Semi-Annual Job Review for Our President

Semi Annual Job Review
Dear Pres. Trump –

Bless your heart. You must be feeling mightily frustrated. You’ve discovered by now that being President of the U.S. isn’t at all the same as being the CEO of a corporation. You can’t just fire people from citizenship in your country if they don’t do what you order them to do. You can’t boss Senators and Representatives around like they’re your employees. You can’t scramble around the laws of the land like they don’t apply to you. You’ve discovered that you don’t actually own America. You are not the boss. You’re supposed to work for the people now. You’re supposed to be their servant. You are the employee. Your actions can be questioned. Your sketchy alliances with foreign powers can be scrutinized. You can be removed from your position.

I know. I don’t blame you if it’s all making you a little grumpy. But take heart. There’s hope for you. You can learn. It’s not impossible. You can take this opportunity to actually make the country a better place for your employers. Maybe you’ll hear what Bernie Sanders has to say about health insurance for all – and you’ll be like, “Oh! What a great idea! Let’s do that one!” Or maybe you’ll take the time to talk to the athletes who are using their First Amendment rights and kneeling, and you’ll find out why they’re doing that – and you’ll be, like, “Oh! Let’s see how we can fix that for you!” Maybe you’ll visit Puerto Rico and realize it’s, like, actually a part of the United States – and maybe you’ll decide to do what you can to help the people there. Heck, maybe you’ll decide to do what you can to help your neighbors who are dealing with death and destruction in Mexico, too.

– Karen, one of your employers

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Medicaid Cuts

Did you all see the video of the people getting dragged from their wheelchairs and carried out by law enforcement officers for protesting proposed Medicaid cuts outside Sen. McConnell’s office? If you missed it, here’s a clip.

Here’s what Donald Trump promised during his campaign: “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”

And here’s what Trumpcare proposes today:  Medicaid Cuts.

In grade school I was taught that the United States stood for liberty, justice, and equality. We were the good guys. We were the country that people immigrated to for freedom and opportunity – people came here to escape religious persecution, political persecution, and poverty. My immigrant ancestors came here to find better lives for themselves and their families, and, unless you are descended wholly from indigenous peoples or slaves, so did yours.

And look at us now. What have we become?! We are the only industrialized nation with for-profit health care. Health insurance corporations don’t actually seem to care about making people healthy – the corporations’ main concern is making money. That’s what for-profit corporations do: They make money. And our politicians are, of course, in the back pockets of these guys because that seems to be what their chief concern is, too – making money. (For an insightful piece about this from the perspective of a patient – click here.)

Add to this the corruption found in pharmaceutical companies (click here for a link to a Harvard University study), and if you are suffering from health problems and don’t have insurance to pay for the cost of your care, you and your family could get financially wiped out in a matter of days. (According to the HealthCare.gov site, the average cost for a three-day hospital stay is $30,000.)

This is shameful.

Our Republican legislators – the (fill in the blank) who came up with the latest health care “reform”  plan should be ashamed of themselves. But somehow I doubt they are. Their proposals indicate they don’t have any kind of collective conscience. They appear not to give a hoot about the people they were elected to represent.

And this might be a good time to remind our politicians that they are not the bosses of us; we are the bosses of them. They are here to serve US – not the pharmaceutical companies, and not the health insurance corporations – but US. And if they won’t serve the people who put them in office, then it is time for us to fire their kiesters.

“The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.” – Mary Baker Eddy

Message to My Senators

“The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good. ”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Message to the esteemed Senators from Washington State, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell:

Regarding the proposed budgets for Education and Health Care

I know you will stand, as you always have, with the poor, sick, disenfranchised, and struggling. I know you will do what you need to do to help our young people receive the education that will make their lives, and our world, better. I know you will do what you need to do to ensure that health care is affordable and accessible to all our citizens.

And I thank you for that. I am grateful to live in Washington State and to be represented by you in Washington, DC.

Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
– James 1: 27

Let’s put this another way…

Okay, let’s put this another way: How much chance do you give the fox in the chicken coop? A week? Two years? Four? Do you let it take over the coop, hoping that it will somehow turn into another animal maybe? Maybe it’ll become a hummingbird or something? Just give it another month and it will become a gold finch?

