Women’s March (What I Learned From My Sister)

I try not to talk about Politics too much. One reason is I don’t feel that I’m well versed in the subject. The other reason is it always causes problems. I found myself changing my mind recently after talking to my sister.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Around 55 million women have access to crucial preventive care at no cost under the Affordable Care Act at this time.

If the new Congress (made up of congressional Republicans) repeal the Affordable Care Act and deny federal funding for Planned Parenthood it will cripple women’s access to affordable health care.

Right now it’s illegal for government agencies and federally funded health insurers and hospitals to discriminate based on sex, race, color, origin, disability or age. It’s the first time federal civil rights law has prohibited discrimination based on sex in federally funded health programs.

The Affordable Care Act has mandated services. One is the requirement that all contraceptive methods approved by the FDA must be covered by insurance without cost sharing. Another is that all small group and individual health plans provide coverage for maternity care.

Women would lose access to preventative services such as annual exams, supplies for new moms, counseling for domestic and intimate partner violence, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. All of these services are covered under the Affordable Care Act.

DEFUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD

What the majority of the public doesn’t know is that only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services account for abortion services. But that is what their name is constantly equated with.

Their clinics actually provide breast cancer screening, testing and treatment for STDs, annual pap tests, Cervical Cancer screening, birth control, and more. For more than a hundred years Planned Parenthood has provided health services to women who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

CONCLUSION

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed and Planned Parenthood is defunded, it not only puts the physical health of millions of women in jeopardy but also affects their economic security. When women have access to affordable healthcare they are able to financially support themselves and their families without the added stress or burden of how to obtain Health Insurance.

PERSONAL

I never really thought about these issues that much. It’s been in the last few years that they’ve become important.

When I talked to my twin sister yesterday she told me about going to the local march in our city. I was worried after watching the news and when Planned Parenthood is possibly involved things can get a little intense. She knew this.

Years ago when my sister didn’t have Health Insurance and was dating her now husband she went to Planned Parenthood for her birth control. She had no choice. It was all she could afford. She made the mistake of asking me to go with her on one occasion.

At first I was oblivious. We got out of the car and a man approached me. He asked me how I was. I said “Fine, how are you?”. I wasn’t thinking this man was a threat. Then he started spewing vile things at my sister and I about being “baby killers” and he was close enough where he was touching my sister. Well, the red veil came down over my eyes. I’m not exactly sure what I said or did. I do know the man ran away and my sister banned me from ever going with her again. When it comes to my family something happens to me. When it comes to myself, not so much.

When my sister had her first child she had to return to work fairly soon. She was breast feeding. She would have to pump her breast milk at work and her husband would pick it up at her break time.

The part that disgusted her and me was where she was forced to pump her breast milk.

No woman should have to express their child’s nutrients while hiding in a supply closet that doesn’t lock or in a bathroom stall.

Many times my sister was “accidentally” walked in on while she was using the supply closet by male co-workers. She didn’t want to use a dirty bathroom but finally she didn’t have a choice. Now employers have to provide a separate place to pump breast milk.

My sister is part of the Affordable Care Act. She has two of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen. (Really I’m not being biased) They are also well behaved, polite, kind, and generous. They are rare children. My sister has Celiac Disease that is always active, she has Fibromyalgia, she’s had Mono for months now, at one point she was having a type of seizure where you couldn’t really tell she was having one. She would stare off somewhere and the last two fingers on her left hand would do a tapping/tremor motion. She would have no memory when it was over.

She needs Insurance. Her husband owns a bar, does some construction, he’s in a band (not that much money), he does get royalties from a few albums he’s done with other people but it isn’t a lot, and has never actually worked a job that was technically on the books. So pretty much not helpful. He is one of the best fathers I’ve ever seen. He also tolerates my sister so he has to be good.

The point is no matter how you feel about Planned Parenthood the issues are much more than Pro Life and Pro Choice. It’s also bigger than Feminism. This shouldn’t be a Women versus Men issue which unfortunately it’s turning into judging by the signs in the crowds. This is about HEALTH CARE and the AFFORDABILITY of it. When you have to choose between Heat, Electricity, Food, or Health Insurance, something is very wrong.

ATTACK OF THE KILLER GALLBLADDER!

For at least the last 15 years I have had trouble with my Gallbladder. My Primary Care Doctor continuously said that it didn’t need to come out.

There were times where my Gallbladder caused me serious problems. The one I remember most is the Rehearsal Dinner for my sister’s Wedding. It was held at an Irish Bar but for some reason had a Pirate theme. I have no clue why. I believe it was the Irish stew that did me in. Although I wasn’t practicing sobriety at the time I never, ever, drank around my parents. I knew it wasn’t from drinking, there was a lot of garlic in that stew though!

So that night I stayed with her in a fancy mansion where the wedding was to be held. At 2:00 a.m. it started. The sweat was pouring off of me, I woke up nauseous and ran for the bathroom. When this happens I usually have some Ginger Ale or Coke to settle my stomach and after an hour I’m fine.

I woke my sister up. She wasn’t happy. Her words to me were “This isn’t about you, tomorrow is my day. Go back to sleep!”. I couldn’t find any soda so I spent the night on the bathroom floor.

Over the years I’ve had many Gallbladder attacks. I learned what to avoid and when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease the attacks became less frequent. I don’t know what happened 3 days ago but I must have pissed someone off somewhere.

