Monday, November 30, 2009

The Pittsburgh Steelers and solving the problems at hand...

Well my beloved Steelers are on the cusp of not making the playoffs for the first time in as long as I care to remember and I am sure the haters and doubters are in full effect here in Western PA. However, instead of negativity and pessimism, I offer a different perspective on last night's game, a more positive outlook.

Let me start by saying Dennis Dixon did one hell of a job in his first NFL start last night. Anyone who is saying otherwise is an idiot when it comes to the game of football. He managed the game as well as anyone could have dreamed for.

He had respectable passing numbers which were held in check by the offensive game plan that Bruce Arians chose to employ, and I believe that was also for a reason, and a smart one at that. You don't ask a second year guy to go out and WIN the game for you in his first career start against the Baltimore Ravens, one of the best defenses in recent history. He rushed for 27 yards and a touchdown on three carries, that's 9.0 yards per rush, for a QB! That rushing yardage total would have been even better if not for a costly holding penalty that negated a 30 yard rush early in the game. He is definitely a "wrinkle" in our offensive scheme to be reckoned with. I give Dennis a solid "B+" for last night. 'Atta Boy!

Next up is the defense which was ranked number one overall last night. They did manage to fall to third overall, but regardless they again did the best that could be expected of them I think. It is obvious that without Troy Polamalu they are a different bunch. Not necessarily bad, but different and I am not sure that their strengths are that evident or played to without Troy in the mix. They are still a solid bunch and really stepped it up in the fourth quarter last night. Timmons had an amazing game and for the most part they were still our beloved "Steel Curtain".

I do believe they have some issues in the secondary to address. William Gay is not playing up to what should be expected from a Steelers corner. Ever since I saw Adrian Peterson lower his head and chest butt him onto his ass a few weeks ago, I have lost respect for his game and abilities. Our Defense demands physicality and violence from our players. If there is one who is consistently not living up to that, then it needs to be addressed and fixed. I understand giving folks a chance to redeem themselves bit I have seen him playing scared for some weeks now and I am no longer confident he is starter caliber. Had we not cut Keiwon Ratliff, due to our special team's woes, I could see him getting an opportunity to do some better work. Another option in my opinion would be giving an opportunity to CB Keenan Lewis, one of 2009's third round draft picks. As my father says when someone goes down or isn't performing to the standard, "Next man up". The Defense gets a "B" and William Gay gets the bench.

Next up is the Offensive line which I think did a solid job as well. They gave up no sacks and blocked well enough for Rashard Mendenhall to manage 95 rushing yards against a consistently stingy Ravens running defense. I would also like to give an "Atta Boy" to rookie guard Ramon Foster who played very well while filling in for injured guard Chris Kemoeatu. O- Line "A+"

Finally I have to give an "Atta Boy" to Rashard Mendenhall for putting up the numbers he did last night against Baltimore's defense. He has been a consummate professional and really taken advantage of the opportunity presented to him by Coach Tomlin this year. His stats read: 95 rushing yards on 24 attempts for an average of right at 4.0 yards per carry, very respectable.Mendenhall gets an "A" as well.

All and all injuries are limiting what we are able to do Steelers fans, and while I agree with Coach Tomlin and his "No excuses" attitude, there are things that lack of experience or lack of desire will inhibit you from accomplishing no matter what. I feel like the Steelers are still a playoff quality team who are simply suffering from injuries and growing pains right now. I remind you all that on any given day, any team can beat another. This is what keeps the NFL not only competitive but endears it to us so very much as fans.

I will be gracious in defeat and congratulate the Ravens on being the better team...

At least for last night...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some of the things wrong with this world today...

After suffering a fairly serious bicycle accident this past weekend, I have not posted anything recently and for that I apologize.

