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Comment Of The Day: May 16, 2010

Post Published: 16 May 2010
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How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Heard of ‘Meatless Monday’? How about ‘Wheatless Wednesday’ or ‘Soy-less Sunday’?” Liz educated us about Meatless Monday’s, an endeavor spearheaded by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, as well as cooking meat. Liz created “Wheatless Wednesday’s,” and a new endeavor, “Soyless Sunday’s”, among other things. She even served us a challenge well worth devouring.

If you missed this week’s installation, please click on over and check it out.

A wonderful conversation was had by all. Please feel free to add your thylicious nutritious two cents.

Today’s Comment…

amy says: May 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm  (Edit)

Great article! I hardly ever eat soy. So, in for soy-less Sundays! I do like the Braggs liquid aminos for marinating, though. A once in a while treat. I do agree that it is very important the quality of meat we eat. The taste of homegrown beef compared to store bought is amazing! I usually eat meat every day though not at every meal.

We kicked off Sunday with “Thyme For Some Literary Healing: Exorbitant Medical Expenses“. Though this was NOT an easy discussion to have; it’s one I, Katie Schwartz, believe we must have. I’d like to tell you why.

First of all, thyroid diseases and thyroid cancers are widely misunderstood, and we seek to change this. Yes? Yes. The notion that we can all be cured with a pill is false. Therefore, so are assumed adjunct medical expenses. Like many other chronic conditions and cancers, the skyrocketing costs associated with treatment are horrific; with or without shitsurance.

The goal is two-fold – to find catharsis in sharing our stories with each other; and, to create awareness regarding how pricey this disease is. No, it’s not as much as a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes per year. No. It’s more like the equivalent of owning a yacht and two homes, for some.

If you didn’t participate in today’s discussion, we hope you will.

For those of you that did, thank you! I digress – this wasn’t an easy literary healing, if you will. You did it. And, so I am proud of you.

Today’s comment…

Melissa Travis says: May 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Every single doc I have has been COMPLETELY understanding about finances. Oddly- I have double insurance right now – but at various times I’ve had NONE. (I’m disabled right now- but when I was going through a divorce and in grad school I had zero health insurance.)

At one point when they were just discovering the extent of my health one HILARIOUS doctor made a sign of a cross over me at the free student health clinic and said, “I dub thee a Canadian.” (He wasn’t joking.)

After several doctors have said, “We’ll work out a payment plan with you.” Or, “Just come back – I want you to get better no matter what your health care status.” The office staff have OFTEN *not* let this be so. Now– let me take a step back… they are there so the doctors get paid… they realize the docs are terrible business people..

On the other hand – one doc “worked out a payment plan with me” of $5 per month because I have an excess of $780,000 (that’s right – ALMOST A MILLION DOLLARS OF MEDICAL BILLS). …. that’s right bitches and whores. And I was a gonna die without her care… and the office manager wouldn’t let me in to see the doctor anyway.

Does this cause stress? YES. IT DOES. Do I realize it is part of the game. Yes. I do. As a “self paying” person for MOST OF MY LIFE before I had health insurance I got it up the bazooka because I paid the full amount. Now I have TWO insurances (for now).. because I have disability and COBRA (bless its holy name)…

And now– I still have a mountain of medical bills. So what do I do? I’ll tell you what I do. I pay ONLY the doctors I still see and need to stay on good terms with. I *like* (all but one) every doc I’ve ever seen. They all deserve to be paid. They all have sent me to collections too. And I have TRIED to work it out. I have called and said, “I can give you $5 dollars.” But after a while, $5 dollars runs out.

And I was a grad student, divorced, on chemo, and before the disability (which is NOT VERY MUCH MONEY ANYWAY) I was using my credit cards and parents money to pay for prescriptions that weren’t covered… and rent, and food. Most doctors just sent me pretty colored bills. Which I stopped opening. I got a new phone number and just turned OFF the other one so I could stop hearing things like, “well Melissa, the RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO IS PAY YOUR BILLS.”

One collector even told me that *he* smugly had made contingencies in case he ever got sick. As he said that I had chemo running through my veins, had just gotten six medical bills in the mail and said, “Ahhh- but I’m an asshole?” And he said, “Look – You owe $200 bucks. Pay or I’m going to report you.” I said, “its not going to make MY credit any worse. BRING IT.’

So far, the only ramifications it has done is LOWERED my self esteem (alot) because I used to have EXCELLENT credit, be a home owner, be able to get home loans, and cars with credit with APRs that only Mother Theresa could give you… and… I had no credit card debt.

But- if you look – the only thing on my maxed out credit cards are prescriptions, hospital bills, and once, emergency Gatorade when I was dehydrated . That’s it.

I have tried to come to a place of ZEN about the bills… being amused by their colors… I try to LOOK AT THEM. I try to open them – make friends with them. Occasionally I try to call them and make payment plans. But usually – I ignore them. I can never EVER fathom being out of debt on my own devices.

All I WANT is to be off disability and working on my own free will again – HEALTHY- *doing cartwheels* – not SICKITY SICK.

I feel that being sent to collections and given bad credit and not able to rent cars and good houses is almost another form of torture on top of BAD HEALTH – which I never chose.

How’s that. Does it ad to my stress. YES. YES IT DOES.

In many ways it is worse than illness because the illness doesn’t have a mind and doesn’t have any intelligence. It is not capable of compassion or being decent.

I could go on… but I know if *I* am in this much medical debt and trouble over my medical issues — and I haven’t gotten clothes or shopped except for groceries and food in three years… then all the rest of my chronically ill friends with real sickness are probably right there with me.

I feel that being in debt without being “in the bad kind of debt” – I have not SQUANDERED MONEY – I have done it all to save my own life — I HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT… no rings, no clothes, no jewels, no trips. What does that say about the compass of our own culture and society if we let our own people live like criminals and get harassed daily and threatened and beat up for SURVIVING?

I am often ashamed of insurance companies, of our own medical community, and for our way of doing things – because there IS a better way. I just don’t know how… I just know there is.

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