The Road to the Shamsathon

Drake Stadium 2008

The Shamsathon is what I have taken to calling the race between my cardiologist, Dr. Shamsa and I. Our race is to take place at Drake Stadium at UCLA. What started out as an off hand joke has become a serious mission for me. He has laid down some rules for the race to take place.

1. I must lose forty pounds
2. I must be able to run 4 times around Drake Stadium, which is FOUR MILES!!!!

To go from zero to four miles seems like a total impossibility and the man must be insane, but somehow I will run around that stadium four times!!

The race is set to take place January 25, 2014. So I have five months to get myself in shape. I have been trying to watch what I eat but the last few days I have been a bit depressed and so I have not been on it as I should. And while I am allowed to have two free days on the diet that I am on, I have noticed the minute I start eating carbs, the weight comes ballooning back.  It is really pissing me off, if you want to know the truth. Carbs are not my friend, apparently.  Giving up bread and starch is like giving up air.  I like sweets but that is a little easier for me to forgo, but forgoing carbs is worse than the triple bypass and the two valves I had replaced.

Oh I should tell you the history of all this shouldn’t I?

THE HISTORY OF THE SHAMSATHON

Well I describe how my illness came to be in I Heart UCLA on this site so read that story for the background on my illness and the whole bypass thing. However, during one of my visits to Dr. Shamsa, he asked  me, “You know Drake Stadium.”  I told him I didn’t. He was like it is at UCLA, how can you not know Drake Stadium. “Anyway, ” he continued, “when you are better we are going to go running at Drake Stadium, just me and  you.” I laughed and told him, “Okay deal.”  I don’t think either of us took it very seriously that day.  Then I got to thinking, “Maybe that wouldn’t be so bad.” But still again I didn’t consider it a true “thing.” It wasn’t something I was actually going to do.  But then one day  I decided, “Oh no, this is going to happen.”  It was at that point that I decided to get serious about it. So I sat down and wrote him and told him, that we were going to run Drake Stadium and I gave him the date. At that point  he laid out his rules. So now it is on.

Daily Stats

The last recorded weight was  219.2 (okay I am trying not cringe here.)

Today I had a bagel, eggs and bacon.

 

 

 

I Heart UCLA

This is not my story. This is not a story about him. This is our story and how UCLA saved my life. To fully understand the severity of my condition, we must go back to Thanksgiving 2011. I was spending time with my friends Claudia and Rosa , when Claudia and I went to the store to pick up a few items. That short walk made me completely unable to breathe. Though it was only two blocks away, I had to stop and rest at several points along the way. Claudia was worried about me and said, “You need to see a doctor.”

Me and Dr. ShamsaFlash forward to February 2012. The breathing is getting increasingly harder and I am admitted to Olympia Hospital. They run all kinds of tests but are unable to find anything after three days. I am diagnosed with angina and sent home. It is now September 2012 and I have graduated from LACC and started UCLA. As the quarter progresses, my breathing is waking me up at night. I am unable to walk two steps without my heart feeling like it is going to pop out of my chest. It is getting harder to get to class. A ten minute walk from Ackerman Student Union to Haines Hall is taking me an hour. I go to my doctor to find out what is wrong. My insurance company, in their infinite wisdom, decides to send me to a cardiologist all the way in Montebello! MONTEBELLO!!!! I can barely walk and you want me to get myself to MONTEBELLO!!!!

Despite the fact that I live much closer to Wilshire Boulevard and you can’t throw a rock on Wilshire Boulevard without hitting a cardiologist in the head! I refuse to go. When I go to my own “doctor” to complain again of the symptoms, without so much as an examination he surmised, with all his 20 minutes of experience in the medical field, that I had allergies! ALLERGIES!!! I know I am not crazy and I know it is not allergies. So I use my student insurance to go to the Ashe Center. That is where I met a nurse practitioner named, Faye Anzures who recognized what was going on was far more serious than what the Ashe Center could handle. I had fluid on my lungs and an abnormal EKG, so she sent me “across the street.”

Enter my hero, Dr. Kamran Shamsa and UCLA cardiology department. Though Dr. Shamsa does not wear blue tights or have a red cape, he should have a big “S” painted on his lab coat. He listened to me, he examined me but most of all, he believed me. He listened to my chest, which sounded like I had swallowed a rattlesnake there was so much rattling going on inside. I took a stress test among others and then he came back and told me, that this was serious and that I was going to need surgery. He laid out my options 1) I could go home now, we could try medication but eventually I would need to have surgery or 2) I could go into the hospital and prepare for surgery now. Even though I was two weeks away from finishing my first quarter at UCLA and taking my finals, I decided to go in and get the surgery done. I dropped all my classes.