I went face first through the rear windshield of a minivan on the street where I live. I was looking over my right shoulder to move from one side of the street to the other, and when I turned back around-BANG!!! I crawled up to the front door of the people whose van I hit and asked them for help which they promptly gave me, as any good person would do. They called the police, ambulance, and my girlfriend and were very helpful giving me towels to stop the bleeding and were there to comfort me until help arrived.

The police arrived, took a report, assisted me to the best of their ability and kept me calm and immobile until the paramedics arrived to transport me to the hospital. My girlfriend also ran several blocks down the street to where the accident occurred under the impression that a car had hit me. No my love, it was I that hit the car with my face.

I was transported to my local hospital and it was busy. I live in a college town and it was Friday night, so I was not surprised by the volume of patients seeking treatment. I was wheeled into an examination room on the gurney, assisted by staff over onto the hospital's bed and addressed by a triage nurse in a very professional manner. I was asked who my insurance carrier was and I replied that I was on temporary state medical assistance and have an Access card. I gave the remainder of my basic information and was told the doctor would be with me shortly.

When the doctor came in about 20 minutes later, he did not immediately examine me or question me as to my pain level or ask any questions regarding my condition. Instead he only made the comment that I should have been wearing a helmet and my accident could have been prevented. I was a little thrown by this statement. I didn't come to the ER to be lectured on my choice of safety precautions; I came to be treated for my injuries. I had a 6 inch gash on my lower lip that had bled profusely, broken off several teeth, and went through a glass windshield with the front of my face at approximately 15 mph. I wasn't in the mood to be chastised or lectured. He then approached me and asked where I had pain. I told him the front of my face, my jaw, my teeth, and my neck. He then asked me to open my mouth and I did to the best of my ability. This apparently didn't suit him because his next move was to put his hands inside my mouth and forcibly pry my jaws open to his satisfaction. Keep in mind this was all prior to me having any x-rays or diagnostic work at all performed on me. I couldn't believe the pain and possible harm he had just put me through, not to mention the lack of protocol and procedure on his part.

My girlfriend was in the room for my entire visit and witnessed all of the things I am describing to you in this forum and it caused her undue emotional trauma to see me subjected to such things because of the obvious pain I was enduring through all of this.

After he did this to me he left the room and I was sent to receive x-rays. I was asked by the x-ray technician how I felt and I told her I was in pain and I felt very tired. She asked if I thought I could stand and move myself to a stool in the x-ray area so I could have them done on me. I told her yes, I would try. Now I am accustomed to being asked to move myself around on the rare occasions that I have to visit an ER or acute care facility. I am a pretty big guy and I try to not put anyone in the position where they have to move me too much, I'm sure it's not an easy task.

I went and sat on the stool and she proceeded to begin taking my x-rays and during the process the pain I was experiencing began to intensify. I then remember another male staff member standing over me and yelling at me to wake up. I had apparently lost consciousness for a short time and was disoriented when I came to. I didn't realize all this happened and it took me a few moments to get my head together. They helped me back over to the hospital gurney and I sat down. The x-ray tech then wheeled me back over to the machine and finished the x-rays. I then went up to a different floor for x-rays on my jaws and teeth. It was the type of x-ray machine that they use in a dental office that completely revolves around your head as you sit in the middle of the machine. This also caused quite a bit of discomfort and pain but was bearable for the most part.

I was returned to my room and sat and waited for quite some time. I apparently fell asleep again and remember a nurse telling me to wake up and to try and stay awake. I was left unsupervised in the room for a long time with only my girlfriend there whom has no medical experience whatsoever. This is unacceptable to me. I could've had a head injury from my accident and no CT scan or anything had been done and we were approaching the three hour mark since my arrival. I was allowed to be left unmonitored and unsupervised for extended periods of time. Does this sound like proper medical care to any of you reading this?

And this is just the beginning of my nightmare...

