My BFF, Heather, who lives in the USA, has stirred me into action. We were at boarding school together—far too long ago to mention here, suffice to say we’ve known each other since we were 10. She has just launched the next stage of her creative life; who said there’s nothing left once get reach a certain age? Not I. You can find her here: https://graphitetopaper.com/ Isn’t she clever?

Then there’s my friend and fellow editor, AJ, who writes so eloquently, and amusingly, about her battle with her Clusterfluff and her ability to overcome huge obstacles. You can find her latest blog here: http://www.ajcollins.com.au/hump-month-moonscape/

So, shamed into action, I sit here mulling over what to write this time. If you love words as much as I do (and as do the two ladies mentioned above) it shouldn’t be an issue. Yet it is when the Muse deserts us—gotta blame something/somebody.

I recently spent two nights in hospital. I have been so very lucky with my recovery, despite being slightly restricted still with what I can and can’t do—and what I am not permitted to do—I feel wonderful.

The surgeon visited the morning after the op and asked:

‘How’s the pain?’
‘What pain?’

She beamed and said that much of recovery is in the attitude of the patient. Of course that made me feel even better, and I bounded out of there the following day.

My gripe with the overall thing has nothing to do with the hospital, the staff, the food (unlike my sojourn in the public hospital 18 months ago), all of which were wonderful, but with our health system. We are fortunate enough to have private health insurance but are seriously considering revising the whole thing. You make a considered choice: we have to spend a large amount of money, and what extraneous costs are involved—in other words you weigh things up. There really isn’t an option for NOT having the procedure.

We thought we’d covered most of it. ‘It’ consisted of:

• The surgeon’s time and expertise
• Ditto the anaesthetist
• And the assistant’s time and expertise
• The pharmacy
• The pathology
• Time away from work for both of us (we’re both self-employed).

The Man is very good at visiting, even when he’s bored witless just sitting about with a sleepy, uncommunicative wife. I had other visits, all of which contributed to such a quick exit from hospital; I just didn’t have enough time to read as much as I wanted.

Medicare covers some of it, the health fund covers some more, yet we are still considerably out of pocket. To some the amount would not be difficult to find, to others it would mean the postponement of the operation. One day maybe our politicians will have the guts (initially I wrote ‘balls’ but I thought that a bit too rude) to deal with this situation when we have a ‘free’ medical system. So, do we want to go down the paths of the Scandinavian countries and have higher taxes and everything provided, or do we choose the free market—à la USA—and have insurance-based health cover which not everyone can afford? I know which I’d prefer.

As an aside I now know why Endone commands such a price on the black market. I suffer from restless leg syndrome and the night of the op, when I had to wear those attractive DVT stockings, the nursing staff also wrapped some sort of electrical stimulatory things round my calves as yet another precaution against DVT. To me the constant pulsing and pressure felt like restless legs x 10. Awful! So I asked if the Velcro-closing things could come off.

‘No, they can’t. But we can give you some Endone instead.’

Heaven! Off to sleep in no time flat. And the following night I asked for more—they gave it to me despite the fact that I didn’t have those electrickery things on, just the stockings. The process was interesting. One nurse can’t come and dole them out willy-nilly, there has to be an MO to sign off. There’s just so much we learn along life’s journey, every single day.

Well, I suppose that’s it for this update. I love to write these stream of consciousness things so hope that at least one or two of you enjoy them too.

Category(s): Creative writing, Memoir
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to Overdue

  1. What a lovely, generous endorsement for my new venture into portraiture (graphitetopaper.com). It is true that we have been BFFs since we were ten – the longest and most wonderful friendship imaginable, though the physical distance between us is distressing, I wholeheartedly thank modern technology for making it exponentially easier to keep in touch. What with FB and IM, cellphones and email, we are able to share so much more than ever before. As far as medical insurance is concerned, I’d rather pay more in taxes like they do in Sweden. Here in the USA, getting treatment for almost anything is a quick recipe for impending poverty, even with insurance! But enough of that – your muse reappeared! And your loving gesture is so much appreciated.

    • Yes, BFF. We do go back a v-e-r-y long way and it is exceptional and very special. I too love that we are able to keep in touch at the click of some keys. And I love modern communication. Yes, I’d rather pay much higher taxes, but you probably gathered that from my post!
      Re my endorsement, I am saying nothing that ain’t true. You are very talented and capture the essence of those you draw. I am in awe.

  2. Margie, what an amazing post.How encouraging to read about two friends who have tapped into their latent talents and are enjoying sharing them through the internet.
    You have been through so much healthwise lately, and I hope everything goes well overall. I understand about the added costs that one must contend with even with private health cover. My two knee replacements testify to this. Still, when the account comes in we grit our teeth and make the ever rising payments.

    Oh, the joys of growing old!
    Take care and go well.

    • Thank you, Mary. I am thrilled that my friends are out and about. And it goes to show that there is something to be said for aging as we can spend time doing what we like, not what we have to. Not that AJ is old, I hasten to add, whereas I suppose Heather and I might be considered elderly!
      The thought that one day I might have to do what you have done (knees) fills me with dread! However, I understand there is a new treatment out there – must research…
      I hope all is well with you. M x

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