Baby Z woke up this mornin' with a very snotty nose...again. I know it's a virus because she is still on antibiotics for ear infection #139. Is there no end? No, really...I'm expecting an answer. She followed me around the house with her sick baby eyes, complaining as best a child of her age can - she grimaced, she screamed, she threw Cheerios on the floor, she tried to climb into the open refrigerator. She's 10 months old and she actually got into fisticuffs with my 4 year old over a banana...and won. That means that there was squealing, pushing and the end result was 4 hands smeared with banana and a broken banana on the kitchen floor. She did take her antibiotics willingly, the taste so familiar that it's become her comfort food. "Good morning Baby Z, here is your Augmentin smoothie." Still, antibiotics alone are not enough so I gave her a Motrin chaser. She still held on to my pant leg as I moved through the house but at least I had the illusion that I had taken some action. I don't like seeing my children sick but, I have to be honest, sometimes I look at their flushed faces and mucousy secretions and I envision all the subtractions in the check register. We will survive the viruses but the copays and first dollar deductibles are going to kill us and we are a family with "good" insurance and financial resources. There are so many people who have neither and I keep trying to figure out when access to health insurance and health care became privileges. Right now, we in the middle class can look at the the poor and uninsured and say, "Wow, this whole health care thing is really hard. What do we do about this mess?" We can "tsk" and lament the current political climate and put bumper stickers on our cars calling for health care reform but I don't think we will have that luxury much longer because, my friends, we too will be scrambling to pay our health care costs...and soon. Those of us fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to work in public service positions have seen our salaries frozen for the past couple of years while more of our monthly income goes to pay for our insurance, while our copays increase, while we face significant deductibles for the first time. My parents pay over $500 per month for medical insurance and it still doesn't cover all of the costs of their medications and care. Still, they are lucky - they don't have to choose between food and their meds, at least not yet.
So, let's get to work people. Let's solve the health care crisis...and, by the way, can we do it quickly because the damn groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter and that's a lot more breeding time for the viruses and a lot more copays for me.
Grumpy and her alter ego, Cynic