A FB Post From a Friend


Women: “Can I have birth control?”
Republicans: “No.”
Women: “I couldn’t get birth control so I got pregnant. Can I have an abortion?”
Republicans: “No.”
Women: “You prevented me from having an abortion so I’m carrying the fetus, but my employer won’t provide reasonable accommodations and is threatening to fire me. Would you please pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act?”
Republicans: “No”
Women: “I had the baby, but I’m out of work. Can I have WIC and food stamps until I get back on my feet?”
Republicans: “No.”
Women: “I found a job, but it doesn’t offer me insurance. Can I have government guaranteed insurance?”
Republicans: “No.”
Women: “My kid got sick and I got fired because I missed time caring for him. Can I get unemployment?”
Republicans: “No.”
Women: “I’m having a hard time getting my kid from school consistently. Can we fund after-school programs?”
Republicans: “No.”
Women: “I’m prepared to work to support my family. Can you make sure that a full-time job’s minimum wage is enough to do that?”
Republicans: No. But what’s the matter with you and your family, that working two jobs can’t lift you out of poverty? And what kind of a mother are you, letting someone else watch your child while you work? If your child doesn’t do well in school or gets in trouble, it’s entirely your fault. You shouldn’t have had a child if you weren’t prepared to take care of her.”

And that about says it all.

This Was Bad

It happened again.  We saw it coming and had no way to stop it.  How have we not learned how to curb Son when he goes manic.  This time was so frightening.  I’m not sure he’s going to fully recover.  I think it’s because of his benzodiazepine addiction of a few years ago.  Which he still has, apparently.

Things had been going so well.  The four of us were getting along better than we had been in years.  I was getting out and doing my own thing and feeling good.  I should’ve known it wouldn’t last.  Damn that optimism!  Son had been in a great mood for weeks, his business was doing very well.  He’d started some cannabis seeds and his plants were looking good.  He was staying up late; 2 and 3 AM.  But he didn’t seem bothered by it.   This went on for three days or so.   Then on Wednesday he started acting odd.  Muttering, shuffling, off balance.  Mostly confused.

This we recognize and we do as we had agreed, that if Son started acting drunk or sleep walking we were to give him an extra 1/2 dose of Seraquil.  He stayed up very late and was agitated, bumping into things, dropping things.  We sat and talked for a while, but he was pretty incoherent.  He asked the same questions: what’s going on, I don’t understand what’s happening,  why is this happening.  Then he’d ask what day it was or what time.  He was always surprised by my answer.  He began to hallucinate.  I started to record him, but had to put the camera down while I cleaned up the mess he made urinating in the middle of his room.  By then he was calmer and sat down on the couch, where he finally fell asleep.  I went to bed about 4 AM.

Next morning he seems better.  He gets up, talks with his dad and has some coffee.  But later in the day he started acting weird again.  Still, he wasn’t as bad as the previous day, so maybe he was still getting better.  But that’s not how it played out and we spent Friday night in the ER.  He admitted himself and I went home.  Husband is picking him up as I write.  Don’t know what good it did for him to just stay the night.

Still, I spoke with his caseworker and she was probably the most helpful one by far.  It’s been a different person every time he’s been in hospital.  She told me she didn’t any reason Son wouldn’t qualify for disability.   She told me to call my local SS office.  They’ll send paperwork which Son takes to his doctor.  We have an appointment with a psychologist in two weeks.  We make an appointment with the SS office and meet with their counselor.  Then in about two months he should have an answer.

I’d never heard of this, but the caseworker said she’d been doing this for 10 years and she’s rarely heard of anyone in Son’s condition be denied disability benefits.  I hate the idea of him being permanently disabled, but if he had these benefits, he wouldn’t have to work so hard out of our living room.  Plus he would then qualify for Medicare, which is much better coverage than Medi-Cal.  That’s the most important thing.

