"Like"-rs, lovers, ladies and gentlemen of the internet:
I have thrilling news. I'm going to make (*cough* *cough*) a thousand dollars in the next four months--that is, if you subscribe to the philosophy that a penny saved is a penny earned. Allow me to elaborate.
I have, during the last 12 years of my existence, chosen to funnel a substantial portion of my earnings each year into various bureaucratic entities, here referred to collectively as "health insurance." (*cough* *cough* *cough*) In return for the $35,000 or so I have allotted in this manner, (*cough* *cough*) "health insurance" has afforded me the option of only paying $20 instead of $200 for each of the approximately 10 doctor visits I've needed during that time period. It's a you-scratch-my-back, I'll-scratch-yours kind of thing: I've come out with a net loss of around $33,000, but can you really put a price on peace of mind and a good back scratching?^
Now I'm going to get personal.
Around March of this year, during the NCAA Tournament (*cough* *cough* *cough*) in fact, I noticed a persistent twitching in my hamstrings. 'Annoying,' I thought. Three weeks later, 'annoying' had become 'concerning.' The twitches were all over, showing up sporadically in my lip, back, fingers, arms, stomach, and most consistently my left toe. That's right, "like"-rs, lovers, and ladies and gentlemen:
Put it in the tabloids. I have a toe twitch.
I saw my doctor about these twitches. I went for blood tests. On his advice, I started taking calcium, a multi-vitamin, and more vegetables. (Put it in the tabloids. I don't eat enough vegetables. *cough* *cough* *cough*) The toe twitch is improving. The twitches are not, however, gone.
Three months ago, I moved to Chicago to continue my ascent to fame. (*cough* *cough* Shame on you if you didn't already know this. You must not "like" me yet.) By doing so, I moved away from some great employment, some wonderful friends, a cozy apartment with plenty of food, and most importantly, my latest beloved bureaucratic entity which was only costing my employer and me $500 a month. Upon arriving in Chicago, I proceeded to find new employment, new friends (not as wonderful yet *cough* *cough* *cough* *cough* *cough*), a new cozy apartment, and new food. And I began the search for a new bureaucratic entity to call my own.
(*cough* *cough* *cough*)
I filled out an extensive online application and completed a 10-minute phone interview in which I elaborated in detail about the toe twitch, every check-up I've ever had, the strep throat I had 5 years ago, etcetera etcetera etcetera . . . (*cough* *cough* *cough*). I told the bureaucratic entity of my choice about how a licensed professional of forty years has seen me for my twitching, asked me questions about the problem, suggested a feasible treatment, and followed up with me. I told the entity that I would probably continue to follow up on the problem with future doctors. The bureaucratic official on the other end of the line assured me that said bureaucratic entity was in full support of such an idea. "Prevention is always best!"
Today, I received a break-up letter from that entity. They don't wish to be involved with me due to . . .
YOUR ONSET OF DAILY MYOCLONUS WITHIN THE LAST YEAR AND LACK OF NEUROLOGICAL EXAMINATION
The capital letters are theirs, not mine.
In other words, the underwriters have decided that my doctor's in-person, in-depth, educated examination of my problem was not sufficient and that, in their opinion--based on a ten-minute phone call and an internet survey--a neurological exam should have been conducted. They directed me to pcip.gov, a government agency designed to help people with "preexisting conditions" like mine get coverage. To apply for help through pcip.gov, I have to go without health insurance for six months.
What? Yes. It's true. It's all true. Put it in the tabloids. I can't get health insurance because . . . I would probably need to use it.
I smell a writing project about this phenomenon.
But for now, I need to get to bed. Each *cough* in this entry (except for that one) denotes an actual cough that happened while I was writing -- because of a scratchy throat I've been fighting for the last 4 weeks. (*cough*) Last night, it kept me up until 4 am, so tonight I'd like to rest. (*big cough*)
Hmm. I'm having trouble getting comfortable. If only someone or something were here to scratch my back . . .
^ Yes. And it's way less than $33,000. (*cough*)