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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Medical Status

The kids have gone home, the dogs have settled down, and I've gotten a few of the medical tests and consultations out of the way, so things have slowed down a bit. The consensus of my doctors at this point is that surgery is probably not indicated now; instead we're going to investigate having a neural stimulator implanted in my spine. This works very much like the TENS unit I'm currently using, except that instead of electrodes pasted to the skin, it uses wires and a small control unit implanted next to the spine. The first step is a temporary implant, to test whether the stimulation will actually help; before committing to that I have to get a psychological exam to make sure I'm not a fruitcake who won't react properly to the current. That's scheduled for 2 weeks from now.

Now if Congress would just get off its collective thumb and pass the COBRA subsidy extension, I may get back $5 or $6000 that I've already overpaid for health insurance before I have to change my coverage from COBRA to the Oregon Health Plan, and then to whatever they're going to call the Health Reform Act post-COBRA coverage (can't tell the insurers without a score card). Then we can figure out who's going to cover the implant procedure.

The ACTA Alert Box

The alert box you now see at the top of this blog is intended to warn readers about the dangers of the secret negotiations going on now to create an international treaty on protection of intellectual property. Completely in disregard to the statements that President Obama has made promising transparency in the processes of his administration, the United States is doing everything it can to keep these negotiations secret from the public, presumably because they are in fact seriously tilted towards the owners of that property, to the detriment of public and social requirements for open access to ideas and designs that are in fact the property of society in general, or should be. Please follow the link in the alert, learn about the issues, and, if you agree, sign the Wellington Declaration.