RANGER AGAINST WAR: The Summer of Lisa's Discontent <

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Summer of Lisa's Discontent

--Arend van Dam

Keeping people hopeless and pessimistic--
see I think there are two ways
in which people are controlled
First of all frighten people,
and secondly demoralize them.

An educated, healthy and confident nation
is harder to govern


Lisa has been very sick for a week and a half, hence no postings. I'm not a sickly sort, but this has been rough going.

Because this has been such a remarkable journey, I am going to document it here so as not to have to recount the tale of woe ad infinitum. This is the Scary Health Story you hope never to hear at the Blue Plate Special, but cannot avoid.

I feel like Charlie Alnutt in the African Queen after his leech-induced fever, except in Tallahassee, which amounts to the same thing. Since last Monday I have suffered a constant 102 degree fever, spiking every 8-10 hours above 104, accompanied by violent shivering and a four-hour refractory period after which I could walk again.

Monday night I spent almost four hours in the recovery room of Tallahassee Memorial "YOUR HOMETOWN" Hospital without being seen. The only people who seemed to get wheeled from the waiting room were those whose eyes rolled back into their sockets following a vomiting episode. I do not know where they went; out of sight, out of mind.

This is your tax dollars in inaction. For many folks the ER is obviously their primary care, and the attitude of the intake personnel was a resounding, "Eff You." I did not feel a priority of any kind in the ER.

The next day, I was mis-diagnosed by my doctor as having the Flu, possibly H1N1, on no basis other than presenting with a persistant, cycling fever.
I futilely took Tamiflu for the next four days.

Friday, in between bouts, I drove to Jacksonville to pick Ranger up from a flight, and to his credit, he drove me directly to the doctor's office upon return, at 4 p.m. The office had just closed, but he correctly said the doctor would still be there.
He did the Right Thing.

After this comedy of errors I told the nice 12-year Navy doctor, "I don't think we have the Flu here, doctor." He finally did a urinalysis and prescribed antibiotics, which is what I had requested in the first place. "Well," he said, "I don't like giving antibiotics, but when I do, I tend to do it big."

I do not care about his lived articulation of medical style; I just want to get well. I am on Levaquin now, and have had a couple of restful nights. I am still exhausted, but hope I am on the mend. I suffered unnecessarily and a endured an unneeded tax on my system.

This is not a UTI or kidney infection, the only illnesses the doctor could imagine. It is now a "fever of unknown origin". It is possible I was pre-stressed: I might trace the origins to a smash-and-grab burglary of my auto on 5/18 in which my pocketbook, a lot of money and all my i.d. were stolen. I swim in municipal pools, some of which have notoriously high bacterial counts. Who knows how and what gained entree to my system.
Cause and effect has an infinite regress.

In retrospect, after a stunningly awful stay in Tallahassee Memorial several years ago I had wanted to create T-shirts saying,
"I survived TMH"; I felt those of us who had were members of an elite club. I am convinced most doctors here will kill you if they can, and the key to survival is remaining healthy as possible.

Anyway, I'm on the mend, and may post a sporadic piece in the next few days. For sure, RAW will be back online next Monday, regular schedule.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am convinced most doctors here will kill you if they can, and the key to survival is remaining healthy as possible."

Amen to that.

Glad you're on the mend. Hope you're at 100% soon.


Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 12:37:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

As soon as Lisa started the antibiotics she started to shift towards normal.
She's doing fine ,except she's still weak.
Thanks for you concern.

Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 1:24:00 PM GMT-5  
OpenID jeg43 said...

Missed your posts - feared there were problems - glad to hear things are improving.
From personal experience, the only good thing I remember about Florida hospitals is that (at least once in my case) the billing department moved the decimal place one click to the left by mistake. That cured me quicker than you could imagine.
Best wishes for a return to health and contentment.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 12:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you for your good wishes, avedis and jeg.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 9:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous barcalounger said...

Beat me to it. I was going to diagnose FUO and I'm not even a candy striper. That's medic babble for "We don't know what you have, here's two APCs, come back in the morning". Glad to hear you're doing better.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 1:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Damn you, barca, you've hacked into our chat room!

Medic1: This fucker's got some sort of swinging fever, asymptomatic other than the temp, bloodwork and UA inconclusive. WTF, over?

Other Medics (chorus) FUO!

Old Doc: Damn, cherry, where you been? Dude's got some sorta infection, you'll never chase it down. Load up the PCN-derviative, knock it down, it's all good.

The Group: Daaaaaaymn!

I had just e-mailed you, Lisa to check in - sorry to find that you're down with the dreaded FUO/FUE (fever of unknown etiology, our other favorite trashbag term...). Thinking healing mojo your way. Feel better soon, 'k?

