Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Mark Small's Blog – March 2012 Archive (28)

Saturday's Show: The state of baseball today.

   When I was Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper in law school, I caught flack for a lot of items we printed. The issue for which I caught the most flack was the issue we devoted to baseball. That issue ran like 22 pages. People criticized me for engaging in discussion of what they viewed as frivolous when so many awful things were afoot in the world.

   Baseball has been part of this country's culture for 160  years (or more, depending upon how one views the origins of the Game). The…

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Added by Mark Small on March 29, 2012 at 6:20am — No Comments

Why is there argument before the Supreme Court? Let's adopt single-payer.

   A doctor (MD) was aghast at poor persons coming to the ER, where she worked,, to obtain acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for a headache. She thought this was an abuse of our healthcare system. As I listened, last night, to yesterday's arguments before the United States Supreme Court, I remembered her rant about people who had no choice, except the ER, to buy the medicine because they were poor.

   People are poor in this society. The poor are kept poor. The areas in which many of the poor…

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Added by Mark Small on March 28, 2012 at 6:21am — No Comments

Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon(r): unofficial tips for beginners (part 4), memories, and plans for this year's race.

   These blogs are a combination of memories of doing the Mini® and advice, based on those memories, of how to do it. I had no clue, in 1999, about the proper approach to the race. All advice given in this, or any other column, is not given as a healthcare professional. I do not have the formal training received by M.D.s, so check with your physician before the Mini®. And while you’re at her/his office, be sure to get free samples. 

Before the start, part 4.

   Don’t be alarmed…

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Added by Mark Small on March 27, 2012 at 6:35am — 2 Comments

Mini(r) for beginners: part 3, the track.

   I am nearing the home stretch on these blogs that are part combination of memories of doing the Mini® and advice, based on those memories, of how to do it. I had no clue, in 1999, about the proper approach to the race. All advice given in this, or any other column, is not given as a healthcare professional. I do not have the formal training received by M.D.s, so check with your physician before the Mini®. 

Before the start, part 3.

   Choice of music: something with a good…

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Added by Mark Small on March 26, 2012 at 5:28am — No Comments

Your first Mini(r)? Part two of helpful hints.

   As I wrote yesterday, these last blogs about the Mini® will be a combination of memories of doing the Mini® and advice, based on those memories, of how to do it. I had no clue, in 1999, about the proper approach to the race. All advice given in this, or any other column, is not given as a healthcare professional. I do not have the formal training received by M.D.s, so check with your physician before the Mini®. 

Before the start, part 2.

   If you buy new shoes for the race,…

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Added by Mark Small on March 25, 2012 at 6:34am — No Comments

Part 1 of "How to do the Mini(r)" for people without a clue.

   These last couple of blogs about the Mini® will be a combination of memories of doing the Mini® and advice, based on those memories, of how to do it. Even today, the soles of my feet still are numb from the MS. The MS also has effected my ability to void my bladder. Others might view that as a problem. I say pish-posh. I have to use a catheter to void urine from its reservoir below my belt-line. That means that I am entitled to use the handicapped stall at major sporting events—for a…

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Added by Mark Small on March 24, 2012 at 6:33am — No Comments

I went from being unable to walk to training for the Mini and then, the day of the race arrived.

   This will be the fourteenth year in a row I have competed in the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon®.  The Mini® is a half-marathon. A marathon is 26.2 miles, the distance from the battle of Marathon, in ancient Greece to the Parthenon. The 26.2 miles is a modern-day guess. Still, that’s a long distance—and one I covered in 2001 at the marathon held each fall at what used to be Fort Benjamin on the east side of Indianapolis.

   My days began with a walk of 3.78 miles. I used a…

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Added by Mark Small on March 23, 2012 at 6:22am — 1 Comment

Insomnia, morning walks, and aiming at the Mini(r) as a goal.

   Michael Jackson's death hit me hard to the extent that, pharmaceutically, his death was a direct result of his fear of insomnia. He took what were described as drug cocktails to achieve sleep. When those failed, he resorted to a heavy drug used to render a patient unconscious for surgery.      Michael Jackson had a ton of money (in addition to money he had made from royalties from his own music, he made a lot after he purchased The Beatles® music catalogue and sold licenses to companies…

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Added by Mark Small on March 22, 2012 at 1:19pm — 2 Comments

Negotiating health care costs---at the end of the calendar year.

   The Mini-Marathon® is on May 5. This is my personal account of why the Mini®—this will be my 14th in a row—is important to me.  To paraphrase the title of The Ventures’ song, I walk—do not run—the 13.1 miles. Considering that in 1994, by the second of nine days in the hospital, I completely had lost use of my legs, doing those 13.1 miles is pretty good.

   I lay on the ice-covered asphalt of the crosswalk, staring at a car heading my direction. My mind moved a bit more…

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Added by Mark Small on March 21, 2012 at 6:50am — No Comments

How to deal with a mountan of hospital bills.

   The Mini-Marathon® is on May 5. This is my personal account of why the Mini®—this will be my 14th in a row—is important to me.  To paraphrase the title of The Ventures’ song, I walk—do not run—the 13.1 miles. Considering that in 1994, by the second of nine days in the hospital, I completely had lost use of my legs, doing those 13.1 miles is pretty good.

   Insomnia hit me pretty hard. That is a common side-effect of MS. I would awaken about 2 am, realize the futility of…

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Added by Mark Small on March 20, 2012 at 6:14am — No Comments

Sausage pizza, and our cats did not recognize me.

