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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Life goes on...


Chef Dan, the Latke King of Landgraff, WV!
 We did our best to have a wonderful Hanukkah...
Elisse, lighting the Hanukkah Menorah

Elisse wearing her Hanukkah present dress & shoes...

The Elkhorn Inn's Inflatable Holiday Decor...

Elisse & our 6' Hanukkah Menorah...


The NS "Pokey" in the Snow...

and a happy Christmas: We inflated all our decorations, including our 6' Hanukkah Menorah, and Santa in a plane, helicopter, train, NASCAR racing car with an elf pit-crew, & getting a ticket from a cop!
I took photos of the NS trains going by the Elkhorn Inn in the snow and posted them on the Elkhorn Inn & Theatre Facebook page for our "railfan" guests. We filled gift shop orders from around the country from our on-line gift shop http://store.elkhorninnwv.com and sent coal statuettes, books, jewelry, gourmet goodies, and vintage ornaments off to people around the country. Dan, THE undisputed Latke King of Landgraff, made his fabulous "two-tone" latkes (potato pancakes) with grated sweet and white potatoes, and we lit the Menorahs each night of Hanukkah & gave each other fun gifts. On Christmas eve we followed Santa around the world on NORAD's Santa Tracker on the internet, and cleared the embers out of the fireplace just in time for Dan to get an "Extreme Racing Package" from http://www.tryitracing.com/ and for Elisse to get massage slippers & Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds perfume with an adorable teddy bear! 
But, all in all, this has Not been a wonderful winter for us. Dan's sister Martha- who was brilliant, talented, funny, incredibly accomplished, and whom we both loved more than I can ever begin to say- died in November, and it shook us both up very badly. What shook me up the most is how she gave up immediately once the doctors told her the chemo "was doing more harm than good" (to me, "dead" is far more harmful than chemo...) and sent her home with a pain pill to die.
Their "care" was very effective: She was in a hospice within a week, made comatose on morphine immediately, and died inside 3 weeks.
I am still in shock- and so angry that words can't express it adequately.
There, but for the grace of G-d, go I. And You.
And I, for one, will NOT go gentle into that Obamacare good night, sent home with an "economically sound" pain pill to die, and so relieve "the system" of the financial burden I, as  a "Baby Boomer", would impose, by continuing to live, thanks to expensive medical treatment.
And as I have been under treatment for another antibiotic-resistant infection these last 7 months- and it's expensive, and I wound up in the hospital last month from it- I do not say that lightly.
What is ever in the back of my head is: when are they going to tell me that the treatment I'm getting is "doing more harm than good" or "isn't working" or "isn't cost effective", and send ME home to die?
What happens if my government insurance (which covers me as Dan served in the US Army for 21 years, including 3+ tours in Vietnam) decides the medication I've been prescribed is too expensive or "isn't working" and refuses to approve it?
And how about when they do it to YOU?  
And how if we do nothing but sit by & let our elected criminals (who are not required to use the same garbage, worse-than-3rd-world medical care that we must) foist this upon us, we are all doomed to early graves.
Dan couldn't go to Martha's funeral in Illinois as we were in the middle of an ice/snow storm here & lost our water; I've been fighting off that infection in my leg for 7 months and he didn't want to leave me alone without water, & then he threw his back out- badly- putting in a new a water line. Then we got hit- as did everyone else- by The Blizzards of 2010, & it's been snowing and icing up non-stop for over 2 weeks.
We have our water back. We have plenty of firewood, rum, food, and water. Dan's taking Advil, & is making, as I type, more of his unbelievably delicious Vietnamese Spring Rolls, with the Chinese mushrooms & Vietnamese rice-paper wrappers I brought back from a fabulous Asian grocery in Virginia our friend took me to after my hospitalization there. (When life gives you lemons...). I've decided to take the offensive against my infection (as opposed to blindly following AMA medical care into the grave by simply continuing to take stupidly higher & higher doses of antibiotics against an antibiotic-resistant infection), and, after much research, am going to start taking Allicin garlic against my infections. (I have used garlic to knock out acute infections on 3 occassions in the past, so I know this works).  Dan & I are planning vacations in the hope, B"H, we'll live to enjoy them. In short, we are both trying to take the high road, "look on the bright side", push forward, "think positive", and look forward with enthusiasm, hopefulness and joy to the new year... but it's hard.
Very hard.
Love and best wishes for a HEALTHY, happy 2011.
Elisse