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Posts tagged ‘insurance’


change viewpoints, whack #6

I think this Creative Whack, by Roger von Oech, works well as today’s post, and here’s why:  I’d been thinking about changing the look and feel of my bl;og (yes, again!), but I had to pay for this blog theme, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that.   But I really liked it.  So, after going back and forth for about two weeks, and because life is good to me, I changed my mind!

So, here it is, my new blog site! Tah Daaaaah!

I’m also working on a website, too, but that won’t be finished for a while.  I’m developing the site it in Joomla! which is the free, open-source software for building websites.  It’s not too difficult, but it’s very time intensive.  And, time and patience are exactly what it’s going to take me to build it.

To be honest, I am one of those people who loves change.

Art and life are always changing.  So should ideas and viewpoints.   I don’t think it’s wise to be stuck in a rut – immoveable to change.  Whether it’s views or beliefs, when the mind is open to new possibilities, it’s possible to change old belief systems.

For instance, the people who talk about “Obama Care” like it was a threat, usually have no idea what it even means!

When people say they don’t want Obama Care they are mouthing what Republican politicians want them to say – blindly and with distaste.

The truth, I believe, is that Republican politicians came up with the phrase “Obama Care” because they are on the side of insurance and drug companies who could lose some money as a result of the plan.

But, honestly…. The percentage of Americans who snarl about Obama Care are those who haven’t got a clue what it’s about!

It’s so easy to do a few minutes of homework on a topic before speaking about it.  Think of all the millions of American children and mothers and fathers without any healthcare.  That’s what I care about, and that’s one reason why I believe in helping people, not insurance companies.  And, it’s not “socialized” medicine.

Many people I know are like me, we have health insurance through work which means any changes will not impact us.  However, I wish people would do a bit of research on the topic before stepping on the idea.

The lesser than two evils

This Creative Whack is bizarre!  Imagine coming up with those two solutions?  One solution is certainly better than the other (putting food in the coffin versus a stake through the heart), but food in a coffin is obviously a wacko idea, too.

I know it happens when there is a critical decision to make about something important, we are sometimes faced with the lessor of two evils.  I think this Creative Whack is warning us that it’s easy to settle for a bad idea, especially if it’s easy.  It’s important to look at the outcome and the impact of decisions large and small because life is much too short.

Tainted viewpoints

It seems like every day I hear ignorant comments about Islam. It’s not a triangle:  Muslim/Islam/Terrorism.  They do not go hand in hand.  It’s simply not true.

It’s terrible to put people into a box based upon faith.  To think that Terrorism has anything at all to do with Islam, has no basis in truth.  Heck, there are Christian serial murderers, though we don’t call them Terrorists, that’s what they are.   It should go without saying that all the religions have their share of murderers and rapists – bad American people acting like terrorists.  There is no reason in the world to fear Muslim people in this country.  None!

It’s really about fear and fear closes so many doors; stops many opportunities for further research; kills creativity, too.

FDR’s words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” should continue to ring a bell between all our collective ears.

Change is good.

Yes, change is good, but I think I’ll keep this blog design for a while!


just my stupid heart

american heartThis is a follow up to my “Corporate American Heart” post.

This post will not be as much about insurance as it will be about the uncertainty of facing heart disease; and the repercussions of not paying attention to your health.

This is a very personal topic and story, but I want to tell it just the same.  Maybe reading about my stupidity will help someone else wake up, too.

I have been an ostrich when it comes to my health.  Well, maybe not an ostrich, more like Scarlett O’Hara: “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”  That type of attitude. 

Tomorrow is here.  

I had been nervous about my health for a few months, but I’d lulled myself into an invincible la-la land sort of self-apathy, I guess you could say.  I was too busy to stop and think.

Work, school, more work, blogging and burning the candle at both ends, literally.  I was so busy re-lighting the candle that the flame blinded me.  Then, as life is wont to do, it hit me head-long!  Flew in – whooosh!  and the little flames became a fire. 

So, yes.  This is a story about my stupidity.

A few months ago I got sick with a bad flu and went to the doctor with my hand out for antibiotics.  Doc said, “Not so fast, Andrea, your blood pressure is through the roof.”  I responded, “Is that so?”  “Correct,” says he. 

Well, I thought, it’s surely because I hate being in the doctor’s office.  So, I said,  “Well, it’s because I’m here, in your office, and you’re a doctor so I’m nervous.”  “Well, too bad Andrea”, says he, “here’s your antibiotics, and here’s a prescription to control the blood pressure.  I want to see you in a week.”  “Okay doc, thanks. Bye now” I said.  He says, “Nope, not so fast there, Andrea, because there’s something else that I don’t like, kiddo.  There’s a none too pretty growth there in your mouth.”  

Turns out, I have a huge cyst-like thing growing.  He says, “I don’t like the looks of it.”  He says, “You will see an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) and have it checked out?”  “Yes”, I promise him.

