Ranting

Couldn’t Have Done It Without You

July 26th, 2018

Nora and I have driven each other to so many procedures lately, Uber is recruiting us. We’ve been in so many waiting rooms we have reserved seats.

And we couldn’t have done it without you.

Nerve Test

TURNS OUT, OLD COMES WITH SALARY AND BENEFITS

We all paid for last week.

The test is called EMG, short for Electromyography, also known as OMG, or the Spanish Inquisition. The definition includes the words “needles” and “inserted into the muscle” and  “measures muscle response” and “nerve stimulation” and “electrical” and avoids words like “pain” and “multiple” and “cry like a baby” and several words I’ll leave to your imagination.

I had one of those last week, and you and I paid for it.

The procedure is a called an epidural nerve block, also known as blessed relief, or hallelujah, or now I can bend over without taking a bullet or biting on one. Various forms of happy juice are involved along with an injection to quiet me and the screaming nerves in my back and legs.

Had one of those last week, too, and you and I picked up the check again.

The procedure is called a colonoscopy, the trip where no one wants to go to search for what no one wants to find. The preparation for this journey is far worse than the journey itself, and this time the happy juice puts one completely out and produces hilarious stream of consciousness commentary when one awakes. 

My wife took that trip last week, and yep, you and I paid for the mileage.

People over 65 – people millennials refer to as “my parents” or “older than water” – have Medicare from the federal government, also known as our taxes, and Medicare is a fine thing. It paid for just about all of the above. All I had to do is live long enough to get it, which is, of course, the reason I need all of the above. People under the poverty level, people who would suffer or die without insurance, get help from Medicaid – except, of course, in states that refuse to accept the help, like Tennessee who puts some 250,000 Tennesseans at risk to make some kind of a point.

As I lay on a number of tables last week waiting for a number of things, I thought about the people who complain the most about things like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and how they fall into two primary categories:

1. People who don’t need those programs – say, politicians who have solid gold health insurance and solid silk safety nets that we pay for and could never get ourselves.

2. People who already have Medicare and Social Security – who would fight you for calling those programs what they are – socialized medicine and socialized retirement – but would shoot you if you took either one of them away.

Both of these groups seem to have this in common; whatever they have, they damn well deserve, and the rest of us damn well don’t.

Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are some of the last remaining evidence that we are all in this together. We all share the pain. We all should celebrate the recovery.

I’m a Memphian, I feel better, and I want to thank all of you.

Come Home. DailyMemphian.com

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