Thursday, March 17, 2011


Lawd, I’ve been watching the news and I can’t wrap my mind around how horrible the situation in Japan has become!

It’s hard to focus on anything else…but life does not pause for disasters or even a nuclear crisis.

The other day I was knee deep in political activism, trying to keep my state government from further restricting women’s access to the full range of reproductive health care, when the phone rang.

The manager of my brother’s house (he’s in a residential program for autistic adults) was on the line telling me that my brother’s primary care doctor is closing down his practice and we needed to find a new doctor.


Finding a doctor in St. Louis who is accepting new patients and who also takes Medicaid is as hard as locating a Democrat in the Missouri State Senate. 

Oh, they’re out there…but they are few in number.

We put together a list…called around…and finally found someone.

The entire exercise reminded me that my brother is due for a dental appointment and that his dentist is one of the few in the state who is trained in behavior modification. That training is key to dental care for people like my brother, who often struggles to stay still during cleanings. Our goal is to have my brother keep his teeth…mostly because the thought of him using dentures gives me hives. To achieve that goal, my brother needs good cleanings…and his current dentist is fantabulous at working with Bill to get those teeth clean.

My never-ending concern is that we face a shortage of doctors and dentists trained to care for people with autism.

As it is, my family often foots the bill for the behavior modification when Bill has dental cleanings.


So here we are, breaking in a new doctor. I’m fretting over the thought of the dentist eventually retiring even as I plan for another hit to my pocket book in the form of those additional fees for behavior modification. My work is overwhelming with threats to access to health care on both the state and federal fronts.

And you know what?

I’m fucking lucky.

Life might not pause for a natural disaster or nuclear crisis, but it sure as shit is put into perspective.

***logs off to begin another day***


Vesuvian Woman said...

God bless you!

Sandi O said...

LOVE the last sentence of this! Can't begin to tell how how much I enjoy, heck; even crave your blog!! Coming from a small town school nurse born and raised in Alabama, I certainly need to fill my canteen from time to time with waters that flow above the Mason~Dixon line. I depend on what you pen on days I can't bring myself to gaze at a broadcast or don't make the time to actually read something other than my local paper (which tends to tie any breaking news story to college football) to keep me informed.
So thanks for all you do!

ps. From someone who nurses special needs children and works with a special needs adult ministry~ good luck with Bill's healthcare. He is VERY lucky to have you advocate for him!

Anonymous said...

Great writing! & thinking.... love reading you.

The Gumdrop Stage of Grief ...

So many of you have shared condolences and support after the death of my beloved brother Bill from COVID-19. I wish I could thank you indiv...