I got the antibiotic medication filled, went back to work, ignored the thing in my mouth, never filled the blood pressure prescription, and stuck my head back in the sand.  I never kept the follow up appointment with him either. 

I know, I know….I warned you about my stupidity. 

But the “thing” in my mouth was a concern.  So, I did see an ENT, though weeks later.

 The ENT said, “very common thing.”  It’s a result of years ago biting the back of my cheek.  And it all of a sudden, it started to grow into a huge ugly ulcer.  The ENT tells me that it’s nothing to worry about, but it’s very big and has to come out.   It protrudes out half an inch, and… well, let me spare you the details.  We need to surgically remove the damn thing.  So I say to the ENT, “Can we let it go, doc, for a little while?  I am too busy for this, okay?”   “Okay” he says, “for a little while.”

So a few weeks later, I got really sick with strep throat, and had to go back to see the doctor.  So, I say, “Can I just have a couple of antibiotics and call it a day, doc?”  He says, “We have a bigger problem – your blood pressure. Last time it was like 190 over 95,  now it’s 195 over 85.”  “Have you been taking your blood pressure medication”, he asks?   “No”, I admitted. 

Then he takes an EKG and insists I see a cardiologist.  Then, later I did keep my promise and I went back for another EKG.  Better results this time, but still concerns.    

Today my blood pressure is back to normal.  But, then I put my head back in the sand and kept putting off and putting off the visit to the cardiologist.  But, to their credit the cardiologist’s office called me every week to remind me to schedule my appointment.  So finally, I took time off of work, and got the Echocariogram, a stress test, and was given a 24 hour heart monitor to wear.  

I got the results last week.

The cardiologist tells me that echocariogram did not look bad, though I have a leaky valve. But, many people have this, he assures me, it is not cause for alarm. 

Okay, good. 

As for the stress test, it was okay as far as blood flow.  But, then, the cariologist, he gets up from his chair, puts his nose close to mine and says: “I don’t like this, Andrea.” He tells me, “Your stamina on the stress test is that of someone fifteen years older than you.”  He adds, “Do you have a death wish?” 

Snit.  I have not been exercising for the past year, it is true.  I spend my days and evenings in front of a computer.  He ordered me to excercise, or else.

Then he moves on to discuss the heart monitor results.  (I wore this heart monitor, called a “Holter” for 24 hours.) 

He says, in short, my heart rhythms are out of sync, are somewhat suspect, some abnormality.  But, not cause for immediate alarm, he says.  However, he insists that I see a “electrophysiologist” (this is a cardiologist with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders).

His concern is to rule out what is called “Ventricular Tachycardia.”

My cardiologist believes I am not in immediate danger, and that I have the treatable version of Tachycardia called PAT, short for Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia.   The electrophyiologist, I am told, will want to hook me up to another heart monitor – for a longer period of time and see what’s really going on. 

This phase all starts next week. 

I’ll keep you posted. 

I have recovered from stupidity, by the way. (A recovering Stupido.)


a corporate American heart?

american heartTomorrow I will be wired with a heart monitor and will have an echocardiogram, too.  Then, on Friday, a stress test.  The problem is I am so stressed about this whole thing – surely it’ll say BINGO: Stressed you are!

Seriously, I am not too worried, though it is nerve wracking nonetheless.  Millions of people lucky enough to have health insurance will have their hearts monitored and poked and prodded and peeked at on any given day of the week in this country.  So, it’s nothing to worry about, right?  Yeah. Right.  

My friend’s 17 year old son, who is a big strapping football player, 6’5” (perhaps taller), is coincidentally having the same testing on the same day (he in Ohio; I in Florida).   His testing is a result of a pulled muscle near his dear young heart; my testing is a result of my old heart that I have carried too long on my sleeve.   

He and I have insurance.  How lucky we are.

My heart is grateful for the insurance that I carry, but hurts to think that not all Americans have the same good fortune as I and could die sooner than I from heart disease that goes undetected. 

I remain hopeful that soon our country will wake up and know an equitable answer to this insurance crisis.  We are Americans; that means we have a responsibility to care for each other and remember that we are all equal – truly we are. 

Americans can solve the health care crisis, corporations cannot.  Corporations are bound by law to ensure their shareholders benefit monetarily – every breath they take, every move a corporation makes is to ensure profit for its shareholders, and therefore corporations are not bound to serve the good health or the goodwill of those living in America.

As wonderful as many corporations are, they are in business only to serve their bottom line.  I am not trying to be critical – I am stating a fact. Insurance companies, drug companies, or any other ancillary corporate entity will not solve this for us.  We must let our government try.  Unlike big corporate business, the government has the American people to please, not shareholders whose pockets need to be lined by law.  Shareholder profits will be made before care is given to our poor hearts.

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