Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I Thing About: Hearts

Former Vice President Dick Cheney just got a heart transplant.  At 71.

Now the guy is from Wyoming and when anyone from Wyoming makes it big time it's a big deal.  I mean, we're the least populated state--we've gotta have each other's back.  Do I love all of his decisions?  Nope.  Do I wish him harm?  Nope.

If you've read a paper (or online news source) in say the last 11 years then you probably know Cheney has had some heart issues and has been hospitalized on one occasion or another for heart problems.  His heart was failing.  Some gracious donor died (but keeps living--be a donor!) and that person's heart went to Cheney.

Now people are saying that "giving" the heart to Cheney was morally problematic because of his age.

I'm sorry.  Come again.

At what age do humans stop being humans deserving of compassion and life?

Don't get me wrong, I can understand the viewpoint.  Perhaps the heart should have gone to some strapping 32 year old dad.  Maybe that does make sense.  But for Cheney's family, I'm guessing giving their dad/husband a new heart at 71 makes sense too.  Now he can enjoy his life and his kids' lives.

I've seen the data.  I know there are over 3,000 people waiting for hearts.  I know 300 die every year waiting.  I've also seen how not everyone on that list is a tissue match so even if there was a 32 year old dad out there who needed that heart, it might be possible that his tissue did not match that of the donor.

I'm deeply disturbed by the lack of respect for life--at any age--demonstrated by the "he's too old to give a heart to" mentality.  What is it in our American culture that allows us to be so callous toward our elders?  Shouldn't we be respectful and hold them in esteem?

When I hear these arguments I can't help but think--what next?  I mean, maybe we should just institute a "no medical support" policy after 65.  Think how much money we'd save on Medicare if we weren't doing open heart surgeries, chemotherapy, hip replacements, etc., on people of retirement age.  That's it.  I'm starting a lobby for an automatic DO NOT RESUSCITATE law for people 65 and older.

Because those folks have nothing to give.

Nobody loves them.

They didn't serve their country or their families or make contributions.  Or maybe they did but now that they are old, they don't deserve anything because they are just wasting away, sucking up perfectly good air and resources that should be used on the young.

Want to know what's ironic here?  There was someone famous who held this exact same viewpoint on the aged and the disabled.  We refer to him as Hitler.

Life is precious.  It is precious at 7.  It is precious at 17.  It is precious at 37, 57, 71, and 97.  Life matters and we all have a right to keep living.

There is no age where medical intervention is morally unethical.  The only moral problem I see here is with people who value their elders so little that they'd suggest someone is "too old" to take proper measures to keep on living.

What I think is those people who think Cheney was too old for his new heart must clearly have first hand experience on what it's like to live without one.  I'd suggest they give lessons on how to be heartless but I don't want such insensitivity spreading.

I love participating in Shell's PYHO on Wednesdays!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Days of Play: Magic Numbers

I've been doing lots of math posts lately.  I'm not sure if this is to help my daughter with her math skills or if it is to help me brush up on my math skills before she starts to learn about fractions (which, by the way, happens before 2nd grade here.   What?!).

When I was a kid we played car games.  I know what you are thinking--we played car games because we didn't have dvd players in the car.  But you are wrong. My mom had this plush conversion van with a TV in it, captains seats, a bed in the back ... of course we moved about the van freely because in the early 80s no one cared about seat belts.  Seat belts, sheet belts ... psh.  One time, that TV fell out of its place and landed on my chest.  This might be why I need a boob job ...

Okay, car games.  Anyhow, today's intentional play is perfect for the car AND can be used with older and younger kids.

To play, pick a number any number.  That number is your "magic" number.  Now, give your child(ren) a clue.  "My magic number is between 1-10."  Let them guess.  If the guess is right, it is your kiddo's turn.  If the guess is wrong, give another clue.  "My number is even." Repeat process.

For little kids (like my nearly 3 year old), you can keep this simple, "My magic number is between 1 and three."

For older kids make it a bit more challenging: My number is a prime number.  My number is greater than 17 but less than 34.  My number is a multiple of 2.  My number is divisible by 9.  You catch my drift.

Have fun playing magic numbers :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Music Monday: Hunger Games Soundtrack

So, who went to the Hunger Games?

Did you like?  Did you hate?

The hubs and I went to the show we several other couples and afterwards, the ladies went for drinks and chick-chat.  The overwhelming movie review was that we liked it.  Katniss was a good cast.  Peeta's character was more meek and mousey than in the book.  And the cave scene was too short.

But since no film adaptation can ever capture the goodness that are books (which is why you should ALWAYS read the book), I'm willing to overlook Madge getting slighted and Haymitch not being as drunk as often.

I'd recommend watching it if you haven't already.

I tend to be a big fan of movie soundtracks and the Hunger Game soundtrack was no exception.  To be honest, when my friend Sarah told me Taylor Swift had two songs on it, I threw up a little.  Then I had to eat crow because I listened to the songs and it turns out, they are pretty darn good.  {Check outside--there must be pigs flying}.

Another friend gave me the whole soundtrack and it is an eclectic mix of the mournful bluegrass of Civil war and alt-indie sounds of Arcade Fire and The Decemberists.  I'm pretty happy about the whole thing.

Give it a listen!

Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift (This song reminds me of a foggy, rainy morning).

 Lover is Childlike by Low Anthem


 Tomorrow will be Kinder By the Secret Sisters (hello, blue grass)