But first, an update - yesterday Barbara won the Halloween Costume Contest at work, dressed as WW2's Rosie The Riveter. Here's a picture - she really nailed it! (Look at the contemporary poster at top right for comparison.)
The keyword this week is EAT. I don't do much of that, but the word's in there, boldface and italic. It'll have to do. I'm too tired and depressed to weave more around it.
Once again, circumstance force me to write ahead, but I am hewing to the five-minute time limit, and will try to work in the word when it's revealed. This one's gonna be a challenge...
I don't have health insurance. I can afford to be sick, but I can't afford even pallative care.
There are things that could make life easier, Under a gastroenterologist's care we could try combinations of pain meds and pancreatic enzymes. They might help, even though they haven't in the past. And there is the Whipple Procedure, a really nasty operation that could be a life-extender. Only a couple of places in the country even perform it.
But those are fairy tales for me.
My wife works; I can't. Her income (which I won't reveal) gives me the rock-bottom Affordable Health Care Act ('Obamacare') plan which would cost $179.38 per month (with a subsidy). We can't afford that and keep our house, pay the utility and insurance bills, and eat. We have no savings; those were burned up when I lost my career and my wife started building hers. And then there was Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
One might say, 'well, you can always tighten your belts...but to what end? The details of the plan include a deductible of $6650, with an 'estimated yearly cost' of $4708'. That is, a cost of $392 per month. If we can't do the deductible, how can we bring together $392 per month?
You see, test and imaging (x-rays, CAT scans, and endoscopies) are not covered until the deductible is me. I can't even afford to find out if I am a candidate for Whipple.
But wait, there's more...after the deductible is met, an ER visit would cost $350. (An ER visit could be a lifesaver, as pain-induced shock kills most people with pancreatic issues.)
After the deductible is met, a specialist office visit would have an $80 copay. Before the deductible? For a specialist? Last time I went to a pain specialist the charge was over $200. That was in 2012.
Generic drugs are $33. The meds that could help me are non-generic. A coupe of years ago a bottle of pancreatic enzyme pills cost $600...one month's worth. Now?
The one bright spot is that a primary care MD visit is $35. That's against his regular cost of $70 for self-pay, so if I saw him, say, twice a week, I'd break even on the premiums. We could chat, anyway. Wouldn't be able to afford anything else.
I suppose the Powers That Be assume that one should have a credit card or two with a high limit, to take care of these things...or take out a home equity loan. Having gone through bankruptcy, that's not an option. No rich friends, either.
In the end, the message I get is that I'm not worth keeping pain-free, or even alive. And yeah, I rather resent this, given the fact that the plans pay for suchlike as Viagra, and that the administration is pressing insurers to fund sex-change operations. The money's got to come from somewhere.
I'm not asking for sympathy, and I'm certainly not going to start a GoFundMe page. But I will ask you to consider, when you vote, what's on offer. My story's not the only similar one out there.
Oh, and did I mention this? That if I choose to partake of physician-assisted suicide, all my expenses will be covered! (I'm not alone; click here to read a more poignant story.)
If that isn't a message I don't know what is.
Marley update...he's in danger from the county authorities and NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.
WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
He's up over 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are now actively planning to kill him. They've removed him from the official ownership of his family. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.
If you have a moment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.