Long Beach Memorial Hospital VERSUS St. Mary’s Long Beach Hospital

TLDR;

  • St. Mary’s Long Beach Dignity Health Hospital is nightmarish and awful
  • Long Beach Memorial Hospital is the best hospital I’ve ever visited

The difference between my experiences at Long Beach Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Long Beach Dignity Health Hospital has been night and day.

I injured my knee and went into the ER at St. Mary’s Long Beach Hospital back in June 2018. I spent about ten hours in the ER waiting for help and finally had someone stitch it up partially and tell me I would probably get an infection and to come back later. I went home and the next day had to return with a skyrocketing fever and a major infection spreading up my leg. I was admitted to St. Mary’s Long Beach Hospital, but never was even able to see a doctor for a couple of days. The doctor’s Physician’s Assistant acted like I was a giant pain in her ass and she could not wait to get away. I was on all the strongest antibiotics for a couple of days before they decided to do surgery to clean it out and I still hadn’t seen the doctor despite repeated requests. They wheeled me into the operating room in St. Mary’s and the guy doing the surgery showed up two hours late and was different than the doctor I had been told was my doctor the whole time. I was extremely concerned, but didn’t have a choice since my knee needed work or the infection could continue spreading. The surgery did stop the infection. I went in for a follow up MRI and I think it was conducted by a sadist… he put my knee in a horrible position and told me I couldn’t move or get more pain medication for a half hour and if I did move I had to start over. I lay there moaning in the worst pain of my adult life for half an hour and by the end I was shuddering uncontrollably. I still didn’t see a doctor – the Physician’s Assistant just kept coming and looking at it then moving on after acting like I was a pest to her. I finally met the doctor after I’d gone home and then returned to get the stitches out. To add insult to injury, St. Mary’s Hospital is covered in 1984-eque signs falsely proclaiming how much they love and care for their patients. When I got home, the St. Mary’s billing department screwed up my bills over and over and it took dozens of calls with them and the insurance company to get things fixed. My St. Mary’s Long Beach Dignity Health Hospital was experience was pretty nightmarish. I would recommend no one go there.

The Long Beach Memorial Hospital experience was an amazing difference. My wife was pregnant with our twins and we went in for our routine checkup and she showed some early / light signs of preeclampsia. Long Beach Memorial Hospital admitted her within a few minutes for monitoring. We thought we would go home the next day, but at midnight Laurel’s water broke. I went out and told a nurse and within a few seconds she was tested and then moved to a labor and delivery room. At every stage, the doctors took time to come visit and explain everything and check her out. When she was finally ready for delivery, we were moved into an operating room that had over 20 doctors and nurses ready to go. There were 2 ObGyns, 5-7 nurses for Laurel, a full team of NICU people for each baby (1 doctor and 3 nurses), and an anesthesiologist and his assistant. All of the doctors were smart and professional and kind. At one point, a resident Ob Gyn had called for a C-section but the lead doctor knew we wanted to try for a natural birth and cancelled it and sat with us as Laurel worked through it for five hours. Laurel ended up having a life threatening condition called placenta accreta according to the forensic lab reports that resulted in her needing emergency surgery (hysterectomy) after the births. The lead doctor worked for a long time to try to save her uterus and called in the hospital’s department head for a second opinion before they finally switched over. Afterwards, the doctor came out and explained to us that even in many other US hospitals, the bleeding could have cost Laurel her life. As it was, she needed a couple of units of blood. Afterwards, both the baby and the obgyn doctors have been incredibly attentive to us. Every day the NICU doctors would spend half an hour with us explaining what was going on and what to watch for and how to emotionally handle this new experience. We even had an hour and a half meeting with our babies lead doctor and their social worker outside of the NICU in a conference room. The entire experience I have had with Long Beach Memorial Hospital has been very impressive.

If I or a loved one ever needs a hospital visit again (god forbid) we are definitely going to go to awesome Long Beach Memorial Hospital and NOT to the terrible St. Mary’s Dignity Health Long Beach Hospital.

On Lobster

http://www.columbia.edu/~col8/lobsterarticle.pdf

Plato’s comments:

I always thought boiling a lobster alive seemed fairly cruel, I’ve never cooked a whole lobster myself, only lobster tails which, one hopes, would come from lobsters killed in a more humane fashion. I’ve heard of knifing the lobster before boiling, I’d assumed that would mean a quick death for the lobster, but the author seems to say that based on the structure of the lobster nervous system it doesn’t make any difference.
I’ve heard ‘lobsters don’t feel pain’ before, I’ve also heard ‘fish don’t feel pain,’ I think both are nonsense. While pain and the experience of pain is subjective nearly every living entity reacts to being damaged in some fashion, it’s the most basic of survival mechanisms, “I am being harmed, I must do something.’ Even plants react when injured in detectable ways https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/09/plants-communicate-distress-using-their-own-kind-nervous-system
Is the human experience of pain going to be the same as that of the plant? Surely not. The same as a lobster? More questionable, but as the author points out, the different structure of the lobster nervous system makes it impossible for us to know exactly how the lobster experiences pain. But I think it’s fair to say that lobsters experience pain of some sort and react to pain in an attempt to end the pain. In my opinion we should strive to be as merciful to our food as is feasible. Boiling a lobster causes an inordinate amount of pain, therefore we should kill them another way.
Although the author never expressly states their dietary preferences they do say a few things that would suggest to me that they are advocating a vegetarian if not vegan diet where possible. They seem to pretty quickly dismiss alternative preparation methods which would definitely kill the lobster faster, such as cutting the lobster in half entirely, and go on to state that they can find no logical basis to justify the killing of other creatures for human consumption on a moral basis. I do not agree with this presupposition.
Morality is inherently subjective. What is moral in one culture may not be moral in another. Being human, my morality is humanist. As a general rule I hold human life to be more valuable than any other kind of life. I think this would still be true even if we met intelligent alien life, though I think the difference in value would be substantially less than between a human and a lobster, maybe it would change my thinking entirely and I would consider them to be exactly equal, or even superior in some fashion, it’s hard to know not having experienced it, but I think it is reasonable to assume that my first loyalty would remain with my own tribe.
Being omnivores we are evolved to be able to eat other animals, and indeed if we do not eat other animals, it is substantially more difficult for us to obtain all the nutrients that we require for optimal health. Modern society has made this somewhat easier by providing access to different vegetables grown throughout the world, but for the majority of human history, people have had access to relatively limited flora which could provide only a portion of nutritional needs, and eating animals was necessary to obtain the lacking nutrients.
It’s now possible to live a long and healthy life without ever eating animals, but simply because that is possible I cannot agree that it is morally obligatory, or even necessarily morally praiseworthy. If I pick up a lobster, and say “Today I will not eat you” and then toss it back in the ocean where it is immediately eaten by a cod, would the lobster have cause to be grateful? Certainly I gave it a chance to live free from threat of me, but its life was not prolonged. And it’s death being torn apart by a cod would probably be substantially more brutal than the death that I would have given it, assuming that I would simply cut the lobster in half and kill it immediately. The lobster cannot understand the gesture that I made in throwing it back to the sea, depending on how it had been kept it may not even understand that it escaped a potential threat. In that case the only positive benefit of my decision to not eat the lobster exists in my own mind. ‘I didn’t kill it, I am such a good person.’ In this regard the decision becomes something of a trolley problem. ‘If I take action, a lesser harm is done, but I am directly responsible, if I don’t take action a greater harm occurs, but this would have happened even if I never existed.”
Of course I am not trying to say that by eating animals humans are actually lessening the number of deaths, chances are the lobster I threw back would not immediately die, it may even go on to live another 100 years and breed many times.
What I am saying is that, as Temple Grandin put it “Nature is cruel, but we don’t have to be.” Humans are capable of providing a much less painful death to the creatures that we eat than just about any other animal. Boiling a lobster alive is a horrific example of how humans kill the food we eat, and I have to imagine was chosen specifically for the visceral impact of imagining dying in such a fashion. Cows, pigs, lambs, and chickens we can, and generally do, kill in such a way that they never feel a thing, or do so only for the briefest possible time. In this regard, humans are by far more kind to the creatures we kill than any natural predator, for whom the general modus operandi is to chase something down and then dismember it while it is still living. Where I think that humanity is currently really failing in terms of our food morality is the condition in which much of our livestock is kept while still living. I think if we really want to attain a higher moral ground we should make efforts to improve conditions of factory farms and provide livestock with as comfortable a life as possible.
I think the perfect solution would be the Star Trek replicator that can perfectly assemble any type of animal product that I might want to consume from base molecules without the need for any living creature to be harmed. Lesser versions would be lab grown meats that didn’t involve any animal suffering and vegetable based meat replacement options, while I can’t say we have really gotten there yet, we do seem to have taken some strides, with products like the ‘impossible burger’ (Though I did read an interesting piece on the relatively shitty nutritional value of that the other day.) I am not some sort of meat purist that believes that nothing can replace the flesh of living creatures, in fact I hope the opposite, that we are able to fully replace meat product and remove animal suffering to the greatest extent possible. But, until we have achieved that level of technology, I don’t believe that people should feel badly about having to kill animals to eat them, we should just strive to do in as kind a way as possible.

Griffin and Kate

Laurel and I are proud to announce the birth of our twins, Kate and Griffin.

They were born last week prematurely, but are healthy as is their mom. Kate is 3 pounds 7 ounces and Griffin is 4 pounds 3 ounces.

They were on CPAP machines for a short while but now are breathing on their own. They are in the NICU but just were upgraded from the small baby section to the larger baby section. Both have feeding tubes but are digesting food well.

