Top 10 Health Lessons of 2009

Is there really any point in looking back? Other than as a yoga pose, that is? After all, shouldn’t we just cut our losses and hope no one notices the smell?

Hell, no. Here at Doc Gurley, Inc. Healthcare Industrial Complex, the tabloid elves have been hard at work, compiling the largest pile of, um, well, paste-like bile-soaked gastrointestinal substances, that anyone could wish for. Since we’re slightly afraid of our pointy-toothed elves, we’re not wavering. Foolish, perhaps, but, channeling our inner surgeon (motto: “maybe wrong, but never in doubt!”), here it is,
The Year In Review: Top Ten Health Lessons of 2009!

Lesson #1: If you choose to name a worldwide, End-of-Times exploding pandemic after a small, pink mammal, expect widespread slaughter(s). After the “swine,” oops, I mean H1N1 flu fiasco of 2009, in order to avert future potential species-ocide, Special Ops from Furred Forces of higher-level mammals have now invaded the homes of CDC employees (“look, Mommie, I found a hamster! Can I keep it?”). Pigs, in response, have filed a lawsuit with the International Clovenhoofen Tribunal, claiming bias (again!) due to cute-ist policies that discriminate against the tusked and odoriferous (or was that vociferous?).

Lesson #2: Before urging 36,756,666 Californians to get vaccinated, perhaps we should make sure we have available at least one flu shot? On the plus side, many public health employees are now certified in crowd control and stampede management, potentially qualifying them for both a job with the Miley Cyrus tour or a Texas longhorns career, once budget cuts inevitably force the (stampeding) evacuation of all state-assisted clinics and hospitals.

Lesson #3: Eliminating all domestic violence shelters in a line-item cut is a handy trick. Smart move – there was almost no outcry at all when Governor Schwarzenegger personally eliminated every penny of funding for this one public health sector. Even swine complain more than battered women. Perhaps we could improve our efficiencies by naming a future pandemic the Arrogant Bitch flu? In a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction twist, battered women’s shelters were able to barely stay open by borrowing money – with interest – from a renewable energy fund (I’m not making this up). As part of repayment, plans are now underway to direct future rage-filled stalker spouses, when they violate restraining orders and appear at a battered women’s shelter, into locked human-sized hamster wheels.

Lesson #4: There’s money to be had in healthcare! After enduring the bruising 2009 battlefield of healthcare reform, the insurance industry is now hiring itself out as a conslutant (sic) to the thousands of corrupt, poorly-performing industries that are now begging to be “reformed.” Bernie Madoff, from prison, is spearheading a movement to regulate investment houses by requiring Americans to purchase shares in pyramid schemes. 87% of Congressional representatives have already bought in.

Lesson #5: At-home anesthesia is so not a good idea. Not even if you’ve paid $321,000 for a highly-trained cardiologist, as you stop breathing in your bedroom, to wander downstairs and make himself a tuna sub…

Lesson #6: On a similar note, the emerging trend for do-it-yourself plastic surgery is also about as much fun as a do-it-yourself colonoscopy. But why stop there? How about do-it-yourself appendectomy? Amputations? The trend gives a whole new meaning to Historical Re-enactments. Who says the Middle Ages weren’t fun?

Lesson #7: Speaking of do-it-yourself, as newspapers imploded nationwide, the Pulitzer Committee re-categorized health reporting as fiction! Some of the year’s more notable works of art – Lose weight by eating more cheese! (Yahoo News major headline yesterday, quickly buried). And another among the many examples – FoxNews gave major coverage to a bogus paper that claimed a father’s MOOD at the time of conception determines the future mental health of offspring – a claim for which there is no basis, biologically, genetically or even grammatically. This one could only be either deeply flawed health reporting, or a desperate attempt to get more blowjobs.