I was so angry when I tried again, in vain, to find help.   All I got was recorded messages telling me to call another number.  I called a dozen phone numbers for an hour and in the end had no where to go but the ER.  Where I had to sit and keep him calm for 6 hours, because you know they won’t give you any drugs until all the tests come back and you see the doc.  Once Son was medically cleared he finally was seen by a caseworker.

Son kept asking us if he took something or if we gave him something.  He also asked what we found in his room.  Did we take something from his room.  So we checked out his room.  A small bottle of a type Benzo in powder form.  He and his dad just came back and I told him we found it.  Now he is angry and wants it back.  He wants people to leave him be, that he’s better when he’s on them.

It’s going to be a long, long two weeks before he meets with the psychologist.  Maybe I can get him into the psychiatrist sooner.

Sometimes life just fucks you.


Slogging Through Info

My most challenging activity is trying to sort through the pages and pages of assorted sites dedicated to the advocacy of addicts and the psychologically ill.  Go to the “How You Can Help” page on most of these sites and it’s all about fund raising.  Join a walk, have a bake sale.  I don’t want to raise money to study the fucking problem.  And why should it cost money to try to move a bill through its paces?

Of course, it always comes down to money.  That’s why so many addicts and the mentally disabled people are either without insurance entirely, or only getting care through ERs, county-funded (make that underfunded) facilities and crap insurance like Medi-Cal or Medicaid.  No one wants to put money into funding proper training, adequate support, and sufficient insurance coverage for what society has apparently decided are ‘throw away people’.  Like the poor, mentally ill people and addicts are treated like they did something to deserve their current situation.  Just like poor people should work harder, an addict should just quit using, Mrs. Conservative Christian Republican says.  (Actually, that was real advice given to my son by an MD.)  What people don’t seem to realize is that without help the addict is quite unlikely to achieve sobriety.  Just like without our help our poor are dying on the streets for lack of care.

The GOP of the past 15 years or so is responsible for there being more poor, more mentally ill without care, and more homelessness.  Why?  Because every bill that comes along designed to help people is watered down or destroyed by their manipulation.  Why?  Because they have decided that those with are not obliged to help those without.  Mostly it’s because there is NO MONEY to be made in helping people.  What we have is a political system favoring the rich and powerful, with laws designed to help them avoid paying taxes that fund programs like Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and the Affordable Care Act.

So here I am trying to figure out how to try to impliment change.  I’m still trying to filter through all the various groups involved in trying to make policy changes.  I guess I kind of get why there are so many websites and groups, and other pages since each of us has their own ideas on how to accomplish change, but if we could pool our resources and our energy toward changing laws to reach complete reform it would seem to guarantee success.  I know it will be slow.  Evolution is a slow process.



State of Mental Health in America

Dec. 17, 2012 Washington Post article on mental health care

May 12, 2014 USA Today article on mental health care

Life Without Health Insurance in the US

I am currently without health insurance.  Only three months, but it hasn’t quite gone as smoothly as I had hoped.  I take 6 prescriptions and 27get them all filled for 90 days by a mail-order service.  This isn’t my favorite way to get my meds, but it is significantly cheaper.  This service has a bad history of not getting my scripts filled in a timely manner.  That’s what happened this last time I used the service.  Three of my scripts are anti-depressants were ordered by my psychiatrist and came without a hitch.  Luckily.  I get two meds from my neurologist and these were submitted with plenty of time.  I’d get my 90 day supply and make it through to July when I start getting medicare.  No sweat, right?  Wrong!  Even though they had three weeks to fill them, only one arrived.  A week passed and the second, Lyrica was still not filled.  I got online and checked on it, and they said the pharmacist had a question and the doctor didn’t reply, and the request was cancelled!  Yay.  That’s the way to take care of people.  I got online, requested the script be re-requested.  At that time I also ordered a refill for my thyroid meds.  They said the doctor would be contacted.  I called to follow up, as nothing arrived and I was down to the last few days of my coverage.  In the end, neither the Lyrica (a pain med) or the thyroid med was filled.