Laurel has been an incredible mom so far and I am proud to be married to her.

I will post more details later, but for now here are some photos:

Interesting Take on Capitalism

Free Markets Are Intrinsic to Humans

We’re the only animals who cooperate across genetic boundaries, because we can track credits and debits in voluntary exchanges.

Free markets are intrinsic to the human species

Naval: Overall capitalism [meaning free markets] is intrinsic to the human species. Capitalism is not something we invented. Capitalism is not even something we discovered. It is in us in every exchange that we have.

When you and I exchange information, I want some information back from you. I give you information. You give me information. If we weren’t having a good information exchange, you’d go talk to somebody else. So, the notion of exchange, and keeping track of credits and debits, this is built into us as flexible social animals.

We are the only animals in the animal kingdom that cooperate across genetic boundaries. Most animals don’t even cooperate. But when they do, they cooperate only in packs where they co-evolve together, and they share blood, so they have some shared interests.

Humans don’t have that. I can cooperate with you guys. One of you is a Serbian. The other one is a Persian by origin. And I’m Indian by origin. We have very little blood in common, basically none. But we still cooperate.

What lets us cooperate? It’s because we can keep track of debits and credits. Who put in how much work? Who contributed how much? That’s all free market capitalism is.

So, I strongly believe that it is innate to the human species, and we are going to create more and more wealth, and abundance for everybody.

Everybody can be wealthy. Everybody can be retired. Everybody can be successful. It is merely a question of education and desire. You have to want it. If you don’t want it, that’s fine. Then you opt out of the game.

But don’t try to put down the people who are playing the game. Because that’s the game that keeps you in a comfortable warm bed at night. That’s the game that keeps a roof over your head. That’s the game that keeps your supermarkets stocked. That’s the game that keeps the iPhone buzzing in your pocket.

So, it is a beautiful game that is worth playing ethically, rationally, morally, socially for the human race. It’s going to continue to make us all richer and richer, until we have massive wealth creation for anybody who wants it.

Too many takers and not enough makers will plunge a society into ruin

Nivi: It’s not just individuals secretly despising wealth, right? There are countries, groups, political parties that overtly despise wealth. Or at least seem to.

Naval: That’s right. What those countries, political parties, and groups are reduced to is playing the zero-sum game of status. In the process to destroy wealth creation, they drag everybody down to their level.

Which is why the U.S. is a very popular country for immigrants because of the American dream. Anyone can come here, be poor, and then work really hard and make money, and get wealthy. But even just make some basic money for their life.

Obviously, the definition of wealth is different for different people. A First World citizen’s definition of wealth might be, “Oh, I have to make millions of dollars, and I’m completely done.”

Whereas to a Third World poor immigrant just entering the country, and we were poor immigrants who came here when I as fairly young, to the United States, wealth may just be a much lower number. It may just be, “I don’t have to work a manual labor job for the rest of my life that I don’t want to work.”

But groups that despise it will essentially bring the entire group to that level. If you get too many takers, and not enough makers, society falls apart. You end up with a communist country.

Look at Venezuela, right? They were so busy taking, and dividing, and reallocating, that people are literally starving in the streets, and losing kilograms of body weight every year just from sheer starvation.

Another way to think about it is imagine an organism that has too many parasites. You need some small number of parasites to stay healthy.

You need a lot of symbiotes. All the mitochondria in all of our cells that help us respirate and burn oxygen. These are symbiotes that help us survive. We couldn’t survive without them.

But, to me, those are partners in the wealth creation that creates the human body. But if you just were filled with parasites, if you got infected with worms, or a virus, or bacteria that were purely parasitical, you would die. So, any organism can only withstand a small number of parasites. When the parasitic element gets too far out of control, you die.

Again I’m talking about ethical wealth creation. I’m not talking about monopolies. I’m not talking about crony capitalism. I’m not talking about mispriced externalities like the environment.

I’m talking about free minds, and free markets. Small-scale exchange between humans that’s voluntary, and doesn’t have an outsized impact on others.

I think that kind of wealth creation, if a society does not respect it, if the group does not respect it, then society will plunge into ruin, and darkness.

https://nav.al/how-to-get-rich

Private Equity is Mostly Evil

What I have seen from almost every private equity investment is that private equity attempts to harm consumers and employees and other stakeholders to get a good return.

Private equity does things like buy Toys R Us and leverage it to the hilt, then sell it and watch as it collapses.

Private equity buys up every company in an industry niche, then engages in anti-competitive behaviors like tripling prices and cutting employee pay.

Private equity bought out hospital air ambulances operated at a break even level and increased prices to $632,000 for flights on a $500,000 aircraft. Every flight bankrupts a person who can’t say no and is at their most vulnerable.

Private equity must be regulated. Leverage should be capped at no more than 50%. Private equity should only be able to buy at most 1/5th of any industry niche. The capital gains special lower tax rate should be removed and taxed as regular income.