Block 655: May 9, 2015

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My favorite part of Saturday is between 7 and 11am, when I’m sitting at my desk- after having walked The Dog and bought myself a Venti Coffee (from Starbucks!)- and sewing for an hour or two. I can look out my window, onto the balcony, and watch my dog crawl along the floor, chasing the sunbeam…

Date: May 9, 2015

Crane: 655

Days Spent on Project: 809

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Back in the early spring of 2013, one of my friends called me in a panic. She needed to build a “costumey” Elizabethan dress for a show and she was already overworked with the production (having agreed to do all the set design and construction, the props, and the costumes. She felt confident I could manage to build a dress in the time she had that would work. I’ve already included that friend here in this Crane Project (Elizabeth G.), but I’d like to dedicate this crane to the girl who I built the dress for…

Laura Von H.

She was a whirlwind of energy, and as a figurehead of that Theater Company, she was great to meet and see work. More on that company tomorrow.

Music I listened to while sewing: Don’t ask, but I’m currently grooving to TLC and watching some of their videos on YouTube. What were we all thinking in the mid- to late 1990s? Those clothes?!?!

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: You know something? I have asthma. I know I’ve written about that at some point during this process, but I can’t remember how much detail I’ve gone into about it.

I’m now at a point where I only need an inhaler before I go on runs, or if I’m around cats, which is a vast improvement from my early childhood when I would take pills daily and puff inhalers at specific hours of the day. (Things do get better!)

But, I still need them. I always have my inhaler on my person, which is one of the reasons why I always wear a jacket (even if it’s super warm) or have a bag over my shoulder. Because I do *need* them, sporadically but definitely, I need to refill prescriptions.

Back in New York, I was without health insurance. I’d need a new inhaler every 2-3 months. Going to a pharmacy would set me back at least $60, which I didn’t always have. I would avoid going to doctors to get my prescription refilled until I *had* to, because that would also set me back a couple hundred dollars, which I didn’t always have.

Having health insurance here in Portland is life-changing. In the past week, I’ve got to an eye doctor and bought a year’s worth of disposable contacts. I paid less than $70 after the insurance did its thing. I can go back to the same doctor in a year and get another check-up and more contacts.

I also just went to the dentist. I haven’t had dental insurance (and therefore, a cleaning) since I graduated from grad school. It’s been at least nine years since my teeth have been cleaned. (Gross, right?) But, I couldn’t THINK of affording that in New York without health insurance. So, again, a routine check-up was one of the luxuries I did without.

I’m glad I went. I’ll spare the logistics, but after yesterday’s cleaning, I made three more appointments to get three problem areas taken care of… not that I’m in danger, but when you don’t take care of yourself and you think something is amiss, something is probably amiss.

And yesterday, I paid $77. Because insurance took care of most of it. (We’ll see what the summer’s work costs me, but STILL!)

How anyone can argue that every person doesn’t deserve health, dental, and eye insurance is beyond me. As someone who has gone without it for almost a decade, and as someone who needed it, I can’t believe why this isn’t something in our Human Social Contract with each other. Don’t we all deserve it?

Health insurance is amazing stuff.

I’m sure my tune will change when/if I have to deal with something more insane but, for the moment, it’s a gift.

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