Thursday, May 30, 2013

When a Bad Thing Is a Good Thing

This morning Adam and I did something different. We went to a free health screening, open to the public. It was sponsored by the Farm Bureau and other local health organizations. Lots of elderly and infirm folks were there, and us. We looked a little out of place.
But hey ... I got a great free shopping bag!
I forgot my camera, but Adam had his iPad, so I got these two shots. We waited on those chairs for our numbers to be called. They checked all cholesterol, sugar levels, body mass index, blood pressure, and bone density. I did fine. My cholesterol could be a tiny bit better, but it was still good.
And that's the last photo I took because after that it got a little scary.

Adam's blood pressure was Through The Roof. At the screening, it was 188/118. He's 47. (His sugar was great, and his cholesterol was fine, thankfully.) He was pretty stressed. The nurse told him, "You need to see a doctor immediately." It was labeled medically urgent.

I'd just talked with some people from a local clinic with a sliding scale for payments. You should know that Adam and I are two of the millions of working uninsured in this country. No, we don't run up bills at the local E.R. and pass it off on the taxpayers. We are taxpayers. We work. Unfortunately, in the U.S., healthcare is only available to those whohave large employers, or pony up lots of cash themselves. If you're a child in a poor family, or if you're over 65, you get a government funded program. Otherwise ... you just go without.

I know this because we've been living this for years. We just Don't Go To The Doctor. The last time Adam gave blood (he used to do this a lot), they made him wait until his blood pressure came down. That scared him and he never gave blood again. He didn't want to know. He hasn't been to a doctor for a regular physical check-up for about 15 years.

Anyway ... we dashed down to this wonderful clinic designed for people like us. I didn't know it existed before. We qualified (yay! but no surprise) and Adam got a thorough going-over, his b.p. went up even more, we picked up his b.p. prescription and bought a blood pressure machine to check his b.p. at home. He's a hypochondriac, so he's now checked his pressure four times at home, and done the kids too.

We're thankful for clinics like this. We paid a little, but nothing like the E.R. We'll only pay $30 each time we go there, regardless of what they do. So, you should know that there are perfectly normal "middle-class" people out there, well-educated and good neighbors, without tattoos or drug habits, who make so little money and have kids in the house, who qualify for that kind of assistance.

That's the America we live in. If you think doing without medical care (as we've done for years) is normal for other people, that's sad. If you think our present system isn't horribly broken, you're wrong. If you hate Obamacare, that's fine, but then it's your responsibility to present a better option. And remember: the Obamacare model was exactly what the Republicans were asking for, way back when Hillary Clinton was demanding a single-payer system. If you have lovely health care through your employer, or you have Medicare, I'm glad for you. But do take a moment to put yourself in the place of a 50 year old woman with three college kids who have no healthcare, and a husband who is ill, without insurance. If that thought scares you, realize that millions of people live that way every day. And be thankful.

Meanwhile, I'm very, very grateful to the people who run this clinic and meet the needs of some of the millions who are falling through the Very Large Cracks in our nations Very Broken System. If it weren't for them, we'd be paying off an expensive E.R. visit, $25/month, for many, many years. That's the reality for the uninsured who finally buckle and go looking for care, and don't have a clinic like the one God sent to us today. I've been thanking Him all day.

6 comments:

  1. MK, I'm glad you were able to take advantage of the screenings and tests. It's great they offer these yearly. And it's great that they caught Adam's BP.

    We are working class folks too with catastrophic health insurance that we pay ourselves. We don't go to the doctor much either. I'm frustrated that I heard on the news that the federal govt. is going to cancel my catastrophic health insurance because it's not "good enough" and doesn't meet the specs of Obamacare. We'd rather pay the low premiums and pay for the occasional doctor's visit instead of Cadillac health insurance. We are 50 and in good health.

    I'm wondering if you have looked into supplementing with magnesium for Adam's BP? Do a web search on it. My daughter had high BP in her last trimester of pregnancy. The doc wanted her to monitor it daily. At that time I encouraged her to try taking magnesium citrate. Within 2 weeks it was normal and the only change she made was Mg. The doc was impressed. Mg is totally safe and since 80% of people are deficient, it might help him a lot. If he does try it, take the magnesium citrate or malate. Don't take the oxide form since it doesn't absorb as well as the others with "ate" in them. We also use magnesium oil on the skin.

    We take Mg daily and it helps immensely with inflammation, backache, BP, migraines and so many other things. Check it out.

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  2. What a blessing that you went to the screening and found the clinic. Yay. Oh, I shall pray for Adam and YOU, too!

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  3. For decades I went without health insurance and now have what is, essentially, catastrophic health insurance. I go to the doctor once a year because I have to get my BP meds script written, otherwise I use homeopathic methods to stay healthy and well and take almost 3 dozen vitamins daily. For decades, I went to clinics for low income people and found they provided as good health care as did doctors with their own private practice.
    I do have a problem with Obamacare and there are many reasons why. I've been thinking about doing a post on it and will, soon. In the meantime, there are two primary reasons I believe his system is skewed.
    1. We'll still be required to buy health insurance, but from the government, and if we cannot afford it, we'll be fined.
    2. He wants the IRS to administer his system; the same IRS that's in the news now for abusive practices.
    Neither of the above are acceptable to me.
    It's wonderful you found the health screening and were able to find a clinic. From personal experience, I know how those two things can take the edge off.

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  4. You know we complain vociferously here about the state of our NHS (National Health System) but I'm going to stop complaining now.

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  5. When GWB was making his 2nd run for office the RNC called me asking what I thought were important issues. When I said 'health care' they replied "Not yh war?" And I said no. They hung up and never called me again. We have insurance but the won't give us a dime for seeing a chiropractor no matter how well educated he is.

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  6. I have many friends in the same situation. We do have health insurance and even with it, we will be years paying off various medical bills. And it's the insurance company who determines what is best for you -- not you, not the doctor. On another note, I am glad they caught Adam's high blood pressure (and glad you got such a good report). I have it, too, and am also fighting off insulin resistance. Getting older and having a stinky family health history is no fun:( I will be praying for Adam and am glad you have found a good place to go.

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