Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hierarchy of Needs


I went today and pulled my medical records for the first time since Duke. I have learned to trust my doctors and so hadn’t been looking as closely at them but with more spare time, I sat down and read them… interestingly enough my marathons(all 3 are mentioned including Boston by name) and 100 mile rides are in the records more than I realized. There are a lot of great technical terms in there that made me spend more time on google than I had in a while…apparently during EEG I have mild focal dysfunction in my left temporal lobe,  t2 change with the anterior temporal lobe, and often mentioned memory and retrieval capacities, k1-67 stain, p53 study, MID-1, gadolinium, syncopal spell… Anyway, it’s clear why the brain is complicated. Actually, a friend of mine who does some coordination with the national health institute was fairly blunt about that they don’t put much grant money into brain cancer as compared to others for a variety of reasons. One of these is simple, it’s less than 2% of cancers and has less than 20% survival rate as opposed to say breast cancer and testicular cancer which used to kill a lot more people (here’s where you put in the easy joke about how those other things are more involved in sex; I kid you not there was a woman who when I got the diagnosis took the opportunity to tell me how she was excited about her breast cancer diagnosis because the prognosis was so good and her insurance automatically included a breast enhancement surgery). The other reason is we just don’t know that much about the brain.

The lightest I’ve been since my sophomore year in high school was a few weeks after my spouse left (153 lbs), showing stress is better for weight loss than, or biking. It actually notes no past medical history other than sports related injuries… I am not sure if that’s comforting.
And then I’m sitting here looking at my life insurance plans… and trying to fill them out and realizing that if I just put the money away… but would I be able to put it away and how long do I have. The COBRA items have not arrived…Turns out that without Obamacare havging kicked in, even if I got a job with benefits some things would never get covered if it was certain companies. Insurance is a big money maker with over 100 companies in the game… Everyone dies so let’s make some money off that and if you bet it right, your family wins and if we bet it right, we pocket some money. My health insurance throughout this process has denied some things my doctors thought necessary. Everyone has their right to make a living somehow but even though an insurance company was interested in me… that was a job that I can’t take no matter how well it pays and look myself in the eye.

But I’ve been thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs… now a basic research of it shows that it’s been debunked in some ways, the main criticism is that it just doesn’t work from people who come from collective societies. I sat through two interviews today… one with a program that helps children and one that connects people to ways they can make more money. I sat and realized that I’m wired wrong… or at least different. Without exception, all the jobs I’ve ever liked were ones dominated by women. Being a teacher, probation officers tend to be mostly female. I was raised by a single mom and my grandmother and great grandmother pitched in so maybe that’s why… who knows. I’ve been told I’ve lost man cards for painting my toenails and wearing heals just to play around with Kiana. I don’t know if gender roles should be that clear. In the ones where the primary interviewer have been women it’s been about how I can help people… In the ones where it’s been primarily men, it’s about how I can move up and make even more money working 50-60 hours a week but that will go down after a few years… How does one make these decisions with a 5 year old period and how does one make them under my circumstances?

I am headed to a workout tonight, trying to still think that maybe pushing my body to good health matters and doing another official trackmeet Thursday and the 100 mile ride Sunday. Perhaps it’s because I’ve raised money for Livestrong 4 times in 1 year, perhaps because Lance Armstrong is in an odd way in the news right now, perhaps because it’s just not that good of a story, the fundraising efforts for this weekend weren’t met. I’ve not managed to get anyone to donate $50 even with the I’ll shave my legs for it. The $100K that they had hoped to raise with the direct mail piece turned out to be $30k so far.

I hope somehow somewhere somethings work out. I’ve always been a dreamer but most every child is and sometimes dreams just can’t or don’t come true…. I don’t want to be Fantine or any of the Les Miserable’s characters…

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame

What happens next… I just don’t know. I’ve coordinated many events in my life, gotten lots of good grades, prepared legal paperwork but I don’t think I’ve ever sat with as much paperwork as I’m sitting right now with the health insurance and medical records and … and… maybe it’s time to look down lower on the hierarchy of needs… maybe it’s an opportunity to get to the top. Only time reveals the future. I just hope I have plenty of that left.

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