  Once more—the Mini-Marathon® is on the horizon, and tis is my personal account of why the Mini® is important to me.  This year will be my fourteenth consecutive. I walk—do not run—the Mini®. In 1994, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. By the second of nine days in the hospital, I completely had lost use of my legs. So one can see why I might adopt a goal of completion of the Mini®.

   I awoke bright and early on what was supposed to be my last day in the hospital. I was fully…

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Added by Mark Small on March 19, 2012 at 6:01am — 2 Comments

If I did not sign the promissory note, the hospital would "ship" me, like goods, to Wishard.

   By now the prednisone had been weaned down from an equivalent of 850 mg per day by IV. To describe the appetite it caused as "voracious" is an understatement. My stomach was a blast furnace ignited by prednisone and into which food, when fed, instantaneously disappeared.

   I had obtained continuances on all my cases. The staff of every court before which I had cases went to the max to accommodate what had occurred to me. Only a couple of clients seemed not to understand the…

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Added by Mark Small on March 18, 2012 at 6:42am — No Comments

The middle days of a dreary hospital stay.

   The therapy with the legs I could understand. After all, I had lost the use of my legs. I had begun to gain some control over them, so the therapy made sense.

   "Vocational therapy" was—as almost everything else in this hospital hell—in the basement. The wheelchair was parked in front of a desk, behind which sat a physical therapist who explained to me that vocational therapy was for my upper body. I asked her why "vocational therapy" was necessary—twice a day, I think the chart…

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Added by Mark Small on March 17, 2012 at 6:14am — No Comments

March 17 Show: whether public intoxication should be a criminal offense?

   Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. Until I moved to West Laughalot (a/k/a West Lafayette), I did not understand there was a component of consumption of alcohol to the holiday. Even at DePauw, where we took advantage of any pretext to throw a party, I do not remember St. Patrick’s Day as a particularly heavy party day.

   In West Laughalot, my perception of the holiday changed. We would hit The Stabilizer ("Stabes") for drink specials on the holiday venerating Ireland’s patron saint.…

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Added by Mark Small on March 16, 2012 at 6:42am — 2 Comments

TV ads for the Super Borl(r) inundate TV if the two weeks prior to the game and a person on steroids only can salivate.

   As Woody Harrelson's character in "Doc Hollywood said, "I woulda been a doctor, except for all that science stuff." That might not be verbatim, so maybe the quotation marks are inappropriate. But the sentiment was correct.

   Still one does not need to be in the medical profession to know certain things, especially about one's self.

   I had no use of my legs. My brain would direct them with such complex orders as "Move!" And they wouldn't. Above my (growing thanks to the…

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Added by Mark Small on March 14, 2012 at 9:06pm — No Comments

The question "Why me?" never had crossed my mind---it was my DNA.

   One would think that, a diagnosis having been reached, there would be no more need for MRIs. But at 1 a.m., I was wheeled out the door and down the hall to the elevator. Next came the injection of Xanax®. More Pink Floyd-esque pounding of the magnets as the machine scanned the body that lay in its tube. Sleep was impossible with all the noise.

   Altogether I had four MRIs. An MRI is expensive. Of course, at 1 a.m. the machine sat in the basement, unused. The place could turn a…

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Added by Mark Small on March 14, 2012 at 6:59am — 1 Comment

IU was playing Purdue, I just had received a REALLY BAD diagnosis: what does one do?

   There were positive aspects to my having been given so many drugs since my admission to the hospital. Given my jolly nature, I was chuckling and having a rousing time. The neuro wore a long, serious face as he sat down. There probably is a course in medical school: "How to deliver REALLY BAD news to patients." Given how many MDs lack traces of personality, the course would about have to be required. If there was such a course, and he had taken it, that was years ago and he had not…

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Added by Mark Small on March 13, 2012 at 6:07am — No Comments

By now I had lost use of my legs; MS Chronicles, part 3.

   On May 5, 2012, I shall walk in my fourteenth consecutive 500 Festival MiniMarathon®. We shall have surprise coverage of the event by Civil Discourse Now. This is the part three of a series about MS and vehemence about the Mini.®

   Breakfast of my first full day on the neuro ward was not bad. As soon as the meal was rolled away, an orderly appeared with a wheelchair. Sarah was there, but had to leave for work. She is an accountant and January is when tax season ramps up. She…

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Added by Mark Small on March 12, 2012 at 6:25am — No Comments

What does MS have to do with "civil discourse"?

   What does my 1994 diagnosis with MS have to do with "civil discourse"?

   There are a lot of pressing issues that we face today. One example is that the United States Attorney General has stated a (false or, to be stylish, faux) legal distinction between "due process" and "due judicial process" to validate the United States government’s killing of its citizens. I am a lawyer. I can/should/will address this issue.

   Another major issue has to do with health care. "Health…

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Added by Mark Small on March 11, 2012 at 7:33pm — 1 Comment

Multiple Sclerosis and why I will not miss a Mini-Marathon(r). Part 2.

   On May 5, 2012, I shall walk in my fourteenth consecutive 500 Festival MiniMarathon®. We shall have surprise coverage of the event by Civil Discourse Now. This is the second part of a series about MS and my vehemence about the Mini.®

   When Sarah came into the examination room and sat down, the neuro explained we had "a complete neurological emergency." He said I either had a tumor on my brain—"tumor" got my attention—a tumor on my spine, multiple sclerosis, or a couple of other…

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Added by Mark Small on March 11, 2012 at 7:28am — No Comments

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