During one of my appointments with Dr. Shamsa, he told me that everything was going to be okay and that he was going to be my advocate. Being that I had less than stellar experiences with doctors I didn’t quite believe him, but oh I wanted to. He was good to his word. One night I called him in a panic, I had gotten a letter from Blue Shield saying they weren’t going to cover my hospital stay and I was worried they would not cover my surgery. A night or two before my surgery while I was in the hospital, I get a call from Dr. Shamsa, saying, “Don’t worry about it-everything has been taken care of. Your hospital stay, your surgery, it’s a done deal.” He had spent the day emailing, phoning until he reached the President of Blue Shield and got them to consent to my surgery. I screamed into the phone, I couldn’t believe it! I thanked him profusely.

Later on, after my surgery, I was talking to my surgeon’s nurse, she said she had been told by Dr. Shamsa’s nurses that they had never seen a doctor work so hard to get someone surgery. That brought a smile to my face. That was only the first time he would be my advocate. It would not be the last. When I had gotten out of my surgery, which was done by Dr. Shemin, and I am grateful to have someone as experienced who was willing to take on my case, a group of doctors looking at my case thought I needed a pacemaker. I had already been cut open and didn’t want to undergo yet another procedure though I was assured it was rather minor. I had told them I didn’t want to do but they had convinced me that it would benefit me if I did. Enter Dr. Shamsa, he looked at the data and said, “She doesn’t need a pacemaker.” That is all I needed, if Dr. Shamsa said I didn’t need it then I didn’t need it. He helped me stand my ground and advocated for me not to undergo another procedure that was not necessary at this point.

His reach was not just felt at UCLA. When my rehab center was not giving me the medical attention I needed when my heart rate was up, he got on the phone and told them in no uncertain terms that they were to monitor me and if my heart rate continued to spike than they were to get me to an emergency room pronto. When I was in heart failure and Olympia wanted to transfer me to Monterey Park, he tried to get me transferred to UCLA (That was the only battle he lost when it came to my care.) but to no avail. When I was in Hollywood Presbyterian and they wanted to give me an ablation, he also made sure it didn’t happen. A simple zap to the heart would suffice and I would be okay. I could fill a novel with everything Dr. Shamsa has done for me. But most importantly, he has given me back my life.

I am a single mother and I have a nine year old son. The thought of not being there to see him grow up has been my motivation, to not only improve my life by attending UCLA in the first place but to try to keep myself as healthy as I can. Dr. Shamsa and I have a goal we are working towards, when I can we are going to go to Drake Stadium and run the track there. I want him to eat my dust, so that will mean getting myself back into shape. Currently I have lost 58 pounds since all of this started. My goal is to lose another 8 by the time I see him September. I know the healthier I am, the more I will be able to enjoy life with my son and experience new and exciting things with him. Dr. Shamsa is not just my doctor, as far as I am concerned he is family. Dr. Shamsa represents the best of UCLA Cardiology and I am proud to be his patient.

Stupid News From Britain

Okay, we all now when you are putting out a newspaper or producing a local news channel on television, you are going to have a slow news day now and again.  And then you have to go and start creating stories out of thin air.  “Local woman prefers Whopper over Big Mac, news at 11.”  But some things really take the cake.  Let’s look at a couple of stories that were published in Telegraph.co.uk online edition.

Women prefer feminine looking men over masculine men.

Let’s say this was true.  Is it true for the vast majority of women? Or just a select few?  Now here’s is the kicker. You know what they based this attraction on-health care! You have got to be kidding me!

Now researchers believe that improvements in health care in wealthy western countries mean women do not have to worry about so much about the quality of their offspring – and so are picking more feminine looking men.

They found a direct correlation between the quality of health care and the choice of male.

In countries with better health care, the more likely women would pick a feminine looking man and visa versa.

The result was that in Sweden, which had the best health care, most women (68 per cent) preferred feminine looking men.

Now did they look at the media in Sweden?  Did they look at who is promoted as “attractive” in Sweden. Did they look at the magazines, the television shows which has a far more profound effect on who we deem attractive than health care!? No, Sweden has better health care so of course that is the reason they chose feminine looking men.

The article goes on to say:

Dr DeBruine said: “We found that women in countries like Brazil, Argentina and Mexico where the health is poorer were more attracted to masculine looking faces than women in countries like Belgium and Sweden, which have lower mortality rates and higher longevity.”

