Family Neurosis

My brother called me today. He wanted to tell me about getting three of his teeth filled yesterday. Now, for those of you who don’t have dental anxiety, I’m sure getting a filling is no big deal. But for those of us who do have dental anxiety, it is a big muthafukkin deal.

He told me it took THREE 10mg Zanax to chill him enough for the dentist to work. Just damn! He was clueless as to why the dentist freaks him out so much, so I had to remind him that our parents (bless their stupid little hearts) took us to a Navy dentist when we were small and he didn’t deem it necessary to offer any sort of pain meds when he drilled or did whatever to us. When we’d cry about going to the dentist, my parents (bless their STUPID RETARDED ASININE little hearts) would either ignore our complaints or tell us that we needed to be “brave.”  Yup, I was 6 or 7, which made my brother 4 or 5. BRAVE. He doesn’t remember any of the abuses of that dentist but I with my impossibly good memory DO remember. That dentist drilled on me without novocaine. On top of that, it was stupidly done drilling that required me to get MORE drilling about 10 years later. (And THIS drilling done by another total QUACK they took us to will require me to get THREE crowns. Nice.)

So, I explained to my brother that his dental anxiety is not unfounded and it’s shared by me. It’s one of many, many gifts of neglect that our parents gave us growing up. I know they didn’t mean to treat us badly, but they just simply never bothered to check anything or anyone out – and it would never occur to them to treat children as people and perhaps LISTEN to what we’re saying.  The moron dentist that ruined three of my teeth (Larry Tragesser, Knoxville TN, total fucking QUACK) was a choice of the parents. He ruined their teeth, too, which to them, makes it all fair.

All this is why I call family the wart on the ass of humanity. Family will fuck you up in the most creative, deeply damaging ways. And then deny it ever happened and refuse to talk about it. Cuz if it’s never spoken aloud, then it can’t be true, right? ::rolls eyes::

Saints, Birthdays and Sinners

Happy All Saints’ Day!

As you probably know, I missed the Jody Halloween Party this year due to strep throat. I was very bummed and depressed to miss this fete, since it’s the event of the season and all, but I did. In an odd way, it was good that I was so terribly sick because it kept distracting me from the fact that I was missing a fabulous party with all my friends. So, to assuage my lack of Halloween party depression, we went out last night. I didn’t do a real costume, I just put on a little Indian top/skirt that I bought recently and did up the black eyeliner and bindis – voila! Instant costume. It was an OK time, but for the most part Decatur was very subdued. I hate when Halloween is in the middle of the week. I did get to see Jody all dolled up for his annual costume contest gauntlet. This year, he made the Bjork swan dress, complete with egg! LOL! I just love Jody’s creativity! Give that boy a glue gun and stand back!!

With Halloween a memory, now is the time to brace myself for another birthday. I love birthdays – presents!! – but I’m becoming acutely aware of my age and the lack of any big accomplishments in my life for someone with my, uh, wisdom. I know I’m a late bloomer, but…

Dani couldn’t wait for my birthday, so she gave me the gift early. It’s a covered journal with sea green silk in a butterfly pattern. Pretty! Nick got me tix to see Beth Orton on Sunday Nov 10 and that will be great fun!

It’s that time again: time to vote on Tuesday Nov 5 (the sinners section). The political ads here in Georgia (and everywhere, I suppose) are completely out of control. It’s enough to drive anyone from ever voting again. Lies on top of lies and meanspirited backbiting. Ugh. But still, we must ignore all of it and vote for each candidate on his or her record and ability to carry out the job s/he is vying for. It appears that I’ll be voting mostly democrat as usual. I detest the 2 party system and I wish it would be abolished – right along with the Electoral College. I think they should put all the candidates on the ticket with no party affiliations at all and see what happens. Heh, bet that would fuck up the old geezers who just look for the (R)! It’s just what we need, IMO.

I also want to mention some of my views about health care in this country, while I’m on the subject of politics.

I’m rarely sick, but when I get something, I usually get it intensely like I did this last weekend. I do not believe in health insurance, having been thru the HMO wringer back when I had a real job. I was treated like meat by the doctor and the filthy testing facilities (SmithKline, N. Decatur Rd.) were run by fatassed black women who were more interested in their BBQ wings (sitting conveniently on the testing counter) than giving quality care. It was a horror. Since that experience, I’ve refused to participate in that pathetic excuse for health care.

So, when I’m sick, if I can’t fix it with herbs and supplements, I have to go to the Dekalb Health Clinic. I’ve used the Dekalb Family Planning Clinic for my yearly gyno exam for about 10 years and I love it. I see the same nurse practitioner every year and everyone is just great. It’s clean, the admins and nurses are friendly and there is NO attitude. Everyone is there to help – imagine that! I go in, get prodded, chat with the nurse and walk out with 12 months of pills in my hand. Since I’m po’ this usually costs me under $50. Really.

