July 29th, 2006

Chris Keeley

it all a con, a kind of emotional prostitution — her adoration in exchange for 7.5 milligrams of hyd

A MENTOR had cautioned me that addicts are often creative, ruthless, persistent and even seductive to get what they need.

David Chelsea

Modern Love

I Dulled Her Pain, and My Judgment

SHE was my favorite. We met at the clinic toward the end of a long August afternoon, just a few weeks after I had received my nurse practitioner license. Some people say hospitals are most dangerous in the summer, when so many of the residents are new. These were difficult times for me as well, dashing from room to room to keep pace with the waves of patients, stealing glances at reference books and drug guides, and feeling the dread of having to answer too many patients’ questions with, “I don’t know.” I was eager to earn their trust.

That afternoon I walked into the room as if into a one-act play. The patient, a dirty blond in a wheelchair who looked to be in her mid-30’s, observed me coolly from behind sunglasses. Her husband, who had moody eyes under the rounded brim of a well-worn baseball cap, looked exactly like the daytime courier and moonlighting guitarist he was. They watched as I located the rolling stool, opened her chart, reviewed her vital signs and looked up. The encounter could now begin.

She told me she was on an antidepressant (Paxil) as well as Toprol XL for an irregular heart rate. Until recently, she had also been on pain medication, the Duragesic fentanyl patch, which releases a low dose of narcotic over three days. Her relationships with doctors, she explained, had been contentious. A psychiatrist had refused to prescribe Paxil and insisted on switching her to another antidepressant. Another had tapered her pain medication against her wishes. And a third had made inappropriate comments and had begun to stalk her.

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Chris Keeley

Ray Close

Ray Close

From Ray Close, via Larry Johnson, and posted by me. Ray Close is a former CIA analyst in the Near East division and a member of the steering group for Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

(Susan's Note: Ordinarily, Larry would post this missive from his friend Ray Close here at Daily Kos, but he's unavailable and sent it to me for posting.  I felt this important enough that I should go ahead and post this today for your reading.)

FROM RAY CLOSE: A few days ago, I received a report from a friend in Washington who has very close connections to high-ranking intelligence analysts at the Pentagon. I will omit the names of the individuals identified, but will summarize the information that this excellent source provided to me. (Please note: This source is NOT the one who told me a couple of days ago that the US would indeed be prepared to send a contingent of American troops to serve in southern Lebanon as an incentive to others, if necessary, to join an international force to impose and then help maintain a ceasefire between Israel and Hizballah.)  

RAY CLOSE CONTINUES: My source confirmed in detail the fact that intelligence being produced for the Bush Administration by the Pentagon strongly supports the thesis that Hizballah operations are directly controlled and closely managed from Teheran. My source considers this an exaggerated picture of the real situation. He believes that this assessment contributes to an unhealthy and even dangerous mindset in Washington, leading to potentially serious miscalculations and errors of judgment by President Bush and his closest advisors at this very critical time.  

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