Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Healthcare in the U.S. of A.

Dr. Dork had a good post today. His comment section allowed me to vent. Allowed me to say some things I've been wanting to say. Here is my comment...

I have been a patient, or had a child or spouse as a patient, in an emergency room no more than 5 times in my 46 years.

Two were for my dear son who grew faster than his coordination could keep up and either had broken bones or gashes that needed suturing and could not wait until the next morning.

Two were for me. One I was in labor and the other I was having a drug reaction.
The 5th, my daughter broke her wrist sledding...unfortunately after 5:00 PM. At that time, there were no "doc-in-a-box" in our area.

I don't pretend to know the answers. Heck I don't even know some of the words you use without consulting Websters, but I know what it is like to be on this end of things.

Now that my husband is so ill, if something doesn't change soon, we may be one of those families most doctors detest who use the ER like a family physician.

His insurance (COBRA) runs out in March. His job so far refuses to consider him full time (hence no benefits) even though he is working 40 hours every week since they hired him 3 months ago.

Through no fault of his own, he lost a good paying job with good benefits this past April. He is on over $1400 a month in medications. He has several chronic illness' and was in good health until one after another they struck him down over the last 9 years of his life.
He worked full time throughout high school and college, paying off his parents home as his dad was disabled by 44 and dead by 49.

I guess you could blame it on us somehow -if you stretched it. Maybe he could have gotten his degree in an area that was termination proof. Maybe he could have married a woman who was better educated and better equipped to pay these medical bills.

Like I said, I don't know the answers, but I also don't know what we will resort to when his COBRA expires and our small savings is depleted.

Use an ER as a family doctor? Maybe divorce (on paper) so he will qualify for all the freebies out there he would qualify for were it not for my paycheck?

Next time some of you docs snarl and moan about someone using your ER as a doctor office, look yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that it could have been you walking through that door.

Not everyone who finds themselves in this situation are there because they are lazy or dumb or not willing to try or any of the other names you can pin on them.

Thanks for the opportunity to vent Dr Dork.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Quakers, Rats and Cockatiels, YES!!

I became the proud new mama of two birds and two new ratties this weekend.

The birds came from my dearest friend in the world who is unable to keep them due to some pretty serious upcoming surgery. She has Syringomyelia. Those that pray, please remember her. Her surgery is scheduled for January 4th and 5th (it will require two separate surgeries and she will be on a respirator between the surgeries).

Willie, is a Quaker parrot and so far has only brought blood three times. He doesn’t know it yet, but I am a very insistent person when it comes to taming animals. Last night he actually sat with me for over an hour with no fussing.

Peanut is a cockatiel. He wolf whistles and speaks of what a pretty bird he is. He also mocks you if you sneeze or laugh! Which is sometimes funny, sometimes not, depending....I have not tried to hold him yet since he seems much more FIERCE than Willie and I didn’t have a lot of time this weekend what with all the wonderful
holiday crap going on.

The two new ratties, are very young males. We named them Mutt and Odie. I already had two females, Maxine and Gladys. No, we won’t be breeding them – separate cages! I just wanted a couple more.

Animals have always held a spot in my heart. I’ve yet to have one who didn’t love me and none so far have called me ugly names or intentionally hurt my feelings. They’re much cheaper than shrinks too.

I almost feel like an alcoholic except instead of alcohol my drug of choice is having pets. I guess that’s okay since I do love them and take good care of them. I don’t drive weird after I have been with them and I don’t get mean or nasty either.

Mt dream job....owning a doggy day care! That is my dream job, but since I need benefits, I guess I’ll continue to work for a big corporation.

Merry Ho Ho and humbugs to all.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I came across two people today who during the holidays just aren’t happy. One was the nurse at my doctors’ office. She actually came into my room and began weeping with dread at the family dinners she would be attending. Feeling the way I do about the whole affair, I was finding it difficult to encourage her at all. I finally told her to make her own traditions and stay away from people who make you ‘unhealthy’ and gave her a hug and reminded her it was okay to feel the way she was feeling.

Then my doctor came in the room and slouched down in his chair and propped his knees up and said “well are you ready for Christmas?” When I said I couldn’t seem to get into it this year, he poured his guts out too. They all say the same things to me. How it is just to frenzied, how the very essence seems to have disappeared. How family’s who are not close try to get together during the holidays and have their get-togethers and buy presents for all the kids that they don’t know well enough to know what they might enjoy receiving and put on their happy faces and then go their separate ways until next year rolls around so they can do the whole pretense again.

For me, Christmas is seeing other people smiling and appearing to be so happy and peaceful and shopping with such joy in their hearts. I hear them talking about their big plans to get together with mom and dad and all the siblings along with their kids for a big meal.

My reality is I live with severe depression that has not lifted in several months now. I am so tired I can’t seem to put my happy face on too much – heck I can’t even find where I left it half the time.

I have no desire to go spend a Saturday right before Christmas with a bunch of strangers only because they are related to me by blood. Some of them were not so very nice to me when I was a little kid and as I have gotten older, I just feel I am “healthier” when I don’t go around them. Mainly I am speaking of my parents.

I write them letters about once a month, but being with them just causes me all this tension and I wind up either with a migraine or with my stomach all torn up. My one sister, 10 years older than me, has never wanted anything to do with me. I finally gave up on trying to forces us into a relationship several years ago. But we’ll go to the parties and they will go through the motions and we will go though the motions and then we’ll go home and not see nor hear from them again until next Christmas.

Christmas is especially tough for me because I miss my son. He has not spoken to me since 1999 when I left his daddy. He has two babies who will never know they have a grandma who loves them. Christmas and all the smiling happy people just drive that point home to me with a double edged sword during the holidays.

I’m going tomorrow to shop for gifts for them. I won’t see the kids but I usually leave their gifts at my daughters and they pick them up there. They never call and say they enjoyed it or thank you or anything like that. I have no clue what to get them. I don’t know what they are into or what sizes they wear or what they need.

Tomorrow is the last day I can put off doing my shopping for the little family thing at my daughters. If you look closely in the stores tomorrow, I'll be the ony wearing ear plugs to block the holiday music.

I just bet Jesus is not happy with how his special day turns out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy? Who, me? When?

I don’t remember the last time I felt happy.
I don’t remember the last time I felt normal.
I don’t remember the last time I thought, “this is fun”.

If I really strain my brain, I can vaguely remember when he and I used to go to the pool at the apartment complex we were living in at the time. We would go every evening after work. It was a nice little walk through the complex to get there. We would just hang around in the edge of the water. Talking, or not talking. Nice little walk back to the apartment.

I remember feeling happy when he first moved in back at the apartment and we would cuddle, or go somewhere in the car and sit next to one another.

I have to strain really hard to think of something before or since that. Maybe riding the Harley? Maybe when my first granddaughter was a baby and I used to keep her for days at a time? Maybe when I was a cop? Maybe the hours spent out in the swing at night back in the country? The time spent in the barn with the animals?

I had to put some things in my personnel file at work this morning. I looked through the pictures taken over the past 6 years. My countenance has changed so drastically.

The first couple of pictures, whether I was smiling or not, I just plain looked happy, or at least content. The last one, taken about 4 months ago, is a tired lonely sad looking lady I don’t even recognize. She looks like someone who has hung on just about as long as she can. It is rather embarrassing to think that when people look at me that is what they see.

I don’t think it is normal not to be able to remember being happy. The last time I remember was probably 6 years ago. Is that normal?