logoIt’s been a week without Lyrica and I am feeling the lack quite significantly.  The right side of my head is on fire and it feels like I’ve got an icepick in my right eye.  If I pay cash for just 30 days of Lyrica at the local pharmacy, it costs $900, so I ordered some neurontin from Canada.  Cost me $150 for 120 tabs.  It will take far more of the neurontin to relieve the pain by 3:1.  The only bad thing is the neurontin has yet to arrive.  It may be another week before it comes.  Meanwhile I am working on controlling my pain with meditation.  I am able to take it from a 6 to a 3, which is manageable.  But if I hit a ten before I get control, it’s nearly impossible to bring the pain level down much.

I am not exactly sure what going without levothyroxine will do, especially stopping suddenly.  So I’ll just see if I can make the last 20 doses last me 5 weeks.

I looked into getting a 30 day supply of each from the manufacturer.  But  it would take longer to get that paplevothyroxine-sodiumerwork completed and involve a trip to two doctors in order to have a prescription written for them.  It’s just easier to live without for a short time.  I hope.

Lyrica is notorious for weight gain.  Taking it on top of a low functioning thyroid and going through menopause it’s a wonder I don’t weigh more than I do.  So I have to look at the positives–I have already lost 8 pounds and I only have 5 weeks before I am insured again.

I have always felt for those in the US without health care.  Not health insurance.  People don’t need insurance,  just health care.  This experience has made me even more sensitive to the lack of proper health care and easy access to medication.  I’m glad I quit taking the Copaxone injections.  Those run some $3500 per 30 day supply.  Outrageous.  These drug companies want our support, our tax money to do all their research, yet they don’t make the drugs accessible to everyone.  That’s just wrong on so many levels.

I hope to be down 20 pounds before July and I get back on the Lyrica.  At least something good will come of this experience.  Plus I know the Lyrica really works.


Health Care

Is access to medical care something that governments should provide, or is it better left to the private sector? Are there drawbacks to your choice?

All human beings should have medical care available.  The problem is you can’t afford it.  Not without insurance, which is also unaffordable.  Some people with insurance and a 30 hour workweek now work only 28 hours, because their employer can’t afford the insurance (or he’s a greedy bastard like Papa John).  The only way to fix the problem, as I see it, people just need more money.  (Personally I don’t need money, but my mortgage company does.)

So how do we solve this dilemma?  Well, some places institute country-wide health care.  In the US we already have medicaid, but you pretty much have to be homeless to qualify.  Here in California, we have County Hospitals, the only not-for-profit hospitals, with the poorest paid employees of questionable expertise.  I have had direct contact with these facilities and they are just one step above a back alley abortionist.  They reside in County buildings, so they are rundown, using decades old equipment and out of date techniques.  The staff is overworked, underpaid, and have lost their compassion.  Now we’re getting Obama-Care.  So far I haven’t seen anything change.  My son still doesn’t qualify, and he has no job and no insurance.  So who does qualify?  I’m still waiting to find out.

I don’t want a government-run medical system, because, based on current conditions, the government doesn’t know how to.  There is nothing wrong with “mainstream” medical care, those who have insurance get better care.  As always.  Of course, privatized medicine, like we have now, is greed driven, influenced by drug companies and subsidized by insurance companies.

My answer to the question of health care is get rid of insurance companies.  No one needed insurance 50 years ago, why do we need it now?  Insurance companies are the ones running the show, setting the prices, and making money off the backs of the working class.   We should also regulate drug companies.  I take a prescription that without insurance would cost me $3500 a month.  That’s 30 doses.  With insurance, my co-pay is $100.  What’s wrong with that picture?  How can the drug company afford to make such a discount?  Who pays the rest?  Insurance premiums, which keep going up to compensate for the high cost of drugs.  Who sets the price?

Any time you want to change a situation, find out who’s making money in the current situation.  That’s where we need to look.  Then the question is, how do we eliminate the profit margin?  Sorry, that’s too big a mess for my muddled head.  It’s as it has been throughout history, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.