Is the fox suddenly going to become this really cool upstanding dude who believes in climate change, wants to help protect the environment, wants to allow the press to do its job unhampered, wants to support public education and not privatize it, wants to protect peoples’ health care and give everyone access to the care they need to live, going to help people retire in dignity, going to get off Twitter and actually try to serve the people who elected him…?

 

He Does Dentistry on the Side

Had my yearly visit with Hansrolf today. I mostly go there for the laughs, but Hansrolf also performs dentistry on the side. I’ve been visiting Hansrolf for about 30 years, I guess. He is just two months older than me. We married at the same ages, and our sons were born the same years – our oldest sons were sometime-rivals at the local recreational basketball tournaments and it was always fun to run into him at those games. He and I used to share our latest mountain climbing and hiking adventures, and sometimes he’d ask me to tell him about the latest “trashy” (I used this word first, but he seemed to have great fun using it once I had) romance I was writing (ahem… I went through a short period in my life – a VERY short period – like, a year or two… okay, maybe three at the most – when I wrote historical romances involving British soldiers on the Iberian Peninsula and feisty English governesses… I know… stop laughing). But nowadays we mostly just crack up about the adventures of middle age together.

Today I asked his newest assistant if Hansrolf keeps her laughing at work, and just the question made her start cracking-up. Then she shared his latest shenanigans with me –  apparently Hansrolf has taken to jumping out from closets and hallways and scaring the living daylights out of his technicians and assistants.

I glanced over at the room across from mine and saw that Hansrolf had made it to my husband. I couldn’t hear what Hansrolf was saying to him  – but Scott was laughing so hard it looked like tears had started to leak out of his eyes. Hansrolf was working his magic there.

When he came into my room I told Hansrolf I’d been talking with his new dental hygienist and she’d mentioned that he had made it a part of the daily routine to jump out at his assistants from closets and hallways. He nodded his head and said in a matter-of-fact way that he does this to help maintain good health at the office – it keeps his assistants’ hearts pumping, and keeps him agile. This, of course, all made perfect sense to me.

As Hansrolf’s crackerjack team of dental professionals took turns flossing and polishing and x-raying my teeth, there was music being funneled into the room through speakers. But as I listened to the music, it occurred to me that this wasn’t your typical dental office music. This was not Winchester Cathedral I was listening to here. Fleetwood Mac came on singing “Wouldn’t you love to love her?” This was followed by Led Zeppelin. And then it occurred to me that Hansrolf probably had something to do with this.

“Did you pick this music?” I asked around a mouthful of dental instruments. He said it was from a station out of Bellingham. I thought about this for awhile, and then asked,”You know how music is usually geared for the older clients…? So… dang… WE are the older clients now, aren’t we?”

He nodded his head in affirmation. “The other day I was in Safeway and Highway to Hell came on,” he told me. “Safeway!! Highway to Hell!!” he repeated, the shock of the experience still obviously with him. “On the one hand it was good to not have to listen to Dean Martin crooning something, but on the other hand… it says something about how old you are when your music is now considered mainstream and fit for Safeway.”

At the end of our visit, Hansrolf pronounced my teeth “perfect” and sent me off to check out with his receptionist and get my little bag of free stuff – floss, toothpaste, toothbrush. (Hansrolf’s office once donated 100 free toothbrushes to a charity I was involved in through my school.)

And now as I sit here typing this it occurs to me that – seeing as how Hansrolf is my age and everything – and seeing as how we’re both rapidly approaching retirement age – there will probably come a time when I will have to look around for another dentist. It would be nice if I could find another dentist with a sense of humor – but I’m not banking on find another dentist who can keep me laughing in the same way Hansrolf does. Hansrolf is irreplaceable.

 

 

 

Visit with the Comedic Optometrist

I had a visit with my optometrist today, and, as usual, I left feeling like I’d just participated in a stand-up comedy act. My optometrist and my dentist are two of the funniest folks I know. If I wasn’t paying for their health care services, I think I might pay them just to make me laugh.

Today’s fun started when the assistant asked me if I’d be willing to have my eyes dilated. I do not like having my eyes dilated, but if it’d help the doctor see in my eyes… “Okay,” I said. As she was putting the drops in I asked, “So why don’t they dilate the eyes of pregnant women?” The assistant said she wasn’t sure, but they didn’t put the eye drops in the eyes of pregnant women, nursing women, or people with one kidney.

That last bit sort of caught me up short. The assistant left to find out more, and came back a few moments later to say that apparently the chemicals in the eye drops could interact with the medicines that a person with kidney problems might be taking, and cause kidney failure. But otherwise the eye drops were alright.

