Gratitude Sunday: Health Matters

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.


Sunday Haiku
Warm wind, cool breeze float
over my skin, chill or heat me,
caress, embrace, hold.

Sunday Musings
Once again I sit down to muse and find my mind as blank as the white page before me. Perhaps I am distracted by the side effects of a new drug my doctor put me on to bring my blood pressure down during this current rough patch. I tried to resist, she insisted, so I went along with her though she knows I eschew pharmaceutical drugs because of my poor reactions to them. (Looks like I found today’s topic!).

Let’s complicate that by the fact I am in between health insurance coverage. When you lose your health insurance coverage for whatever reason, by law you have 30 days to find new coverage. I did that. I applied within 30 days at the place low-income (right now no income for me) folks are directed to look for what is available to them. I was informed I had to wait to see if I qualified for the Oregon Health Plan, which is for people with zero income and it would likely be a 30 day wait before I would hear any thing.

I called at 30 days. I called at 60 days, and expressed concerns about my medication issues. They said they would expedite me with a special medication team. I won’t bore you with all the details of my follow-up calls but I am still waiting to hear anything from them. I’m getting ready to call again.

So the thing is, on my income tax I pay a penalty for no coverage. Since I have jumped through all the hoops they asked in a timely manner, and followed up, and followed up, and followed up, and have heard absolutely nothing from them, at this point I think that penalty should either be waived or paid by the State of Oregon or by the Affordable Health Care plan.

I asked what I should do if I needed to see my doctor. They said I should visit the emergency room. Wait, WHAT?!? No way. I have a doctor I trust and who honors my ability to assess my own body and reactions, who understands my devotion to movement and healthful foods as medicine. I think it is patently ridiculous to visit the emergency room for everyday needs at 4 times the cost of a regular doctor visit. Unless, of course, I’m having a truly emergent situation and I know enough about myself and my family to determine that as well.

This is all the fallout of the insurance scam called Affordable Health Care. We know this plan has nothing whatsoever to do with health care and everything to do with paying the middle man called insurance. True health care would mean every single person in this United States could walk into or make an appointment with a doctor or dentist or optometrist at any time and get the service they need. Every service. All services. That’s not what’s happening.

So the drug complications aren’t extreme. They involve feeling like my skin is being eaten by bugs with recurring hive-like welts on my face, dehydration, headaches, memory issues, and vivid and disturbing dreams that interrupt my sleep making sleep even less restful or restorative than previously. I have talked with the nurse who has talked with the doctor and I’m down to the smallest dose I can possibly take with no relief from the reactions.

Wah, big crybaby, never happy. I might start calling Oregon Health Plan every week until I get an answer to my application so I can go to my doctor. Since I would like to work, I should apply to work for them as it sounds like they are understaffed. But their offices are a 2 hour drive away from me, and I just can’t justify 4 hours on the road. I believe in working as close to where I live as possible. If they had an office in the next town over, I would be willing to drive the half hour, but I’m betting (and I would put money on this one) they would not hire me with my cane and my white hair and my fat and my health issues.

I am grateful I have the wit to deal with this as there are so many people out there who have no idea what to do or how to handle a situation like this. Life just gets more and more exciting when you are living on the edge.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week
– more old and borrowed pictures. Purple vetch, growing freely along the Columbia Gorge. purple_vetch_by_neriah_stock[1] Creamy white yarrow, another wildflower spotted along the Gorge drive. 688_2120856317_1[1] Native purple lupines, my uncle always pointed them out with delight when we drove through the Gorge. DSCN4229 Some bright yellow moth mullein in my yard, one of my favorite wildflowers. DSCN8393

Current View – Yes, I am a little behind the cultural curve but I finally watched Rent (2005, rated PG-13), so now I can catch the cultural references. One of my favorite cousins passed away from AIDS so it was a little heart wrenching for me to watch, but my favorite line of the whole movie: “The opposite of war is not peace. It’s creation.” * Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012, rated R) with Steve Carrell and Kiera Knightley. I got this movie because of Amy Schumer, but she only plays a bit part. The end of the world is coming in the form of a meteorite and society goes crazy, but the main characters find each other and find some comfort in facing the end. Interesting plot, delicately handled. * W./E. (2011, rated R), historical fiction about the life of Wallis Simpson and her love of Edward, how his abdication of the throne affected them both, woven with a modern day love story of a woman who was named for her. This was a love story; I like love stories. I’m not so fond of romances or romantic comedies as they seem somehow contrived, but a love story seems so much closer to life as we have to live it, full of violence, other people who do not think as we do, and the twists and turns along the journey of whatever pathway we take, some not of our own choosing. I will put this on my list to watch again. * First season of Hell on Wheels (2011, not rated), a period piece TV series about the American west, and the cutthroat politics, unscrupulous profiteering, and exploitations of people to make the most money from the building of the railroad. Taking place just after the end of the Civil War and the death of Lincoln it includes politicians, cowboys, railroad men, soldiers, Native Americans, Negroes, prostitutes who followed the rails, and the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get there.


Currently Reading – Once in a while you find a golden jewel in fiction. The Vegetarian (2015, fiction) by Han Kang, a Korean author, beautifully translated into English (I don’t know Korean), this story is set in Korea, and is an exploration of the ineffably fine line between life and death, the erotica of art and the body that makes us human, and the ephemeral space between dream, waking reality, and mental health. So finely crafted, I couldn’t put it down. Life Without a Recipe (2016, memoir) by Diana Abu-Jaber, an English and writing professor at Portland State University. Cooking and families intricately woven together along with her desire for a child when she was in her 40s and the adoption of her long awaited daughter, the deaths of her grandmother and father, and looking at the line between life and death. Yes, concurrently.


This week I have been grateful for:

  • The sweet fragrances during an evening walk, barbecued meat, fresh cut grass, roses, and lavender.
  • My stomach not hurting during a stressful meeting.
  • Remembering from last year how to set up the box fans to get the air moving around the house and the most relief from the heat.
  • Knowing how to do my own research.
  • A lovely hour on the phone with my 83 year old aunt on her birthday, just talking about anything and remembering the old days.
  • Finally getting an ingrown hair out of my chin. Such a relief, it had been making me crazy.
  • My niece and nephew-in-law buying a house this week. I’m so grateful they are making this investment in themselves and securing their future. I don’t think they will regret it.
  • A day and night spent with a friend from grade school and a cruise up the beautiful old scenic Columbia River Highway, celebrating 100 years since it was built this year. Visited the Vista House at Crown Point and enjoyed the historical displays. We had a lovely home packed picnic with a view of the lodge and Multnomah Falls. Wonderful drive and great time spent together.
  • Portland Rose Festival Week. I especially love the Rose Festival Parade (but shame on whoever decided girls should march in high heels!).
  • A nice cool off at the end of the week after starting out with 90 degree weather.
  • My pool fairy who brought me a sweet treat.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.


Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch
Floral paragraph dividers by Susan Branch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Medicine, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Gratitude Sunday: Health Matters

  1. piratesorka says:

    Kate, having you as my house guest during my staycation made my week extra fun and lovely. I’m sad we never got a swim in but there is always another time! So glad we got to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Columbia Gorge! Huzzah!


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