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 Well, friends, I think this story has run its course. I sat earlier tonight and wrote 2,093 words. Upon review I find that it was all hyperliterate, self important crapola. I haven’t deleted it ... yet ... but I do not think it’ll see the light of day.

 About me: Headache? Gone. Backache? Gone. Nagging cough due to pressure on my diaphragm? Gone. Constant pressure in my head? Gone. I still need the parathyroid surgery, but that’ll be a pedestrian outpatient procedure. I feel 1,000% better and that comes right through the fact that I caught the flu while in the shelter. Who knew one little kidney stone could cause such grief? Resolving the parathyroid issue should protect me from any further occurrences.

  David and I are both on the mend, both physically and financially. I’m going to close this out with a little peek into my world, for those who care to come looking to hear ... the rest of the story :-)

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 Today I awoke to two inches of snow on my car, but its this crazy, fluffy stuff that one can remove simply by briskly waving hands near it. The streets have turned into a marvelous match of auto hockey and I’m glad to be back inside, where I plan on remaining for the rest of the day.

 I did get out and about a bit today, as I’d agreed yesterday to transport David to Goodwill for a job interview. Things look brighter for him – they pay $10.88 to $12.35 for a supervisor position and they seemed to like him.

 Yesterday I managed to sneak in a ten minute quickie interview the with manager of the homeless shelter here in Iowa City, and I think I can make a sensible diary of the muddle of transportation and shelter issues  that face someone trying to get back on their feet.

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 Things are looking up dramatically for me on a personal level. This morning I was at the hospital to meet fellow Kossack GreenHills for lunch and the kidney stone that has been plaguing me passed with just a little bit of pain.

 Later I got a chance to interview a fellow traveler I met while staying in the shelter. I’ve found a miserable story of an abusive corporate employer, a crying need for union protections for workers, a health care system straining under the load; a story that must be told, over and over, until we’re again citizens of this country, rather than disposable consumer wage slaves.

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 Its 2:30 in the morning and I am typing quite slowly due to the blood gas monitor on my left index finger. I was admitted to the University of Iowa hospital via the emergency room about twelve hours ago and I’m currently residing on a neurology floor.

 I must say the shine has come off Iowa Care in the last twelve hours. I’m pretty much out of money and as I described yesterday I’m going at this on the down low, staying in the city’s homeless shelter ay 331 North Gilbert until I can secure an inexpensive place to stay.

 I’ve learned one lesson this day; if you’re homeless you don’t count, you don’t count even less than any other corporate slave who has outlived their usefulness.

(UPDATE: I don't want you guys to think I am blowing my own horn - my name comes from a diary  nyceve wrote about me before I created this userid to chronicle my experiences, so the One Brave Kossack was her idea :-)

UPDATE2: please don't ride to my rescue - there are two others here who are sick/hurt and in the same boat. Concentrate on changing the system.)

UPDATE3: Got out of the shelter, details below)

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Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:10 PM PST

Medically Homeless, Day 1

by One Brave Kossack

I've been on a steady downward spiral the last eight months which I had attributed to a back injury and the associated depression due to chronic pain. Yesterday I found out I likely have a parathyroid tumor and I definitely have a kidney stone.

 The stone kicked up this morning, so I scooted back 275 miles across the state to the one hospital in the state where my Iowa Care card works in anticipation of being admitted for the stone, and now I am seeking a place to stay for the night.

 This is the reality of "accessible" medical care in Iowa, and nyceve tells me I'm lucky to live in a such a kindly state.

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 I'm sick, sick with maybe something that is not supposed to be, but its growing in my midsection, and the nearest medical care for me is across two hundred fifty miles of Iowa roads. The nearest interstate ramp on this trip is eighty miles away, the one on the shortest path is over a hundred, and part of the state had winter storm conditions yesterday.

 Whatever this is, it affects my judgment, steals away my ability to speak, and as I type this my hands are shaking a little bit, like those of a man twice my age. I think I'm OK to drive, but that is mostly academic, as I don't have any other care choices that wouldn't immediately bankrupt me.

 There are many, many more just like me who have no access to care at all, and we need to do something about this.

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