This was reassuring.

Enter the doctor. He asks me how I’m doing, and I say something like, “Well, other than possible kidney failure, I’m doing alright, I guess.” He starts laughing and brings me back into his examination room. He puts on this helmet thing with weird tubes and gizmos sticking out of it. “You look very dapper in that,” I observe. He grins and wonders aloud if he should take it out of the clinic and strut down the street in it.

I tell him that I didn’t bring my sunglasses with me, and that – since my eyes have been dilated – I’m really looking forward to getting a pair of their special dorky sunglasses for my drive home – I always look so good in those things. He smiles and promises that a pair of dorky sunglasses will be mine.

He has grown a rather substantial beard since I last saw him – it’s about a foot long and nicely rounded at the bottom. I tell him he looks sort of like Santa Claus. He says being Santa Claus would be alright as long as random strangers didn’t try to sit on his lap or ask him for candy. I tell him about my friend who grew a beard down to his waist. “He said food would get stuck in there – he sometimes found whole sandwiches in that thing.” My optometrist notes you wouldn’t need a lunchbox with a beard like that.

All this time he’s examining my eyes, looking into them with his little flashlight dealie. He says they look pretty good in there. No signs of macular degeneration or anything. I mention that in a recent photo it looked like one of my eyes was sort of looking off to the side while my other eye was looking straight ahead, and he asks me to look at him while he shines his light on my eyes. “No,” he says, “everything looks good. Ah… yes, I see.” I ask him what he sees. He tells me that one of my eyelids is more saggy than the other, which makes it look like I have one eye that’s looking off to the side.

“Oh! Is that all?! Heck… I lost my vanity long ago. A saggy eyelid is no big deal.” He laughs and says that at our age we have more important things to worry about… like, say, breathing.

I remind him of the time when he saw a melanoma on my eyelid. I tell him that totally freaked me out. Of course, the more freaked out I get, the more I start cracking jokes. I reminded him that I went out to his receptionist and started making her laugh and then when they called the eye surgeon’s office for me, I started making THAT receptionist laugh – and then he had walked in, heard me joking about my impending death and had said, “Don’t start ordering caskets just yet” – and that had totally had me in stitches.

“That broke the fear for me, ” I tell him. “And then I went home and prayed and two weeks later when I went to the eye surgeon the melanoma was gone!” He checks his records and sees that my story rings true, and he likes that.

We talk about prayer then. I’ve been going to him for more than twenty years, but for the first time I confide to him that I am a Christian Scientist, and – to his credit – he doesn’t freak out or anything. He nods his head and waits to hear more. I tell him that when I pray I’m not, like, pleading with some guy who looks like him – with a long beard – sitting in the clouds. But that I’m just trying to bring myself close to the power of Love. And he nods and says he believes there’s a Higher Power, too, and he believes that there’s more beyond the life that we’re experiencing here.

We start talking about other religious beliefs then – and those who try to bring their religious beliefs into politics and government – not just in America, but elsewhere. The conversation about religious extremism ends with him saying, “I don’t want 70 virgins if I have to feed them and buy them bling and stuff. Can I pass on the virgins, and killing other people, and just be a kind and humane person instead?”

He walks me out to the receptionist’s desk, and tells her that I’ll need some of the special sunglasses they give out to patients. Then he turns to me, and tells me my eyes are looking really good – very nice and healthy. I tell him that’s probably the best compliment I’ll get all day. He smiles, and says, “Not with those sunglasses!”

He shakes my hand and tells me how much he always enjoys my visits. And I tell him how much I enjoy my visits with him.

And in another couple weeks I’ll be going to the dentist! I’m so looking forward to that… 🙂

It is not everyone can look as cool as me. :)

Karen in her special sunglasses.

Health Insurance: One Christian Scientist’s Thoughts

As a Christian Scientist I feel the need to say this: I believe health care should be universal – a basic right of every man, woman, and child – and no one should ever be denied the care they need simply because they’re poor, or unemployed. Health care should not be dependent on employment or the whims of employers. And a bunch of politicians should not be the ones who decide what kind of treatment and care the residents of this nation can use. Okay. That’s all. Carry on then…

 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. – Matthew 22

The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. Without this, the letter is but the dead body of Science, –  pulseless, cold, inanimate. – Mary Baker Eddy