietnam 46 Years Ago

It seems like a long time ago, because it was- 46 years ago today, I left for Vietnam.   Forty-five years ago, I came back- changed.  Connected permanently to a phenomena-  Vietnam Veteranhood.

I Am A Vietnam Veteran.

I wear a hat to remind me and you of Vietnam Veteranhood.

Vietnam Veteran 2016

It means a lot to me.  The Wall comes to mind.  The mirror speaks.

It reminds me of Phu Bai, where I was stationed initially in Vietnam.

A poem/song came from it:

Lately I've Got Phu Bai on My Mind

Lately, I've Got Phu Bai on My Mind 
                                                    by CPT Pat Jonas 45th Engr Gp
                                                                    Aviation Section

Lately, I've got Phu Bai on my mind
Thinking now of all we've left behind
Like friendly fire and innocence
And fears that won't unwind

Lately I've got Phu Bai on my mind
Black smoke blowing gently in the wind
Mortars stopped the card game my first week in the war
Winning hand in High Chicago went right out the door

Lately I've got Phu Bai on my mind
Mortars weren't being very kind
Diving in the bunker just outside my hooch
"Our Father Who art in heaven", coming from my lips.

Lately I've got Phu Bai on my mind
All clear sounds, let's get back to my hand
No one cares to sit back down
A buck of my winnings is gone.

Lately I've got  Phu Bai on my mind
Blowing Agent Orange dust into the wind
Flying out to Rakkassan, Tomahawk and Nancy
Visiting our  Engineers, nothing really fancy.

Lately I've got Phu Bai on my mind
Floor show, Cold Duck mixing really fine
Flying to the DMZ to let off Donut Dollies
Rolling on the River mixes well with Buddy Holly

Lately I've got Phu Bai on my mind
Navy tried to make me land downwind
Ducking friendly fire at Khe Sanh and beyond
Bridge Over Troubled Water on AFVN.

Lately I've got Phu Bai on my mind
Cross the river down the coast again
Flying low along the beach- beautiful clear water
Calling into Castle base weather getting hotter.

Lately I've got Phu Bai on my mind.                        

Now back in Ohio.  Being a Vietnam Veteran.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Family Medicine: This is Still Fun! (After 40 Years)

I'm in my office Friday morning.  I get to see these fascinating people and help them and learn from and about them and the contexts for their lives.  It doesn't get any better than this.
A child for Pre -op physical, two patients with rare diseases, evaluation after auto accident, lumbar disc disease with back pain, insulin dependent diabetes for more than 50 years, poison ivy, allergies, sinusitis, chronic low back pain, plus four more acutely ill people who will call in this afternoon.

Storm just started.  Heat index over 100 tomorrow, breathing problems expected.

Still having fun after 190,000 patient encounters and 40 years.

(I just have to re-align the dominant business model that we use and relate to.  Insurance is something to think about eliminating in favor of Direct Family Medicine.  We are meeting with other physicians to discuss the Direct Family Medicine model further for Greene County.)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Now the Morphine

Mom is getting a bit “gaspy” with her breathing.  Occasionally, she coughs.  She frequently breathes fast, but claims to have no breathing problems.  The Hospice nurse gave her another dose of morphine today to help her get through all the movement associated with her bathing and changing from the Aid who came a bit later.  Mom was very relaxed five hours later and breathing more comfortably.
The morphine will help her to relax and breathe easier more and more often over the next few days as it becomes harder to breathe and harder to relax due to the congestive heart failure and recurrent micro-aspiration of food and liquids into her right lung.  She has no complaints, though.
We the living or We the survivors have more problems than she does.  She has no worries or stressors anymore.  Her mind seems to be dissociating from her weakening body, not noticing its maladies.  Heading toward the end.  Still on course, on glidepath toward her heavenly future.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Glidepath to Heaven

"On glidepath," I remember hearing during instrument flight training in the Army.  Glidepath was the radar assured safe line from the sky to the runway.  Watching my mother as her body dies reminds me of the glidepath concept.  Her body has been "on glidepath" for months as it slowly shuts down, and surprisingly isn't finished yet.

Mom is on the glidepath to the hereafter, or you might think of it as the glidepath to Heaven.  Her body is on a mission to part with her spirit, giving it eternal freedom.  Eternal wholeness is the reward.  The glidepath to heaven ends with forever.  The slow deterioration of the body parallels a slow increase in services and personnel needed to support the failing body.  That could be referred to as the caretaker glidepath.

The caretaker glidepath remains earthbound, with slow progression toward the Hospice "crisis team" for "crisis care" and final peace.  There is no "crisis" except the need for another billing term to differentiate a different level of care.  "Heavenly Landing Team" might be a more fitting title.

Mom is on the glidepath to Heaven.  Slowly moving toward eternity.  She's content, happy, pleased.  Way to go, Mom.  Let's pray for a safe landing.

More later.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Home With Hospice

We were looking at various options for Mom.  Now, later, etc.  How long is now and how soon is later?  We looked at long term care options and realized that later is now.  At each place we discussed end of life care and hospice options.  If we could get some assurance about transfers from bed to wheelchair and wheelchair to commode, Mom could come home (to our house where she has lived for six months.  We had the home care company already with PT, OT, etcT (all the T's) options.

I called hospice to clarify options and decision points along the way.  Later IS now, I found out.  The hospice nurse/ boss explained the how, when and why of how they relate to a person like my mother. Wham!  They had connectors to our "A" team for PT, OT, Nursing, etc. and financial coverage in
areas where her personnel might be needed.  I realized that "Home with Hospice" was best for Mom. She could be here and they had respite care if we crashed and need relief.

The cat and dog really took a liking to Mom and will be excited to see her come back.

This will be another chapter in Mom's life, and the last one.

The hospital bed, bedside commode, hospital tray holder and one other item arrive tomorrow.
Mom arrives the next day.

We have a three day Holiday Weekend to get all settled.

Here we go!