My ObamaCare Horror Story

ObamaCare Horror Story

Recently, I saw this post on Facebook and I knew I had to respond, to help others see the horror of ObamaCare. This is my story…

My life has changed completely. I cannot eat whatever I want anymore. There’s no toast with my morning coffee. My morning coffee isn’t even recognizable as MY morning coffee anymore. It used to be with cream and two sugars. Now, there’s no sugar. Lunch was always a simple sandwich with some fruit, but now lunch can never be a sandwich again. Dinner was like an Italian family affair with pasta dishes, laughter, and talking. Now the pasta is missing and so is the rice. Meals just aren’t the same and they never will be again.

I used to stay at home and do my household chores. When I was finished with them, I could spend my time being creative by spinning yarn, weaving, drawing, or writing. Sometimes, I would just get lost for hours on Pinterest. That has all changed. Now, every time I eat something, I am forced to be active afterwards. I have to take long walks regardless of the weather. I’m trudging around our neighborhood in 90 degree temperatures!

My schedule used to be so spontaneous. Sometimes I would stay up most of the night reading a book that was so interesting I couldn’t put it down. I would turn in at 5 or 6 in the morning and sleep until early afternoon. I was carefree and didn’t need to worry about schedules. Now I have a schedule for everything.
I never had to worry about co-pays and prescriptions, doctor visits and tests. Now, I have to pay for co-pays. I have to go to a doctor regularly…every three months! And everything three months, I have tests done. I’m being poked and prodded and this is entirely the fault of ObamaCare.

You see, before ObamaCare, I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor and so I didn’t. For years I had no idea that my body was slowly dying. I had a disease that was so well hidden. Millions have it and don’t know…and I was one of them. After ObamaCare passed, I went in for a simple blood test after I experienced some strange feelings on my feet. The doctor’s nurse called me three days later to let me know the harsh reality: I am a diabetic. They called in two prescriptions and left it at that for the time being.

I was shocked! How could I be diabetic? I started doing research and, armed with new knowledge, I scheduled another appointment that I would never have been able to schedule before ObamaCare. It turns out that diabetes, at least Type 2, has a lot to do with genetics. It’s a progressive disease too, so as time goes on I may have to add meds or even insulin. My doctor agreed to a meter so I could test my blood glucose and a dietician so I could get some ideas on healthy eating habits to control my blood glucose levels. We agreed that I could have some time to control my diabetes with diet and exercise. For now, I would skip taking the drugs.

And so began my new life. I read and researched. I tested and tweaked. I cut out sugar and reduced my carb intake dramatically. I go for a walk after every meal and I go to the gym at least 4 times a week. I’ve lowered my HbA1c from a 9% to a 6.5% and I’m still going.

ObamaCare changed my life. I can’t eat the same things. I exercise now. I have a schedule. I get to keep my eyesight. I get to not further damage my kidneys or liver. I get to keep my legs. I get to finish raising my children and watch them grow up and into lives of their own with children of their own. Without ObamaCare, I wouldn’t have known I was diabetic until I had a high so high that I crashed my car while driving or passed out in a grocery store. Now I know, I’m informed, and I’m in control of my healthcare because of it.

Diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2, is a pre-existing condition. No one chooses to get it any more than someone would choose to get cancer. It’s real and it kills. Under Trump’s healthcare plan, it WILL kill. If this new plan passes, my horror story will just be beginning.

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Bed Time

Author’s Note:
This is one I did right before bed one night in April. I thought I had more to write on it, but nothing is coming forward yet. I’ll edit as necessary. In the meantime, I wanted to get it down so I wouldn’t lose it. I don’t know the artist on the image. If you do, let me know and I’ll be sure to give credit.

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I turn off the lights and slip under the covers of my bed.
Laying there staring at the night ceiling, I suddenly feel the claws of night rake down my back.
I scream, but no one hears my cries stream down my face leaving silver trails behind them.
The darkness creeps in and surrounds me with black tangles of waking nightmares.
I cannot breathe.


Will You Have Time?

Author’s Note:
This poem was rapidly put together (about 5 minutes) and I really haven’t edited it. It was on a scrap of paper and I’m filing those away, so I’m putting it here for the sake of having it at my fingertips to play around with later.

