1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Monday, July 8, 2013

These Boobs Are Made for Walkin'

When I was growing up in the 1960s and '70s, go-go boots were all the rage, and, as you might imagine, quite irresistible to a nerd like me who wanted to fit in. I wanted to go-go places, see the world, walk 'til I ran out of road, and then make my own path through life. These days, I am content to just have my own body parts intact, thank you very much, boobs included. I am also certain that the people who dreamed up high-heeled shoes must be in cahoots with the ones who invented mammography machines. They both have a monopoly on torturing women with a back-handed sort of kindness: Want to look good? Wear high heels but pay the price in back pain and sprained ankles. Want to be sure your boobs aren't rotting away with cancer? Get an annual, painful mammogram (or two) and pay the price your insurance policy won't pay for (the second one). It's too bad there's no bank to dole out the money once you make it so far around the game board, or at least there won't be by the time SAM and I are old enough to qualify for Medicare, if we live that long.

This morning, much to my surprise and delight, I was given another chance to Pass Go. (No cancer!) Instead of collecting $200 from the bank, though, I was asked to pay!--several hundred dollars for the follow-up mammogram and possible sonogram even before I was subjected to them. Boy, was I steamed! But I didn't lose my cool at the gal entering my information in the hospital computer. She was only doing her job and a fine one at that.

Instead of losing my cool at the hospital help, I started looking for errors--in the Right to Privacy brochure I was advised to read while I waited to be examined and in the ancient magazines stacked on side tables in the waiting room. I noted quite a lot of them (errors) in one issue of Southern Living, but they were nothing compared to the one on the front page of the brochure:

"This notice describes how health information about [   ] may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully...."

Oh, you can bet I did, West Florida Hospital. Notice anything missing? You! Of course! (I put the brackets in for effect.) I can only imagine what the Powers-That-Be are thinking behind our backs:

If You were paying any attention and had any backbone, You poor schmucks, You would feel outraged that the health care system in this country is a sham. It's not health care. It's overpriced, Mismanaged Disease-Care, and it's about to get even more overpriced and mismanaged (Affordable Care Act). Do You get it, You boobs (schmucks/fools)?

Got it. Now I really need a walk....


  1. Understandable relief at "passing go". What I did not fully understand until 3 years ago was how painfully uncomfortable mammograms are. I was required to get a series of them when I was a boy of 60 --sometimes happens to men. I firmly believe everyone who suffers this diagnostic procedure should get at least $200.

  2. Mr. G, I hope your tests turned out okay. You know, I think it was even more painful being asked to pay before suffering the indignity. It certainly added insult to injury!

  3. Dear Walk2Write,
    when I read your post, and think of the way my landlady was treated by National Health in England, I see how well the German Health system is. I am a private patient, but I have colleages who are in the Gesetzliche KV, and they are well served.
    I can't follow you on the pains of mammography - the new (as a bonus using very few rays) machines are not hurting.
    I wouldn't say the same of High Heels (I only wear them to very special events - and a tall man to lean on at my side :-)

  4. Britta, I've heard that Germany is fiscally conservative but still able to take care of its citizens. I wish that our politicians would take some lessons from yours. Perhaps your system works so well because it's not so corrupt? I've also heard that some of those new machines are now available in certain places in the U.S. Apparently, Northwest Florida is not one of them. As for high heels, I gave them a try when I was in my 20s. After a few mishaps, I gave them up. SAM and I are about the same height now (gravity takes over) so I would tower over him with heels on. I don't think he would like that very much.

  5. I love Geo's idea to pay us 200 dollars for having a mammogram! hahaha....I would be laughing all the way to the bank each year! Congrats on your clean bill of health! Best news ever!!!

  6. I agree, Julie. If mammograms had an element of the game about them (Pass Go and collect the dough), maybe we could overlook the discomfort.

  7. I always felt that walking in those big boots was really painful.
    I think the health care system everywhere is almost the same. Sharks waiting to take a bite anywhere.

  8. I have never had a mammogram and may not have the one from now on. If I should have a cancer, I'm going to let nature take its course, believing in natural healing power.

    However, my elder daughter's breast cancer was detected at her company's regular check-up last year. Luckily it was the very early stage and she got the lumpectomy and no spread was found. She is still getting medication, at least five years to come but she's all right so far. In her case, early detection through examinations worked, some might've been painful and uncomfortable though.

  9. So glad to know you passed Go on the second round! I've had a couple mammograms that resulted in further tests though fortunately, all was well in the end, but I know how scary that initial diagnosis can be. I will say that my last mammogram was less uncomfortable than those in the past--somebody must have been listening when women joked that it was like slamming a refrigerator door on your boobs:)

    As for healthcare...sheesh, don't even get me started on that. Our local clinic is now charging a "facility charge," meaning the price of a doctor's appointment has doubled! A young Facebook friend recently commented that his health insurance premium is now higher than his mortgage payment. I'm all for helping those who can't afford insurance, but it seems like the middle class once again is the one footing the bill.

    I always wanted go-go boots, but never had any. As for high heels, I gave them up years ago--they had to have been invented by a man:)

    I'm also glad to know I'm not the only one who notices editing errors everywhere. If you find any here, I blame it on the fact I haven't had a cup of coffee yet:)

  10. Mr. H, I've heard that in some countries socialized medicine works, but this country is so large and there are too many hands tending the pot (of tax money) to think that there won't be a misuse of funds and a general decline in the quality of health care--as if it weren't already in decline. Hospital systems have become so bloated that patient care gets trampled on, or, as you suggested, devoured.

    Cosmos, I'm not sure what to think of mammograms. We are exposed to so much radiation as it is (from the sun, dental x-rays, airport screening...) The experts try to reassure us that mammograms pose no threat, but you know how often settled opinions have a way of shifting once new studies are done. Who really knows if the mammograms themselves aren't contributing to cancer? Still, I wouldn't advise anyone to not have them done, because as you said, your daughter's life was probably saved by the screening that she had. I do wish they were more comfortable!

    Rose, it sounds like your hospital has the newer, gentler kind of machine. Our hospital must still be living in the dark ages when it comes to mammography. I know what you mean about insurance premiums. It won't be long before ours exceeds the mortgage payment too. If this keeps up, there may no longer be a middle class.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one with go-go boot envy as well as a compulsion for finding typos:)

  11. Wow! Way to get that off your breast (ahem-pun intended) Hang in there!

  12. One the one hand mammograms saved Mrs. T life. She also beat uterine cancer. On the other our hospitals and heath care in general are hugely overpriced and in spite of there claims definitely NOT nonprofit. See Time magazine issue several months back. Your got it all right on that subject...:)

  13. Glad your tests came out okay!! I am very disturbed about the cost of health care.

  14. When I had my 1st mammogram a few years ago, they found something which led to more tests and money spent. It was all Ok. Now on to the next year. Doctor decides it needs to come out. So more test, surgery and the "spot" was removed. Nothing was wrong with the spot but was taken out just the same. Looking back, I wonder if any of that was even necessary. Or just another way for the hospital, doctor, nurse's, etc. to make some money from us. I know you are supposed to trust in your doctor but then again we are supposed to trust is our Government as well. Hum.....