The Dr. then popped his head in my room around the curtain and told me that nothing appeared broken on my x-rays and that he would be in soon to stitch me up but there was someone else in front of me to be sutured and it may be a while. He also made another comment about bicycle safety to me regarding me having a light on my bicycle. I love it, I need medical care and I get a bicycle safety expert. My girlfriend asked him before he left if there was something he could give me for the pain I had to make it more tolerable (I was in tears) and he told us that he couldn't do that due to the possibility of head injury. Again, no diagnostics were ever done to confirm or deny this diagnosis. So basically he just didn't feel like ordering the tests done and he didn't feel I was in need of any comfort and that it was ok that I suffer through my experience.

At this point I am extremely upset and so is my girlfriend. We cannot believe the way I have been treated and the lack of concern for my well being. A medical student then comes in the room and tells me she will be doing my stitches. I later found out after my release that I had the right to refuse a medical student performing this procedure on me, and although I most likely wouldn't have, I was failed to be informed of this while in the hospital which is also wrongdoing on the hospitals part.

She began to administer lidocaine to the affected areas on my face and was as gentle as possible but the pain was excruciating through the whole thing. She got me pretty well numb where she could begin the stitches, or so we all thought. As she was administering the lidocaine to the areas, it was causing me great pain and I was grabbing my bedrails and squeezing them and tensing up my muscles, which caused me to start bleeding profusely again. She had to go out of the room and retrieve the Dr and his response was that the face was a very vascular area and that it would be fine to just sew me up. What we didn't realize was that the heavy bleeding was forcing all the lidocaine she injected back out of my face. When she began to put the stitches in, it went well for a little while but then she got to an area that had regained feeling and it became painful again for her to stitch me. She went out and retrieved the Dr. again and he became very short and rude with her. He asked her very curtly if she had a 27 gauge syringe and she replied no, she only had a 30 gauge because that was in her medical cart. The Dr. then stormed out of the room to find his larger gauge needle. He returned, filled this GIGANTIC needle with lidocaine and proceeded to jam it in my face in no gentle way. I screamed out in pain and my girlfriend began sobbing. He then told me very rudely and in an irritated tone, "You can't do that, you can't tense up that way. You have to put your hands at your sides and take a deep breath and stay calm." I was doing the best I could and all I could think is you won't sedate me in any way and you are putting a 4 inch 27 gauge needle in my face under my nose and in numerous other areas and want me to just deal with it? Let me do it to you and see how you react?

As soon as he was done with his personal form of sadism, he nonchalantly walked out of the room and only said "There you go". In case you haven't figured it out by now, this guy's bedside manner left room for improvement.

The nurse began apologizing to us both repeatedly and said that she couldn't believe the way he was handling me. She then went on to tell us that she thought, because of the severity of my injuries, a surgeon would have been consulted. I kind of blew this off at the time because she was a student and I just wanted to be done and go home. By this point we were all physically, mentally, and emotionally spent.

She did a good job of stitching me up and finally got to the large wound on my lower lip and mouth. She paused and informed me that she had reached a point where she needed the Dr's help and apologized again for having to involve him. She left the room and they both returned and he quickly gloved up and began work on my mouth. He was lecturing the student on proper procedure (isn't that ironic) and instructed her on how to properly suture muscle tissue when it became severed as has happened in my case. This was news to me. I later found out from both my girlfriend and the student that he was putting the stitches into the muscle in my mouth and then removing them, allowing the student to replace them. Talk about hands-on training.

After she went to replace the last muscular stitch he began telling her how to make sure the "vermillion border" lined up so that I was not left with dimpling in my face and so my lip line would be symmetrical and line up properly. After the last stitch was laced regarding what I just mentioned, he asked the student how it looked to her. She replied "Well, I'm not sure" and then he said "Good enough for government work", a discriminatory remark regarding my Access card status. I could not believe the gall of this man. This is not the way people are supposed to be treated. I felt humiliated and violated and sorry that this man was allowed to treat others this way.

