4/07/2008

Sweeping reality under the rug

There are times when I probably get a tad too personal for my readers, and this will be one such post. You know: it’s my blog, and I’ll cry if I want to!

Thanks to a friend’s generous Christmas gift several years ago I have a little “slush fund” which I dare not touch. The peace of mind it brings is priceless. Occasionally, when I’ve been able to add to it, it has allowed me to give a little to charity or lend someone a helping hand.

For months I have saved what little money I have left in “B.J.’s Boojay” (my monthly budget) toward some essential logistical changes. I have a friend coming to visit the first week in July, and she will help me rearrange my living room so I can continue to live independently.

It really does come down to that as I have lost most of my eyesight.

A shopping trip is planned for a new desk, a computer chair and a surge protector, which will allow me to move my huge videomagnifier from the opposite side of the living room to flank my computer desk.

These two wonders of technology – the computer and the videomagnifier – have allowed me to continue business and correspondence as usual. With a growing dependence on both, it has become necessary to move them to one spot so I can work from them in tandem.

Have been feeling really great about saving the necessary funds to implement these changes.

Now, for Part Two of this tale.

Red tape and forms are the BANE of the blind, and after a whole year of such activity, I was blessed to qualify for state Medicaid, which, finally, would cover the Medicare premiums for physician insurance.

I am incredibly blessed with good health, haven’t had a cold in 20 years and cannot remember the last time I had a prescription filled.

In order to qualify for the wonderful visual aids received from the South Carolina Commission for the Bling, I paid an initial visit to a “retina specialist.” There’s absolutely nothing he can do for retinitis pigmentos (RP), but he is monitoring my “good” left eye for cataracts and my blind right eye for a mole inside which “could develop into melanoma.” This monitoring has cost $270 for each yearly visit.

Nine months passed before I learned, after all the red tape, that there’s a yearly deductible to be met, and none of his fees have been covered.

Enter the health problem.

Remember the public service ad which stated “The five most dangerous words in the English language: maybe it will go away”?

About three months ago, I began to have a problem with the left eye, wherein lies my dwindling vision, possibly a cornea scratch or tear which is causing constant irritation, mucus and blurred vision.

Selfishly, I’ve clung to the “shopping savings” earmarked for July in the hopes that this problem would just “go away.” Working on the computer is becoming increasingly difficult. You would be amazed at the tricks one uses to do so.

So, having just paid the last doctor’s visit and with another check-up scheduled for August, I am looking at an unforeseen visit. Doing the math, that’s gonna get costly, a large portion of which I will pay.

Is there a point to all this, besides bitching? Yes, there is.

Much has been made over Hillary Clinton’s story of the pregnant woman who died because she didn’t have the money to be treated by a hospital. Few replays of her telling of the story have included the interview with the Ohio deputy sheriff, who related the story to Clinton during a visit in his home. Clinton merely repeated verbatim what the law enforcement officer told her. Yet, few people saw his interview.

Should Clinton’s team have vetted the story? Yes.

Here is the point of this post:

What can be deduced from the many pundits discussing this Clinton faux pas – on cable TV and the Internet - is that medical care problems like this don’t exist – a sweeping under the rug of the realities of health care in this country.

These talking heads, perched atop their comfortable pedestals, choose to ignore millions of such stories – true stories – which are happening across this country.

This, while relatively insignificant, has been one of them.


UPDATE: The Washington Post reports Hillary Clinton's story was true, after all, 7 April 2008: LINK

8 comments:

Frodo Delicti said...

Frodo generally prides himself on a certain level of awareness when it comes to news stories. In the instance cited herein, Frodo has heard but one report, and it included the interview with the gentleman on his couch. Frodo therefore thought no more of it, and concluded that people rarely question anything that supports their preconceived notions. That is, after all, why Fox News exists.

None of this takes away from the poignancy of the issue. The times grow more ominous for those who need a helping hand. Once we only had to fear Fear, itself. Now we fear the unknown, and worry about our friends.

airth10 said...

Hillary Clinton has made some faux pas. I think part of the problem is that candidates have to talk so much to entertain their audiences that they are going to sometimes say something stupid.

Why can't Hillary sometimes say, this country is going to hell in a hand basket and need not just change but a strong and wise hand at the controls, which she has. Perhaps, though, she can't say that truth, that the country is in the tank, because she would be accused of being shrilled and sounding angry.

Eowyn said...

I don't know how any of the candidates do it. Trying to meet some kind of "middle ground" with millions of people to consider, though you don't really know what they are thinking or what they will hear. Will they "cut and run" after the fact, as the legislature did after the last lower-level election?

What I'm more interested in is what you will do as this affliction progresses. I've thought about it for as long as I've been coming to this site.

My niece has been blind all her life, which is easier in some ways. She went through school, went through Stanford. But she didn't have to learn new ways along the way. When I'm around her I notice her laptop has a whole different way of operating, and she has also always used braille. I have always thought about how hard it would be to pick up these ways later in life.

But you seem so different. It's not that it wouldn't be harder, but I remember many things you've said--not to mention your father making his way as he must. I hope that you will be able to bridge this gap in some way that you don't lose what you are doing now. Don't lose anything. I know it sounds easy to say. Not what I mean.

We need you, not to mention that you need the you that is now.

Eowyn said...

I don't know how any of the candidates do it. Trying to meet some kind of "middle ground" with millions of people to consider, though you don't really know what they are thinking or what they will hear. Will they "cut and run" after the fact, as the legislature did after the last lower-level election?

What I'm more interested in is what you will do as this affliction progresses. I've thought about it for as long as I've been coming to this site.

My niece has been blind all her life, which is easier in some ways. She went through school, went through Stanford. But she didn't have to learn new ways along the way. When I'm around her I notice her laptop has a whole different way of operating, and she has also always used braille. I have always thought about how hard it would be to pick up these ways later in life.

But you seem so different. It's not that it wouldn't be harder, but I remember many things you've said--not to mention your father making his way as he must. I hope that you will be able to bridge this gap in some way that you don't lose what you are doing now. Don't lose anything. I know it sounds easy to say. Not what I mean.

We need you, not to mention that you need the you that is now.

Anonymous said...

It's stories like yours that Hillary needs to hear first hand re: your medical bills. Please send her a copy of it.

As for all the Hillary bashing, remember this:

>>
Obama supporters proclaim
That Clinton must quit, hurling blame,
Shrieking "Stop this damn fray!"
Dems love fighters, they say.
But not if the fighter's a dame.
<<

That explains male hang-ups with a woman running for president, which is behind all the Hillary bashing. Sexism is alive and well in USA.

Papamoka said...

BJ, My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through your medical problems.

Yesterday I was going to do a piece on Hillary based on the poor womans condition and how it was more fabrication than truth. I found myself thinking that there had to be more to it and as we all see there was. Thus there was really no story to tell with accuracy. I'm by no means a political genius but even as a lowly blogger I look for more than one angle to every story.

I think the biggest problem with the Clinton campaign is that it has the campaign staff for the wrong Clinton and that fact in itself is hurting her candidacy.

Papamoka said...

Your update proved my point BJ. There was more to this story and laziness in reporting prevailed in the main stream media. Facts were not followed up other than the original hype.

Great follow up on your part my friend!

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