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 5:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa -- Hope you're well on your way to a complete recovery! GSJ

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 5:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

Damn! Am seriously concerned to hear this Lisa and hope you truly are on the mend! And kudos to Jim for getting you to a decent doctor.

Hospitals definitely aren't that bad up here. Well most of them anyway. I wouldn't go to Gifford Hospital if I could avoid it. But it's still best to stay healthy and away from hospitals unless you're flush with cash or have all the right connections.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 7:12:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

What I don't get Jim is why they didn't put her on antibiotics when they thought it may be H1N1. I thought that WAS the correct thing for severe cases and that Tamiflu had been shown to pretty much be a scam.

Oh and by the way Lisa the only correct way to administer antibiotics is to go heavy. It's not going heavy when they are prescribed that has lead to antibiotic resistant strains. And the docs also correct to not prescribe them unless needed too since they do weaken the immune system. Or at least that's always been my understanding. But I'm not a doctor nor play one on TV. Just have a sister that a lab tech, one that's an RN and one that a PA. And listen well.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 7:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Long-time RN said...

Wow, sounds like you're dealing with more then discontent, Lisa.
Hope you're feeling better soon.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 9:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...


being sick sucks butt. i went through a malaria rematch not too long ago. sounds a lot like yours. florida gots skeeters too...just sayin'

i had to really be firm with my doctor. he wanted to do all kinds of bullshit and use some new malarial treatment.

i said "dude. kick down with good old fashioned quinine. it works."

when you're feeling better, this might be just the thing you need

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 9:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Choloazul said...

"Florida gots skeeters too..."
And an intense concentration of mold and fungus to breathe, and other nasties as well.

Sorry you were feeling poorly Lisa, hope it goes away soonest.

Friday, June 4, 2010 at 10:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prayer wheel a 'spinnin'..Blessings to you both.


Friday, June 4, 2010 at 10:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger sheerahkahn said...

good grief...Lisa, find a doctor who cares about people!

And I'm praying you get healthy soon!

Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 12:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Lisa,

Sorry to hear about your illness, and I hope your recovery is quick. I'll send some healing beams your way from Arizona.


Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 5:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

To all readers,
Lisa will go to the Drs. again on monday.
Meanwhile she is resting and is well, except the fever persists.I think she's out of danger, at least at this point.
Thank all of you for the concern shown.

Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 1:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous basilbeast said...

That's good news to hear. The old saying "that which does not kill you makes you stronger", if true, Lisa's coming out like SuperWoman!

So glad to hear she's on the mend, too good a person to lose.


Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 5:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Pluto said...

Glad to hear that you're getting better, Lisa. Best wishes.

Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 10:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Aviator47 said...

Sorry to find you are under the weather. Get well soon!


Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 10:27:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Wow, everybody -- thank you so much for your good wishes! I am fully a believer in the power of prayer/good wishes/whatever one wishes to call healing thoughts. So I feel very buoyed up, and know that it helped.

Looking forward to joining our happy group again.

(M.B.: Quinine is a brilliant idea and I've always found it refreshing. And you know what a big fan I am of Meyer lemons. lemon curd, and all things tarty.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 12:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you're on the mend. I had a spider bite last yr and the new to doctoring doctor said it was something else. I finally went back to the office when the posion spread to my face and I wanted to my doctor only. He looks at it and says spider bite. I was down for another week because anti-bs were so strong I couldn't do anything. Get well soon.

Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 3:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

Glad to hear you're on the mend and Jim was great to respond so well and quickly to the crisis. Way to go Jim!

(had to correct my grammar)

Monday, June 7, 2010 at 10:44:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Sorry about your spider bite, jo. Funny how we know what's wrong with us, yet have to convince the Good Drs.

Thank you, too, PFWG :)

Monday, June 7, 2010 at 11:39:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Serving Patriot said...


Get better soon so we can read more good writing!

all the best,

Monday, June 7, 2010 at 7:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Lisa: How'd the visit to the doc go?

Monday, June 7, 2010 at 9:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...

Wow Lisa!

You are in my thoughts and prayers. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010 at 10:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Still feeling a bit knackered, but the fever's subsided. Doc thinks I may have late stage Lyme disease (!), but that's another matter. I shall just focus on a healthy recovery.

Thank you RH and SP -- all of your positive thoughts have made me feel much better.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at 9:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

To all,
We're in Jacksonville to arrange or see if Mayo Clinic can get a handle on Lisa's problems.
We're hopeful as they've done us both well in the past.

Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 10:03:00 AM GMT-5  

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