Category Archives: post face job

everything but the kitchen sink

It’s been a while now.  There has always something going on (excuse).  It didn’t seem worth investing the energy.  But now it’s high time.  I’ve been focusing on everything but the kitchen sink. But the kitchen sink is finally going to get its due.  The rust along the front edge is an eye-sore and getting worse.  So this weekend, the kitchen sink is receiving some attention.

We all know the saying “everything but the kitchen sink.” I knew of one circumstance where it was most appropriate.  I was a young dad, early 20’s.  The mother of our two young kids wanted to go camping with them.  I agreed to the plan, after all, I like to camp.  But I never camped with her, nor with babies.  If she could have taken the kitchen sink along on our camping trip, she would have.  It took longer to pack and unpack, and again pack and unpack on the return, than it did to camp.  I remember thinking that the sink could have doubled as the cradle.

That’s about the extent of my sink memories.  But that’s going to change because it’s time to create a new and exciting sink experience.  Sink shopping?  It may be more exciting to shop for just about anything but. (no offense sink). The good news is, the kitchen sink department at the local Home Depot isn’t exactly overcrowded.

As it happens, over the years we’ve been slowly turning the kitchen appliances from white to stainless. Seven years ago it was the refrigerator. A few years later the dishwasher.  It only makes sense to replace the now rusting white ceramic sink with something that won’t rust. It will flow with the motif slowly making its way across the panorama.  The only thing left will be the stove.

It should be so easy to buy a basic stainless sink.  Oh, but then the faucets won’t match.  And then there is the question about the number of predrilled holes.  How about the integrated hose, soap dispensers, or ability to add a water-filter? What about the gauge of the stainless? The shape and depth? Is there a brand difference?  More decisions than I bargained for.  The possible combinations and styles are seemingly endless. Search for kitchen sink on Amazon and 134,815 results show up.

There is so much data and studying to do, that it looks like it will take me well beyond this weekend. In fact, the more I dig, the more there is to know.  Looks like I’m in for a self-taught sink course.  And I can’t forget about the re-plumbing implications.  This is all proper payment for ignoring the kitchen sink for so long.

Nevertheless, the kitchen sink can’t continue being spurned.  Long ignored and left behind, I’m not going to let that happen any more. It plays such a key role in the home and our lives, helping to funnel away that which we don’t want, while being the all-important clean facilitator.  No more everything but the kitchen sink.  The sink’s status is being elevated.  From now on it will be, first, the kitchen sink, then, everything else.

a Long Island ride

It would be dumb if I didn’t elaborate, a little, on an exceptional way to see and taste Long Island, from tip to toe, in a day.  OK, so that may be a little exaggerated, but still…

The event is called the Ride to Montauk.  There are several points from which to start, but they all end up at the tip of Long Island in Montauk State Park.  The Penn Station start in Manhattan seemed like the appropriate one for me.  The organizers do a heck of a job with the not-so-simple logistics task of trucking and train-ing (LIRR) thousands of people, bags, and bikes where they need to go, both before and after the event.  The cue sheet for my start point was a mere five pages of 193 turns.

The whether this year could not have been more favorable.  The 70 degree temperature at Penn Station start time of 5 a.m. was the same 70 degrees at 4 p.m in Montauk.  The day had not a cloud in the sky with a light westerly breeze to the rider’s backs.

The point of this post?  If anyone has a yen for a beautiful New York urban/suburban ride, this would be one.  From Penn Station the course headed south, then east over the Williamsburg bridge as the dark sky turned a deep dawn red, providing a unique view of New York prior to rising.  Peddling through parts of Brooklyn and Queens before traffic was a relative treat.  The rest of the ride wound through back streets of Long Island towns, with yards and trees, past farms and marshes, white sand dunes along the sea, and the high hedges of the Hampton estates.

It wasn’t all rosy for the few who required ambulance assistance from unfortunate spills. But most who stayed off the pavement were treated to a beautiful mix of scenery with a few anticipated and well-stocked rest-stops sprinkled in.  The rest-stop 30 miles from the finish is famous for serving homemade pies.  In prior rides, I had snubbed the pies in favor of purer nutrition.  This time I ate two (large) pieces, one blueberry and one cherry, my pie fix satisfied.

I didn't take this picture.  I was too busy eating my two pieces.

I didn’t take this picture. I was too busy eating my two pieces.

