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Posts Tagged ‘mental health care’

It’s Wednesday morning and I just realized I haven’t posted anything for this week. No, I don’t plan these blogs weeks in advance. I should, but that would make too much sense and take all the stress out of it. Goddess knows I can’t possibly be reasonable about these sorts of things…

My schedule has been fubarred lately because my internal clock is a complete mess. I had a three-day migraine a couple weeks ago, one of those annoying complicated ones that leaves me feeling weak on one side and the equivalent of hung-over for days afterwards. Thankfully I don’t get them very often anymore – it’s been over a year since the last one – but when they finally do show up, they certainly do make themselves noticed. This one was accompanied by all the usual fun: extreme light/sound/smell/taste sensitivity, too much sleep, nauseas, not enough sleep, incoordination, disrupted sleep, and, of course, the screaming-hot-vise-of-pokers-boring-into-my-brain headache. Even my hair hurt. And maybe I was just a little crabby, too. Maybe.

In the middle of that was the news of Robin Williams’ death, which only added to the just-fuck-it-I’m-staying-in-bed kind of day. I’m still dealing with that one. I grew up with him. I saw his first appearance on Happy Days and watched Mork & Mindy religiously. Anything he was in after that was automatically on the watch list. Some good, some bad, but always a welcome diversion simply because of Robin. I never had the pleasure of meeting him personally, but I know a number of people who did and the stories were all the same: he was a generous, kind man who just wanted to make people laugh.

As a fellow depressive, it’s really a jolt when someone who’s fought so hard for so long suddenly just decides they’re done. It makes me wonder about my own strength. If someone with his intelligence and resources and money can’t keep fighting, how am I supposed to? I guess the fact I’m scared of that possibility says something about where I am in my own battle.

It’s my anger that keeps me going. The appalling lack of comprehensive mental health care in a country as wealthy and medically advanced as the USA is a blight on us all. It fuels my desire to keep plugging along, to continue forcing a crusade for change. I’m presently covered by my husband’s medical insurance through his work, which does not cover anything for mental health. I just recently had to fight with the carrier because they denied payment for a standard doctor’s office visit, during which my doctor and I had done the annual prescription review. His coding included major depressive disorder as one – ONE – of the several things we discussed, and they bounced it. That’s a problem when I can’t even talk to my family doctor about what’s going on without fear of having the coverage refused. What happens if they decide not to cover my anti-depressants because that would fall under the heading of mental health? Even the generics are too much for the pocket book right now. No one should have to live in fear of losing their health because they lack the money.

I know that was part of the idea behind the Affordable Care Act, but it fails on so many levels. I was really hoping for a single-payer system. The basic network is already there with Medicare, it just needed to be expanded and updated to give providers a better standard of pay and greater leeway in deciding appropriate care for their patients. As I’ve said before, the only people that should be involved in deciding what’s best for my health are my doctor and me. I’m a person, not a commodity. Somewhere that fact was buried under the altar of the all-mighty dollar. Time to blow that fucking thing off the face of the planet.

There are certain things that humans must have simply to survive. Air is at the top of the list. Without it, humans are dead in a matter of minutes. Water is second, the lack of which brings death in a matter of days. Food comes in third. It can take weeks to starve to death and it’s not a pretty way to go. And yet there are people out there who do everything in their power to make money off these basic necessities, and have no problem denying the needy if the right amount of green isn’t handed over. A Chinese entrepreneur is selling canned fresh air to people in the most polluted cities. While largely a tongue-in-cheek effort to bring attention to the environmental disaster that is Chinese air pollution, it also gives us a chilling look at a potential future, when you’d best pay your air bill on time or suffer the consequences.

We’re already seeing a variation on that in Detroit, where thousands of residents are having their water cut off because of unpaid bills. Detroit has been probably the hardest hit by the Great Recession in the US, and the populace there has been struggling fiercely for years just to survive. Now they have to deal with no water on top of everything else. Here, in one of the richest nations on Earth, we have an epic disaster in the making just because someone didn’t get enough money. I understand companies deserve to be compensated for their efforts. Where I have the problem is when something that is necessary for survival becomes a for-profit effort. It doesn’t seem fair when you have a captive audience.

And there’s a growing movement (pun intended) by cities all across the land restricting or out right banning home gardens. The arguments run from violating some obscure HOA rule (“No asparagus because I hate it.”), to making the neighborhood look bad (“But our property values!”), to not knowing what you’re putting/not putting on your crops so we just can’t have it around the children (“We can’t have you poisoning our children. That’s the gov’ment’s job.”).

So the day is coming where if you’re poor, you can’t breathe clean air, drink clean water, or eat the food you’ve grown yourself because some one-percenter schmuck isn’t making as much profit as he wants off you. The message I keep hearing from those upper echelon assholes is that only the rich deserve to survive because the rest of us are just a bunch of lazy takers who contribute nothing to the world. Us lesser people have become disposable.

It’s no wonder I’m depressed…

 

© 2014   Cheri K. Endsley   All Rights Reserved.

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