Why-women-now-prefer-Johnny-Depp-to-Sean-Connery

Basically it is saying poor women have to settle for slack-jawed Neanderthal men because their lack of medical insurance makes it necessary!  What? You noticed they picked countries like Mexico, Argentina and Brazil where you find a more darker skinned people and Sweden where it is predominantly White.  They are bordering on scientific racism here because the underlying tone  is Swedish women  are somehow “better” than Mexican women.  However, I will give them the benefit of the doubt in this case, even if the whole thing is utterly ridiculous.

Never mind, Mexico is also far more traditional than Sweden and so they would prefer more masculine men because they view men and women in a more traditional sense. Sweden is far more liberal and so it would make sense they prefer the liberal-leaning fem guys.  But no, it is health care! Maybe that is why Obama is so set on getting health care passed. He is a fem-looking guy.  Maybe he promised all his fem guy friends-“Hey if I get health care passed, you can get all the ladies! Countries with universal health care have women who like sissy men! You’ll be set!”

Note to the scientists-you can’t group 18-40 year old women together like they are the same thing! What I liked at 18, I sure don’t like at forty and one of the things I liked at 18 that I despise now-fem guys!

And while we are talking men and women, here’s one for you.  A genderless person.  Britain really-put down the pipe and get off the crack!

Norrie May-Welby, 48, was born a man but had a sex change operation in 1990, at the age of 28.

After becoming unhappy as a woman, May-Welby decided to become a “neuter”. The 48-year-old is now officially recognised as a person of no specific gender.

Briton-is-recognised-as-worlds-first-officially-genderless-person.html

But wait, haven’t we been told if we just go around giving all these “transgender” people operations that they will all be happy from that point on and we are just being mean not ponying up thousands of dollars to pay for their operations, “medication” and other things. Well this person got the operation they weren’t happy. So now we are just supposed to address this person as what? It? Thing. At some point you are going to have to use a pronoun people!

May-Welby said: “The concepts of man or woman don’t fit me. The simplest solution is not to have any sex identification.”

The UK’s Gender Trust welcomed the case. A spokesman said: “Many people like the idea of being genderless.”

Okay well if many people like it let’s do it then. Many people thought lynching Black people was a good idea. Many people think rape is an excellent idea-Ted Bundy sure did. Many people like the idea of  skinning kittens.  If many people like, I am sure it is an excellent idea. Is it no wonder Britain is going down the toilet and the only sane person in the entire country seems to be Daniel Hannan? And I love how this person says it is the simplest solution.  Really? Simple-maybe for you but not for the rest of us.  But I forgot, it is all about you, May isn’t it? Just like it is all about each and every one of us and we don’t have to take other people into account. But I shouldn’t be too hard on May, this is obviously a very sick person. But I am mad at the government for celebrating  and validating this person’s sickness instead of trying to help them. It is gross negligence at its worst.

My Interview with Jon Greenspon

I recently did an online interview for Presidential candidate, Jon Greenspon. He is a member of A Black Conservative Digest (http://bit.ly/ABCD) and so I sent him some questions, I felt were important to conservatives. I will be posting the questions and answers and will do a rebuttal later.

1) Please give a brief statement about yourself, family and why you are running for President in 2012?
I was born in Los Angeles, California in 1964. Wendy, my wife, was born in Sacramento, California in 1973, and our daughter Emerald was born in Colorado in 2003. I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where I served as an enlisted member of the 1st Marine Battalion.
I am running for the Republican nomination for the 2012 Presidency because America needs a fresh start. Across our heartland, and into the urban sprawls, we’ve been watching – held captive as it were – to the predispositions of the “professional politicians”, and we can all see where this has led. American interests are not being served; they’re being handed down from on high, as it were. We have not had, in our last four presidents, an individual who truly placed the American citizen foremost – over politics of the day.
I’m running, because when we have a Congress busy behaving like a gaggle of toddlers on the first day of preschool – all fighting over the right to be sitting in the middle of the circle; we need a President who will stand for the “parents”, in this case – the citizens who are the rightful heirs to the decisions – and not be off on a global apology tour.

2) What experience do you have that you will be able to use to turn our country around?

I have served in the military and in private companies enough to understand that the shareholders, in this case the American people need both an advocate and a voice that they aren’t presently receiving in their elected representatives. I know what a deficit is, and that you CANNOT spend your way out.