The end of the ride had hot showers, food, and Blue Point draft beer waiting.  The expended energy made the three-hour bus ride back to Penn Station relaxing as the trip ended with the New York skyline set against a different tonal dusk-red sky.

If the spirit moves you one year, consider a Long Island ride.

P.S. I made the ride with my half-brother skf.

please squeeze me, I’m a….

You’ll know if I’m ready to eat if you squeeze me.  It’s a delicate squeeze.  The right touch is required.  You’ll know right away if I’m too hard or too soft and I’ll be discarded immediately as not ready or past my time.

Most people think I’m a vegetable.  But I’m a fruit.  Yo, I grow on a tree like my other fruit brethren and I’ve got a giant pit of a seed.  Open me at my peak and I’m a switch hitter.  I can go savory or sweet.  In one part of the world people like me like a vegetable, adding me to salads and sandwiches.  In another (Asia), they adore my sweet side, sometimes adding sugar and chocolate.

Throw in a smoothie and I can make the consistency taste like that of soft ice cream.  And who in their right mind doesn’t like ice cream?  Some smash me up and make me hot (not bothered).  Nothing like mixing me with a little jalapeño to spice up your life.  Dude, I’m happy either way, as long as you continue squeezing me.

Because I’m mistaken so easily for a veg, I’ve got nutrients and other properties benefiting those who want to eat veg healthy.  Under the fruits and vegetables umbrella, I can slide from one end to the other, nutritionally speaking.

Yea, people say I’m fat.  But it’s good fat yo.  They even say that I help reduce bad cholesterol and that I’ve got heart benefits.  Of course that’s true.  I’ve got a big heart myself.  We could have a mutually beneficial heartfelt love relationship.  Cut me open, cut me up, smash me with a fork, mix me with whatever you want, or eat me whole.  Just know my aim is to benefit you.

In many South America countries I’m known by my quechua name, palta.  In my home country Mexico, I’m an aquacate.  I’m sure I’ve got other names but can’t keep up with all of them.  And it doesn’t matter what you call me.  Just squeeze me, I’m a mighty fine avocado.

palta relleno

palta relleno – some prefer to stuff me

freedie spagetti added tomato, onion, cilantro, and s&p to me.

freedie spagetti added tomato, onion, cilantro, and s&p to me.

share a bike

Not that I’d share any of mine.  My bikes are personal.  Each one is sized to my measurements, adjustments fixed in place.  They all ride the road, but each for a different purpose.  I understand their unique quirks and it seems like they understand mine.

But now I’m getting ready to share.  NYC is about to install a rather large bike share program.  It’s been years in the planning.  The 1st phase is 6,000 bikes in Lower Manhattan and Eastern Brooklyn.  Phase two plans are to expand Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

bike share racks at Madison Square Park ready to start working

bike share racks at Madison Square Park ready to start working

Chicago is about to install a similar program at about the same time.  San Francisco two months later.  Washington DC has had a bike share program for three years.  Portland for several more.  Boston, since 2011.  They’ve popped up and have been popping up all over the U.S., from Tucson, AZ to Madison, WI.  In Europe, these shared programs are said to have originated in the Netherlands, and are now in hundreds of cities across France, Spain, Germany, and Italy.  They’ve recently been emerging in China.  (None compare (in size) to Hangzhou, China, where there are about 65,000 bikes in the system with more than 2,500 bike stations.)

Last week I was in Miami Beach for two days (business).  To my pleasant surprise, there was a well-functioning bike share program.  By providing my transportation from hotel to the meeting events, it was more convenient than walking and a whole lot more fun than driving.

Dozens of stations similar to this around Miami Beach

Dozens of stations similar to this around Miami Beach

When I asked my friend in Chicago what he thought about the soon-to-be Chicago bike-share program, he said he hadn’t heard much about it but that he imagined the bikes would be placed in the tourist areas.  His comment surprised me.  I then realized it’s a common mis-conception because city bike share programs, although excellent for tourists, are primarily for residents.  They are priced for short trips, under 30-45 minutes.  The intention is to eliminate the need for a metro ride, taxi, or hopping into a vehicle of any motorized type.

trying to change the culture - yes, cyclist can use full lane.

trying to change the culture – yes, cyclist can use full lane (when there are double lanes).

A couple of weeks ago I took a trip to Pennsylvania and carried a folding bike on the train.  I wanted to peddle to my destinations without relying on rides or taxis.  Besides being practical, the physical motion of peddling feels good.  To the town I went, I was met mostly with looks like I was from another planet.  No one rides bikes there.  It’s not a bike friendly area.  We’ve become accustomed to making even short trips in the car.  Why bike when we can drive.  That statement would be better reversed.  Why drive when we can bike.

