Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Live the Change You Dream Of.

Vivian over at Danieldoo tagged me for this great memoir in six words.

My memoir?

Live the change you Dream Of.

What does this mean?

It means that change does not stop with desire. It means that change is realized only because of action, and change happens most effectively and most sweepingly from the bottom up.

I've been exceedingly busy these past few weeks doing just that. I've had quite the opportunity to advocate for and speak about the Minnesota Health Act (MN proposal for universal single-payer health coverage for all MN residents.) I've been given the opportunity to meet some amazing people, and without intending to, I have made my own profound impression on several local personalities.

I am living, actively, the change that I dream of.

So why have I chosen universal, single payer coverage as my focal point to advocate for?

Insuring everyone under current private comprehensive medical insurance standards will not be enough. It will not help the under-insured (all of us!) It will not address the misuse of funds administratively by thousands of insurance companies.

Single-payer is the only way to address these issues. Single payer is the way to cut health care costs by 27% if you insure only those who currently have insurance. Single payer is the way to cut health care costs by 5% if you insure EVERYONE.

Universal, single-payer is not just ideology in politics. Universal, single-payer is common-sense policy which allows health care practise to have principles based on the health care model, rather than the business model.

Live the Change You Dream Of.

Friday, March 14, 2008

My kids grow up.

My Sandis grows up. He has a smattering of freckles across the bridge of his flared nose. He is strong, persistent, and athletic. He is the fastest, the most competitive, the most driven. He is the most of everything.

My Gracie gets older. Her patterned feet, her twisted legs, her fluttering eyelashes far atop pierced and dimpled cheeks. She is painted with pink, her cheeks so rosey as to seem artificial. She is conspiratorial, imaginative, and involved with scores of stories only narrated within her. She often holds a grudge yet despite this, wants desperately to be held, loved, and nuzzled. Gracie’s energy is bright, alive, and creative.

I love them both so differently. Her independence sets her apart, and I forget she needs my touch. His dependence evokes my protective sense, and I forget he needs to be apart.

So different, yet I am so very much in love with both.

Tonight Sandis plays a hockey game at the SCSU Huskies playoff hockey game, between the second and third period. He will be playing hockey in front of a stadium full of cheering fans, and he harbors excitement and no perceptible fear. He is a star, my star, and he wants so badly to be in front of crowds with all eyes upon him. Bob is taking Sandis to the game and they will be the Bob & Sandis duo that is so important for them to be.

Tonight Gracie will accompany me at a movie theatre. I will be undistracted by chores or other family members. I hope to pull her up warmly into my lap and push her hair back between my fingers, curls falling through the cracks. Gracie and I will be the mommy & Gracie duo that is so important for us to be.

I am lucky. God, how lucky I must be.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

DFL Monthly Meeting - District 15

I’m speaking tomorrow at the monthly DFL meeting. Up until recently, I haven’t been all that active in partisan affairs. It seems as though most things I am involved in, although obviously in one camp more than the other, are not considered “partisan” activities.

It seems that not all disabled folk are in one party. Disabled folk (families, children, adults, pre-teens, teenagers) have all sorts of political views, but they all basically want the same things for themselves: Equal opportunity, equal access, etc. Associating with one party over another wouldn’t accomplish what they need, which is recognition of the problem and overwhelming social change to correct it.

Tomorrow evening I will be speaking about the Minnesota Health Act at my district’s monthly DFL meeting. I’ve discovered, and decided, that I am the best person for the job of informing the public in my district about this bill and how it can change the face of health care (and business) in the state of Minnesota. I am determined to dispel myths and invite others on the campaign trail of single-payer universal health care for the state of Minnesota. Fortunately, at the meeting tomorrow night, I will have a captive audience (and hopefully an agenda item after me…) I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, and having people seated with the intent to listen to me is exactly what I need to spread the word about this bill.

Should you happen to live in District 15 in Saint Cloud, please hop on over to the DFL meeting tomorrow night. Just do me a favor, when I have my five minutes to share information about the Minnesota Health Act, please don’t point and laugh. I guarantee I will have something cool to share!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On Poverty

I’ve been extremely busy lately. I’m devoting quite a bit of my energies to advocating for (and lobbying for) the Minnesota Health Act.

One thing has got me bothered, though. And perhaps it is just my oversensitivity.

What is this bothering thing?

A general lack of compassion among the people I am acquainted with.

I get the feeling that if all the poor people just up and died of some incurable Spanish flu bug they wouldn’t be the worse for wear (my acquaintances, as obviously, the impoverished would be greatly affected.) Unfortunately for my acquaintances, were that to happen, they would realize too late that there is always a “bottom” of the money totem pole, and perhaps they would now be closer to it.

Poverty is not an indicator of a person’s low worth. Material riches are not a “good people” status quo we should all strive to reach.

It is not about money people! Money, your house, your rings, and your fabulous wardrobe do not somehow make your opinion more valuable, more poignant, or more meaningful. It simply means you have the means to adorn yourself grandly, and even perhaps others. That is all. You do not suddenly possess more personal “human” worth as your means grow.

I am not rich. I am not desperately poor. I have been desperately poor. When I was desperately poor I still had fears, I still had dreams, and I still read classic literature with fervor. I was no more and no less “human” or “valuable.” I was, however, less “valued” by society as a whole.

Unfortunate, but true.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Leap of Faith

Well, not exactly a leap of faith, but something to that effect. I have lost around 20 lbs since my surgery in September last year. I started at around 168 and I am weighing in around 148 now, with no indications that my weight is beginning to rise. With the decreased weight also comes a decreased insulin need. I would estimate that my insulin usage is approximately half of what it was this time last year. I am averaging less than 25 units per day, and often times I am under 20 units.

The past couple of months I have been adjusting how I take insulin. If my bolus wizard cues me to take 3.6 units of insulin, I’ve been administering 1.8 units of insulin. This has been working fairly well, and although I have had a few lows (and a few highs) it seems about right. Today I took the final step (my leap of diabetes faith) and changed my ratios in my pump. My insulin to carbohydrate ratio is now 1/16 (it was 1/8) and my correction is 1/70 (it was 1/35.) I’m hoping to see some better numbers with this as my intent is to consistently bolus what my wizard prompts me to bolus. This should show me where I am with my ratios (to some degree.)

Other averages of mine seem to be reigning in somewhat since my acquisition of the Mini-Link Transmitter. My morning blood sugars have been routinely fabulous and although I still have the odd night-time low (which I am hesitant to correct yet) I sleep much more soundly (and without inhaling my kitchen beforehand) because my pump will wake me up if my blood sugar drops low. I am still working to correct the multitude of lows that come with losing weight and decreasing insulin needs. I’m hoping my new ratios will help with this, along with the adjustments I made in the weeks prior to my basals.

I am still markedly excited about and pleased with my transmitter. I can’t think of one thing (other than my pump, which I have had for 13 years) which has been more helpful in the care of my diabetes.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Breaking up is hard to do…….

But seriously, staying together is wayyyyy harder.

Bob (the babe) moved in last Sunday. He is meshing (to whatever extent we both allow) his household with mine, and to be perfectly honest, growing pains in this regard are intensely painful, distracting, and infuriating.

We dither between arguments long enough to make up, only to rage our fires yet again a few moments later. Fortunately the hours 10pm to 6am are blessed with quiet and peace (and a few snuggles.)

I hadn’t any idea that this man I love is so hard to live with (nor he imagined me the same..)

It occurs to me (quite recently) that commitment is no easy game, yet despite all this work (and fighting) I’m certain the end result will be quite worth it.