Skip to main content

I come home to find her in bed, crying.  The pain is so bad she can't move.  Her back had been getting better, or so we thought, but then something 'popped', and the pain became unbearable.  I hold her and tell her to call me at work when it gets this bad, but she refuses.  "You've missed too much work already taking care of me" she argues.

It is difficult... seeing her in so much pain, feeling this helpless.  She won't go to the hospital.  She was nearly bankrupted last time she went even though she had health insurance, and now she has none.  With a history of cancer in the family and various preexisting conditions, she is effectively uninsurable.  I plead with her to go, insisting I will pay for it, but that just makes her more certain not to.  She doesn't want to be a burden.

"I had things I needed to do today, but I couldn't move."  Her voice is quiet.  Defeated.  "I know I've been lazy sometimes in the past.  Sometimes I've procrastinated when I had something to do, even when I felt fine and there was nothing stopping me."  Her voice becomes a shuddering sigh.  The tears are flowing more strongly now.  "I regret every one of those times."

Our dog Abby begins to whine.  She knows something is wrong.  I scratch her ear and try to reassure her.  "It's OK honey, Mama's going to be OK."

"She doesn't understand..." The words catch in her throat.  She begins to sob, and the sobs bring new stabs of pain.  "She doesn't understand why I don't walk her anymore!"

I can't take it.  This has to stop.  "Maybe you can go to England."  This time she doesn't fight me, just buries her head in my chest, crying a muffled "OK".

She used to joke about it.  "If things get really bad here, I'll just renew my British passport and move to England."  We never thought it would really come to that.  We are not even sure it is possible.  She was born in the United Arab Emirates to a British father and an American mother.  She has lived in the US since she was three, but as far as we know she still has dual citizenship.

I don't want to send her away, and she doesn't want to leave, but I don't know what else to do.  I've been watching the hope drain out of her eyes for months now.  Today I saw some of it come back.  The possibility of actual medical care without the crushing worry of financial ruin.  We've started the process; digging through boxes to find her old passport, looking up the renewal process on the web, contacting her father for copies of various documents.  It will be a couple of months at least before we get a new passport, if she can get one at all.  The process to renew a non-resident passport that has been expired more than 10 years is... well... daunting.  But we have hope.  That is something.  Actually, right now, it is everything.

But I still find it hard to believe.  In this country, with all our wealth and technical achievements, I have to send the woman I love to the other side of the planet to get medical care.  Un-fucking-believable.  The only thing I find more ridiculous is that some of our elected representatives actually defend our dysfunctional status quo health care system.  I make this promise to those politicians:  Until my girlfriend and I have access to an affordable public health care option, every penny we would be spending on insurance will instead fund your opponent in the next primary or general election.

I guess I'll close with a request for help.  We don't need money (if my girlfriend won't take it from me she won't take it from strangers), but any advice on navigating the passport renewal process would be appreciated.  Also, are there any limitations on using the British NHC that we should know about?  Is there a reciprocal agreement with Canada that would save us a trip to England?  If so, are their any Canadian Kossacks that could help us out? (we have relatives in England but none up north)

Finally, I should mention that the there are a bunch of house parties happening this weekend to plan and organize the health care fight.  If you are in the Milwaukee WI area and want to attend mine, you can get details and RSVP on my.barackobama.com.  To find or host a party in your area, select one of the 'Events' links on the right side of that page.  I'm usually not one to pimp my own diaries, but please consider rec'ing this just so others know about the house parties; or better yet, mention it in your own diary, email to your friends, etc.

Peace.

UPDATE

Thank you for the rec listing, if only because it will generate more well-wishing comments that my girlfriend can read while immobilized.  I also want to thank everyone who posted advice.  I've already read several therapy or treatment methods I had not previously heard of.  If I don't get a chance to tip everyone that deserves it, I apologize.   I only just got to work and I won't be able to respond to comments again until much later in the day.