The point of all these programs is to try to reduce, by a sliver, a portion of traffic congestion.  At the same time, we convert our seated position into one which is working for us.  And the work isn’t so hard.  Bicycling is the most efficient form of transportation–three times more than walking.  But biking as a form of errand-running or commuting is off most people’s radar.  These programs are a start to put the practical function of biking back inside our consciousness.

Biking to work or for errands is a part of the culture for most people in China and India, the two most populated countries.  The streets of Japan and other Asian countries are filled with bicycles.  In our culture bikes are mostly “a nuisance” to our car’s right to the road.  If the bike share programs nudge this culture just slightly toward being peddle-friendly, we’d all be a lot better off.

The benefits of cycling are too many to expound upon in this post.  Just know that if you set a good example and peddle your next short trip, you’d be doing yourself, your city, the environment, and our society a favor.  Get out there and share a bike.

happiness

A wild hair pricked the backside of my curiosity lobe causing me to ask a few people what happiness meant to them.  As DOM (dear old mom) said (one of those I asked), philosophers have been trying to define happiness for eons.  Being that I h’aint no philosopher, I sure don’t want to compete with smart guys trying to define something beyond my comprehension.  Still, the wild hair was annoying me for opinions.

I thought it best to start with a smart guy,  Albert Einstein.  I couldn’t ask him, but he did have a few things to say on the topic.  One was, “if you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not people or things.”  Another was, “…a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happiness would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”…  And yet another was, “…happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim. I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a pig.”  (Clearly Albert was talking about free-ranging pigs prior to them becoming chicharrón).

As I set off on this short-term opinion-finding mission for this state-of-being that, in this country, our Declaration of Independence affirms we each have the right to pursue, I was met with a tad bit of resistance.  In other words, not everyone was comfortable answering the question, “what does happiness mean to you?”

muck happy

muck happy varmints

It’s a harmless question, yet it seemed to put some on the spot.  Very few could answer without hesitation.  Some chose not to answer.  One even answered slightly testy (not so happy?) when I asked the second time.

Apparently John Locke was no dummy either.  He wrote that humans “are drawn by the forces of pleasure and repulsed by pain.”  (Inferring happiness is associated with pleasure.)  He wrote in 1690 that, “the necessity of pursuing happiness is the foundation of liberty.”  It may be where TJ borrowed the concept for inclusion in our independence document.

The reason I had asked anyone, besides the prickly hair, was that I’ve been trying to remind myself through anxious moments that I’m happy (wasn’t I?).  But before convincing myself that I may be happier than I realize, I had to answer the question first.  What is happiness to me?  It’s a subjective concept with lots of degrees, levels, intensities, durations, and perception values.  Smelling the roses may make one person happy while the next might not be happy without dominating multitudes.tee

My pithy answer is that happiness is a period of elevated, sustained contentment.  Not just the I’m-content-in-this-muck-patch contentment. More like, I’m-reveling-in-this-muck-patch contentment.

But muck patches come and go, even though some people seem eternally happy.  Brother D said he could be in a state of happiness but if in that moment someone smashed his hand with a ball peen hammer he would most likely stop being happy.  At some point, happiness may and does stop.  It doesn’t mean that the opposite is true, that if we are not happy we are unhappy.  It doesn’t’ mean that we exist in a state of either happiness or sadness.  Or does it?  Could it mean that if we are not unhappy we could in fact be happy?

Some of the responses I received to What Happiness Means To Me are:

  • the trillions of dazzling but fleeting “moments” that glue a lifetime together
  • unconditional acceptance
  • seeing the smile on my kids faces when I tuck them in at night
  • waking up and not getting hit by a frying pan
  • bliss…and being with the one I love
  • being able to walk without being tethered to an oxygen tank
  • catching blow fish, and later setting them free
  • blowing my wad, and knowing I can do it again
  • eating pecan pie guilt-free
  • when I have peace in my heart and in my mind
  • peace of mind, even if it’s just a minute or two. Being able to pause and enjoy the moment in this fast-paced and sometimes crazy world
  • being true to myself
  • when I’m able to control the impulse to give the dog a good swift kick
  • accomplishments,…and this feeling is constantly changing
  • enjoying or loving a process or a means to an end
  • having a healthy and loving family,…a challenging job,…laughing with good friends and family,…enjoying what you love to do,…achieving goals you set for yourself.