Experience in life tells me that I am not a master of every subject, however I am smart enough to realize that political appointments cannot be made based upon the amount of contributions you receive from a group or individual. I cannot, in good conscience, consider appointing individuals to cabinet positions based upon anything other than merit – do they actually know the job at hand.

3) You don’t mention very many social issues on your presidential site, where do you stand on abortion and gay marriage?

I have friends that have had abortions, and I do have friends that are homosexual. These are very personal matters, not ones that belong to the general public, unless they the INDIVIDUAL decides to bring them up. In my personal opinion, these matters, if brought out of the house or local community, are best decided at the state level. I firmly believe in the 10

I do not agree with a Defense of Marriage Act (Public Law 104-199), nor do I agree with Roe vs. Wade (Supreme Court Case 410 US 113). The Congress had no authority in the passage of the first, and the States are reserved the right to determine actions within their borders on both counts – by the will of the people.

4) Education in our country is being taken over by liberal social engineers who wish to use the classroom for their social experiments instead of educating our children, what plans do you have to stop this and return the goal of schools to education and not liberal indoctrination?

Simply put, I’ll start by restructuring the Department of Education. My administration’s plan for Education is to see the Federal Department of Education serve as a meeting place for city, state, and community (family-based) understanding – it will cease to be a political indoctrination arm of the White House or any party agenda program.

5) What is the greatest threat you think America is facing today and how are you going to handle it?

That would depend on the determination from whether we are discussing within the US, or from outside.

Our greatest threat from within the United States exists in the social issue of apathy, which American’s are slowly coming out of. We have spent the last couple of decades operating under the “assumption ” that the Government will put itself in some predicament or another, and if we basically just leave it alone, the Government will correct itself. Well, in over four decades, we’ve learned that instead of correcting itself, the Government becomes a small collection of political despots – demonstrating that as power corrupts, we all suffer the consequences.

Outside of the United States, it’s been a waiting game. Since 1990, the world has been watching and casually testing America. The culmination of the prodding and poking at America was on September 11, 2001. Now America is waging an economic, environmental, and social battle of wits with foreign powers – and our current Government is poised to “let the chips fall”, creating a backslide that will damage America in many ways.

6) Do you plan to abolish the IRS and what is your view on the Federal Reserve Bank and whether it should be audited or completely eliminated or both?

I would be more than willing to disband the Internal Revenue Service, since it does not comply with Federal Law. The Constitution grants Congress the authority levy and collect taxes, not an agency of the Department of Treasury. Also, I believe the same statute in the Constitution PROHIBITS the use of outside collection agencies in recovering tax revenues. I also believe that the law should provide a requirement of an absolute two-thirds supermajority in both houses to increase taxes or amend tax codes.

I would expressly demand a full audit of the Federal Reserve System, both by the Treasury Department, and by an outside entity – independent of each other. Similarly, I would require the same of all entities operating under Title 5 of the US Code, governing independent agencies within the Federal Government. After the auditing of these agencies, I believe the American people should be given the opportunity to decide on their continued operation, or their dissolution.

7) Many people want to see Planned Parenthood completely defunded, will you stop taxpayer money from going to Planned Parenthood? And will you overturn the Mexico City that Obama reinstated that sends federal money overseas for abortions?

Planned Parenthood, as well as foreign funding of “family planning,” will never be part of any budget I authorize. I believe the best family planning atmosphere is within the home, not at the whim of the political system. Doctors, priests, and your parents or siblings should help in decisions such as these – not school nurses passing out contraceptives.

8) As a former Marine, I know you take the duty to defend our country seriously, how will you use your military background to ensure our safety here and abroad?

I believe that since one of the primary roles of the Presidency is that of Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces, it should be essential that that individual has an understanding of the military from the inside out. As long as we have “boots on the ground” anywhere in the world, I would see it as necessary to be briefed regularly (at least every few days) as to activities.

We cannot safeguard our country if our commander-in-chief is only receiving bi-weekly briefings, waiting to decide major operational changes so they don’t conflict with evening television programming, or pushing aside important meetings with command personnel because they conflict with a photo op.

I believe we need a military, both at the Federal and State levels, well trained in both conventional and non-conventional means of operations, but we also need a State Department trained and staffed with skilled diplomats. America should always look to its military as a last option, but ensure they are trained and equipped for the eventuality. I fully support the utilization of military personnel, in a limited capacity and operating in conjunction with the US Border Patrol, in the enforcement of our borders.

