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A medical bill, associated with my recent colonoscopy, arrived in today’s mail. It was for pathology work. I logged on to my medical records to find details of the pathology report. As I already knew, the pathology exam found nothing awry, but I was curious to know details. In reading the report, a collection of words intrigued me: “terminal ileum and colon anastomosis.” That started me on a path that educated me about the human digestive system, especially the lower gastrointestinal tract.  Though some of my “education” was simply a reminder of what I already knew but had forgotten, other aspects presented brand new information to me. The first aspect of my education was of the former variety: I was reminded that anastomosis, in medical parlance, is a surgically created connection between two structures. Usually, the connection is between tubular structures like blood vessels or the intestines. In the case of my pathology report, the term referred to the point at which, in 1990 or 1991, doctors in Toledo, Ohio performed a resection on a span of my small intestines, then connected the remaining link to the colon. They had suspected I was having an appendicitis, but in reality I was experiencing the agony of Crohn’s disease. They found bad intestine during surgery and, since they were there, removed it. Actually, I think that has made my life much better than it otherwise might have been. I still very rarely experience symptoms of my now essentially dormant Crohn’s, but my experience pales in comparison to people who live with the full-blown  disease every day. I have a friend, with whom I’ve rarely communicated of late, who suffers from the debilitating aspects of the disease; she was my first “crush” in junior high school. She’s now a senior level  lawyer for the Department of Justice. That does not guarantee either happiness or health. But, as usual, I digress.

I am absolutely fascinated with The site is interesting, educational, and it is so exceptionally well done that I wish I could give it a gold star rating that would cause the universe to visit the site. I learned more in my zipping from page to page than I might have learned in gross anatomy class in medical school, had I been admitted into gross anatomy class in medical school, which is unlikely in the most positive way of putting it.

I told my friend, Millie, this morning over coffee, I think I am experiencing symptoms of ADHD. She said she thought I was, instead, showing symptoms of stark raving madness, the sort of insanity that causes people to steal machetes and go on killing rampages in the chambers of the House of Representatives. I recoiled in stunned horror at her suggestion, then grabbed the sword from the guard standing nearby. My deft slice through the air brought the guard’s head into the basket. I asked Mille what she thought of THAT? She rolled her eyes and said, “Myra might have scurried away at that monstrous act, but I will simply call you on it! What did that poor bastard do to you?”

I stood, in stunned silence, wondering what to do. There was only one thing to do. Eat an ice cream sundae rich with habanero pepper. And so I did. And I cannot finish my tale, because my mouth is afire. My brain is boiling. My hatred of medical insurance and the bureaucracies that support it cannot possibly be viewed with justice.

Linda crept next to me, as I sat unhappy and angry in my chair. “Hey, lover boy, shall I remove you from the ugliness of this angst?”

I said “Yes” and turned my head. In an instant, I was gone. Yet the ugliness remained, spilling across the horizon in layers that convince me of this: the only road to happiness is to be found in either another planet or another dimension on this one.

But back to my medical bill. I’ll pay it. You gotta pay for something, other than your $600+ per month premiums. (Give me a (excuse me) f***ing break).

Yes, Obamacare (ACA) needs to be fixed. So do many things. Do not discard real protections If you do, I will do bad things that will impact your friends and family. And mine.

Enough. I wish you a magnificent remainder of your Saturday and an even better Memorial Day and remainder of time on earth!

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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