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Will you have time for me when I’m gone
when nothing is left but fading memories to carry on?
Will you look up and realize you are alone
And wonder what you could have possibly done?
Will you listen and not hear a sound
Wish that time could be rewound?
Will you plead and beg and cry
For just one more kiss goodnight?
Will you have time to miss me at all
Or will you still be behind your wall
Of television, jokes, games, and beer
The sacred things you do hold dear?
Will you have to miss me when I’m gone
And you wake up to realize you are alone?


Meet the Artist (Things About Me)

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In 2016, I wrote a post titled “Basic Things About Me” and over time some things have changed while others have stayed the same. I thought perhaps an update was in order. This is a combination of that post and the “meet the artist” post that was floating around.

1. I turned 41 this year. I don’t know if I’m having a mid-life crisis or if I’m just tired of playing things safe, but I have this overwhelming desire to dye my hair crazy colors (silver and lavender) and just embrace everything unique.

2. I celebrated my 19th wedding anniversary in November of last year and I’m starting to think of ideas for celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We’ve always promised that we would finally take a “honeymoon” when we made it to 25 years. I don’t fly or get on boats, so we’re basically planning something in North America.

3. My boys are now 14 (he’ll be 15 this year as he is always so quick to point out) and 17. The 17-year old has just grasped that time is so fleeting. He cannot understand how he is already 17. Neither can I to be honest. Both of them are taller than I am. That gives me three times the number of people to help me reach stuff on the top shelf in the kitchen or craft room and it also gives me three times the number of people telling short jokes. I can’t decide if that’s a win type situation or not.

4. I did it. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Community Leadership. I miss school as I’ve been out for an entire year. I have not yet done anything with my degree as I have been trying to decide what’s next for me and for my family. School, for me, was originally something to do when the boys went to school. It was a lifelong dream to graduate college, but I didn’t really have a plan past that point. I recommend against that particular way of doing things, in case you’re wondering.

5. I was recently (three weeks ago) diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic. It was both totally expected and a surprise. I had been getting lucky on that for over 20 years and I knew it would catch up with me eventually. Since that phone call from the nurse three weeks ago, I have brought my HbA1c down 1.8% and I’m still going. I have my ups (literally) and my downs (not quite so literally) but I’m going to keep at it because it’s high time I started taking care of myself. My goal is to not have to take medications to control this at this time.

6. I love creative expression and I engage in it whenever possible. Currently I enjoy writing, drawing, coloring, spinning yarn, weaving, knitting, sewing, and beading. I want to learn crochet, pottery, and glass work (stained glass and creating things like my own beads). I know where there are classes for the first two, but I haven’t found a class for the third yet.

7. I collect journals, writing paper, fountain pens and ink, wax and wax seals, art supplies of all kinds, yarn, fiber, fabric, and stuffed animals.

8. My likes: I like seeing vivid colors. I like the view of a gorgeous sunrise or sunset, the full moon, and the clouds before a hurricane. I love the scent of rain, men’s cologne, fresh cut grass, leather, raw silk, and puppy breath. I love the sound of kittens purring, a child’s belly laugh, music with a good drum beat, a really good thunderstorm, and the sounds of night outside. I love the feel of the cold spray from a waterfall, the burn in your muscles after a fun hike, the brush of cashmere against your skin, and the prickles of kittens kneading on your arm. I love the taste of hot tea and strawberries with vanilla yogurt. I absolutely adore getting mail that is not bills. I enjoy reading a great book. I love happy surprises.

9. Dislikes: I hate peas, potatoes, liver, onions, and peppers. I hate the smell of skunks, cigarette smoke, diesel fuel, and deep fried anything. I hate seeing child abuse, animal abuse, hate, bigotry, and apathy. I hate hearing people chew, ice chipping, people fighting, children crying, and needless machines making racket. I hate the feel of a commercial wool sweater. They are itchy. I hate the feel of hot sheets, a thin coffee cup, and popcorn kernels in your teeth.

10. Fears: failure, dentists, clowns, and the things I conjure up in my head when I’m worrying.

11. I believe in our justice system. I believe in law. I believe in community. I believe in standing together. I believe in love. I believe that, while things can always improve, we must work with what we have. I believe in resilience. I believe in moving forward. I believe in I can and I will. I believe in personal power. I believe in education. I appreciate those who see the good in life, even when faced with adversity.

12. Things I always have with me are my phone, a pair of headphones, a hair scrunchie, chapstick, a pen, my Fitbit, and MyID.

