Monday, November 3, 2008

Seriously, for a minute -

I'm scheduled to have surgery for my sinus woes on Friday, and the date of doom is rapidly approaching. I've tried not to think about it too much, because I'm kind of a wimp. And when I don't feel good, I'm rather worthless and whiny. I know that this surgery and the subsequent recovery will bring with it a good bit of the worthless whining wimpitude. Wimpiness isn't attractive on most people, including me.

Fortunately Hubs helps to distract me by talking about how much housework I could do "ahead of time" - because that's a direct relationship, isn't it? Can't have surgery with a dirty house, now, can I? He also reminds me regularly that he won't be around to help me at certain times, so I'll need to figure out workarounds for changing diapers and other tasks which would ordinarily require a bit of lifting. No lifting more than 15 pounds during my recovery - so Two will have to bring his little step stool around the house and get himself to any heights. I have a vague sense that I may regret encouraging a do-it-yourself climbing practice later on.

The main idea that keeps sticking in my brain, when I move past the hesitancy, is how fortunate I am, to have health insurance to reduce the cost of my surgery, to have access to a friendly doctor who will perform the procedure, to have parents to care for me and my children later in the day. The kids will even have a sleepover at their grandparents' house the first night post-op, so I can rest and recover in a quieter environment at home. I keep coming back to the unbelievable expense involved in this surgery. I would never have it if I didn't have insurance. I feel guilty knowing that we'll be paying for this procedure in monthly installments for some time to come. And yet I dream of feeling much better than I have in months, of relief from sinus pressure and misery, of freedom from knowing every cold will become an infection. This isn't a major life-or-death procedure. It's largely a quality of life concern, and one that many people likely cannot consider due to problems with cost and access.

My qualms about the current status of our medical system are considerable. I am a former child of privilege, now a woman of privilege, in comparison to so many. If I get sick, I go to the doctor, and I'm outraged to think that some people have to decide between medical care and food, or medicine and basic living expenses. I know this is often a problem for elderly individuals on fixed incomes, and yet the problem is so much more widespread. I catch glimpses of it from women who write on parenting boards and blogs I follow. I don't know what to do about the unbelievable impediments to proper medical care faced by so many people in this supposedly-privileged country. I'm not an expert. But my worries about being a whiner and dealing with housework before surgery pale in comparison. I hope whoever we elect tomorrow (you know my choice) comes up with some viable solutions and implements them, asap.


Daniel L. said...

Yucky. I've had two such surgeries. My recollection is that the first few days of recovery are fairly rough, but you begin to feel better pretty rapidly after that.

Knowing that we've elected a sane and rational man to be our leader would certainly help one's emotions in this situation.

Melissa said...

I hope the surgery goes well - we'll be thinking about you!

The Driftwood Collector said...

Knowing that we've elected a sane and rational man to be our leader would certainly help one's emotions in this situation.