I know how detestable it is for older men to speak about their health. First, the odds that they are going to come out alive are not good. Second, it’s true that many old geezers replace sexual pleasure with the joys of whining. I am not one of those. I have a legitimate, didactic reason to speak about my health, at least, briefly. It has to do indirectly with the underpinning of the on-going debate on and disgust with health care reform.
About five months ago, I started suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. In a way, CTS is a happy illness. It’s the illness of writers who actually write. It come from spending too much time intensively using the keyboard. Yet, the pain was intense enough to wake me up at night. The neurologist prescribed Aleve. Then, at my insistence, he described the appropriate surgical intervention. It’s a routine operation; it does not require anesthesia; it works almost all the time. Having little patience, in my mind, I was immediately sold on the procedure.
Then, I started looking at cost. I am on one of the Bush-era, smart versions of Medicare. It’s designed to give me all that I need but not much more. I knew this in an abstract way but I had not thought it through because, frankly, who does not have something more exciting to do than reading insurance companies fine print and wooden language? So, I was shocked that my share of the cost for this simple, small operation would come to almost $2,000. I put off the decision because putting off the decision rather than making lemonade, is often the most rational thing you can do when life serves you lemons. Continue reading