Mountain View Medical Supply

Monday, February 28, 2011

Grandma and The Hospital

I haven't blogged since last week because I had to rush my grandmother to the emergency room unexpectedly. Grandma is "just fine" now, according to her, and we are still not sure what exactly happened. We hope to know more this week. She is still not up to par and something obviously isnt working right.

But I want to convey the process we experienced. Its alarming to me that as a nation, we all focus on quantity of healthcare, instead of quality. Care for the masses no matter what. Fund it, limit the heck out of it and then give it to everyone. That is the best solution.

Grandma has Medicare with Advantage. She has worked her entire life and saved and scrimped like only a survivor of the Great Depression knows how. She has been the caregiver of two husbands with extensive medical histories. She deserves the best care at this time in her 84 year old life.

Last week, we rushed to urgent care, got things under control and then when they decided to admit her to the hospital, we waited four hours for a bed.

Once she got to the hospital finally, we met our nursing team. The floor was full, obviously, and we are certain they had more pressing issues than ours, so we would wave them off and send them on their way. The one time we tried to explain to the nurse that grandma's veins were shot and painful to get blood from, and the nurse gave me a deadpan look and said "really?", incredulious that we would say such a thing. While trying to provide the nurse with information, I had offended, and in turn was given offensive treatment. To the nurses' credit, they did a wonderful job of pulling blood samples.

The doctor finally came in and spent 10 rushed minutes with us, checking his pager and phone twice while still having conversations with us about the relatively serious test he wanted to run. On Wednesday he said we would have to wait until Friday to have her procedure. Then after the procedure she would have to stabilize for a day or two before they would send her home.

She had her test on Friday, sure enough. It provided no information so they immediately discharged her with instructions to see her general practitioner within a week. Wait, I thought you said...

It was frustrating that our medical team said one thing and then did another. This "episode" resulted in no diagnosis. While we do realize that does happen, no attempt was made to find another explanation. What she was admitted for was explored and no answer was found. Done moving on. No other possibilities could be explored by this medical team. We had to go to another medical team to have the next set of questions asked.

At one point the doctor told us that he has a stack of files on his desk that he will never read. It was up to us to inform our medical team each and everytime. They simply dont have time to read up on every person they see.

In my most humble opinion, I think we need to allow our medical community to work smarter, not harder. They are already working hard and we, with our new healthcare bill, will be asking them to work even harder. With Medicare Advantage being phased out, Im even more concerned about our senior population and the care they will receive in the years to come.

There has to be a solution to this...

Thoughts? Comments?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hey. Where did my weekend go?

I swear I just blinked and it went from Friday to Sunday evening. Time to set the trash on the curb. Time to pack a lunch again. Time to pick up the last few remainders from the weekend.

Its Monday. Again.

I read a quote that said Monday's are a terrible way to spend 1/7 of your life.

So to brighten your day, here are some fun things to start your workweek:

DIMP (dimp) n. A person who insults you in a cheap department store by asking, "Do you work here?"

ACCORDIONATED (ah kor' de on ay tid) adj. Being able to drive and refold a road map at the same time.

AQUADEXTROUS (ak wa deks' trus) adj. Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub faucet on and off with your toes.

BURGACIDE (burg' uh side) n. When a hamburger can't take any more torture and hurls itself through the grill into the coals.

DISCONFECT (dis kon fekt') v. To sterilize the piece of candy you dropped on the floor by blowing on it, somehow assuming this will 'remove' all the germs.


When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice. ~ Marquis de la Grange

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing. ~ Redd Foxx

When you are eight years old, nothing is any of your business. ~ Lenny Bruce

The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. ~ Mark Russell

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to Fix Health Care Now

I was going through our archives of Newsletters and came across this, which I sourced from a Readers Digest in 2008. I think its worth a reprint.

In America, we spend around $2 trillion a year on Health Care. But how do we fix our healthcare crisis? Here are a few ideas.

Fight the big five. Nearly 75% of spending goes to coronary artery disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, asthma and depression. We need to fight these conditions with all we have. Simply put, $77 billion could be saved if only 1% of these people were successfully treated.

Give the Medical Industry an FAA equivalent. If a plane crashes, the FAA is immediately onsite, investigates, finds the problem and requires the industry to fix the problem. Medical mistakes kill almost 100,000 patients per year. We could save at least $17 billion a year and many lives would be saved in the process.

Misdiagnosis and wrong treatments cost as much as $312 billion per year. A service called Best Doctors offers its members customized second opinions from top specialists and subspecialists. Making this service a standard would save billions, not to mention reduced suffering and increased chance to get well.