(I am not responsible for the SEIU ad that will probably be tacked onto this diary)

Originally posted to protothad on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 05:48 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Serephin, Michael D, Louise, caduceus, Thumb, Kestrel, JekyllnHyde, cdreid, Joe Bob, ljb, jmart, Terri, tmo, SteveLCo, JR, coral, Glenn in NYC, northsylvania, raboof, CJB, Sean Robertson, Cowalker, Chi, Upper West, Ray Radlein, catdevotee, eugene, Sally in SF, murphy, Sinead, raatz, Friar, Bendygirl, Timaeus, roonie, Trendar, AaronInSanDiego, glitterscale, tikkun, theknife, Geenius at Wrok, stephdray, alisonk, Powered Grace, nicolemm, whataboutbob, saraswati, ScientistMom in NY, kainah, theboz, mattman, janinsanfran, Winger, Bob Love, DebtorsPrison, scrape, Emerson, karlpk, tommurphy, Debby, Shockwave, LynChi, crone, billlaurelMD, CleverNickName, meg, OLinda, KateG, eeff, Mnemosyne, Pompatus, xynz, devtob, marjo, sobermom, TexasLiberal, RFK Lives, Matilda, grndrush, Joe B, bumblebums, mataliandy, niemann, Creosote, nicki37, tyler93023, Mr Teem, KB, jn2375, conchita, sponson, DickCheneyBeforeHeDicksYou, cskendrick, mentaldebris, BlackSheep1, wonkydonkey, pondside, Cassandra77, guyute16, annrose, AikidoPilgrim, OCD, dicta, pattym922, blaneyboy, RabidNation, Rupert, Mlle Orignalmale, KMc, Pithy Cherub, boadicea, PBnJ, carolina stargazer, Glic, pattisigh, luaptifer, roses, pedrito, allysonsta, luku, Dem in Knoxville, Miss Blue, coffeeguzzler, jalbert, thingamabob, fumie, Jesterfox, Iberian, bewert, DoctorScience, wader, Quege, Melanchthon, DemocracyLover in NYC, SneakySnu, Braindead, Ludi, tomephil, dejavu, Getreal1246, psnyder, sockpuppet, oldjohnbrown, DeadB0y, 2laneIA, Chicago Lulu, Sycamore, MA Liberal, crackpot, exiledfromTN, Douglas Anthony Cooper, HeyMikey, downandout, kathika, Oy the Billybumbler, mem, nika7k, snakelass, HollywoodOz, papercut, Court Jester, Timbuk3, Brian82, LayedBackGuy, Diana in NoVa, Matt Esler, econlibVA, AllisonInSeattle, ralphbon, zerelda, ybruti, WV Democrat, WisVoter, tomjones, Wife of Bath, SanDiegoDem, xyz, Little Red Hen, bablhous, rickeagle, furi kuri, eztempo, snowbird42, Dave in RI, thereisnospoon, dakrle, mm201, environmentalist, greeseyparrot, Jersey Joe, dvx, Big Tex, luvmovies2000, rapala, nehark, Skennet Boch, angrybird, bloomer 101, Bluesee, Tarindel, saodl, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, Tinfoil Hat, Wilberforce, case, rimstalker, yuriwho, baccaruda, CTPatriot, ArchTeryx, Chinton, OpherGopher, Technowitch, PBen, Superpole, KnotIookin, grimjc, ccasas, frandor55, eightlivesleft, basquebob, RequestedUsername, ChemBob, kaye, stagemom, TigerMom, YucatanMan, Lepanto, kldave, reflectionsv37, Byrnt, boofdah, Jules Beaujolais, bleeding blue, cfk, buckeyedem08, SaraBeth, TheSwampDweller, Sara R, jimreyn, ladybug53, rlochow, Barcelona, lotlizard, blue jersey mom, lasky57, Yamara, kazoo of the north, Cyber Kat, exmearden, woobie, SBandini, noemie maxwell, optimusprime, Shotput8, CWalter, Ginny in