Monday, October 07, 2013
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In late July I had a major health event that I was fortunate to survive.

I was well on my way to full recovery from that event when I had another major event: my descending aorta dissected. This means that the interior of the artery tore away from the outer wall, basically splitting the aorta in half. Fortunately this didn’t tear the outer wall, so all the blood generally continues to go where it should.

The doctors tell me that this isn’t as acute as my original event, but I can tell you it was way more painful. In any case I was in intensive care for about a week while this stabilized, and have been recovering further at home – basically on bed rest.

To add insult to injury, this has caused a temporary issue with my vision too, so everything to my right-hand side is doubled. Very disconcerting, but the doctors think it will resolve itself over a period of weeks.

So if you’ve been wondering why I’ve been relatively quiet over the past month, it is because I’ve been recovering from this second major health issue, plus the vision problem that made it nearly impossible to read for several days (though that’s somewhat better now thankfully).

My wife and I are so appreciative of all the support we’ve received from family, friends, co-workers, and from Magenic. Thank you all so very much!

One last comment, given the ACA “debate” going on right now in the US. Without insurance from Magenic it is a virtual certainty that I wouldn’t be here now. Although it is true that the emergency room couldn’t have turned me away, it is also the case that without insurance I wouldn’t have had access to the specialists or medicines that have kept me going.

Personally, I think it is naïve to think that people without insurance will do just fine because the rest of us will pay for their ER visits. Yes, all of us that can pay for health coverage do pay for the uninsured to get health care – but it is substandard health care, with no preventative aspect, and no access to life-saving specialists or medications.

When I was young and “invincible” I suppose I was dumb enough to think I didn’t need insurance too. But even then I was glad to have it when I blew out my knee and needed surgery to fix it… Back then, without insurance I’d have either had to live with the pain or go deep into debt to fix my knee. Fortunately I did have insurance at the time!

As a counterpoint, my sister-in-law’s arm will never really work right. She didn’t have insurance, and the ER did the minimum necessary to set her arm after a bad break. But she didn’t have access to specialists that would have gotten her back to normal. So her arm is functional, but not like it would be had she had insurance…

Although the ACA may be deeply flawed, it is clear that the free market wasn’t going to fix these issues – it had several decades to do so, and did nothing to solve the problems. So no matter how you slice it, our society has to either live with the crappy model we had prior to the ACA or try and do something different. For my part, I’d much rather see the government try to patch up the ACA than to move us back to the unworkable model we’ve been in for the past several decades…

Monday, October 07, 2013 9:20:15 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [3]  | 
Wednesday, October 09, 2013 6:22:43 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Well wishes on your recovery!

And, Amen to the stuff you said about health care. Bringing the ACA subject back to the computer topic, over the last week I've been thinking that we really need to do some sort of NTSB type of investigation into why these websites have had so many problems.

As an industry, we've devoted a lot of brainpower and effort into creating more reliable, testable, maintainable, agile software. We've come up with patterns and practices and acronyms that would make the military envious. Yet, we still can't release a 1.0 product without major issues.

I think the software industry is dodging a lot of negative focus with the ACA websites because the politics are linking the failure of the websites with the ACA law, when really it's squarely an issue with software design.

I'd love to see somebody like Jeff Atwood or Troy Hunt or whoever give a detailed analysis of what happened with some of the ACA websites and how we can prevent making the same mistakes.
Brad Rem
Thursday, October 10, 2013 4:42:00 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Hi Rocky,

I felt sad to read about the suffering you had to endure during the last few weeks. It is terrible that someone like you who has contributed so much to software development had to endure this. I am really glad though, that you are on the way to recovery :)

Thank you for your work!

Get well soon!
Siegfried Niedinger
Thursday, October 10, 2013 5:46:46 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
The ACA is a step in the right direction and unfortunately all that could be achieved politically. I think single payer is the correct final end game that will yield the best long term health results for the lowest cost.


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