When Life Becomes A Preexisting Condition
In the new guy’s version of life in this country, preexisting conditions should be allowed only for those who can pay for them. And one foolish congressman even went so far as to suggest that the sickest among us should be paying more than people who have remained healthy as if chronic illness or cancer, for example, are due to someone’s irresponsibility or negligence. He probably didn’t like it when the smart girl blew the curve in school either.
But here’s the thing. We live in a country where income inequality is the norm and that translates into not enough money to eat well. Most people don’t grow their own food anymore so they have no control over the pesticides used on the crops or whether or not the seeds used were genetically modified into something our bodies don’t recognize.
Instead, we’re put on the treadmill of chronic disease, beholden to the medical community, although well-meaning, who focus on symptom treatment in lieu of actually figuring out how we became sick in the first place. Other than doctors in functional medicine or herbalists and naturopaths, most don’t consider diet, mindset, emotional issues, or environmental factors that could be at the root of chronic illness preferring instead to prescribe this pill or that injection.
I suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for over thirteen years, but it was for that length of time that it was severe. Nothing the doctors did relieved any of the pain, inflammation, fatigue, swelling, or fluid retention that I experienced. Instead, I seemed to stay in one place, severe. When a commercial came on television selling a medication for RA they would always say it treated moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. I would look at my husband and remark that someday I hoped my RA would be moderate. It was one of those moments of dark humor that got us through those years.
And now that I’ve been in clinical remission for the last six years and off the last of the prescribed drugs since September 2015, my doctor did some blood work and lo and behold, the daily coffees my husband makes that would make a barista blush have affected my glucose level. I got a call from her nurse and she told me that my doctor wants to schedule an A1C test to screen for diabetes. No discussion, or even the glucose number, just go have a test.
Perhaps they didn’t notice in my chart that my primary care doctor when I was so ill had prescribed Metformin after doing a glucose tolerance test and endless A1C tests, diagnosing insulin resistance when my glucose numbers stayed elevated. After becoming a cannabis patient in June 2010 and making my own concentrated medicines at the end of that year, two and one-half months later I was in clinical remission. I began discontinuing several of the prescribed drugs on my own that I could safely do, but when discontinuing the Metformin the same primary care doctor who initially prescribed it helped with that. A change in diet has always been the way to get my glucose number to come down but instead of having that conversation first, it’s test time.
Now with the republicans in the process of destroying health care in this country, the last thing anyone needs is to have a diagnosis of something that’s situational in nature that can then become a preexisting condition. You’d think if Congress wants to go this route of endangering the citizenry so that the wealthiest among us become even more wealthy, they’d legalize cannabis. The tax revenue alone would be staggering. Prescription drug costs would be considerably lower, our collective health likely improving overall, but then the drug companies who line lawmakers’ election coffers might not be so generous at the next election. So the struggle for truth and dignity continues.
Apparently, rape is now a preexisting condition if this monstrosity is signed into law. Does this also apply to children who are raped by their fathers? Will they be punished with a preexisting condition if they report the abuse? The congresspeople who voted for it, my own congressman included, exhibit an astonishing level of moral bankruptcy and have clearly lost their fundamental compassion for humanity. One wonders how they sleep at night, but after today’s kegger at the white house in celebration of their victory, I’m sure they’ll sleep like babies.
If this passes the senate, then women like my daughter-in-law won’t have their pregnancies covered. Medicaid will be trashed and Medicare is next. They’ll leave everyone hanging and people will die as a result. There has never been a clearer example of us versus them ideology than what we’re seeing now. It’s destructive and unsustainable, but it’s full steam ahead anyway.
Even if this doesn’t pass the senate, as members are signaling that it will not, today’s vote gives us a window into the mindset of the people who believe the death of our citizens is an acceptable outcome. But when we finally have health insurance that we can depend on and republicans want to either take that away or make it completely unaffordable, something tells me that our response will be greater than the republicans can imagine let alone survive.
The republicans shouldn’t have targeted women and children in this bill. They shouldn’t have targeted veterans, seniors, or the chronically ill. Because when a mother finds that her child with asthma or cancer can no longer get the care she so desperately needs, trust me the ground will open up around them and shit will get real. Women, mothers or not, are sick of the government’s interference in our lives and as republicans continue their destructive behavior, we’ll pay close attention and then we’ll vote their sorry asses out of office.
I sat by the new hives out in the apiary today watching the new bees become acclimated to their new homes. They exist in unified presence with each other, each one valued and necessary. They work together to feed the brood and to protect their queen. Everything is about the survival of the colony, a notion of family that escapes republicans now in control. None of this surprises me, however, now that the fascist floodgates have been flung open. The cruelty present within the republican mindset is breathtaking. It’s nasty and to think they celebrated with a beer after it was done.
So now we await the Senate’s response. I won’t be holding my breath. Besides, in the process, I’d probably develop another preexisting condition, irresponsible person that I am.
Just ask Mo.
Originally published at www.imsteppingaside.com on May 4, 2017.