Medical Checkups in Sterlington, LA

Not only did I have to relinquish my California Driver’s License when I moved to Louisiana, I also had to move the cornerstones of my material world.  I’m talking about car and health insurance, and was much pleased to discover that I had to pay a lot less for both. I really didn’t mind about the car insurance.  We’re only talking about a thing with a motor and plus, CSAA (and any other insurance company would’ve done the same thing), forced me to pay exorbitant rates for several years because I hit the damn pole in my parking lot and had to get my bumper fixed twice. I loved my Honda Civic. I would’ve never intentionally ripped off its right bumper. In my own defense, I must say that I was having a difficult time estimating the parking space (I find that guys as a general rule [no offense ladies] have a better sense of spatial relationships).  Now why is that? The second reason is because we drive toy cars these days made of plastic, which is defenseless against the slings and arrows of the daily grind.  So what good are they? Anyhow, what was more difficult to relinquish was my membership with Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California where I have been a member for years thanks to my employment with government and private organizations. Can you believe that I actually have a pension from an otherwise halcyon time? Maybe we need to find a way to organize ourselves that embraces an international and mobile work force. Does that already exist? I trail off…Kaiser was an institution that worked for me. It allowed me to walk into clinics, laboratories, or roll into operating rooms throughout the entire era of my children growing up. Kaiser prices started to increase in the 1990’s, which is when the cost of health care began its NASA launch to the moon and back with the superman ability to bankrupt families in one serious illness. Yet Kaiser remained affordable. I could get my yearly workup, including blood tests, X-rays, flu shot, pap smear and the rest of the women’s works for a mere $10, and the model stressed preventative care, which turned out to be good for Kaiser’s bottom line. I suppose the move to Louisiana made me feel like I about to sever an important connection. Kaiser doctors had been there for me at a time in my life when I needed them. Not only was I moving to Louisiana, but soon to march into the new world of Medicare. In the mean time, I signed up with Blue Cross, the kind of coverage with an enormous deductible that allows me to see the doctor once a year for a round of check-ups, which is what I was generally doing at Kaiser these past years anyway. So I made myself an appointment with a doctor here.  She  spent almost an hour interviewing me and finding out about my medical history.  Unheard of.  My mammogram included a trip to clinic where my breasts were squashed by an apologetic technician in a room that was bedecked with pink netting on a standing woman’s wired figure. She also let me know about good places in town to eat. Everyone was helpful. Everyone wanted to discover some prior condition, some propensity in my family toward heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Was I on medication? Was I a smoker? Surely I had forgotten to check a box so I could have at least one treatable ailment? Everyone seemed confused by a middle-aged person who had managed within this culture of prepared food and chemical exposure to come out of it relatively healthy. All these years, I had access to good water and fresh fruit and vegetables and health care.  But suddenly here were people who took more than the allotted fifteen minutes of time per patient.  Amazing.

About Lenore Weiss

Lenore's collections include "Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail" (2011) from Finishing Line Press, “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications, and "Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island" (West End Press, 2012). Her writing has won recognition from Poets&Writers (finalist in California Voices contest) and as a finalist for Pablo Neruda Prize, Nimrod International Journal. The Society for Technical Communication has recognized her work regarding Technical Literacy in the schools. All material is copyrighted on this site and cannot be used without the author's permission.
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