Pay employees for healthy habits. Safeway discovered that 70% of healthcare costs were linked to unhealthy habits. They offer lower premiums for those who live healthy, lose weight, quit smoking and choose generics over brand-name drugs. If others followed Safeway’s lead, the country could save at least $600 billion.

Fight cancer by sharing information. Reduce our nations sluggish and costly drug-approval process by bringing the biotech, drug and diagnostic companies together. Speeding up the FDA results process would reduce the number of failed drugs and also the price of prescription drugs.

Make prescriptions electronic to reduce drug related injuries. E-prescriptions provide dosage checks, instant drug interaction checks and patient medication history. Congress is providing incentives to doctors who
e-prescribe. Annual savings could be nearly $4 billion.

Source: Readers Digest, November 2008

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Better Late Than Never

Today, I happened across the fact that yesterday, February 14th, is National Donor Day.

As I write this, 110, 296 people are waiting for an organ.
18 people will die each day waiting for an organ.
1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives. has a whole slew of stories you can read about people who are still living because of organ donation.

Are you an organ donor? Do you want to become one? Sign up at

If I die in a freak accident, I obviously wont be needing them any longer. I want my organs put in beer coolers and given to people who can actually use them!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Last minute gift ideas for you men out there!

Happy Singles Awareness Day!

I have to admit, I like Valentines Day. However, now that my marriage is more "mature", I feel like the only people who "win" are the greeting card, candy and flower companies. I would rather my husband pick a random day, when restaurants arent overflowing, and the grocery stores arent bathed in flowers at the front door, to do one random, small thing that says "I love you".

But since Hallmark requires men to focus on this one day in February, and most men wait until the last second to shop, I thought I would list a few gift ideas to help you show you partner how much you love them. (or at least to keep you out of hot water and off the couch)

1) Make an appointment to get your yearly physical (and then actually go). You heard me. Has your wife ever had to encourage/nag you to go to the doctor? Assuming your wife loves you and wants you around, this is a great gesture. We women love a man who takes care of himself, and this tells her that you want to be healthy for her as well. However, you do need to pair this gift with a heartfelt handwritten note professing your love and appreciation for your lady/wife.

2) A really nice scarf. Shopping for these is easier because you avoid the heavy traffic areas. It should feel nice to the touch and not too loud in color. A scarf is perfect because you dont risk getting the wrong size, its classy, elegant and looks nice at any age. Again, pair this with a handwritten note and perhaps a pair of matching gloves.

3) Dinner at home. Order to-go food and pick it up on the way home if you dont/cant cook. Or, grab steaks and some pre-made side dishes at the grocery store and do what you do best: grill! Add some candles to the table and a bottle of wine, and you are good as gold. Put a little thought and effort into this meal, and then clean up afterwards and you will score major brownie points!

4) Give her a massage and then run her a tub. Buy a special bottle of lotion or body oil and some bubble bath and make sure the massage lasts at least 30 minutes (the longer the better!). Then, run her a nice bubble bath with a little music and some candles. Pamper her a bit and show her that you appreciate her.

5) Clean the house and then put some flowers on the table. You think Im kidding. Women love it when you clean! Dust, vacume, clean the toilets and sinks, mop the kitchen floor, pick up the mess in the entryway. The smell of Pinesol with the flowers will be heaven to her!

Things to avoid:
Teddy Bears. Think about it - what would YOU do with a teddy bear?
Lingerie. Unless you have been successful with this in the past, avoid it.
(Note: You could offer to take her shopping to pick out her lingerie together, but only if you can do this without sighing the whole time)
Dinner without reservations. Waiting for your table will only give her time to dwell on the fact that you didnt care enough to plan ahead.
Unhealthy flowers. Waiting until the last minute sometimes give you slim pickin's in the flower department. Dont do it! Buy a flowering plant if you have to.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Democracy Wins Again

A huge congratulations to the people of Egypt! We wish them great success in transforming their country into a democratic nation.

The (mostly) peaceful protestors, showed that peace can and will prevail. And the power of the people cannot be ignored.

It will be interesting to see how this one event changes North Africa and the Middle East. We will be watching and supporting democracy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Save 25% on Scrubs!

Its Our Semi-Annual In-Store Dot Sale! Come visit us and SAVE!

Sale ends March 31, 2011, or while supplies last!

HURRY, dont wait!

