This past week has been a crash course in healthcare.
A few days ago I called my primary care doc’s office to inquire what the logistical possibilities were for an appointment. They did have phone visits as an option but, since I wanted some lab work done, I went with the choice described to me as “tiny house isolation rooms”.
I was, to say the least, curious. And yes, the photo above is what I found in the parking lot!
Built by a Native American man named Black Fox, just outside the Atlanta Perimeter, these tiny houses reminded me of very classy Newfoundland-sized dog houses!
And, just in case you live nearby and are looking for a doc, I’m so impressed with the Humanizing Medicine gang. Dr. Mark Hancock has, in addition to his M.D., a masters in public health which seems like quite an advantage these days. They’re integratively inclined, mask-wearing people, which I find comforting, and I never felt germ-anxious while I was there! (If you’ve known me longer than about 10 minutes, you probably appreciate the miracle hiding in that sentence!)
Sadly, things in the larger world went downhill from there.
My sister’s grandson was born, on the West Coast, and did, in fact, have the serious heart conditions which seemed likely, given a host of pre-natal scans and tests.
On Tuesday this little guy was in open heart surgery all day. Some progress was made but the surgeons decided to give him a rest and start again when he was stronger.
My understanding, as I write this, is that he was taken back to surgery very early this morning.
Many of you have prayed with us and we are grateful.
I think of this little guy and what he is likely to need into the future. Every now and then the news interrupts my thinking and praying, often with “paid political announcements”. Many of those announcements, as you may have noticed, too, have to do with the pandemic and with healthcare.
All I can see, as I watch those ads, is a battle over the future, not only of our nation, but of the people we love. And we have a choice to make.
That choice means supporting people who don’t think we need healthcare for all. Who are opposed to covering pre-existing conditions. Who behave as though, during a pandemic, some humans deserve the best healthcare available, while hundreds of thousands die of needless exposure and limited access to resources.
Or choosing other people. People who believe, with differing details, in something way closer to universal healthcare coverage. In paying for pre-existing conditions like massive heart defects and all the things that come after such a reality. In everybody having access to the best healthcare there is, along with affordable vaccines when they become available, because very nearly everybody is somebody’s loved one and, ultimately, it’s the right thing to do.
Yes. I’m pissed. And I’ll understand, sadly, if you’re uncomfortable with that.
For today, though, I’m giving thanks for women.
Experts are saying that it is women who will make the difference in this election. Not just the one nominated for Vice President, but the ones like you and me. Daughters, sisters, mothers, partners, godmothers, grandmothers, aunts…
And many, many of us stayed home four years ago.
Now we know more. The world needs every one of our voices. The world needs your voice.
And so I have to ask… What will you speak out for?
Only you can answer for you.
The earlier draft of this post had quite the list here of either/or kinds of choices. Obvious ones, if not terribly clever or suspenseful on my part.
Then, I listened some more, before I pushed Publish, and I heard a voice that’s lived inside me for a long time. A voice that belongs to the writer, Anne Lamott.
So… I decided that the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.
I’m an artist, and these words are painted into and written on the back of one of my paintings.
I’m also a grandmother. And they’re written on my heart, as well. So, this is part of me showing up.
I’m happy to loan these words to you. (Annie would approve!) And, I’d be beyond grateful if you’re considering what that looks like in your world, too.
ps… this is Reflections, with thanks to Annie.