I’ve spent a significant amount of time in medical care facilities in the past few months. First, my mother had a heart attack this summer, went into cardiac arrest (twice!) and spent two weeks in a specialty hospital, followed by four weeks in a rehab facility. She was quickly followed by my father who needed two heart stents himself. The next day he was back in the hospital with a tear in his bowel. They managed to stay upright and mobile for a few weeks before her chest pains returned. She went to our county hospital for a heart cath and they placed a stent. That went beautifully. When they removed the sheaths from her leg artery she wouldn’t quit bleeding and earned herself a second helicopter ride and ended up at the specialty hospital all over again for a week long stay. She should come home tomorrow.
Dayum. I’m just saying.
Through all of this, I’ve been subjected to more FOX News and Bill O’Reilly than is good for a person. I’m pretty sure that if the nurse took my blood for a change it would come back with the blood type F-O-X. I would hope that they would at least offer me a narcotic painkiller if that were the case.
My mother laments the idea that Obamacare might limit her Medicare (which I don’t think it would) while explaining without a trace of malice, that Medicare will not pay for her current hospital stay past next week.
I listen to her in rehab relish the idea of “choice” in Medicare as advocated by Mr. Ryan while her hallmates wandered up and down the hall looking for their purses and wondering why they left home without their money. Yes, every dementia patient should have “choice.”
She looks at me, often, and expresses disdain. “I don’t know how someone as smart as you can be a Democrat.” I recognize all the fervant religious belief she has loaded into that statement and simply change the subject rather than reply with the truth: “Because our religion tells us that we have to give a crap about the poor mom, though we seem to have conveniently forgotten that.”
In all of this, I’ve figured out what is wrong with America and why someone like Mitt Romney is a viable political choice. I understand why we would choose someone who has never known a day of struggle to shape economic policy for the middle class. I understand why we no longer understand logical arguments. I understand why people embrace the Republican party so fanatically.
We have, as a group, clearly lost our fucking minds.