Lesson #8: The FDA implodes faster than the newspaper industry. So many mind-boggling millions of pounds of contaminated beef were recalled that, hoping desperately they would be mistaken as part of the bailout package, Congress began sending cellophane-wrapped packages to banks. Bank executives were happy. Turns out, unexpectedly, demonic digestion is biologically impervious to E. coli. In an effort to redeem itself by appearing to act more pre-emptively (before, for example, the contaminated beef, nationwide, has already been converted to flushed stool), the FDA begins recalling live cows, young calves and even randy-looking bulls. In a similar vein (hyuk), contaminated outsourced heparin, made from filthily slaughtered Chinese pigs (who promptly filed a discrimination suit – the swine, not the Chinese), was found in hospitals across America. Nurses were tipped off there might be a problem when, upon dialing the IV dripper to the “on” position, the patient exploded. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, while sharing a steak with bankers, claimed all their products were made to prevailing standards. Lawyers for pigs filed a libel lawsuit (due to “swine” having been slanderously lumped into the same sentence with the phrases “pharmaceutical manufacturers” and “prevailing standards”) and Congress, after being lobbied by billions of dollars, announced plans to “reform” pharmaceutical manufacturing. It will be a grueling ordeal for everyone involved (all that steak!), but Congress said it would only commence in earnest after they finish the task of using our tax dollars to provide China with its own, entire, FDA. Catching wind of these plans, Chinese citizens riot in the streets.

Lesson #9: A boob in the hand is worth eight prostates in the bush. Or something like that. A federal task force announces that it has determined the exact worth of a 40-year-old woman’s life. Unfortunately, it’s less than a packet of recalled beef. Doctors, while stating they are in NO WAY patronizing, say that women, as a whole, cannot deal with the stress of having a test done just to save someone’s life (even possibly their own). Additionally, these same doctors announce that mammograms should only happen every two years, even in a woman’s 50’s, because they are certain this change, while necessarily killing off a few negligible women, will dramatically reduce the unbearable stress and bother of nuisance false positives – a decision reached by the widely-recognized scientific method called “wishful thinking.” Women, nationwide, rejoice because, when it comes to getting a mammogram done, they no longer have to worry their pretty little heads. In contrast, on the guy front (so to speak), despite documented major adverse outcomes including a tidal wave of false positives which DO actually result in incontinence, impotence, and even death, doctors announce that prostate screening should begin for all male fetuses.

Bow to me, mere mortals

Bow to me, mere mortals

Lesson #10: Joe Lieberman, healthcare god. Despite nationwide upheaval, billions in lobbying dollars, and thousands of lives lost due to lack of care, healthcare reform for the nation was decided in an ultimately democratic process – by Joe Lieberman. Voters from Connecticut are now afraid to step foot outside the state. When asked why HE didn’t participate, Executive-in-Chief Obama stated that (despite videotaped proof to the contrary) he’d never seen a public option, had never spoken to a public option, and if a public option – any public option – claimed otherwise, it was lying. Whoever it was. On the plus side, in a move that streamlines thorny decisions worldwide, Joe Lieberman will now decide the Academy Award winners, the scores for Canadian pairs figure-skating, and whether you get to keep your gallbladder. Just think about all the things you won’t have to worry about anymore – having one guy decide it all has got to be a stress reducer, right? Death panels have been honorarily renamed Lieberman Panels. And apparently Joe was already instrumental (har) in the fetal-prostate-screening guidelines. Word is, hair transplants will soon be a Medicare-protected health procedure…[Psst, I’d invest now –  Bernie Madoff’s Reformed Investment Pyramid (RIP) group is all over it].

What do you think? Do you know an overlooked health lesson to add to the list? Share in the comments section and keep up on the latest health issues in the news, and healthcare reform insanity/hilarity by signing up for a Doc Gurley RSS feed with the tiny orange button at the top. Look for future weekly Dodging Death articles here at Doc Gurley – discover the weird, the wacky and the everyday symptoms you want to know about, as well as practical expert tips on staying well. And do you want to be on the inside, fast track of news and tips? Get on the Twitter bandwagon and follow Doc Gurley! Also check out Doc Gurley’s joyhabit and iwellth twitter feeds – so you can get topic-specific fun, effective, affordable tips on how to nurture your joy and grow your wellth this coming year.

Got a thingie on your doohickey? Or are you pondering how to tell your doctor he’s a jerk? Send your burning healthcare questions to Doc Gurley by emailing docgurleyatgmaildotcom. Doc Gurley cannot answer every question, and she cannot practice medicine through a keyboard (not even with her stethoscope pressed firmly against the monitor) but be assured – your questions will be kept strictly confidential and identifying traits are changed.

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