CO, alisonc, sodalis, dazed in pa, Lisa Lockwood, Pluto, Cory Bantic, Rogneid, Beezzley, The Fat Lady Sings, bookwoman, Lindy, Spathiphyllum, Ekaterin, proudprogressiveCA, empathy, SocioSam, kathny, Asinus Asinum Fricat, fhcec, xaxnar, begone, vilegrrl, SSMir, SoulCatcher, elliott, Legolas, Whimsical, Showman, Shirl In Idaho, poco, dsteele2, althea in il, MissInformation, Orinoco, Do Tell, Keone Michaels, Pinko Elephant, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, sherlyle, Clytemnestra, sambar, rmwarnick, BlueInARedState, trentinca, quotemstr, Themistoclea, Kimball Cross, Ellicatt, rl en france, TourDeMike, borkitekt, mooshter, victoria2dc, compbear, ccmask, Triscula, fromer, Esjaydee, Naniboujou, arlene, mcartri, hideinplainsight, SherriG, Silent Lurker, DarkestHour, tecampbell, global citizen, StrayCat, Glorfindel, ekruegr, gatorcog, nilocjin, Bush Bites, LibChicAZ, Doctor Frog, FireCrow, Caoimhin Laochdha, JVolvo, Dauphin, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, Preston S, Potus2020, mhw, Dinclusin, MBNYC, Turbonerd, SingerInTheChoir, ChapiNation386, dirkster42, CA Nana, profh, commonsenseseeker, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dianna, va dare, The Lighthouse Keeper, WI Dem, means are the ends, RantNRaven, Jbeaudill, Brother Love, Bikny, Oxy Moron, Statusquomustgo, PoxOnYou, FrankieB, kurious, bstotts, CharlieHipHop, Johnathan Ivan, ms badger, The House, Nulwee, Cartoon Messiah, Unrepentant Liberal, AntKat, BentLiberal, tegrat, pale cold, ctlr, bigchin, Noor B, dov12348, YoyogiBear, lightfoot, mochajava13, ibonewits, donnamarie, TC MITS, Cronesense, wanderingoutlaw, Mom to Miss M, Loudoun County Dem, dmh44, tgypsy, Deadicated Marxist, FWIW, Kathie McCrimmon, DocbytheBay, gloriana, aravir, threegoal, yoduuuh do or do not, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, la urracca, yowsta, operculum, terabytes, DWG, joyful, londubh, mystic, FischFry, Unbozo, St Louis Woman, glbTVET, Window, Strabo, reason7, dolphin777, Seneca Doane, HCKAD, jayden, Giodude, Iowa Engineer, akdude6016, chicago jeff, vbdietz, mauro7inf, AznInCali, quadmom, claymon00, montanajen, beemerr, Moderation, MaskedKat, idahojim, Dar Nirron, leonard145b, electric meatball, JML9999, skaye19, Zydekos, TexasTwister, eyesoars, Bikemom, dizzydean, the1sage, Empower Ink, cville townie, jules4sail, rmonroe, sand805, jgilhousen, Patricia Bruner, GANJA, revm3up, somtam, condorcet, Hippokleides, hulagirl, Phil N DeBlanc, amyzex, MikePhoenix, Senor Unoball, gtnoah, Fiona West, golconda2, FrankJCat, treesrock, Sharon Wraight, ultimatically, Mother of Zeus, minerva1157, LucyMO, monkeybrainpolitics, Lujane, royce, pickandshovel, bluesheep, Quicksilver2723, rubine, home solar, Tam in CA, Thought Crime, ShempLugosi, mofembot, Seamus D, ClapClapSnap, Tainith, snkscore, phrogge prince, Jacques, Abra Crabcakeya, valsagem, luckylizard, Piren, xysea, mary13L, DixieDishrag, BYw, mediaprof, A Man Called Gloom, Nica24, Zikar, dont