The student finished stitching me up and she again apologized for the Dr's remarks and behavior. We both told her it was not her fault and we thanked her for her help and wished her well in her studies. I quickly got up and got dressed and waited patiently to get my discharge papers so I could get the hell out of this nightmarish ordeal. The Dr. Came back in, gave me, vague at best; discharge instructions and my girlfriend asked him once more for some type of pain medication. He advised me to take an ibuprofen and Tylenol mixture and again stated that I had a possible head injury. Again I ask if there was the possibility of head injury, why was I being discharged and why was there no diagnostic testing done to confirm or deny the diagnosis. I will tell you why, because this man was biased and in his heart felt someone who was receiving welfare type medical insurance wasn't worthy of his time or the proper protocols and procedures. He took his beliefs and put them in front of my medical care and figured he was saving the taxpayers precious dollars by not administering thorough testing that I deserved for my well being. By the way, I finally left the hospital at 2:30 am with 19 stitches and little left in my tank.

I returned to the hospital the next day and was seen by a Dr. who was a caring, gentle professional. He addressed my issues rechecked my x-rays and gave me antibiotic and a mild pain medication to make me more comfortable. I also ran into a RN on my way out who asked me what happened when she saw my face. I told her my story and what happened the prior evening. She said that many of the staff had issues with the Dr. I mentioned. He was mean and impatient with all of the staff and that most of them greatly disliked working with him. She also reiterated that a surgeon should have been consulted in my case because of the severity of my facial lacerations.

I filed a formal grievance with the hospital in question and I am seeking an attorney to represent me in a medical negligence case against the Dr. and the hospital. I am also having a hard time finding someone in the legal profession who is willing to give me a hand with making a wrong right in this instance. Everyone blows me off when I tell them what happened because of the difficulty and time involved with medical negligence cases. They all just want a quick dollar and that isn't what this is going to translate to.

I believe in public service and helping your fellow man in his time of need. That is basically all I am asking for now, help in my time of need. I need someone with the expertise to assist me in making sure this doesn't happen to someone else along the way. We all deserve to be treated properly in the event of an illness or injury regardless of our financial ability to pay for the services.

I will fight this with all I have inside of me for as long as I have to so that justice is done and that a difference is made. If this becomes my fight in life, then so be it, I will take up this crusade because I believe it is important.

I thank you all for reading, and if anyone knows of an attorney willing to assist me in this, I would greatly appreciate your referral or any information you could pass along. If the time approaches where the statue of limitations is in question, (2 years) I will file on my own behalf and I will also need medical professionals who are willing to testify to the fact that this was not up to the standard of practice in the medical field.

I will continue to research this problem, my options and gather all the information I can. All I ask is that those of you that read this please take the time to go that extra mile for your fellow man, regardless of whatever circumstance may arise. Remember the "Golden Rule" we all learned in our childhood because it is the right way to live our lives. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The war on drugs...

I favor a common sense drug policy, as it was called by Rolling Stone editor, Will Dana.

 Eric Holder ( US Attorney General) has gone on to make it known publicly as official policy that the feds won't waste American resources busting patients and distributors who are in "clear and unambiguous" compliance with state medical marijuana laws."

This makes me happy because it is step in the right direction on our government's part in regards to having this "common sense" approach to drug use. Finally allowing free thought and action by adults on a agricultural product that has been grown and sold for years and could be taxed and regulated in order to boost the economy and stimulate jobs. It is controversial and I am not saying that kids should be allowed to use it or make that decision for themselves without being thoroughly educated, and if folks use it irresponsibly that they not be held accountable for their actions, much in the same way that we hold people accountable for their behavior when they misuse alcohol or other substances that are less controversial in our eyes. Legalize it, regulate it and tax it and I feel America will be surprised at the growth it could provide in our struggling economy.

