Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Take On The Great Health Insurance Debate

Ok, first of all, let me make something totally clear here. Politics just doesn't interest me. This could be because being socially liberal in Alabama is bloody useless or because I'm just too lazy to care. More likely the latter.

However, as I am poor, fat, and self-employed, I do have thoughts about health insurance. And I mean thoughts beyond "I haven't had any since my father's plan dropped me off in 2006."

I read somewhere that uninsured people are more likely than insured people to Google their symptoms and self-treat, sometimes correctly and sometimes incorrectly. Nah, really? *Gasp* I couldn't help but laugh because, hey, I'm guilty of it. MASSIVELY guilty of it. I haven't been to the doctor since November, and only then because a certain someone wouldn't shut the hell up about me going to the doctor, and I got tired of listening to it. (Ok, so he was right: I had bronchitis and asthma that was, up until that point, completely undiagnosed, and I was slowly dying from hypoxia. My lips might've already been turning blue. But that's not the point, dammit!)

Anyway. Where was I? Oh, yes, Google diagnostics.

I've pretty much felt like death warmed over since...March? But when the choice is between food or lights or rent (or all three) and going to the doctor, well, I guess you can imagine which one wins out. So I've been Googling--Wiki-ing would be more accurate, but whatever--all my symptoms in hopes that I can figure out WTF the problem is.

I've been ruling out things that require prescription drugs I don't already have in my medicine cabinet to treat. Which, of course, narrows down the field a LOT, but we have to be practical, yes? No point in saving the money it'd cost to go to some shitty walk-in clinic (where they don't even listen to what's wrong with you because they think every poor, uninsured twenty-something is a drug-seeking hypochondriac) and then having to turn around and use it to order prescription meds on the Internet, which cost 14 times what they normally do just because your broke ass doesn't want to go to the doctor.

So, anyway, somehow, I managed to alight on "B-vitamin deficiency" as the cause of at least some of my woes. More specifically, B6 and B12. I've got several of the symptoms, and I damn sure don't eat a lot of liver to get my daily dose of B12. Also, there's a family history of both impaired ability to absorb B12 and Alzheimer's (which is correlated with low B12 levels). Plus B-vitamins are water-soluble, meaning you're not too likely to overdose on a pill a day. So since a B-complex vitamin is cheap, AND since I'd give my right arm not to end up crazy like my grandmother and mother, that was the basis for my diagnosis.

Are you impressed with my brilliant scientific mind yet?

Anyhow, I started taking the damn things a few months ago, but I rapidly figured something out. I've always had crazy dreams, some of them creepily vivid, but B6 apparently causes the most amazing, insane, Technicolor dreams. I felt a lot better during the day, but once going to bed got to be like a bad acid trip, I had to stop taking them.

After I moved, I started feeling like crap again. Also, I guess you could say I was a little crazy instead of just merely unwell for a time there. (B12 deficiency can cause mania and psychosis. I've never been manic, but psychotic? Maybe. Just maybe.) So, despite my initial reservations, it was back on the B-vitamin complex for me.

The first couple of days passed without incident. Then, one night a couple of weeks ago, I laid down to sleep and was transported to some post-Apocalyptic hell that I doubt words can accurately portray. But, being the narcissist that I am, I'm damn sure going to try.

I dreamed I was walking down one of the streets downtown with my best friend. Only instead of it being just a window-shopping jaunt, it was apparently a trip through an epic battle between good and evil. Or some shit.

The place looked like a ghost town, but for the various throngs of people and creatures locked in Ye Olde Eternal Struggle. For some reason completely unbeknownst to me, hell-horses roamed the streets and attacked humans at will.

Yes. Hell-horses. You know, kinda like hell-hounds, only of the equine variety. (Don't ask. I really don't WANT to know where my brain gets this stuff.)

So my BFF and I were walking down the street when one of the hell-horses comes charging at us. I looked at her and was like, "Uh...shouldn't we be, like, running now or something?" Somehow, a large spiked club materialized in her right hand, whereupon she HURLS this fucker at the fast-approaching hell-horse.

Mind you, it wasn't like throwing a rock at a dog, which either scares the dog and makes it run away or enrages it more. No, she threw this club and hit the hell-horse on its side. It didn't draw a little blood or bounce harmlessly aside or even stick there in the thing's ribs. No, she slung it so hard that the club goes completely THROUGH the hell-horse, essentially exploding the damn thing in half. Its front end went one way, and its back end went the other.

Now, what you have to understand is even though I've never been able to master the art of lucid dreaming (that is, being able to take control of the dream and turning it the way I want it to go), sometimes, my conscious mind will insert a comment of some sort mid-dream. Usually, it's something smartass, but I suppose the shock at seeing a blonde pygmy sever a hell-horse in half by throwing a stick at it removed my conscious mind's ability to make witty, acerbic commentary.

Dream me turned, as if looking into a movie camera, and said, "That is the most DISTURBING thing I've ever seen," and then I woke up.

The really amazing thing about this is that I'm STILL taking the damn vitamins because a.) they're cheap, and b.) in spite of the dreams, I'm actually feeling better.

Google, vitamins, and hell-horses: 1
Doctors and insurance companies: 0

1 comment:

  1. Ok well I've got a really awesome and long response that I typed out on an email and was gonna copy and paste here, but my stupid (although awesome and extremely vital to my existence) iPhone won't let me. So, I'm gonna facebook message it to you instead!