Man, that soup put me away last night. I think we even had Addair asleep by 8:30 and I was right with him. Then at 3:30 I finally looked at the phone. I’d been running numbers in my head for a while which happens all the time. Numbers from the bad guys, I mean to say.
The financier in me just loves to thumb over accounts in my sleep. Accounts payable, unfortunately. Finally I realized I’ve been awake for some time. I was also starving. When I’m not crunching numbers, I’m devising a new training split that will be jaw strain friendly. None of this is conducive to sleep.
So I got up and slurped an Ensure. I have about 6 cases of Ensure. Cases, not six packs. Then I made paper stacks of bills and statements and letters to file and policy updates and a letter from my Grandma. Then I made a protein shake and decided to blog instead. My online banking is closed for overnight maintenance.
I’d like to discuss this morning, a good training split. Ha ha. And the “wire your mouth shut diet.”
It’s okay, I’ll get tough again. One time I came home from Mexico after days of sickness with a cursed volcanic rock I stole from atop the ruins of the Pyramid to the Sun in Teotihuacan. I cashed in at 134 lbs. (more on the ordeal: rocks)
But all of this is way off track.
I guess I’ve undergone what is fair to call a setback. Couple that with the fact that it happened on the last day of a two week vacation visiting family around Virginia. Although my family will tell you, I had a painter maintaining jobs in Knoxville and I was in constant contact, never truly away. Nonetheless.
Leaving town was hard. I’d roofed for a friend all the week before and taken on a paint job I thought I could finish during the evenings. Then the contractor didn’t finish ahead of me and everything backed up. I left town pretty razzled. Other jobs had barely finished enough to let the paint cure, and I still needed to finish an end or two. And other people have been waiting for months.
We left on a Friday, got in an argument within twenty miles, and Addair started screaming his head off in the carseat. Ashley realized we forgot something for the family reunion two weeks away and we turned the truck around. I’d said we shouldn’t be gone for two weeks, not at this point. My exact words to her, “We aren’t being responsible to pull this off. We have too much on us. We don’t even have health insurance. If I fall off a ladder we’re done.” We left again the next morning.
A couple of days later I was trying to relax. I can pretend I’m reckless and flying in the wind. Usually I am, although always knowing better. And when I say I know better, I mean I used to be a Financial Literacy instructor for the State of Tennessee. Before that a licensed investment representative, and a banker, I have a degree in Finance, even studied at the Wirtschaft in Vienna. I left way too much understanding of responsible actions to ever forget it. Plus I was just raised this way. But I pull off a pretty good rascal.
So I clutch tightly to ladders. Accidents happen. Boating accidents happen. We were going to be gone one week, then two, then me drive home alone to work the second week and come back halfway, and then back to two. Then on the last day there we got invited to a church picnic where someone had a big boat. Geez.
I can handle all the stacks of bills in front of me now. A couple paint stores, lowes, a business credit card. I was ready for that. What’s going to be bad is when the three hospitals which I visited decide what to do with me. Why three exactly? Because maxillofacial surgeons don’t work in small hospitals, like where we went first.
Then secondly, they wanted to make an initial appointment after Labor Day in Roanake, VA when I tried to make it home and got stuck halfway, dehydrated and at the threshold of humane suffering. They gave me a Cat Scan before they said there was nothing they could do for a few days. ”A FEW DAYS? I’m holding my jaw together and bleeding all over myself. I’ll just wait here.”
So we did. They got an iv going and a baby swing from pediatrics. We waited six hours for tests, and fluids since I couldn’t swallow, very hard drugs, and Ashley slept some at the foot of my hospital bed while Addair dozed in the swing. All within our little pulled curtain inside the trauma unit. Then they released me when I was no longer going to die.
We drove home to Knoxville where I was finally admitted. The surgery was able to be performed at UT late the next day, thanks to Doctor friends and contacts here. I stayed in the UT hospital for a total of three days. I got excellent care and have made so far a speedy recovery. I’m grateful to everyone that helped me in every facility I visited. It was a very difficult ordeal.
They all said wait about 3-4 weeks, but don’t wait. Go to financial assistance first and set up paperwork. So we did that, and now we wait. I have no understanding of Health Care costs and the complexities of Health Insurance. I used to sell it, and I later instructed it, which lets me confidently state that it only raises more questions the more you know. Health Insurance is like divine wisdom in that way, and I guess they need each other to make sense of one another.
I’m self employed and I had some insurance quoted to me a few weeks ago. $480 a month for a young, healthy family of three. That’s with a $5000 deductible, no office visits, just plain vanilla catastrophic coverage. I decided for the moment that $480 a month didn’t give me any peace of mind to still be out five grand before anybody else showed up. Couple that with the fact that we’re a young family of three and we just don’t have it. So then I jumped into a tugboat.
With some bitterness, I feel like a rant on the state of America could be inserted here:
Why by gosh, I wanted to be a man who worked hard and who’s wife could raise our son. She is an artist and works from the home. I am an artist yet I do what I must. That’s just not the America we have anymore, is it?
I don’t know that we were ever reaching that America for everyone. But I expect to be responsible for myself. Health Care is a messed up part of society. I used to work in the garden and ride my bike with a helmet and pretty much stay out of it. I will say this, which I realized when I left it over three years ago, that health insurance is the one single expense that keeps most people in line. You can always find a place to stay and something to eat with a little bit of love or a little bit of money. Anywhere on this planet. But give up your health insurance and only then you start worrying about stability. In America. I’ve found myself living in roach motels, walking to soup kitchens for scraps. A man can live like that if he has to. And he will, if he has enough cause. But if he gets sick enough or hurt, it’s like bringing a taser to his dance party. At least in a system like we have.
And I don’t like it that if I can’t pay my health care costs then I have to ask everybody else who does (the health care system) for mercy. It makes me feel shameful. People work really hard to find the $480. Or a lot more. I know that, I used to sell it, like I told you. And I understand that the insurance company has people and families. Like most of mine. And the medical professions. Again, like my friends and family. And the whole system is fair to say, not working for us, is it? Not unless we can all fit in neat lines and stay in them all our lives, never taking a risk on a business, never a year off to have adventure, never a year off to even serve others. We are all stuck in rows, clutching our ladders, and believing even our ability to breath should be a matter of money.
Anyways, I’m going to get another Ensure now and try and calm down from my little outburst. I’ve got many many paint lines to keep straight today. I may even return to the gym if I can hold something back. Before I started fighting tugboats I self insured by staying healthy.