think, Mayfly, vacuumslayer, Acugal, billybam, cactusflinthead, GrannyOPhilly, bucadibeppo, shortgirl, papicek, bastiji, MicahT0078, statsone, ZhenRen, moondancing, Johnny Venom, mamamarti, legendmn, Fiddlegirl, satanicpanic, FudgeFighter, SciMathGuy, 1BQ, Bule Betawi, multilee, pileta, artmartin, Sportin Life, MufsMom, number nine dream, braffit, Texanomaly, WSComn, aufklaerer, litoralis, juca, socalmonk, DynamicUno, holger smed, PapiGonzo, An Affirming Flame, fearisthemindkiller, eltee, citicenx, imchange, Partisan Progressive, h bridges, Carey A, Canadian Green Card Alien, BlueInRedCincy, Patch Adam, mkor7, IndyRobin, rini6, WobegonGal, gchap33, EquationDoc, sillycilla, ProgressiveTokyo, worldly1, marzook, obiterdictum, AvoMonster, NWTerriD, asym, ZilV, jemjo, johnosahon, kw7777777, obscuresportsquarterly, Shelley99, Keith Pickering, Exquisite, PhotogHog, Guest from EU, netgui68, Lava20, notksanymore, RoCali, Malumaureus, sherijr, louisev, ohmyheck, ravenlore, WaveFunction, Maori, futureliveshere, Enrika, Tommymac, citisven, Leftcandid, Super Grover, sophistry makes me tired, Larsstephens, lh114, ruscle, dolfin66, lompe, bohemian darling, Lazar, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, ladygreenslippers, dalys, Bobs Telecaster, Midwesterner in NYC, henlesloop, foufou, marabout40, Morus, winkster, p gorden lippy, drache, miss SPED, BJMS, LaughingPlanet, The Jester, Commoditize This, marcus38, barkworsethanbite, amk for obama, Hamsun, princss6, piers, kjoftherock, SeattleTammy, Capn Sassy Jas, fidellio, stunzeed, on board 47, Big Danny, chrome327, scmonica, NYCgrl, NoVAVoter, Mara Jade, freeport beach PA, Kwamo, lostmypassword, RJP9999, polar bear, Klaus, melpomene1, LouP, mdarling66, MoshebenAvraham, tomnobombadil, pixxer, SlackwareGrrl, Benintn, paradise50, Anne933, Mariken, dlemex, scarlet slipper, Jaimas, Surly Cracker, Earth Ling, blogasita, Chris Purcell, Funkygal, sluggahjells, addisnana, TheRagingCelt, mideedah, Betty Pinson, dclarke, roystah, MsGrin, TheCid, Hoosierdaddio, cocinero, Actbriniel, Sanguine Satire, burndtdan, Vega, JerichoJ8, BrowniesAreGood, Rides like a girl, Sassinator, gobears2000, Colorado is the Shiznit, PaDemTerry, brightwhitelight, MidwestTreeHugger, SuperBowlXX, I love OCD, yankeedevil, tellmenolies, Thassa, croyal, jardin32, wildlife advocate, kirbybruno, cv lurking gf, curthess, Cintimcmomma, La Gitane, wasrepublican, AtomikNY, Mistral Wind, FarWestGirl, sharistuff, Sand Hill Crane, Nicci August, sallym, FightingRegistrar, smallgal, princesspat, gratefulmama3x, Victory of Renegades, Billdbq, marleycat, semctydem, Element 61, DianaR, KVoimakas, gokinsmen, junipercussion, sjr1, evilgalblues, CKendall, tardis10, Prinny Squad, LSmith, MRA NY, downsouth, Sark Svemes, MuskokaGord, Kandy, Bidet, dibsa, MinistryOfTruth, SnetsCM, Aquagranny911, The 13th Floor, Wom Bat, henry porter, happenstance, Amaryliss, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Book of Hearts, CallieDog71, disillusionedbabyboomer, jvmwordsmith

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site