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The Beginning of the End of Freedom?

I am probably making a mountain out of a molehill here, but what is up with L.A. (Lala land is right!) placing a moratorium on new fast food restaurants being built in poor areas?  They think this will allow for restaurants that offer healthier fare to move in, and therefore destroy the law of supply and demand, and lower obesity rates in these areas.  Here is the link.

I see a few problems with this, and will use McDonalds as my example of the evil that is fast food (according to the L.A. city council):

  • People will drive wherever they need to for McDonalds.
  • Healthier food typically costs more.  Think of the volume discounts that McDonalds has for their purchases, versus Healthy Bob’s Asparagus Shack.  The poor may not want it, nor pay more for it.
  • McDonalds offers healthy alternatives.  Who is keeping people from purchasing the healthy food?  THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES!  It’s called FREEDOM of choice.
  • McDonalds does not directly contribute to obesity in poor people.  Eating too much of it and not exercising does.
  • Why does the City Council, and not the VOTERS decide on this?
  • Poor people in that area that has an above average obesity rate should stand up for their rights to eat food, and allow restaurants to move in.  Aren’t their desires and tastes being discriminated against (I say tongue-in-cheek).
  • I am not against healthy food, I feel bad about the amount of obesity in America.  However, I do NOT think this is the answer.  Higher insurance rates for the obese may be, I don’t know.  More discrimination there I suppose.  Better education?  Perhaps.  A healthy hamburger?  Bring it on!  Ham, by the way, not soy…well, beef…  Hmmm, why are Ham burgers made of beef and not ham???

Am I way off track here?

Designer Babies are Here

June 28, 2008 1 comment

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article4232383.ece

Apparently this woman decided to screen her embryos for an inherited gene that COULD lead to breast cancer.  The reporter says the baby is guaranteed to be breast cancer free, however, I find that VERY inaccurate.  Based on the article itself, the gene accounts for 5% of the 44,000 cases of breast cancer each year in Britain, so how can this “guarantee” a cancer free baby?  It can’t, and in the process, embryos three days old were destroyed.  I find this disturbing, and sickening.  To destroy embryos because you are afraid your child MAY develop breast cancer, a treatable disease, with still only a small chance of ever showing up, is reprehensible.  The mother stated how hard it was to see her sister-in-law go through cancer, and I understand that.  I’ve seen the affects of terminal cancer, it’s horrible, however, to pick and choose embryos to minimize the chance of cancer doesn’t do anything but cost money, pull resources from more important research, destroy life, and begin the path down a slippery slope to creating “designer” babies.  Where does it end?

Yes, I’ll take a large fry, two cheesburgers, and a baby; male, blond hair, blue eyes, 6 foot 1 inches tall, without any defects…

Thanks, but no thanks.  I’ll leave the creation of babies to God.  Our son was born with a heart defect that required open heart surgery, and I would NEVER wish for another son to replace him.  I would rather go through the pain of what we went through again, than give him up for another son without any defects.  Bryce’s scars are going to be part of his story, and it’s made us stronger as a family.

Video of Bryce’s Surgery

This is a 10 minute video of our trip to Indy. It has pre and post op video, as well as a slide show of pictures. We just wanted to share what we had chronicled with all of you as a thank you for your prayers and support.

Bryce’s Cardiologist Appointment

The cardiologist appointment today went great.  Everything looked fine, and we’ll have a checkup in September, then one per year for a LONG time, just to make sure everything is growing and functioning properly.  The EKG and Echocardiogram both looked awesome, so everyone is very positive that he’ll be good long term.  We still need to keep his chest from sharp impact, because his breastbone still needs to heal, but it’s wired together (weird), so in a month or two that won’t be an issue any longer.  It was great to hear all the good news, and the long term risks and complications are very rare.  We’re praying for normalcy!

Categories: Family, Health Tags: ,

Update On Bryce

We drove 7 hours today to Indianapolis and back for a 45 minute checkup, but it was totally worth it.  Bryce is doing great!  He will be off of all his medications within two weeks, and the majority of them are done today.  His heart sounds great, his incision is healed, and we’re back to normal.  God is awesome, and we couldn’t have asked for a better resolution to the whole scenario.  We just have routine checkups from now on.

