Jails Doubling as Hospitals

After the recession, Alabama struggled with the budget.  A plan to cut expenses was needed, so the legislators decided to cut funding to the Department of Mental Health by 50% over a 5 year period.

Hospitals were closed and the community resources that remained were stretched way beyond capacity.  People needing treatment would have to wait for 3 or 4 months, by then a minor problem could easily become a crisis situation.

People in need of mental health treatment didn’t just disappear, so what happened to them?  When faced with a crisis, some of them ended up in jail.  I was reading an article (WHNT.com) that stated 30% of the population in the Huntsville jail are there for mental health reasons.

The legislators are starting to notice the result of their decision years ago.  It cost a lot more money to house someone in jail then it does to treat them in the community or to care for them in a hospital setting.

A committee has been formed to discuss the current problem.  The legislators are concerned, not because of the amount of people whose lives have been ruined by the lack of treatment.  They are concerned, because it is costing them money.


Joey – Self Inflected Injuries

Joey had a habit of injuring himself, while he was goofing around or playing.

One evening, Joey was running around the yard.  However, he was looking to his left and not in the direction he was running.  He ended up running into a tree with a low hanging branch.  He had cuts on his eyebrow and eyelid.  He also had scratches on his cornea.

Joey came running back to me with blood pouring form his face.  I immediately took Joey to the emergency veterinarian clinic, since this did not happen during regular business hours.

The doctors cleaned his face and removed bark from his eye.  I was given prescription eye drops to put in Joey’s eye three times a day to prevent infection.

Joey was not happy about those eye drops.  I had to put Joey in a head lock, pry open his eye, and then squirt the drops on his face.  He was bucking like some kind of wild horse, so I just kept squirting and hopped some of the medication actually made it into his eye.

His eye healed nicely and he didn’t lose his vision, so I guess it worked.

The second self-inflicted injury happened while we were at a training class.  We were in a large room with metal support poles running along the center of the room.

We arrived early, so Joey decided to spend his time playing.  He was jumping and spinning around in circles.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings and banged his head into one of the poles.

It made a loud bonging noise and Joey was staggering as he walked away.  My goofy dog ended up with a concussion and we were back at the veterinarian’s office.

I tried to convince the doctor to put Joey on a sedative to help him calm down, for his own protection.  The veterinarian refused my request.  She said Joey is a high spirited dog, but he is tough enough to withstand his own silliness.

I was a bit disappointed, I was really hoping for some sedatives to slow this wild dog down a bit.  His destructive habits and self-injuries behavior had blown a massive hole in my budget.


Murphy’s Law Decided to Visit

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post about our washing machine breaking and about our shopping experience.

Our new washing machine was delivered Monday afternoon and our dryer died Monday night.  Tuesday I went to Lowe’s and purchased a new dryer.

This morning we wake up and the house feels like a sauna.  The air conditioning unit is turned on, but it isn’t doing anything.  I am not sure if the unit is completely dead or if the repair man can revive it.  We are still waiting on the verdict.

In one week our washing machine died, our dryer died, and our AC unit is in critical condition.

Murphy decided to visit my family and smack us in the head with a giant bat.

Cutting Cable

I stopped paying for cable television services a long time ago.  There are a lot ways to watch your favorite TV shows and movies that cost a fraction of what cable charges, so it just seems like an unnecessary expense.

Also, cutting cable has greatly reduced the amount of commercials I end up watching.  That alone is a huge benefit in my mind.

If you still have cable services, what is keeping you from cutting the cable?  Let me know your thoughts on the topic.

Teach Children the Dangers of Debt

I think it is imperative that we teach our children the dangers of debt.  During the acclamation phase of debt, the person feels like they have an endless supply of money.  It also allows for immediate gratification.

However, you eventually reach a place when there is no more available credit and all that debt, plus the interest, must be paid back to the leader.

Once debt has taken hold of a person’s finances, it can suck them dry.  Debt starts pulling money from things the person needs today to pay for the wants of yesterday.

I believe it is extremely important to teach children the dangers of debt.