Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Only one doctor for us

October 25, 2012

Visit to Retinalogist

Waiting room filled
Some impatient, antsy
Others dilated
Anxious or bored
Doctor and technicians scurrying
Room to room
Pulling files
Names called out
Doors opening and closing
Hundreds of patients for him
Work tedious
But only one doctor for us
Often dependent
Always grateful

 © 2012 Thomas W. Cummins

A Small Upper Window

April 15, 2012

A Small Upper Window

A light is seen through the treetops
A small window on an upper floor
It’s late
Someone must be reading
Or can’t sleep
Perhaps an attendant is there
The building looms in the dark
Like a castle
Sitting on a hill
Stories tall and a block long
But that one small window … there’s a light on
I imagine a castle keep
A safe place, caring, secure
Or a tower
A prisoner’s room, lonely, confined
Possibly either or both
Only the occupant knows on a particular day
Maybe that’s my room someday
In that old nursing home on the hill
How will I see things?
Filled with hope and gratitude or despair?
Grace-filled or having been forsaken?
In peaceful surrender or stubborn resistance?
That light, that window
So peaceful looking
Against that immense silhouette
Light does that to darkness
Even the smallest glow
Brings reflection, imaginings, questions

© 2012 Thomas W. Cummins

I’m just asking …

March 18, 2010

As I reflect on all that is going on in our government, I’m trying to make sense of why only one party is on the playing field trying to get something done  while the other party jeers from the stands. Perhaps things can be explained:

If you don’t believe that such a person as Obama could/should ever reside in The White House, why would you want to help him be successful?

If your party controlled congress for 12 years (and The White House for 8 years) and nothing was done other than screw up the country’s foreign policy and economic health, why wouldn’t you be upset if the mess couldn’t be straightened out in year?

If a major piece of legislation (prescription drug plan) was completely unfunded and locked in a deficit-building entitlement for our children and grandchildren to pay for, doesn’t the party who introduced and passed such legislation have every right to block new legislation that is really needed and helps people? Especially if it reduces the deficit?

If you have a government health care plan for you and your family, isn’t it obvious that such an opportunity would be disastrous for the rest of the country? Wouldn’t that be socialism?

If your party successfully nominated and elected for two terms as president a candidate who was completely uniformed and could barely voice a coherent thought, wouldn’t such a candidate seem attractive again? Maybe the tea party folks are onto something.

If your party had a vice president who made little sense and was guilty of numerous wrong-headed, unpatriotic decisions and policies, shouldn’t he be the main critic of someone who actually thinks things through before acting?

If your party in congress has no ideas to help solve an ever-growing fiscal crisis, doesn’t it make sense to stand in the way of those who have ideas and are trying to respond to that crisis?

If your party’s administration fostered the rampant growth of terrorists world-wide through reckless and thoughtless foreign policy, shouldn’t the next administration who tries to be part of the global community through healing divisions and international cooperation be labeled as “soft” on terror?

I’m just asking …

What do those without insurance do?

December 15, 2009

Today’s health care debates have made me very aware of the stability I’ve had in my own health care for a long, very long, time. And for that I’m grateful.

I’ve also noticed that an attitude of  selfish indifference for what others may experience in health care tends to yield few ideas for reform. Although, I can most assuredly state from observation, that it does yield much spirited opposition to any attempts to make things better, for oneself or anyone else.

Anyway, the internist I had since the 70s retired a few years ago. I needed to find another, as did my wife. Her ob/gyn gave her a list for us to consider. A little online research (yes, I have online access as well as health care insurance) gave us a few promising prospects, those who were also “in-network,” so we began making initial appointments.

My choice wasn’t a complete failure, and I stayed with him for a couple of years. In the end, however, he seemed more interested in asserting his office hours than attending to those who might need his professional assistance. An excruciating headache accompanied by red blotches all over my legs elicited a question about  why I was calling after 4:30 since the office was open all day.

Well, I don’t need a doctor to make me feel disrespected when I was already scared with a headache reminiscent of my meningitis of ’92. So, I asked my cardiologist for a couple of names. My favorite on the list spoke my language … also a  meningitis survivor  … and upon hearing about my headache, ordered a scan to dismiss a “sentinel bleed” as a potential cause. He had asked, “Was it the worst headache you’ve ever had?”, rather than “Why are you calling after hours?”

A year later he left the group and established himself beyond a 15-mile non-compete radius. His new location wasn’t what I would call convenient, at least for the long term. I signed up with the new guy in the same group, an internist from Iraq. He left for family or other personal reasons before I could see him more than once.

I again signed up with the new guy in the group. This one is from Pakistan. I have seen him once, and he seems to be a good fit. He also listens.

What am I trying to say? After more than 30 years with the same internist, I am now on my 4th replacement. But I’m not concerned. The hospital system I have aligned myself with has incredible bench strength. My insurer has an online resource for quick and easy assessment of credentials when I’m given a list of names.

What do those without insurance do?

I’ve had my ophthalmologist since ’85, my cardiologist and electro-cardiologist since ’06, my ENT since ’07, a retinologist since ’07, my dermatologist since the early 90s, and a 2009 model internist.

But something may be of interest, I’m actually in very good health, run regularly, am very active in whatever I wish to do. Feel good, not over-weight. Pacemaker gets good battery life, and if they ever make one which is rechargeable based on exercise, they’d really be on to something … something of a hybrid, I suppose.

None of this is by accident. As I’ve said, I’ve had great stability in my heath care for a very long time … the same length of time I’ve had health care insurance.