Thanks again for all of your prayers, support, and kind words.  It is much appreciated, and our sincerest gratitude goes out to all of you….

Categories: Family, Health Tags: ,

Bryce Stuff

May 19, 2008 1 comment

We are going to be in Indy on Wednesday for the post-op checkup.  Pray that everything goes well.  We’re starting to get our Explanation of Benefits from our insurance.  Some really cheap bills were only covered 80%, so we’re getting a little concerned that some of the caregivers may have been out of network.  We’ll see.  We also meet with our cardiologist in South Bend on Friday.  It’s going to be a busy week, and we’re in the midst of gearing up for our model change at work, so WOW, it’s hard to miss any work right now.

He’s doing awesome.  It’s so neat to see him back to normal.  Still getting up a little early in the morning to eat, but that was going on even before the surgery.  Poor guy had some gas last night (ahem, we all had some), but his kept him up crying really loudly for about 15 minutes.

Categories: Health Tags: ,

Bryce’s Medical Bills

May 2, 2008 1 comment
Four hours of Pre-Op testing: $3,800
Operating Room: $23,080.40
Intensive Care for 1 day: $1,465.25
R&C critical care for 5 days: $14,582.50
Anesthesia: $1,383
Lab Services: $8,835
Blood Services: $1,069
Pharmacy Services: $3,510
Radiology Services: $1,144
Respiratory Therapy Services: $1,104
Cardiology Services: $2,350
Supplies: $2,393
Total Amount: $64,716 (So Far)
Having a son’s heart fixed and now he’s back to normal…..Priceless

Bryce’s Appointment

Bryce’s appointment went well. He is looking and acting great. We have our follow up visit in Indy on the 21st, then we just made an appointment in South Bend with our cardiologist on the 23rd, then we’re back to our pediatrician for his 9 month appointment the week afterward. THEN, hopefully it’ll be back to just regular checkups. He still has the aortic valve insufficiency (leaky valve) which the pediatrician could hear, but it’s not a worrisome thing, or anything he’ll need work on, as far as we know and have been told. Thank you Lord!

Categories: Health Tags: ,

Bryce’s Surgery Cost Tally

April 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Some of you may be curious as to what it costs for infant open-heart surgery. I will be keeping a tally on the right side of the website with all the information we get from the hospital on what they are billing insurance. This would be the most accurate measurement of the true costs of the procedure. Check back daily, as we may be getting a LOT of bills in the next few weeks.

Bryce- Recovery Day Six- 11:30 AM

April 23, 2008 Leave a comment

11:30 AM: We’ve been discharged.  All of  Bryce’s lines are out.  Praise the Lord, we’ll be leaving within hopefully an hour!

9:45 AM: Bryce just had his last x-rays, and his dressing taken off. They have put a few little strips of tape over his chest tube holes, and there is still tape over his incision. These will all fall off in about ten days. Now he just has a few IV lines, which won’t be removed until we are able to leave. We’re getting there. Hopefully they will be able to look at the x-rays quickly, put in the discharge order, and we’ll be able to go.

7:15 AM: One of Dr. Brown’s team was just in here. They will be taking Bryce downstairs to get more x-rays this morning. Typically, his x-rays have been done here in the room, with a portable machine. However, that machine only takes the x-rays from the top (Bryce’s front). They would like to get one from the front, and one from the side, to make sure everything looks good before they discharge us. The Dr. still mentioned possibly being able to leave this afternoon. Bryce will still be on the same medicines he was on the last 6 moths, but hopefully only for another month! Praise God for what the nurses and doctors say has been a quick recovery. Six days didn’t feel quick, and we would have liked to be home much sooner, but I suppose going home six days after open heart surgery is pretty amazing. We’re both itching to see Brielle and get home, and I’m itching to get caught back up at work these next two days so that I can enjoy the weekend at home with the family. We’ll have one follow up visit down here in a month, and we may have visits up in South Bend with our cardiologist just to monitor how everything looks/sounds. The picture is of a VSD. Bryce had a mal-aligned VSD, meaning it was higher up the ventral wall, and the aortic valve was closer to the hole, so much closer that the valve was actually being pulled into the hole, partially closing it off. We don’t totally understand all the details, but we don’t need to. More about our discharge as we know it!