Remember that book, “Are You my Mother?” It is a children’s story about a little lost hatchling searching for its mother. While Mom is away gather food, the baby bird leaves the nest. It cannot get back in, so off it goes to find Mom. “Are you my Mother?”, it asks as it searches. It asks the dog and the chicken and the cat and even a front loader. When it finds its Mother, it gleefully cries, “You are my Mother!” as it is reunited back to its nest with Mom. I liken this story to where I am at right now. I am facing a challenge. This is a blip on my radar screen that will take time and resources to address, but should be solvable. In order to address this I will need support. I will need help. I will need community, and not just virtual, I will actually need bodies to help me. Who are these people? Where are these bodies? I must locate my community, my supports. This is the question I must answer as I ask, “Are you my People?”
I am not going to get into all of the details of my situation, but I will share that I need a medical procedure. I am not dying just yet or on the verge of battling some terminal illness. Though not totally urgent, it does need surgical intervention. I must be hospitalized, anesthetized, drugged, poked, cut, stitched, prodded and then sent home. Yuck, yuck and more yuck. This will take time and recovery. I will need help. I will need looking after. I will need people.
The first step in this journey is to figure out where and when and how this will happen. We all are very well aware that I am in a remote Non-Washington location. I am hours away from medical care, two at the least and four at the most. My insurance is for WA and covers only emergency care. I can get an exception, and a local provider may agree to take the payments offered. But…. will that work? Can I even get care over here? Do I have to fly back? Do I have to leave to have this issue addressed? I am in a limbo of sorts and I don’t like it.
Now I will bitch about our health care system and why some company policy dictates when and where I can or cannot get care, who and what I may or may not get, on and on I can go, getting more and more upset as I type or talk or write or scream or yell. It pisses me the fuck off that my medical care is not provided by where I am or who can give me care. Nope. My medical care is dictated by policies in a book, by people who do not even know me, by rules that have nothing to do with what is best for me. Not here, not in America, not in Texas or in Washington. Nope. Health care is bullshit in this country and those with the least amount of resources receive the least amount of care. Fabulous. Just fabulous. Fuck all of that. Rant over.
As I work to sort this all out, I have to consider my care, the procedure, and recovery. Where should I be? Where can I be? If I have to be in WA, what does that mean? If I can stay here, what does that mean? Each of these scenarios requires me to ask for help. I have to get transportation to and from the procedure and someone to stay close at least at first. I may need help for a few days, and I should have someone look in on me now and again to make sure I am OK. Do I have that where I am? Do I have that in WA? I never thought the concept of “home” would hit me this hard or this deep. Is home where I can get care? Is home where I want to be for this care? Is home that place that will envelop me and support me? Is home the people that will be around me? Is home just where I land? I have so many questions.
Right now, I have very few answers. I am talking like I may even have a choice. I am acting like I am in charge. I feel somewhat powerless and I hate that. I have no concrete answers and I crave a plan, direction, clarity. I know I have care in WA should I need it. I have a supportive manager here who tells me I will retain my job and my housing. I am sure if I should ask, I can get help right here. This is a tight little community and, though I am still pretty new, I know I would help out anyone here who asked. I feel I would receive help if I asked them, too.
I am thinking about home and health and community and support. I am thinking about me and my care and what is best. I am thinking that I have a lot to consider and I have some more investigative work to do. I am thinking that I will be OK. I am thinking that I am loved and cared for and that feels really good. I am thinking that I think too much, too. I may be facing a health challenge, but I am not facing this alone. I KNOW I have people, near and far, here and there, and it does not get any better than that. I know I have community and that really makes me feel good.
I have an issue that will challenge me. I will need my supports and my resources and my wits. I also have faith in myself, faith in my community, and faith in “my people”. I cannot help but smile as I write those words. I have people! Thank God, I have people.
I am grateful for my people and for anyone who has me on a list as one of theirs. Please know I value that relationship, I treasure your trust, and I am here for you in whatever way I can be. I raise my glass to you for your continued support and love.
Cheers to the people who stick with us, who listen and love and care for and support us.
Cheers to those for whom we do the same.
Cheers to our PEOPLE!