Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Keep Sane During Phone Calls Related to "The Systems of Care"



 A dear online friend mentioned my "fuck you stare" yesterday, which I was completely unaware that I possess. Another dear online friend private messaged me that I did not possess a "fuck you stare" but had "beautiful black eyes" and "the weight of the world." She also told me that I had plenty of "fuck you" writing. I sent the former the photo above and the latter a message saying that the former meant no harm and that lately a "fuck you" stare at men in general was very much in order. I'm talking about YOU, John McCain and that clot behind your eye that you're dealing with by using the "best healthcare system in the world" that we provide for you, and YOU, Mitch McConnell and your bullshit healthcare bill that you've deferred yet again. The weight I carry, though, is far less than others' in this world, and I'm not talking poundage. I'm thinking we should all join together, find a good ambulance-chaser attorney and file suit for emotional distress related to the healthcare shenanigans in our congress.

This morning, I spent the better part of two hours on the phone using my tiny little mother mind™ to navigate the various Systems of Care. That's a euphemistic phrase for The Neurologist's Office, The MediCal, The Blue Shield, the Social Security Administration, and the Wheelchair Company. With the exception of a successful refill for The Drug That Doesn't Work But That Sophie Is Horribly Addicted To, the rest of the calls were unproductive fools' errands. I've been throwing around the term fool's errand a lot lately. It captures quite perfectly what dealing with the Systems of Care is like on some days. Most days. I won't regale you with details because I'd feel responsible if you felt violent as a result, and I don't have a way to dispense Tootsie Roll pops to mitigate any damages.

Anyhoo.

Today, I found myself unwrapping a Tootsie Roll pop and sucking it furiously while on hold. About when the insurance company's Automaton/human came on, I'd gotten to the sticky tootsie roll part and enthusiastically crunched the candy into the chocolate while dictating social security numbers and case numbers and weight and marital status and my feelings about John McCain's eye clot.* Just kidding on the last three. See below for thoughts on the last. Where I ended up after said conversations was Brazil,** where I was given a list of different numbers to call for seemingly intractable problems and issues. I placed those numbers in a little pile on the hot pink plastic file bin on the top of my desk, right under the Shrine of Doodads and Tchotchkes.





The Tootsie Roll pop helped which probably means I have some kind of oral fixation issues.

Actually, it helps to curb invective so I can work on my "fuck you stare."

What also helps is to surrender and call it a day even though it's before noon.

What are ya'll doing today?












* I know I'm not alone in remarking on the irony of the estimable Senator McCain who suffers from a clot above his eye and who is currently getting excellent (The Greatest Healthcare System on the Planet) healthcare, gratis (thanks to his bosses, US), which has pushed the "healthcare" vote off yet again (because his vote is said to be a resounding YES). Imagine my "fuck you stare" here.

** I can still conjure the feeling I had after seeing the movie Brazil, not only because my tiny little mother mind™ has a memory like a steel trap, but because the events of my life mimic them nearly every day.


22 comments:

  1. "What are ya'll doing today?" Also phone calls, but I don't have a tootsie roll pop. I guess that's what has been missing.

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  2. Today? Writing long, extremely carefully worded emails to parents in denial about their children's significant behavioural issues. Contacting behaviourists about said behavioural issues because said behaviourists never talked to the teachers. Fucking nightmare.

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  3. What I've done today is entertain and keep three grandchildren alive for five hours. Forget the Tootsie Pop. I need a drink.

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    1. There's probably a martini you could make with a Tootsie Pop garnish.

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    2. YES! My "young" friends tell me there is such a thing as a chocolate Martini-- would be lovely with any type of tootsie roll

      pop.https://www.godivaliqueurs.com/images/recipes/img-godiva-chocolate-martini.png

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  4. Have you seen the movie "I, Daniel Blake?" It's pretty amazing, although nerve-wracking and crazy-making because of what he has to go through to navigate the bureaucracy. I think it should probably be required watching for all folks designing and working in systems of care.

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    Replies
    1. I have not seen it, but it sounds interesting, and I will look it up. Thanks!

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  5. Might you now be obsessing about the 'fuck you stare' until enough commenters chime in to say no you don't have one? You have a lot to be angry about and you are angry but it often seems like you need others to convince you that you are not, in fact, angry. No shame in being angry but it gets a bit tedious to read (amongst your great writing) your apparent need to not accept your anger. You are a brilliant writer with anger. That is okay, I think. For myself, I think if I take enough pictures and find a good angle I won't look like I am in my mid 50s. Doesn't work, I still look like I am in my mid 50s~!

