Maybe I’ll Catch Fire

Three years ago today is the anniversary of the phone call I got informing me my house was burning down.

That early morning conversation that woke me from a restful slumber is still vivid in my memory. The sight of flames engulfing my house, the smell of charred wood and the sound of the firefighters calling to one another as they sprayed water over every inch of the structure.

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Then the one room untouched by the fire was robbed as we stood outside the house with the insurance adjuster after taking a brief walkthrough. The thief got away with a laptop and tv that were in the back bedroom. A sign of how low some people really are.

A few hours after that smoke started coming out of the roof line, apparently the firefighters hadn’t fully put out the fire and it has been smouldering along the roofline the entire time. By the time they arrived again there were open flames visible in a gaping hole in the roof. They were extra thorough the second time, every inch of the main floor and second level were covered in flame retardant foam. Every window smashed, every appliance previously undamaged was knocked over and destroyed. Nothing but the untouched boiler in the basement could be salvaged now. Total loss.

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It was the epitome of a Halloween trick. A punk kid who was pissed we called the cops on him after he stole a car so he lit something on fire and threw it through our mail slot and into a pile of flammable junk mail next to oil based primer and some couches on our enclosed front porch. At least that’s what we think happened, they didn’t really try to investigate very much, they wanted husband to say he was smoking on the front porch or something and they seemed annoyed when he wouldn’t agree to lie.

Luckily the sound of the paint cans exploding woke husband from his slumber in the back bedroom, that and the plastic vapor barrier he’d put up in front of the bedroom door saved his life or he would have died from smoke inhalation long before the flames got him.

No one ever took the blame for this and I couldn’t even tell you if the investigation was ever closed out because we are never told anything when it comes to things like this. I just know that each Halloween this has become the predominant memory that stands out in my mind.

Happy Halloween, stay safe today.

 

 

What Do You Love Today?

Rediscovering old motivational graphics I made, supportive friends who listen to frustrated venting, how helping other people helps me feel better and the comfort of dark chocolate on bad days.

What Do YOU love today?

I Weep For Healthcare Lost

I am not quite sure when it became a thing of the past, but I still have vague memories of going to the doctor when I was young and actually receiving competent service. I remember being helped by the healthcare system by people who actually cared about figuring out what was wrong with me and wanted me to get better. Those memories stop right around my 18th year. After that I have only poor experiences that have left me feeling disillusioned by the profit machine they dare to call the US healthcare system.

Despite clearly listing my known allergies not a single doctor, out of the dozen or so I went to, could figure out that the pain and discomfort I had been in was due to allergic reactions to the palm oil in all the packaged food that lines our supermarkets shelves and restaurant supply rooms. I had to figure it out by myself and it took me over 20 years to do so. Didn’t stop the healthcare system from charging me thousands of dollars for all the shrugged shoulders, unnecessary tests and wrong guesses by the “experts” I was referred to.

If the issue isn’t so obvious as to be deduced at home it seems like I end up paying excessive fees to have doctors guess, always incorrectly, about what could be causing my issues, same goes for husband. I even went to three different doctors and none of them could identify the staff infection I had. Luckily google was able to give me an answer and an at home treatment and didn’t charge me the $250 office visit the rest of the useless white coats did. When I have better luck using the internet to deduce and treat health issues it’s an indicator of a severely broken system.

Currently husband is very unwell. He’s seen two different doctors and had a slew of tests done and all we get back is indifference and I don’t knows. Blood work came back fine, he must be fine. Except he can barely walk, is constantly dizzy, is so tired he wants to sleep all the time, has almost no equilibrium left, the whole right side of his body aches with sharp pain in his head (he’s never had a headache in his life) and he keeps experiencing chills and stomach pain. This has been going on for over 2 weeks. The only help the healthcare system wants to give us is to make another appointment, pass us along to another doctor, let’s get more tests….BILLABLE┬áSERVICES PEOPLE!

What incentive is there to help people get healthy, seriously? There’s no profit to that. Keeping people sick and making them pay for incorrect guesses is where the money is at. It’s absolutely ridiculous that it’s acceptable for doctors to provide no helpful service yet charge excessive fees simply to be in their presence for a few minutes. If someone hired me to do something for them and I failed to provide that, I wouldn’t get paid. It’s just not how the service industry works and let’s be realistic, healthcare is supposedly a service industry.

I would really like to see the US move to a pay for performance platform when it comes to healthcare. If I go in to see a doctor because I have certain symptoms, they will only get paid a set fee for that. If they can’t figure out what is wrong with me on that first visit, all subsequent visits are free until the issue is figured out and resolved. This provides an incentive for doctors to take a little bit more time and put a little bit more effort into actually treating people correctly. You want to make money, you’re going to have to actually earn it. A pay for performance platform could significantly help transform our healthcare system.

If I am mandated to have health insurance, I want a healthcare system that will actually work to help me get and stay healthy. If people are looking for ways to reduce healthcare costs, the pay for performance platform will do that too. Of course, since this concept makes sense, it will never happen. I am just so fucken sick and tired of paying people to not help me.