Here is an example to support my theory: "On 1 July 2001, Portugal decriminalized the possession of all drugs, including heroin and cocaine. You can have and use as much as you like for your own needs, and if you are caught, the police might refer you to a rehabilitation program, but you will never get a criminal record. (Although, supplying and selling remains illegal.) The prohibitionists predicted a catastrophic rise in addiction, and even I – a staunch pro-legalization advocate– was nervous."

"Now we know: overall drug use actually fell a little. As a major study by Glenn Greenwald for The Cato Institute found, among Portuguese teenagers the fall was fastest: 13-year-olds are four per cent less likely to use drugs, and 16-year-olds are six per cent less likely. As the iron law of prohibition predicts, the use of hard drugs has fallen fastest: heroin use has crashed by nearly 50 per cent among the young who were not yet addicted. The Portuguese have switched the billions that used to be spent chasing and jailing addicts to providing them with prescriptions and rehab. The number of people in drug treatment is now up by 147 percent. Almost nobody in Portugal wants to go back. Indeed, many citizens want to take the next step: legalize supply as well and break the back of organized crime and gangs"(Johann Hari: The Independent: 11-11-09).

Will Dana, managing editor at Rolling Stone, cites in his article " marijuanamerica" ( Nov.12,2009) that the number of people in this country that favor legalization of marijuana is hovering at 44 percent, a figure that has doubled over the last 20 years. We are wasting an estimated 600 dollars per second on "the war on drugs". America, I ask the question...Could there be a percentage of this money that could be better used on something else, perhaps education of our children so that they can make better choices in their lives? Take a moment to ask yourself this. If we used 100 dollars of that 600 dollars per second and took it from the portion we are, in my opinion, wasting to police and prosecute marijuana users and instead put that into education for our children, not only regarding drugs but other topics as well. Just for even 4 years as an experiment, do you think there is a possibility that the money could benefit our children's education and better our country and planet as a whole? Just some food for thought.

As always, comment, opinion and discussion are welcome.


Hello Everyone!

I just want to thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by and hopefully be entertained by my random thoughts and quick wit. For those of you who personally know me, you are most likely familiar with my story. For those of you who do not know me, let me share a brief introduction of who I am.

My name is Jeremy Fink and I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I will go into depth more about my past and life's history in future blog posts. I am the walking talking definition of a miracle in my own opinion and if you continue to come back and read about my life and my experiences, you will grow to understand why.

In a nutshell, I was born to be a writer. I feel like I have no greater talent than expression through words. I trust in them above all other things. I have a random and dark sense of humor, full of sarcasm and questionable logic. Most people who have experienced it have grown to greatly appreciate it in their lives.

I am a western Pennsylvania resident and a Pittsburgh Steelers MANIAC! I also root obsessively for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Penn State Nittany Lions, and Louisville Cardinals (I spent my adolescence in central Kentucky, my parents and sister still reside there).

This blog will feature thoughts and opinions on everyday life, pop culture, current events, sports happenings, politics, personal philosophy, and many other topics each and every day. I will try to have this blog posted no later than 9 am EST daily.

I have been to jail numerous times for numerous things, all of them a result of my addiction and selfishness. I have made an atrocious amount of mistakes and poor decisions and paid the consequences for most of them. Luckily, I am still around to tell my tales to those of you that will listen.

I have a strong loving family, great friends, and a wonderful girlfriend, who have given me their love and support all along the way, even during my worst. I feel I now owe them my best each and every day.

Through my experiences and writing I intend to convey my philosophy, entertain my readers, and educate those who are willing to hear my message.

I invite all of you to visit each day, and tell anyone you may come across in your daily journey about my blog so that I may reach out to as many people as I can and help in any way I can.

I whole heartedly encourage comments, feedback, constructive criticism, and discussion on any of my topics/blogs. Feel free at anytime to let me have it all...I appreciate it all and will only gain insight and perspective from it.

I will also say that there will be mature subject matter and adult language in these posts from time to time, but hopefully not to the point that I sound uneducated.

Hope to hear from you all soon and Enjoy!

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