The funny thing is that I’m usually the only white girl there. I don’t know how it is everywhere else (probably the same), but in Atlanta, only blacks and hispanics use the public health facilities. I find it puzzling that the majority of the population has no clue that there is health care available without using HMOs or ERs. Yes, the clinics are geared for lower income people, but the sliding scale is good for everyone. If you make too much money, you just pay the full price. I had never been to the Adult Primary Care Clinic before (I’m rarely sick) but it was as nice of an experience as the Family Planning clinic. It’s too bad that the stigma of low rent ghetto keeps people who need healthcare out of these clinics and in the horror show of HMOs.

I think it’s a sin for anyone in the richest country in the world to go without health care. Call me a socialist, I don’t care! Health care and education should be for anyone who needs or wants it. It’s an abomination for people to pay $100 a month for health insurance that won’t even cover 100%! Nick’s HMO is like this and they want another $100/mo to add me to it! Of course, I say fuck that. They can shove their $1200/yr fees for ZERO benefits. The one time I was sick and actually used my HMO, not only did I not get any relief at all, but I could never get my medical records because the cunts who ran the office could never find them again! Can you imagine!?! I added it up and that ONE office visit cost me about $600 in premiums to that piece of shit HMO. Oh, yeah, now that’s value. I simply cannot believe that the American people are such gimps that they’ll put up with this constant ass fucking. It astounds me.

If everyone would simply say NO to HMOs and take all that wasted money and put it into a healthcare fund, I think we could probably pay for a non-profit health system straight up.

My parents and my car insurance guy (car insurance is another RACKET that I’ll rant about another day) are horrified that I refuse to have medical insurance. They perpetuate the fear that if you don’t have insurance you will die on the side of the road if you’re in an accident. That is total bullshit. 100% bullshit. Not only will you get cared for no matter what, but if you can’t pay, you can’t pay. That’s what PUBLIC hospitals are for, people!! That is why we CANNOT allow our health care system to be privatized (any more than it already is). For-profit medicine is wrong and should be stopped in its tracks. It is the same idea as making all schools for-profit. It’s wrong and it should not happen. As it is, if you are unlucky enough to be taken to a for-profit hospital in an emergency, they can prosecute you just like any other business to get their money.

My question is: if you are seriously injured, then why does anyone care about the money in the first place? Shouldn’t a person’s welfare be more important than making a buck?

I’m also astounded by how little people know about their own health care. Americans have become so dependent upon the media and the 5 minute care of their HMO doctors that they don’t even know what meds they are on or why. I think that allowing drug companies to hawk their wares in TV ads is ludicrous! I can’t see that it’s any different than the liquor and cigarette companies hawking their crap! The Public does NOT need to be told how sick they are and which pills they need.

If someone is chronically ill, then he should work closely with his doctor to handle that illness. I always laugh at the end of these drug commercials when they say “tell your doctor what other drugs you are taking…”. Um, hello, but shoudn’t your doctor already know what you’re on?? Jesus! It’s insane! People do not have a clue about their health or any sort of prevention of disease. My grandmother (and my mother, too) is a prime example of the fucking that you’ll get if you don’t stay in control of your own health care. She takes drugs for the few ailments she has: arthritis, thyroid, allergies. I was looking over her scrips one day and I noticed that she had a bottle of ibuprofen. I asked her if she knew what it was and of course she didn’t. I asked her how much she paid for this and she said it was about $40/mo. I told her that it was a common over the counter analgesic and she could save her money by buying it off the shelf. She was horrified that I’d suggest such a thing and indignant that I would dare question her doctor. To her, it is a necessary medication that will get rid of her arthritis. The sad thing is that she is not even on any of the new anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAID] on the market that could ease her pain and really help her.

I’m concerned by this total lack of responsibility for one’s own health and I find that many, many people have it. I can take care of myself, thankyouverymuch. I know my body and I know what it will respond to. I don’t feel that this is odd, to the contrary, I feel that everyone should be responsible for the one thing that is truly yours: your body. People are wandering around out there without a clue about themselves. Women have babies without any idea of pregnancy. Children have asthma because they are raised in polluted cities with parents who smoke 2 packs a day around them. Old women suffer osteoporosis because they never once exercised or took a vitamin. Well, DUH!!!! Get a fucking clue, people!

I mean, how hard is it to take a couple of supplements? My mother has found the wonder of glucosamine supplements for her 30+ yr old horse, but wouldn’t think of taking it for her own arthritis pain. How idiotic is that? My mother also has severe osteoporosis (90% loss in some places), but will not listen to a word I say about supplements, diet and the importance of exercise for her condition. Her oh-so-concerned doctor has her on a crappy over the counter calcium supplement, but has not discussed the newer drugs for reversing osteoporosis or suggested that she exercise to strengthen her bones. Am I the only person that thinks this is fucked up?

Sometimes it feels like I am the only person who even notices any of this. Maybe it’s because I have enough sense to stick to what’s important, rather than what that sabre-rattling moron in Washington would prefer that I focus on.

[This post is STILL relevant 13 years later. How sad is THAT? Obamacare is shit. -A 2015]