Reminder: D.C.-Area Joint BJ/LGM Meetup TOMORROW, Monday May 16

In case you need to set your plans for tomorrow, Shakezula of Lawyers Guns & Money (here), beloved Balloon Juice commentor EFGoldman, and other blog readers will be getting together tomorrow evening at Fado Irish Pub, “5:30ish until the authorities arrive”.

Fado is at 808 7th Street N.W., near Metro Center and Gallery Place stations, i.e. all of the Metro lines. Reservation is under the name Goldman.

Lurkers, friends & spouses always welcome. Leave a comment below if you’ve other questions/suggestions.



Guest Post Hospice

Guest post by commenter PRESCOTT CACTUS. He’ll be around in comments to answer questions about his experience as a hospice volunteer.

I just got my 10 year pin for volunteering with a hospice organization. I’d like to share some of my experiences and if you have any questions please free to ask.

I started being a volunteer dedicated to a specific patient. The usual is four hours a week. Let the spouse have some time away for respite, do chores around their home or sometimes sit, listen and talk a little. We were taught to become a blank chalkboard and let the patient fill it.

My current duty is being a member of the “11th Hour team”. When a patient is deemed within 48 hours of dying the hospice provides an around the clock companion to the patient. You are there to provide comfort to the patient, his family and often the staff of the facility, if the patient has been in a long term care or nursing home for any length of time. Often the patient is alone, most friends are gone or unable to visit. Family is far away or wants to remember gramps the way they were. Sad shit actually. Our programs unofficial motto is “no one dies alone”.
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In between, I have shopped and delivered groceries, done one time visits to patients whose regular volunteer is ill or unable and have filled in doing office work. If your desire is to volunteer at a hospice, there is always something that most everyone can feel comfortable doing, including working in a thrift shop they run.

The most important thing I can share are that there are 2 kinds of hospice. Profit and not for profit. I donate my time to the not for profit. They do get reimbursed thru Medicare, but they are not a profit driven company. Being not for profit allowed my organization to explore and fill many great ideas that a for profit wouldn’t pursue, including the 11th Hour program. They have pet visits, a harp player who serenades patients in palliative care units. (PCU’s) . The difference doesn’t stop and start there. It’s a choice you may have to make and you should consider it an important one.

When is time to get hospice involved? A patient is eligible for hospice care if the natural progression of their disease likely ends their life within 6 months. Once certified as eligible for hospice, Medicare feels that extra care and cost should be available (no death panels – Thanks Oboma!) and that things like oxogen and a hospital bed are provided free of charge. At home visits by doctors, nurses and visitors begins along with having a dedicated social worker to help with loose ends

Sounds great, huh? The problem is that families and patients often don’t want to hear the truth and doctors often have a hard time telling it. Not many people are ready to admit I’m down to 6 months. Unfortunately, patients in their end stage of life provide doctors and hospitals with a shit-ton of money and profit. On average a patient is “on service for just 29 days when they could have been receiving special caring for 6 months.

If you get lucky and live a bit longer than 6 months, don’t worry, as they will reevaluate and can keep you in the program. You can get kicked out. FSM bless him, my Dad has done 180 degree turn-arounds twice and he was taken out of the program 4 years ago and again 2 years ago. He’s still with us and doing pretty good BTW !

Any questions about hospice ?

P.S. I’ve spent a lot of time just talking about hospice and haven’t really mentioned death and what you should know and be prepared for. Another time very soon perhaps ?



NYC Meet-Up, Friday 20 May: Old Town Bar?

Per yesterday’s post, the Old Town Bar seems to have at least two votes. It’s said to be easy to reach by public transit, the burgers are good, there’s a quiet area upstairs that’s good for conversation. On the negative side, those stairs may be a problem for some potential participants.

Anyone want to weigh in, pro or con? (Still room for other suggestions, if you got ’em.)



Proposed NYC Meet-Up — Friday, May 20

Per the comments on yesterday’s post, Friday the 20th seemed like a good consensus, and so did “somewhere in Midtown or Hell’s Kitchen”.

Now open for suggestions as to the exact venue (or any other questions / suggestions). Tag, you’re it!

(Best I can tell from our archives, the last couple NYC meets, both in early 2014, were held at Rudy’s and Ballaro. I could swear there’ve been others since then, but if so, I managed not to tag them correctly — or they just didn’t get covered on the front page.)








Event Bleg: NYC Meet-Up?

Commentors RedDirtGirl and PsiFighter37 have separately indicated a wish for another NYC meet-up, even without a visiting fireman convenient.

Date and place to be determined. I’d suggest the weekend before Memorial Day weekend, which is not so soon that people won’t be able to rearrange their plans nor so distant that people won’t be able to commit. But unfortunately I won’t be attending, so leave a comment below with your more pertinent ideas!



Readership Capture: DC Meet Up – Monday, May 16

Shakezula at LGM scoops us!

You might think you know commentarion efgoldman, the resident Trumpeter against Trump. But how much do you really know? Is he a Bach man or a Yamaha fan? Silver or brass? And what about those strangely persistent flugelhorn rumors?

Well, he and Mme. efgoldman are in the DMV, possibly because they’re plotting to steal the trumpet from Gideon on top of the Mormon temple in Kensington, possibly not.

If you’re in the area, you can scope them out Mon. May 16, at Fado Irish Pub, 5:30ish until the authorities arrive. Fado is at 808 7th Street N.W., near Metro Center and Gallery Place stations, i.e. all of the Metro lines…

Leave a comment here if you’re interested, or need more info — I’ll make sure EFG sees this. If you’re shy, you can send me an email (click on my name in the righthand column, or annelaurie at verizon dot net) and I’ll forward it to him.



Open Thread: Possible DC-Area Meet Up?

Note from beloved (by me, anyways) commentor EFGoldman:

I’ve been in touch w/Shakezula about a possible Lawyers Guns & Money/Balloon Juice combo meetup in DC in the next couple of weeks. Here are the details:

We’re arriving in DC Friday, May 6, staying thru Tuesday May 17 (leaving the 18th). However, for the whole first week (thru Saturday the 14th) we won’t be available in the evening, because the reason for the trip is to take care of our toddler granddaughter while mom & dad are in London and Paris. We could do brunch or lunch, because she goes to preschool.

From Sunday thru Tuesday the 17th, we can do any time.

For the week of babysitting, we’ll be at Lyon Village on Lee Highway, just off I-66. Sunday thru Tuesday, at the Best Western on South Glebe Road just off 395. Either way, we’ll have a car.

I can attest from the couple of meet-ups we’ve had here in Boston that EFG and (especially) his lovely wife are wonderful people with whom to talk. (Yes, Boston-area peeps, we need to do another meetup — maybe at the Helmand?)

Meanwhile, leave a comment if you are interested / have suggestions for a DC venue, or email me (click on my name in the right-hand column or use annelaurie at verizon dot net) and I’ll forward your message.