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    1. I don't think you know me very well. The person who said I have an angry stare is a dear online friend whom I've known for many years. I thought it was hilarious, and I actually love the idea that my stare is angry. I'm sure my sons would agree, especially when I look over the tops of my glasses. I'm sorry to bore you, but I don't need people to convince me that I'm not angry. I imagine my writing is tedious regardless of the anger expressed because -- well -- isn't every writer tedious and self-absorbed? I do need to work through anger and feeling bad about anger. I think being called out on anger is one way the patriarchy has kept women down for so long. I'd prefer to smash the patriarchy and feel a little closer to doing so with a free expression of anger. I'm getting better, even if I do bore some of you! As for angles and pictures and age -- sigh. I love being in my mid-50s because you can finally relax into your age no matter.

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    2. This is a great article about aging, Anonymous! http://www.feministcurrent.com/2015/03/10/aging-while-female-is-not-your-worst-nightmare-2/

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  6. I'm not defending our leaders at all; however, they do pay their share of the "finest health care". Many think it is free but it isn't. That said, I think we should all call 911 and say we are suffering from emotional distress and to come quick! Lastly, are you implying that you got all the way to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop? If so, I am impressed.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. Yeah -- I think I read that. I imagine that they're allowed to have pre-existing conditions, though, and I was struck by the fact that they are exempt from the provisions of the new proposed healthcare bill. And yes to the center of a Tootsie Pop -- highly recommended, especially if you crunch the last bit of candy into the chocolate.

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    2. And remember: it is Cadillac Health Care that they do not have to worry about losing, nor worrying about preexisting conditions (which is part of what makes it Cadillac style).

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  7. I'll be spending the day at the VA with The Man for an appointment we've waited over six Months for... and I spent 3 previous days at The Zoo trying to get my Zen on sufficiently to get thru the VA Ordeal since I know I need absolute Zen saturation to endure it. I think I also have a Fuck You countenance down by now... having dealt for decades with The System of Care for Aging Parents, Disabled Children and a Disabled Veteran Spouse... it's served me well.

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  8. BTW: Footnote: We live in AZ where one in two Children will lose their healthcare with that new healthcare reform bill and McCain is one of ours and I felt equally angered about him receiving excellent Care whilst trying to take away marginal Care for the Children, the Elderly, the Disabled and the Veterans!

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  9. And as to what I am doing with the rest of today: Wondering how to support a friend whose mother is in one of the most well-regarded of skilled nursing facilities and yet is finding it necessary to stay by her side so she does not get an infection nor fall nor get pneumonia before she is able to be weight bearing, thus is able to move. Wondering how ethical it is to tell her to try to get them on her side for her mother's good rather than show her anger or "attitude" when they let her stand on two legs rather than take the time to make sure she does not (non-weight bearing, remember), when they use a damp draw sheet, or use a facecloth of the rougher terry cloth variety on her "private parts which are raw due to C-dif." And on. Oh, yea. And continue to look for work.
    Thanks for asking.

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  10. Oh, yea. And swim at the JCC so my mind and body are exercised. I won't squander my freedom and independence today.

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  11. Today, I called my socialist health insurance to discuss funding options for all sorts of therapies I think I need next. Don't believe the rumors, we are not in paradise here and I was tempted to resort to a) acting like a medical expert (putting the poor admin person In Her Place) or b) crying (my daughter's advice if all fails). I did neither but I get something-in-the-post. Whatever that may be but I am hopeful.

    Anyway, I like your picture. Do you ever try watching yourself in a mirror while on one of these calls? I find it helps.

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  12. LOL. Since you called me a "dear" online friend I know you took my statement as a term of endearment, respect, and of course a healthy dose of fear and intimidation. I don't know why I called it that but I have a theory. Gave it some thought. The F-bombs flow through me like cheap booze, when I talk when I write (which is almost never now) but I probably noticed a recent spike in your use of the word, due in no small measure (and with good reason) to the state of the nation and the fuckheads running it. Wait did I say they were running it? I meant ruining it.

    So I just kind of juxtaposed the new you, the new....let's just say fucking freedom of expression you, with those big browns, tossed on the fact that you intimidate the shit out of me, as many Special Needs parents do (I got a problem I know)...and thus the term just kind of popped out in a whirlwind of activity.

    I love origin stories. Batman fuckin Begins! WOOOOT! :)

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  13. Ding dong the bill is dead! What next, I wonder.

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  14. I'm with you! Tackling the bureaucracy is a never-ending sysiphean challenge. Just getting a new, suitable wheelchair, basic therapies, the meds, the medical tests can feel overwhelming.

    I tend to procrastinate an awful lot. And even when a task is done, you can never sit back and relax because a fresh need is always on the horizon. But in these parts there are no tootsie roll pops! (Reese's peanut butter cups are a pretty good substitute).

    P.S. That was one powerful letter you wrote to Sophie's ex-neurologist. And I thought that our ex- neurologists were the worst. Now I'm in doubt.

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  15. Calling it a day, before noon, is the only option.

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