I have never been in so much pain in my entire life. From the middle of my breastbone going down under my right ribcage was a pain I can’t even describe. I tried everything that usually works. It got to a point I couldn’t breathe. Then the electricity went out. It was 90 degrees. I’m also on antibiotics for a bladder infection from my kidney stents and wasn’t feeling great to begin with. I went 2 days like this. Finally I went to the E.R. around midnight last night.

I might as well have gone to the 24/hour Emergency Veterinarians up the street. They took blood (everything was normal), took x-rays (you can’t see gallstones/gallbladder on an x-ray), they brought in a portable Ultrasound. I though finally! Two Doctors and an Ultrasound technician couldn’t find my friggin’ Gallbladder!!!! They ran that wand everywhere. At one point I think I said “Seriously?”. Even I knew where they should’ve been. So they abandoned ship and told me I would have to have a CAT scan. FOUR HOURS go by and another person comes to take more blood when they already said my bloodwork was fine. I hadn’t seen a nurse or doctor in that four hours. I refused her taking more blood and said I was leaving. I started taking off all the tape and sticky round things, I took off the blood pressure cuff and the thing they put on your finger. Usually when this even falls off by accident someone comes to check. Not one single person came and my machine was going off like crazy. I knew the Phlebotomist hadn’t told them yet because I was watching her.

Ten minutes later as I started to remove my IV she told them and a nurse came in. The nurse got the Doctor and I told him I wanted to leave.

I was still in some pain but not as bad. When I arrived home I looked up “How to ease Gallbladder pain”. Every site said the same. Apple Cider Vinegar. You can mix some in with Apple Juice. The acid in the vinegar stops the Liver from making cholesterol that forms most gallstones and dissolves the ones already there.

I didn’t have Apple Cider Vinegar, I only had distilled white vinegar, but I was desperate and drank 2 tablespoons of it. I immediately starting to burp/belch which I hadn’t been able to do, not even with a bottle of TUMS. It’s been about 5 1/2 hours with no pain so far. I could cry with relief. I hope it lasts.

Normally I wouldn’t disrespect someone’s profession like that. I was in serious agony and I didn’t even get a blanket or a kind word. I know it was a Saturday night but they were not that busy. For 2 Doctor’s and a Technician to fail at finding my Gallbladder and continuously ask me if I was sure I still had one was just ludicrous. They have ALL MY RECORDS THERE. I might forget some things but I think I would remember having something removed.

The degree of medical care in this country continues to get worse. I can’t blame the Doctor’s 100%. There have been cutbacks to a dangerous fault. There simply are not enough good people working and the people working are there for too many hours and have lost their compassion. When you lose that why bother showing up at all?

 

PREDNISONE & OTHER INFO

My father is on Prednisone for Temporal Arteritis. It’s an inflammatory disease that is diagnosed by bloodwork AND a Biopsy of the Temporal Artery. The Biopsy is the important part. Of course my father refuses to get a Biopsy and is going on the diagnosis made by the Emergency Room Doctor at a Hospital that has tried to kill him several times and had a huge hand in my mother’s death.

The Prednisone itself is a harsh medication. It makes it harder for you to fight infections, causes weight gain, brittle bones, diabetes, and changes in personality and mood. I no longer recognize my dad’s face or his personality. His face is so bloated his eyes look closed. He angers easily and has a problem controlling his temper. This is not the man I know and love. It is hard to watch him change.

He will not listen to me even though I live with him and I’ve always been the closest person to him besides my mom. If my sister came over and saw him and spoke to him about his health, for some reason he would listen. She’s too busy. She didn’t even talk to him on Easter. She feels that he knows how to work a phone too and should call her. She is an idiot with her head in the sand. It’s her favorite place to stay. That way she isn’t responsible for anything.

I have to go to a Hospital I’ve never been to tomorrow for testing before surgery. She can’t go with me because she is working the “book sale” at her kids school. My dad is going with me. I don’t want him to. He is sick and shouldn’t be around other people that are sick.

I really need him to come off the Prednisone. His Dr. at Dialysis says he needs to come off of it but gave him no suggestions or names of people to see. They have infiltrated his fistula 5 times now. I become more disgusted every time he comes home. I called there once because I was angry. My father was furious with me. He’s so filled with pride it’s going to kill him.

He has done nothing in regards to a Living Will or a regular Will. His state of affairs is a mess. Someone will have to deal with his 300 pigeons and his enormous antique clock collection. My sister believes she can just open the doors to the pigeon coops and they will fly away. She’s in for a big surprise. My sister and brother know nothing about antique clocks either. They do not know what is worthless and what is valuable. I imagine a yard sale with over 100 antique clocks all priced at $10.

I’ve stopped worrying about it. They can have it all. I would rather have my dad. My plan is to take off as soon as anything happens to my father. Let them deal with the mess I’ve been dealing with for years. I’ll live in my car if I have to. L.A. has a very nice homeless population in this one area I know of. There is a car wash across the street where most of them wash up. It doesn’t scare me anymore to think of that happening to me. I would be more afraid of being hospitalized against my wishes.

Back to the Prednisone. I need to find a way to get him weaned off of it. I may have to play nice with my sister and get her to talk to him.

In case I forget I watched a YouTube video of a young woman who had a Nephrostomy. This is where they have 2 tubes coming out of your back to drain your kidneys. This may be in store for me. I really, really, hope not. I’ll have to weigh quality of life against quantity at that point.