13. Work: I’m currently selling my handcrafted art. You can see that at http://www.shaunnamichelles.com. I also sell Scentsy, which you can find at http://www.fairyfragrance.scentsy.us. My upcoming projects include writing and perhaps a livestream, but I’m still thinking on that one.

If you would like to know something I haven’t spoken about, please ask!
Until next time,

Blessed Be,
Shannon


I’m Back…I Think

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I haven’t written a thing for this blog in quite some time. I think I was a little overwhelmed by trying to keep my personal, work, and writing blogs separate. I’ve let one blog go completely and the one for work will probably continue to be a struggle for me because I prefer to create without expectation or explanation. This one will combine my writing, my personal life, and whatever else I happen to want to put here. I suppose this is your public service announcement that I will be writing again and it will not always be poetry or prose to enjoy, but also my real and raw rough draft life. The thing about a rough draft life is that there is always something to change, to improve, to tweak and you only get one chance to do it. There’s no going back and there is no do over. You can only step from where you are. For me, that means stepping forward with a bit less stress and one to two less blogs! I hope you’ll stick around and let me know what you think. Until then,

Blessed Be,

Shannon


The Coffee House

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Winter is approaching; I feel the chill in the air. I hurry across the parking lot and stoop under a canopy of colorful flowers that will soon need to be taken in out of the cold weather. I open the door, and I’m welcomed by a warm blanket of air that envelopes me in the rich aromas of fresh coffee and baked goods. Stepping into the coffee house and closing the door behind me, I lock the chill of the cold fall day outside.

Live plants are positioned around the room, their leaves casting shadows in the muted lighting. The dark blue ceiling appears low enough to touch. Pine wood panels cover the bottom half of the walls. The tan color on the top half of the walls is a shade darker than the pine, tying the pine wood panels to the darker color of the ceiling. Various works of art hang on the wall. I feel as though I’ve stepped into the den of a country home. Overstuffed chairs in shades of green, blue and maroon are arranged into mini-living rooms with matching pine end tables and coffee tables. Sets of dining tables are set comfortably apart from one another with padded forest green chairs. The blue carpet has maroon running through it, tying the whole color scheme together into a nice country setting. The ceiling fans are on, moving just enough to keep the aroma of coffee and baked goods circulating throughout the room. The front of the counter is open, revealing an array of delicious-looking baked goods arranged in wicker baskets.

A man is seated in a corner of the room, his coffee cup in one hand and a newspaper in the other. A group of older women are chatting happily as they crochet, hooks flying skillfully through the yarn as they talk. They smile as I walk toward the counter, nodding their hellos. I place my order with the man behind the counter, and he expertly creates my perfect blend of coffee, milk and caramel. My fresh hot coffee warming my cold hands, I walk to one of the arranged seating areas closer to the wall and rest in one of the padded chairs. The whirring of the coffee grinder, the gurgling of the coffee brewing, the bubbling of the steamer warming the milk, and the humming of the refrigerator create a relaxing symphony of sounds. I take a sip of my hot coffee, relishing the warmth. My eyes get heavy, and I settle to the sounds and smells of the coffee shop. I can hear the man moving behind the counter, and it carries me back to memories of my mother moving through the kitchen making Sunday morning breakfast. The rustling of the newspaper as a page is turned reminds me of my father at the dining table reading his paper. I feel as though I have come home.

The serenity of the coffee shop is only interrupted by the occasional rush of traffic sounds as the door is opened by the next cold customer eagerly awaiting his or her taste of home.


Fear

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It hits me the moment I step out of the car. My stomach lurches in an attempt to retch away the odors assaulting me. The faint hints of bleach and antiseptic barely mask the decay and toothy smoke smell that surrounds the building.

Walking toward the door, the stench intensifies and I can almost taste the barely concealed rot. I gag harder.

Sneaking quick breaths between long moments of not breathing at all, I stagger to the door of the office. The door squeals ominously as I open it and I’m surrounded by a sudden cacophony of sounds. The sucking and scraping provide a background for the whine of the drills digging. Mumbled voices slurping and moaning around devices in their mouths are mixed with impulsive whimpers of pain.

I collapse into a chair in the waiting room, my heart beating out the seconds to my appointment time. I absently stare at the pages of a magazine, dabbing the beads of sweat from my forehead with trembling hands.

I recoil when the nurse calls my name.

“The dentist will see you now!”