Out of the Hospital, Just In Time for the Stones Kickoff Tour in LA

I think I need a break writing about the lessons learned from my recent hospitalization.  The NFL Draft helped some, but I need to get out of the house.  To top it off, in Sunday’s (April 28, 2013) edition of the Los Angeles Times, columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote a tremendous piece exposing the ineptitude of the Medical Board of California.  His piece appeared on the front page of the Business Section, titled Legislators Should Pull the Plug on Inept Medical Board.  Personally, I couldn’t agree more.

As I’ve alluded to previously, I have my own documented November/December 2011 horror story about my experience with a doctor whose “care” was so poor it prompted Lisa to file a formal complaint with our state’s medical board (control #05-2012-221632.)  Improper Medicare billing, failure to provide a plan of care to Lisa (who could fully understand it, as opposed to me who was still in a stroke-induced daze,) an emergency doctor notation of my suffering “a blood pressure medication overdose” prescribed by this supposed rehabilitation doctor; these are just some of the horrendous facts contained in Lisa’s written complaint.  I almost died with a hospital-recorded blood pressure reading of 47/28.  Neither the HCA-owned rehabilitation facility or the doctor in charge (or his office) ever contacted Lisa.

Given she had previously supplied a copy of my Healthcare Directive (including her contact information,) I’m unable to understand why lapses in communication regarding my change in condition went without Lisa being notified.  Furthermore, how an investigative agency (The Medical Board of California) could fail to properly research these matters as serious as these brought to their attention is even more frightening.  More details will follow, such as the fact neither Lisa or I were ever interviewed, pointing to all the reasons each of us needs a qualified and dedicated healthcare advocate.  But right now I need to write about something fun.  In my book, if I Google Rolling Stones, the words enduring, classic and timeless appear.  Sounds good me.  And it sounds like fun.  And I can’t believe I know about Google!

Mick and the guys played a surprise gig (I think that’s the word, gig) this weekend at the Echoplex, a basement club in Echo Park capable of holding an intimate crowd of approximately 650 people.  It was incredible from what I hear.  If ever I regretted not being able to drive myself anymore, this was the time.

In anticipation of the Rolling Stones’ opening concert of their North American Tour this Friday, May 3rd, at Staples Center, I plead my case to go.  How could they turn a centenarian away?  After being cooped up in the hospital (especially with that bed alarm; it sounded off even when I simply stretched my legs toward the floor,)  I’m craving to get back out into the world.  A night out with a bunch of seniors who are active, just like me, is the answer to my cabin fever.  (Okay, so I’m not a musician.  That, and money, and women, are the only differences between us.)

A night out of Start Me Up and Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Miss You.  All Stones’ things raw, unpredictable, and unsupervised!!  Plus, it would’ve been a great chance to pull Keith aside during a break and get a copy of a Healthcare Directive and POLST to him.  I want him to live as long as I have, if not longer.  I think he could use some straight talk from a man who knows some pointers about dodging life’s many kinds of bullets.

Since I don’t drive, and DIAL-A-RIDE doesn’t run during the hours the Stones played, I was out of luck.  Lisa showed no mercy as she’s getting ready for a trip to New York soon to visit with Dr. Oz and his colleagues.  (Yes, that Dr. Oz; not the wizard in Emerald City.)  Sure, she knows a lot about staying healthy, managing medical care, and keeping those costs down.  But after what I’ve endured this month in the hospital, don’t I deserve a break?  I think so, and said as much to Lisa.

“Sorry, Henry,” she told me.  “Too busy getting ready for New York.”

So I was left with the unsatisfying consolation to read about my missed opportunity to see the Rolling Stones in person yesterday.  SHOOT!  It would’ve been a win-win.  A mental health break for me, and a chance to share some helpful tips about living long and happy with the band.  Prepping for Dr. Oz won out.  I missed my chance.  But, like I say, always have a backup plan.

I think I’ll work on Bob to head to Staples Center on Friday.  Lisa will be 3,000 miles away.  What’s wrong with a couple of guys going out to a concert on a Friday night?  Let Lisa work in New York.  I’ll take Mick and Keith in Los Angeles any day.  Unscripted and spontaneous.  Isn’t that right, Bob?

Well, look at that.  Bob’s smiling.  Lisa, we promise to bring you back a concert souvenir.

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