Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Voices Carrying: The Thursday Edition

All our lives are accented with events, issues, crossroads and music that become the soundtracks that accompany us until we all exit stage left. Just as many of you have your songs that have marked certain milestones in your lives, often I too reminiscence with catchy tunes or either somber tunes that are mile markers along the way. Amiee Mann lead singer of the former group Till Tuesday did a haunting song entitled Voices Carry that has always been an all time favorite of my own and to this day when I hear it, each time it conjures up all types of emotions. Mann's interpretation concerned control issues in her ill fated relationship, however, my embrace of the song is more broad as over time I've come to realize that so many voices from my past are still "carrying" messages to this day and hopefully my own voice will carry messages of hope, empowerment, clarity for many of you. It's important in our daily existence to know that we all must be conscience of the voices that we listen to, the weight of the information being shared as well as it's impact. We can't forget that even with the maddening noise that surround us, somewhere there may be a small voice that's carrying a important message.

Health Firestorm: One by land , Two by sea or something that to affect, the government is coming for your health care! Well, not really, but if you've been tuned into the public meltdown that going on around the issue of health care in America, you would think that the damn sky was falling. I've just been floored, outdone, dumbfounded and downright vaclemped at the stormy reaction that this issue has received not to mention the venom that spewing from practically everywhere and anywhere. Even though there's no actual workable Bill that has been developed, I've been fascinated at the legions of folk who have clouded the entire matter with misinformation, inflamed rhetoric, passionate patriotism, partisan politics and toilet talk to boot. I was particularly broadsided with the "unplugging grandma" death panel mash us from one Sarah Palin, in regards to a counseling measure in one version of a possible bill. Then, there's the questions of rationing health care and doctor selection. Meanwhile, as this slug fest tarry's on, there are some basic realities. There are least(depending on who's counting) 46 Million uninsured Americans. The system is rife with pricey insurance premiums, pre-existing exclusions, complex and varying guidelines, No new patient barriers, and emergency rooms on overload. Paging America! dialogue, debate, deliberate, discuss, but this critical condition needs some decisive attention. The continuing unloading of side issues tinted with dogma raging from "socialized medicine" to government take over must not derail moving toward a reasonable outcome. On a personal note, I've been navigating the medical maze for many years especially in the last six years. What I've witnessed and experience can be be found within all the arguments that are being made on this issue. First up, when I changed employers, I found my self with no coverage. I made many attempts to get coverage, but when my arthritic condition was noted, I was denied by numerous companies. Arkansas's spin down program was seen as a solution but I hadn't amassed enough "unpaid" medical expenses to qualify because I had no physician who was going to make a move without some sound financial base. Sam's Club Golden Rule Insurance decided that they would insure me, however with the caveat that my pre-existing condition would be exempt from any coverage. Did that make any sense to pay for insurance for future problems but not the one I was dealing with at that time? I sought high risk pools to no avail, considered state supported entities such as UAMS where I was told I'd be on a "waiting list" then finally was in line to be seen, subsequently was informed that due my age the ortho physician perhaps would not consider me as a candidate for the hip replacement, ultimately as I patiently waited, the physician died while I waited. During this time I worked until I physically could no longer. Thus, I sought the disability route which was a demanding and brow beating exercise that was a immense tug of war that assaulted me on all senses. Especially when I was told a by an Social Security adjudicator that may I should consider getting a "job where I did have to walk." Or another phone voice that informed me that all my files had been lost and would have to be resubmitted. Through It all most of my emotions were tested as well as my endurance capacity, yet I never gave in, never gave up and never wavered that I would survive. Just imagine all this winding road even before a scheduled surgery date or hospital stay which is a story unto itself. With any good tale, I have to end with the fact that my surgeon, Dr. Gordon Newbern was extraordinary as he kept my confidence level high and assured me that despite the difficulties the outcomes would be worth it. I must say, it was worth it because it was life changing. Also I must recognize the staff of SVI in concert with all my medical team Shepperd me through the surgery plus physical therapy with great care. On a final note, many of you have brought it to my attention that you've seen my panel participation on the SVI Jumbo Tron and was impressed with my testimonial. Thanks for checking that out. You just never know where COP:24/7 will turn up next. Until next outing...

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