9) What is your view on amnesty for illegal aliens? Do you propose a guest worker program like Bush and how would you secure our borders to eliminate this mass immigration?

I do not agree with any concept of amnesty for persons who violate our country’s borders or laws. Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution grants Congress the power to set UNIFORM laws of naturalization – not to grant amnesty for violating our immigration laws.

I seriously oppose any form of “guest worker” program, which in effect creates a second-class citizen approach to the labor market. Realistically, we need to finish our Border fence and start providing proper and adequate enforcement measures along our borders.

10) Personhood amendments are on the ballot for states like Nevada, Florida, Colorado and North Dakota to name a few, would you back such amendments and would you work to see a federal Personhood amendment passed?

I would support any such amendment. We are currently gathering signatures in Montana for that very purpose.

11) Fields vs. Palmdale School District is a classic case where parental rights were not respected. How will your administration make sure that parents are in charge of their children and not the state? There is also a Parental Rights amendment in the House with 131 co-sponsors, do you support that amendment?

I believe the best place to decide what’s right for your child is with you, and my Administration would put parent’s rights at the forefront of school decision. To be blunt, a Department of Education is supposed to assist the parents in quality education, not try to supplant the parent with a “social mindset”.

I fully support Jim DeMint’s and Pete Hoekstra’s Joint Resolution.

12) Health care – what are the problems and how can we fix those problems without dismantling the entire health care system?

By creating this “Universal Health Care” initiative, Congress is effectively trying to bankrupt the American people. I fully agree that our healthcare fees need to be brought back into a more reasonable frame of cost – But not at cost of killing our economy.

Realistically, the Federal Government has at its disposal the ability to correct part of the problem. The corrective measures, via the Department of Commerce, exist in that healthcare insurance is an INTERSTATE business, therefore regulated at the Federal level. By regulating the interstate rates, costs could be reduced across the board, providing affordability and portability. I think it would also be prudent to permit individuals to purchase coverage through health exchanges, or even purchase access to their state Medicaid program.

I do not agree in any way with providing medical benefits, other than necessary emergency services to those in our country illegally.

13) Lastly jobs – what are you going to do to create more jobs and severely reduce outsourcing of American jobs to other countries and to illegal aliens right here?

I think one of the greatest measures that could be utilized in creating more domestic jobs, and stemming the outsourcing of labor is a comprehensive overhaul of our bloated tax structure. There is absolutely no reason for individuals to pay upwards of 35% or more in taxes. I believe

in a complete repeal of estate and gift taxes, as taxes have already been paid on these by the original recipient.

Similarly, we should look at reducing corporate taxes on US businesses that are conducting more than 60% of operations within the US. A straightforward reduction would have the net effect of returning business to America, in return for a lower tax rate.

14) Any last thoughts, and tell us why we should vote for you.

As I have indicated on my website, I fully intend that the Congress be accountable to the people, and that includes a zero tolerance policy on markups, or unsustainable legislation. I will not engage in any budget discussions that does not decrease our deficit AND balance itself yearly. And I will not steal elected officials from their citizens by appointing them into Cabinet positions, and away from the responsibilities they were elected to uphold.

I have had two very important “heroes” in my life that have shaped my view of this country. The first was my Grandfather, a Pearl Harbor veteran, who pointed out to me at a young age that the most incredible thing about our liberty is that it’s everyone’s. Only here does someone have the same “soapbox” from John Doe to Bill Gates.

The second person who inspires me is Thomas Jefferson, a man who for all his incredible accomplishments, realized that America’s ultimate power was not in the Office of the President. America’s power lies within the American people. Jefferson demonstrates that with the fact that his position of 2nd President is NOT even reflected on his headstone.

We the People Health Care

As we debate the health care “crisis” in this country, we hear all kinds of solutions. We should have the government take over. You mean the same government that just ended dental benefits for adults on Medi-Cal. You mean the same gov’t that  forces me to jump through hoops after all this time to get my meds. The same meds I have been on for the last 25 years no less. You want that gov’t to run it? No thank you!

Well we can let the private sector run it. You meant the same private sector that refuses to cover me because I am epileptic. You mean the same private sector that in 1992 charged nearly nine hundred dollars for one MRI? That private sector? NO Thanks!

We the People has come up with a good solution! Let the people form a coalition and create their own non-profit health care system. A system where I won’t be denied coverage because of my pre-existing condition. A system that respects my privacy, keeps the government out of it and where one won’t be gorged with high premiums.

Check it out and if you think it sounds good sign up at http://www.wethepeoplehealth.com