The point of this happiness post was not to get philosophical.  It’s way too deep a subject for this pea brain.  But happiness is a feeling, a state of mind.  And we control our minds and our feelings.  That’s kind of the great thing about being human.  We control whether we are sad or happy or somewhere in between.  It’s as easy as the song Don’t Worry Be Happy says.  Right.

wcIn the end, those happy/unhappy moments affect our dispositions and how easy we are to live with others.  Life can be hard at times.  Sometimes our hand gets smashed with a ball peen hammer.

Maybe the trick is to simply stay out of the unhappy state.  If so, we end up somewhere on a (not so) slippery slope between inertness and euphoria.

If I ever have any doubts about what happiness is, maybe I’ll get out the hammer and smash my hand for a point of reference. On second thought, maybe I’ll be happy for the endless possibilities that are still within my power to create.

traversing the muck patch

Muck is so easy to slide on, or into.  A better way to say that is that muck may be hard to stay out of.  Muck, being that slippery substance accumulated in damp places, especially after a downpour.  Mucky areas need the brightness of the sun to clear up.

Sometimes muck is where you least expect it.  It can sneak up on you.  If we are not careful or prepared, muck can throw us off balance, causing us to slip, even fall.  Falling in muck can be messy, painful, or both.

I slipped in a little muck about a month ago.  It was my fault.  I could see it coming and thought I could breeze right over it, but I ended up slipping.  I didn’t fall hard but still, it was a slightly uncomfortable slip.  It was a thicker muck patch than I had anticipated.  Looking back, I could have made a step correction and avoided the slip.  Muck patches are not always avoidable.  But slipping and falling is.

Not that all muck is bad.  Some can have richness to it.  Depending on the circumstance, muck can facilitate growth.  But even good muck, as valuable as it can be, is not something to wallow in for too long. The crazy thing is, there are some who actually seem to enjoy muck.  Even running in it (running amuck).

it appears that they successfully traversed this muck patch

it appears that they successfully traversed this muck patch

Several years ago I heard someone defend a muck fall as “I’m only human.”  But it’s precisely because we are human that we have the ability to avoid falling.  As humans, it is almost impossible not to get pushed or bumped and become off balanced.  If someone around us slips, they could inadvertently pull us into the muck with them (those confounding times of helping others out of the muck without getting mucked up ourselves).  If our reaction is too slow, or internal stability not well heeled, the off-balanced moment can lead to a muck fall.

Point is, to recognize muck for what muck is.  It’s not quicksand.  It won’t kill us but can get messy.  And we can’t always have our muck boots on as the stuff lurks in the strangest places.  Avoiding a muck patch might seem easier but could take us out of route.  Sometimes it’s smarter to traverse the patch.  If so, it pays to tread carefully, or purposely.  If you do happen to slip and fall, wash it off well (and move on).  Dried muck of any kind is harder to get off.

wish I had muck boots like these.

wish I had muck boots like these.

Are there any tips or secrets for not getting mucked up?  Maybe donating a Franklin note every time we feel our button pushed.  But I’ve yet to get my hands on a copy of The Complete Guide to Successfully Traversing Muck Patches.  Until then, if you happen to fall in the muck, at least make sure it smells good.

Great men (further) defined

It was one short year ago that there was another great men post buried in this blog.  And this soon too will be buried.  But the memories won’t be.

Thirteen of us met again yesterday for lunch.  Several more who could not make it sent regards. It’s now been 42 years since we were all in high school together.

What’s notable is that we are all kind of different (from what we were), yet all kind of the same.  As humans do, we’ve evolved in many respects while keeping a good chunk of our personalities in tact.  Like many upper middle-age guys do, we’ve softened around the edges.

What makes these reunions rich is the fact that they exist at all.  After all, what’s the alternative?  We could all decide to do something else with that time, those couple of hours.  But the fact that we make an effort and choose to share a spot of time generates a richness that otherwise wouldn’t exist.  And the wealth is compounded by those who show up.  It’s like the idea that the synergy of a group is greater than the sum of the individuals.  It’s an opportunity to stimulate neurons that may be crying to be stimulated (we all have those).

great men luncheon april 27, 2013. there is on GM trying to make this photo happen

Great men luncheon April 27, 2013. there is on GM trying to make this photo happen.

