Blood Pressure

I really shouldn’t make a personal diary on a shared site like this; I have my own blog for silly teenage journal crap. But I get the feeling this might have slightly broader appeal, so what the hell.

How is everyone here coping with the stress? The sheer amount of venom being directed at FDL, or anyone else who challenges the grand healthcare consensus, is breathtaking. I find myself actually feeling ill from it.

It’s odd, really. Up until recently I was very sick, for several years. I was barely insurable and couldn’t get any real medical help. Then my wife got what the House of Lords has taken to calling a "Cadillac Plan", and I finally got the care I needed. After an enormous amount of trial and error on my no-deductible comprehensive plan’s dime, a solution was found, a simple, cheap, generic drug that allows me to function like a regular human being.

In a better world, everyone would have that chance. In a better America, we would be making new law, better law, so that everyone did. Instead we’re arguing over just how much medical bankruptcy we want, just how many cents on the healthcare dollar the private parasites should be able to skim off the top instead of making people well.

But challenge the wisdom of Emperor Lieberman and Co-Consuls Nelson and Bayh at your own peril. Point out when our actual President is lying to us, trying to pull a fast one by saying that the Senate mess is what he campaigned on? You’re in for some serious abuse, some terrific hate. You’ll be labeled a traitor, a hysteric, a fanatic, a deviant.

I just gave up on making this case at another site after days arguing there. I would try to point out the flaws in the Senate bill, they would accuse me of dishonesty, of hysteria. Bring up a point about the lack of affordability in the Senate proposal (or even the House bill, for which I have little love), and they’ll stamp their feet and demand that, unless you have your own magical path to single payer, you shut up and let your betters in the Senate do their work.

I’m damn tired. My back is killing me. I was sorely tempted to walk way, stop reading, stop talking, stop arguing health care altogether, even here. Just relax, take advantage of the warm apartment, the shiny videogames and the larger than expected Christmas bonus the wife also got this year. But…

There’s a funny side to all this for me. One of the symptoms of my chronic illness was that I would become violently ill with stress. Knowing this, of course, was itself very stressful, and the cycle was a vicious one. I just realized something this evening.

I am tired, yes. My back is killing me, and my blood pressure feels high as a balloon. But I’m not violently ill. The drug’s working even better than I had hoped. My beautiful, wonderful, "Cadillac" healthcare works.

By the cruel vagaries of fate I’ve been given a chance to argue and shout and petition and fundraise and beg and plead, a chance that many people who are in the same awful position I was for almost four years, sick, tired, uninsured and untreated, will never get, certainly not under this godawful substitute for reform. How could I pass on that chance? How could I forsake that responsibility?

So I guess for now, I’ll pop some aspirin, put the lights up on the tree (actually not a tree, it’s an 8 foot tall relative of lucky bamboo), and let the blood pressure wander downward. Tomorrow’s another day.

Peace, all.

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