Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fixing Symptoms Does Not Fix the Problem

bear butt walking away.  "Gone crazy. Back soon."
Health (physical, mental, emotional, spirit) in the body or in social structures is not made better by fixing symptoms.

Circumstances place me in a situation where I can choose to bemoan, misery-ize, and just plain rant; or I can follow my own talk and choose how to make the circumstances bring about my goals.

All right --
after physical movement calculated to change my position, or posture if you will;
breathing to calm, quiet and relax every aspect of me;
and referring to previous creative praises of me (yep, had to resort to outside intervention in this one! ::grin:: )

-- I am now ready to sally forth.

I'll share my story -- not because it's the worst, but because it is representative of so many of the folks I know, both housed and on-the-streets.

The government has just applied a bandaid to fix symptoms rampant across the nation regarding the healthcare system.

In so doing, the government has screwed me, personally.  I make on ssdi, a skooch more than the yearly allowable for "not having to purchase health insurance".

Which means I have to opt in for Plan B in the Medicare package I'm now eligible for in my 25th month of disability, because I "have" to purchase insurance or be fined $695 in taxes per year.  In so doing, I have to "opt" to spend my precious food money and emergency money on the $99.90 monthly payment to Medicare, whether or not I use the services.

I don't get the luxury of waiting until 2014 to start making this payment, because if I don't opt in for Plan B now, as my Medicare starts, it will cost me 25% more if I opt in later.

To put salt and lemon juice into the wound, I've read over what Plan B covers.  And there's only one thing in it I would plan on using.  And with only survival income, I can't even do that, because I'd be responsible for 25% of the original billing.  Now what stone am I going to squeeze to get that blood out of?

On top of that, none of it is going to be useable to heal my debilitating gingivitis/gum disease.  Which affects my health dramatically.  Of the stuff I *can* eat and not have an allergic or sensitive reaction to, I'm down to mush at lukewarm temperature.  Medicare doesn't touch it.

Yet being able to chew to begin the digestive process is integral to physical health.  Not to mention the emotional and mental aspects of having a mouth that smells like an open cesspool no matter how clean I try to make it.

Nor does that cover the fact that being partially toothless does have an impact when you are out and about in society, even though folks give lip service to the fact that it really shouldn't.

Yes, choosing between food and toilet paper, laundry soap, dish soap, actually having the coins to do the laundry and things like that are a monthly occurrence for me.

I re-iterate, for others with even less than I have, the choices are even more poignant.

Can you imagine that?

Spend a moment trying.  Yes, close your eyes, and imagine what it's like to look at the quarters in your hand and decide if you are going to get food that is healthy for you; or junk food (less expensive, that will fill your stomach, but make you sick); or toilet paper; or clean clothes; or being able to wash the dishes.

Okay, now bring yourself back to your real world, and open your eyes.

Am I asking you for money?  No.
Am I asking you for donations? No.

I am asking you to:

consider the possibility that doing things the same way (including looking at the symptoms rather than the problem -- in fact, considering the symptoms as the problem, rather than as symptoms) is insanity.

Oh all right, I'll make it easier -- doing things in the same way, which hasn't worked yet -- for decades, dare I say centuries, is not going to change anything.

Having access to health on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spirit is a BIRTHRIGHT of any human.  It is not a privilege.  Having access is not about being open to the highest bidder or whomever can pay what someone is charging.

When I think of health, I think of Patch Adams.  Now there's a role model!  Here's a link to an older post of mine with a Patch Adams video.  I suggest watching the video.)

Circumstances place me in a situation where I can choose to bemoan, misery-ize, and just plain rant; or I can follow my own talk and choose how to make the circumstances bring about my goals.

Well, next month is (and the months after that are) going to be interesting for me to survive through.

Bemoan, rant, rage and misery-ize?  No.

I opt to use all that energy to start some kind of business sharing with people how and what they can do for themselves.

I do have to say that simply surviving from month-to-month is not a quality, nor a desirable life to me, nor would I wish it on my worst enemy.  Bare survival is not living, it is not appropriate of our social structures to condone it as a "lifestyle."

It's possible for us, no matter who we are, and what our ability or dis-ability, to do more than survive.  It's possible for us to transform ourselves and thereby transform the world.

As I finish this, I dwell on words a friend used recently in reference of me and a few others, "empowered to affect change" ... don't you think that's a marvelous phrase?

I opt to use the circumstances which have put me painfully teetering on the brink of survival this time to further empower myself, and to empower others to affect change.

Whatever your issue is ... fixing the symptoms does not fix the issue.

I'm challenging you to join me, no matter your cause, no matter whether you are housed or homeless, to bring awareness of "the issue" to yourself, to the world -- AND to affect change for yourself.

As you affect change for yourself, you will affect change for the world.

You have a birthright to your talents and to life.  You were born.  Make use of it.

Question.  Be aware.  Transform.

Empower to affect change.

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