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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This got messy....

Aloha friends and family...It's been a while..My writing got me into a little trouble recently..I was trying to express some frustration from myself and many others and it almost got me committed...Dig this...


Well, I guess it’s time. I can no longer afford to live. I thought I did what I was supposed to do, as a reasonably good citizen of this country. I rebelled some, protested some, took some drugs, drank some, and fought some. I graduated high school, did some college, served in the Army and honorably discharged, worked hard, got married, bought a home, and saved some money for retirement. Now, I can no longer afford to live. It will be slow and painful and sad and lonely. I’m not afraid, I’m tired. Nobody seems to understand or care enough.

I’m disabled and I knew, unless things got better, it would come to this. I had two heart attacks by the time I was fifty years old. I survived them physically but it was the beginning of the end. My beautiful wife will be sad and angry and confused and alone. I wish it could be different.

I won’t be leaving much to the kids and grandkids because I had to sell it all to pay for care and premiums and co-pays and medication. Medicare helped for a while. I’m not doing this to give up. I just feel helpless and defeated. I tried to get help but help seemed to always be just out of reach. It’s a bit ironic. Through the years I paid my dues into Social Security and all of the other deductions required to work hard in the free world. I’m getting some of it back because of my disability but that disqualifies me for other services because I’m told that my income, my Social Security disability income, is too high. Really? Looks like big brother, government, bureaucracy, red tape, and insurance have won this battle. I never expected such a fight.

The straw that broke the camel’s back, the ultimate signature on my death warrant, is what’s called the Medicare donut hole, the gap, the coverage break. Some genius decided that Medicare recipients, disabled or not, should pay full price for their already overpriced medications. I have no more to sell, to pay more than I already pay, for the drugs “they” tell me I need. It’s too expensive to live now. If I dip into my IRA, there are more taxes to pay, my income will “go up” so I’ll disqualify myself for more services, and my lovely wife will have nothing. My wish is to be cremated but now I have to rethink that because my VA benefits won’t pay for that, and I can’t burden my wife to deal with that.

Well, I guess that’s it, the decision has been made for me. It’s going to be slow and painful and sad and lonely, and nobody seems to understand or care enough.

****************

I sent this letter to several local and national newspaper publishers to print it wherever they deemed appropriate. My hope was to create some noise about what many people are experiencing while trying to delicately balance their healthcare and their everyday lives. That was my hope. What I got was an early morning visit from two police officers, two medics, and a representative from the Coroner’s office. Obviously they were called by one of the letter recipients describing my words of frustration and concern as a suicide note. They almost took me away until I printed a copy to show them that never once did I mention killing myself.

This short story was made up of facts from many different people that are scared and frustrated about their own personal healthcare issues. In my story, the “I” means “We”. Where I wrote “It’s going to be slow and painful and sad and lonely”, well, that’s the horrible reality of living a life without the proper medications to reduce pain or extend life. Many have to choose, every month, whether to pay their mortgage or pay for their meds. One drug, just one popular drug that treats depression and painful neuropathy, costs $296.00 for a one month supply and there is no generic brand. Now that’s depressing! Everywhere I go, the grocery store, the pharmacy, the post office, the gas station, the bank, everywhere Middle America gathers, I hear awful stories like the one I wrote. Why is it I can hear, loud and clear, the reasonable needs and fearful cries of our citizens, and the ones that are paid to listen and act don’t or won’t?

When things like sports and business and government are practiced long enough, the players learn how to take advantage of shortcuts and half-truths and advancement techniques and job protection for personal gain. Our system is broken. There are over 310 million people in these United States and WE have failed to demand and hold accountable those that represent us. Remind them, without leniency, that our government is of the people, by the people, and for the people. Make noise or accept the outcome.

Peace

1 comment:

  1. A powerful post, and a crucial call to action. It is also a reminder to those of us lucky enough to have universal health care that we cannot let it be eroded.

    "Make noise or accept the outcome." How true. I hope that your message will be heard -- and understood -- by the right audience.

    ReplyDelete