Laurel Uniforms & Apparel is located at 5376 N. Sheridan Blvd., Arvada, CO 80002.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Part 3 of 3 Instructions: Wheelchairs

Click on the image to enlarge:

Part 2 of 3 Instructions: Walking Canes & Crutches

Click on image to enlarge:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Part 1 of 3 Instructions: 4-Wheeled Walkers

Click on the Instructions for a bigger and more readable image:

Thursday, February 3, 2011 ER Nurse's Description of a Heart Attack

If you have not seen Scrubs Magazine, you need to check it out. Its a fabulous magazine for those in the health industry, but it also relates well to us everyday people. Here is an important story from, the sister site to the magazine.


Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attack? For example, women typically don’t undergo the “as seen on TV” version of a cardiac arrest (you know: the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, the dropping to the floor…).

Here is a story, sent in by a Scrubs reader, of one nurse’s experience with a heart attack.*

I had a completely unexpected heart attack at about 10:30 p.m. one night with NO prior exertion and NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might have brought it on.

I was sitting all snugly and warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking, “Ahhh, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft, cushy La-Z-Boy with my feet propped up.”

A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you’ve been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like you’ve swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn’t have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly, and this time drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial sensation—the only trouble was that I hadn’t taken a bite of anything since about 5 p.m.

After that had seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hindsight, it was probably my aorta spasming), gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when administering CPR). This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws.

AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening—we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven’t we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, “Dear God, I think I’m having a heart attack!”

I lowered the foot rest, dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself, “If this is a heart attack, I shouldn’t be walking into the next room where the phone is or anywhere else…but, on the other hand, if I don’t, nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up in a moment.”

I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room and dialed the paramedics…I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn’t feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts. She said she was sending the paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me and, if so, to unlock the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.

I then lay down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don’t remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way, but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the cardiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions (probably something like “Have you taken any medications?”), but I couldn’t make my mind interpret what he was saying or form an answer, and nodded off again, not waking up until the cardiologist and partner had already threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart, where they installed two side-by-side stents to hold open my right coronary artery.

Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you who are so important in my life to know what I learned firsthand.

1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body—not the usual men’s symptoms, but inexplicable things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn’t know they were having one, and commonly mistake it for indigestion, take some Maalox or other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they’ll feel better in the morning when they wake up…which doesn’t happen. My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the paramedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you’ve not felt before. It is better to have a “false alarm” visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!

2. Note that I said “call the paramedics.” Dial 911, ladies. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER—you’re a hazard to others on the road, and so is your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what’s happening with you instead of the road. Do NOT call your doctor. Do NOT call your friend.

3. Don’t assume it couldn’t be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has discovered that a cholesterol-elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it’s unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure). MIs are usually caused by long-term stress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your system to sludge things up in there. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep.

*Editor’s note: When we were sent this story—written by an anonymous author—we were compelled to share it with our readers. We are more than happy to credit the author, so please contact us:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Depression is Not a Normal Part of Growing Older

The current population of elderly American’s grew up in an age when depression was not understood to be a biological disorder and medical illness. They worry they will be labeled “crazy” or that being depressed is seen as a weakness of their character. They think someone can “just get over it” or just “snap out of it”.

Depression is not a passing mood and recognizing depression in the elderly is not always easy.

Sometimes, depression can occur for no apparent reason, however, in older adults, there are usually understandable reasons. As the body and brain age, there are a number of natural bio-chemical changes that begin to take place, which make older adults more at risk for developing depression.

Many other factors can contribute to the development of depression. A loss of a loved one or friend, which can be more frequent late in life. Retirement or loss of a job. These are major life changes.

Often, a person may not feel “sad” about anything, but may exhibit symptoms such as feeling slowed down, frequent tearfulness, feeling worthless or helpless, pacing or fidgeting, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating and physical symptoms such as pain or gastrointestinal problems. One important sign of depression is when people withdraw from social activities. “Its too much trouble”, “I don't feel well enough” or “I don't have enough energy”.

Depression can happen to anyone. But the good news is that depression is treatable and most depressed elderly people can improve dramatically from treatment. In fact, there are highly effective treatments for depression late in life.

Psychotherapy can play an important role in the treatment of depression. There are many forms of short term therapy, 10-20 weeks, that have proven to be effective. It is important that the depressed person find a therapist with whom he or she feels comfortable and who has experience with older patients.

Antidepressants work by increasing the level of neurotransmitters, the brains “messengers”, in the brain. Many feelings, including pain and pleasure are the result of the neurotransmitters’ function, so its important that they stay in balance. Usually, antidepressant medication is taken for at least six months to a year, and it takes 4-6 weeks to begin to see results.

Talk to your physician for a possible referral to a psychiatrist with geriatric training or experience.

Source: Geriatric Mental Health Foundation,