Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Please stand by...

So the baby (as yet unborn) is OK and I am OK but someone we care about is sick. I probably won't be writing here much in the next week or two.

I may not be able to write at all.

Then the baby'll arrive. This may not be my year of brilliant blogging? I'll be home for awhile with the kiddo and perhaps this will require much blather. I don't know--I suspect infants may not have a beneficial effect on thought processes but perhaps I'll find I am the exception?

I've been avoiding writing politics perhaps because I had this unsubstantiated belief that it caused a rise in my blood pressure, etc. I thought I would try to be peaceful, peaceful. (As peaceful as I can be--not too peaceful in other words). Then the baby could be the first child in many generations of my family to be calm.

I haven't been successful at avoiding thinking about politics--many things in my life make me want things to be very, very different. And for me this often involves not just the breaking of physical laws but fantasies about revolutions or other kinds of political transformations.

Lately it's been: The more medical care I seem to be provided in pregnancy and now watching this person ill--the more horrified I am that people who don't have insurance....well, don't have insurance.

Think about that--what happens to those people who don't have insurance. E.g., a life saving (and pain alleviating medication) that this sick person needs costs almost $3,000.00 a month.

Q: What do you do if you don't have insurance and need this medicine?
A: You die. Most likely in terrible pain. Very prematurely.

Why does it cost this exorbitant amount? Well, it costs this not because of R and D (research and development)...No, this drug was developed in the 1950s. It costs this amount because there is one manufacturer and they need to make a great deal of money, apparently.

What happens to the women and their babies who can't afford prenatal care? I don't know. But I do know that the idiot book What To Expect When You're Expecting will reassure middle class women like me that they needn't worry so much about birth defects--because it's really the babies of the women without the prenatal care who will suffer the majority of these. So someone else will take the hit, I guess? For some reason, I can't be happy about that.

There's too much to be said on the subject of drug pricing, the misery so many experience throughout the world because they have no medical care at all--all the many lives wasted. I'll just stop now but please, do me a favor and don't believe people when they tell you that this is the way it has to be. Paul Farmer and others have shown this isn't true. If there were the political will or interest, millions of lives could be saved every year.

More about Paul Farmer.

I so admire the bloggers who can always be funny. Am I losing the knack? I would never say that life is sometimes not funny. I'm sure it's possible for most things to be funny in some way some of the time. Still, sometimes your heart breaks a little and you just can't laugh.


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