Healthcare Literacy

Breaking the cycle of visiting the doctor only when things are falling apart is crucial to preventing the point of no return. Many people now have health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act which encourages prevention. The trick is that many of us either never had health insurance and so only saw a doctor when driven in an ambulance, our it was so long ago we don’t remember how it all works. We are still in a cycle of crisis care that is difficult to break.

I am fortunate to have decent health coverage and have recently been easing into the practice of preventative care. I was that is until my health insurance co-op put a serious chill on the matter. They put me through the ringer big time in trying to get them to pay for an outpatient procedure that was preapproved and in network. They lied about setting up payment multiple times, every time they assured me the problem was solved I would receive a new invoice from the hospital.

The situation of receiving huge medical bills, calling around to everyone involved to find out what’s going on, and being assured everything was taken care of would only result in yet another invoice and yet another cycle of confusion and frustration. This went on for months. It still isn’t resolved.

How is this connected to the theme of this blog, and more importantly to preventative care? I don’t know and it chills any though of returning to any doctor unless driven there in an ambulance. I’m sure there are countless similar stories, but what troubles me is that I have a decent amount of knowledge in how the “healthcare” system works and it still chills any thought of visiting a doctor voluntarily.

I have trusted support in working through this issue and I won’t go in for that followup. It was such an ugly mess and such a huge time suck, I don’t want to repeat it anytime soon. I suspect the system is working just fine though. Why would New Mexico Health Connections want to cover my health expenses if they don’t have to?


problem is the solution

I’m often in mental overdrive, connecting aspects, layers, and systems from diverse fields of study – permaculture, social work, systems theory, philosophy, carpentry, politics, religion. I see how it all interconnects and I want to share the perspectives I develop in my little corner of the world.

I’ve been thinking about a quote I heard that comes out of the permaculture design principles I learned way back from Joel Glanzberg when Ecoversity still existed. It was presented as a quote, “The problem is the solution.” – Bill Mollison

I’ve since read several versions of this principle, and I’m sure Mollison probably had a localized example for every place he visited (every place has at least one problem right?). The version I learned involved a story about prairie shrimp. A local design course participant brought up the problem of grasshoppers eating their crops and asked for an example of a permaculture solution. Mollison shared that the problem is the solution and to simply eat the grasshoppers as an abundant source of protein.

I doubt many reading this will want to eat grasshoppers, but the principle well aligns with the ideas I’m getting at with the rise above blog. How do we look at our tough situations as opportunity to grow and to learn? How can we #beofbenefit in every situation?

Sojourn in a Rich Kid Resort Town

I’m never sure who decides to hold events for social activists in these kinds of resorts. My suspicion is that it’s a hold over from more exclusive times when these events were attended mostly by CEOs, Executive Directors, and Trustees. If staff did attend, it was a time before they represented the populations served by these organizations.

Now that us “underserved,” “marginalized,” “disadvantaged” populations are rising through the ranks many of these kinds of organizational norms are going to have to change. We don’t value the same things. We are uncomfortable with the luxurious conspicuous consumption. We enjoy nice things, but not at the expense of others.

I can appreciate the difficulty in organizing and gathering large groups into one space for an event, but I can’t help to wonder if there isn’t a better way.

Although this quote is from an article with a different topic it captures a little of what I’m getting at:

“By the end of the century, the earth will be home to 10 billion people. It can’t accommodate us all if we all consume resources like the Americans or British of today — we would need three planet Earths to support us. We’ll jointly use what we have, or we’ll die fighting each other for the last bits of water, atmosphere, phosphorous, and arable land. Jointly using what we have —sharing — is one of our best chances for survival.” From Sharing Has Been Hijacked by Adam Werbach , Lily Cole

Alchemy of Daily Life

Transforming base, discouraging situations into opportunities of awakening and the opening of minds and hearts.

How must we be and think, in our day to day experience, in order to transform negative and discouraging situations? It profits nobody to attach to the negative or malicious energies of a situation. How can we stay grounded, and act with purpose, and direction?

El instrumental alquímico