Not to get too sappy, but when groups such as ours get together, it’s tantamount to creating neural wealth, as a group and within each of us.  That’s how the brain works.  It’s subtle, but everyone takes away something positive whether they know it one not.

There was some scuttle-butt about expanding the invitation list, inviting others who were not part of our class, but the idea was nixed as it would have bastardized the great men meaning.

So what about the women in our class?  Whenever we get together, it seems like we fondly recall many of the girls now women from our class.  Perhaps we’d invite them, except that we’d need to change our tag to great people, or great class, or something non-discriminatory.  Not that any of us has anything against women.  From our discussions, you’d think we would treasure having many of them there.  It’s just that we are men.  Great men.  At least in our own eyes.

Are you of the male gender graduated from LCHS in 1971?  Then simply know that you are a great man.

In the end, it comes down to a manageable focused goal of capturing continued moments of camaraderie by a group of guys who’ve shared boat loads of experiences long ago.    It’s about recalling those moments.  And perhaps even creating new ones.  Salute, to all those great men out there.

middle age

At 16 years old, we like to think we are young adults.  After all, turning 16 allows us to commandeer a motor vehicle, even though we are still not intelligent enough to vote.  At 62, you can elect early social security distributions, which by definition could mean old.  For an 18 year young adult, 40 is old and 60 is way old.  In France, the young recently rioted so that they can collect pensions at 62.  (They’ve pre-determined that after 62 they are done).

And somewhere between young and old we have middle age.  How is that category defined exactly?  Not young, not old.

For anyone dying (not of old age) to know the best way to slot someone (yourself?) into one of the three general age brackets (young, middle age, old), there is an easy formula.  For a 100 year old person (perhaps your projected lifespan), you discount the first and last 15 years and divide the balance into thirds.

Since we are describing vital adults, we discount infancy and early teenage years as well as a geriatric period (where there is diminished functionality).  As an example, suppose you are destined to be a centenarian.  You would subtract the first and last 15 years and be left with 70 years.  Dividing those 70 years into three equal parts gives you about 23 years per stage, what we might call a generation. Therefore, young would be more or less from 16-39 years old, middle age from 40-63, and old from about 63-85.

If however, your family normally croaks off at the normal lifespan of 79, then the formula is slightly different.  Everyone grows from birth to 16 years at approximately the same rate.  However, we croak off at different rates depending how we’ve lived our lives.  Therefore, there is another sub-formula to determine diminished functionality below 100, but to save time, it’s about 5 years for every decade.  If you live to 80, then you’d only need to subtract 5 years from the top end (rather than 15).  So in the case of average lifespan of 79, the example would be to deduct the first 15 years but only four from the top end (to compensate for lesser diminished functionality).   The calculation would be 79 minus 19 (15 young +4 diminished) = 60/3 = about 20 years/stage.  In this example, you’d then slide into middle age at 35 and old age at 55.

Of course when we describe people young, middle age, or old, no one goes through a formula.  We  plug them in where we think they are.  And we keep it simple making middle age a general range of 40-65.

Still, I went through the exercise because I entered a new (transition) decade about a week ago.  The formula told me I have a few more years in the middle-age stage (if that hadn’t worked, I would have stayed with the general range).

trying to stretch middle age, half way up a 2 hour walk of Las Palmas overlooking Medellin (yesterday)

trying to stretch middle age, half way up a 2 hour walk of Las Palmas overlooking Medellin (yesterday)

What made the old-age stage appear soberingly near was seeing DOD recently.  He was a young 24 years when I was born.  And there is not much time between 0 and 24.  A damn short amount of time.  I’d better make sure that the time is well filled.  So I’d better do everything I can to stretch middle age.

PDD

By the time this is posted, I’ll be in Lima, Peru with a brand new perspective on life. Another trip, another perspective.  If only it were so simple.

If I said I didn’t like traveling, I’d be lying.  And who doesn’t.  Most of us do, although it does mess with our routines a bit.  Maybe that’s part of the perspective.

The cool thing about perspective is that everyone’s got one.  Since everyone’s head is different, it follows that our perspectives are different.  And our perspective drives everything we do, and say.  We tend to hang with others who are close to the same perspective realm.  When not, and our perspective boundaries are not flexible, they tend to bump into those of conflicting views.

