Meanwhile, back at the ranch…


The past two weeks have been filled with disappointment, anger and misery for me. First I learned that the main distributor of my books is ripping me off, then I learned how desperate our president is to remove our access to affordable health care, and then I got really sick. It seems “the system” can get you wherever you are, and my bad times seem to always come in threes.

I’ve written enough about the Amazon situation, and my printer informs me that it “appears to be under investigation by Amazon.” Please just work through me to purchase my books and leave them out of the equation!

On the access to affordable health care front, I need to say that Obama’s plan has been lifesaving for us. Since neither one of us is fit for employment, and we aren’t yet 65, we have found a plan in the past few years that at least tries to keep our premiums at a reasonable rate. We are limping along until age 65. Now we have to wonder why our government is acting so hateful towards a couple of elder Americans who have worked hard all our lives, and just need a little bit of help to make it into Medicare. Mike’s problems are most certainly related to his nine years in the Navy, but (of course) the Navy kept no records of his exposure to a number of toxic chemicals and radiation. No records equals no VA assistance. It’s a long story. You don’t want to hear it…

Me, I just struggle to breathe, plus a number of brain injuries. Then last week I caught a really NASTY bug. I knew within days that this wasn’t just your standard food poisoning. It felt much more virulent and toxic. Come to find out it was C Diff. Stay away from this one, although you really can’t because it’s everywhere! This disease has pretty much controlled my life for the past 12 days. I guess my immune system isn’t as strong as it used to be.

 Isn’t it strange but interesting how severe illness can make you think? For some reason lying in bed feeling crappy makes me think a lot about my life. Then I watched a fascinating movie on this topic. “The Hero” is the thinking person’s film about facing your own death. Sam Elliott plays a 70+ actor who receives a terminal diagnosis. The entire film is about how he deals with it. I love Sam Elliott and his willingness to tackle tough topics in a realistic way! One critic called this film “cinematic zen.” I agree.

None of us get out of this alive and I have decided to get comfortable with that fact sooner rather than later.

12 thoughts on “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

  1. Aw, Laura I’m so sorry to hear all of this but I know bad things come in threes ..My Mom always told me this and sure enough they do…hopefully you are on the upside…hugs, thoughts and love sent to you….


  2. So sorry for your troubles, Laura. We, too, are wondering what will happen to our healthcare and premiums. Scary stuff. You weren’t kidding when you said you’ve landed in Shitzville. I hope you’ll feel better soon. I’ll remember you and your husband in my prayers.


  3. Hi Laura,
    When I lived in Colorado, I was able to apply for State Disability because of my Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There is a Colorado State Disability Plan that you can pay into if you are working. low payments. I think it is called Colorado Working Disabled? And you can get Medicaid through that. If you are working as a writer and get income from your books I think you qualify. Please google it. Also, you and your husband might qualify for Federal disability. The state plan is not well known. But it is there. Good luck!


    • Mike was on federal disability once for a few years and then got off when he felt a little bit better. When he applied for it again they refused it to him. It didn’t occur to me to apply for disability after my TBI although I probably would have gotten it. Brain injuries make it really hard to think and nobody helped me consider my options at that time…


  4. Hi Laura, I’m sorry you’re both struggling. A friend of mine has severe health issues from toxins he was exposed to when he was in the Coast Guard, and I’ve watched him struggle and worry about how to pay for his medical treatments. He recently qualified for disability payments and it’s helped considerably. Getting older is difficult at best, but health and financial issues make matters exponentially worse. I hope this finds you feeling better. xoxox, Brenda


    • Thank so much for your concern Brenda. We are really going to be fine unless Trump totally screws over the millions of us struggling to get by… We are doing fine day-to-day, I just find it so unfair that the dumbs-dumbs brought in a dumb-dumb to ruin our country. Where does it all end? Some days I’m afraid to ask.


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  6. If you’re in Colorado, you could request assistance (if your spouse hasn’t tried doing so already) from the state of CO Veterans’ Affairs: I believe they have an office in every county. The job of that agency’s employees is to assist veterans in applying for service connected disability, non-service connected disability benefits. Your spouse can refile. If he ends up having to appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, he can seek assistance from the Veterans Pro Bono Consortiums, which represents veterans (often via volunteer attorneys who’ve been trained by the VPBC Just because your spouse was denied doesn’t mean he can’t file again. Sometimes there are alternative ways of showing exposure, even if the Navy has “lost” records of exposure, etc. Attorneys who represent veterans often do so on a contingency fee basis, so you have nothing to lose by consulting one as well as contacting the state veterans’ office in your county (whose services are free).

    I’d also suggest that everyone who feels their health insurance and health care is at risk to send an e-mail a week to their elected representatives and encourage everyone they know to do the same. If there is a Health Care for All chapter in your state (there is in Oregon), join it. It’s not hard to send one e-mail/week and encourage others to do so. If you can do more, great, if you can’t, at least you’re doing something, adding your voice to that of many others to the extent that you can. Letters to the editors of local papers can be useful too. The way the media works now, everything is a flash in the pan, so people have to act to keep the issue in front of as many people as possible, and hope that you encourage conversations re: how someone’s neighbor, adult child, etc., has benefited from the ACA. For sure not everyone has, but that’s fixable. Ultimately, I’d like to see the insurers cut out completely, but that’s just my opinion. In any event, I think Congress should review the plans of other nations, from Kuwait/Qatar, to Austria, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, to see how they manage to spend less while providing coverage to just about everyone AND seeing far better health outcomes (particularly for maternal death rates, which it seems the US doesn’t really track or tracks so badly the actual number/year is unknown).


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