So I’d better have some perspective stretching activities planned for this trip to make it fruitful.  Otherwise, what’s the point?  If not, I could drift into a(nother) bout of PDD (Perception Deficit Disorder).  PDD afflicts all of us at some point and in varying degrees.  It’s a natural disorder.  We all have our own perspectives and they are unique. And they are 100% right to us.  Most of us know that ours is right, which most times means that others are wrong.  Even professionals get PDD.  Economists, doctors, lawyers — most of us go about studying or proving theorems without trying to disprove the opposite.  It’s almost like cutting a small slice of pie and declaring that the small slice is the best part of the whole pie.

When we run across others who don’t share our perspective, one or both have PDD.   There have been times in the past when I’ve had  acute cases of PDD.  Even recently, my own PDD has been pointed out.  To be fair, I’ve finger-pointed PDD in others.  (It’s not quite sport-like, but we do like to point out PDD.)   Some folk are self-righteously comfortable with PDD.  Some actually believe their narrow sliver of pie is indeed the best part of the pie.

As  I’m writing this post somewhere between New York, San Jose, Costa Rica, and Lima, I’m reminded that stretching the perspective boundaries is a never-ending process.  It’s like stretching the muscles.  Leave them alone and they become stiff.  Habitually stretch them and they stay more limber, agile and able.  But nothing stops PDD completely.   There are so many perspectives that we can’t possibly appreciate or absorb them all in a lifetime.  The pie is just too large to ably taste it all.

a perspective from the malecon of Lima overlooking the Pacific.

a perspective yesterday from the malecon of Lima overlooking the Pacific.

It would be ideal, (perhaps one of the pharma companies will discover one day), to take a magic perspective pill.  That may be a pill worth side effects.  Until then, I’ve got PDD hanging around the fringes.  It’s those deep veins of PDD that are hard to eat rid of.  Traveling is certainly no antidote, but there’s no harm in trying.

this morning's perspective from morro solar de chorillos  con dos chicos

this morning’s perspective from morro solar de chorillos with dos (muy buen) chicos

comfort care

Most of the health care industry, including hospitals, are in business to make money.  Their business is to help people get better, but that includes being profitable.

I drove down to see DOD on Thursday and Friday this week.  Since the reports were that he was at end-of-life stage, I wanted to see him one (perhaps last) time.

Fortunately, when I arrived he was somewhat alert and I had a good visit with him.  That evening, when everyone left and he slept, the nurse came in and talked with me about his end-of-life “state.”  She related how it appeared that he was in a typical end-of-life stage, his system in the shutting-down process and that he needed to be discharged.

DOD’s wife had asked me to be in a meeting Friday with the medical team and social worker to discuss next step options.  During the meeting, the head doctor reiterated that they did everything they could do for DOD to help him get better.  The only thing the hospital can now, they said, was to provide comfort.

But hospitals are not in the business of comfort.  They don’t get paid to provide comfort.  They get paid to make people better.  As well, hospitals don’t like people dying there.  It doesn’t help how they are measured.  They said that DOD has got to be discharged.

Not many of us can control how or when we will die.  Ten years ago, two very good friends of mine both had fathers dying at the same time.  One in New York, the other in San Francisco.  I listened to the stories of their dying process over a period of six months.  Both died slow deaths, much like the Tuesday with Morrie type death, long and drawn out, shriveling to nothing, needing to be diaper changed, completely dependent.  Both their dads died at  home.  But both were relatively well off as they required full-time care, which doesn’t come cheap.  Or, it takes able-body family, around the clock.  In both cases it was a painful process both for the person dying and their families.

DOD is not going home, unless an unforeseen recuperation happens.  He is completely dependent, i.e., bedridden.  His wife is not able to provide full-time care herself.  And normal health insurance doesn’t cover comfort.  The medical team won’t give a definitive “terminal” determination as they’ve learned to cautiously error on the side of “anything could happen.”  In their opinion, he is in the needing comfort stage.

Bottom line, being discharged will require non-health insurance funds.  How much depends on how he is evaluated and the level of care.  It was somewhat clear in the meeting that DOD’s wife thought they had insurance for comfort care.  They don’t.  So now it’s on to their next hurdle.

For many, the level of end-of-life dependency comfort care is commensurate with the available funds.  But such is life.  And dying.  Dependency at end-of-life is significantly more comfortable with supplemental insurance, plenty of funds, and/or a supportive family.  With our ability to install stents, tubes, replacement parts and the like, we make the possibility of dependency at the end much more likely.

Luckily for DOD, his wife’s granddaughter (and her mother) have helped navigate and research the discharge options.  With their good and able involvement, he’ll end up in a place which will provide the right amount of comfort care (their) money can buy.