HEY, IT’S ALL GOOD!

As I was walking home feeling more than a little frustrated the rain started. I ran into convenience store and had to just laugh when I realized I did not have enough cash to pick up an umbrella. And, that is what I did. I laughed. As annoyed as I was feeling, I allowed myself to absorb the words of a lady who, when told by the clerk that they were out of Marlboro Lights, replied – “Oh well. It’s all good!” ….and, with that she bought a pack of gum, smiled at me and left the store. Of course, she is right. I stepped back into the cold rain and walked to MUNI and began thinking about this odd day.

The insurance I had for the past eight months was horrible, but it allowed me to secure the medication I’ve been taking since I was a teenager. Medication which I could quit if I had the insurance to see a psychiatrist who could monitor as I came off them. You see, at this point, these meds do not do anything other than provide my body’s physiology with what it has become used to having for the past 21 years. The dosage would need to be increased for me to actually feel any benefit. However, to not take it at this point would likely mean seizures and a whole lot of danger. So, I have to take it till I can find a way to assistance to guide me off them. However, the lousy insurance ended with the dawn of 2007.

Today, I arrived back at the free clinic at 8:30am. I was the third person to sign in. I did not bother to point out to the scary man who pushed me aside to sign the register before me that he was cutting. I felt that could result in my being cut. …Literally. So, I sat and waited. …for five hours. At the ping of the 5th hour a counselor explained to me that I would need to come back tomorrow at 8:30am as the doctor did not have time to see me. This was frustrating as during my five hour wait I had a man try to spit on me, another scream at me until the guard called the cops and enjoyed a delightful exchange between a very angry bi-polar man and a poor underpaid receptionist. Because this man failed to arrive at 8:30am like so many of us he would probably not be able to see the doctor. It got seriously ugly. He was sent to the city hospital. …which, I have heard, from several of the other folks who must utilize the free clinic is a chamber of horrors.

I am so very blessed to live in a city that offers assistance to someone who is in a bind like myself. I would have had no choice in Boston but to go to the emergency room at the Boston City Hospital daily to get my meds which would have actually prevented me from ever looking for and securing employment. And, that hospital is not much fun. However, I hear that only the NYC Hospital can rival the SF City Hospital in terms of horror. So, I’m lucky. Anyone who finds themselves in my situation in the US is lucky to live in San Francisco.

However, I was inwardly upset when I was also told that they may end up not being able to actually see me tomorrow. It could be a 6 to 7 hour wait with no result. If this should happen I will need to go to the city hospital. …and, then return to the clinic on Tuesday of next week. This would be a worse case scenario but it could happen. And, as they felt the need to tell me it sends shivers up and down my spine. However, there is still a solution for me to secure these stupid meds. But this now means I have to let a friend down with whom B and I had plans to assist with a very important project. Sadly, I’ve no choice. I can’t risk running out of the meds.

As I listened in accepted that tomorrow would be a repeat of today with the possibility of it being even worse I began to curse insurance. Had my insurance been better I would not have had to use my credit card to pay the $850 portion of my general physical that the insurance would not cover. They covered $185 of that visit. And, the fact that I had to pay about $200 in co-pays using that same card which is pretty much maxed out now. — Had it not been such a dramatic lack of coverage I could just go to the pharmacy and pick up the two pending scripts still left for me. But, this is not an option.

As I walked out of the clinic a rather scary-looking man walked up to me and demanded my bag. “Give me that bag and your wallet! Now!”

Not again.

I ignored him and kept walking.

He attempted this once more in the same way, to which I said, “Fuck off!” in my most mean voice.

And, he ran away?!?!?

I know. I know. I should have handed him my bag. But, no. Not today. My new phone, my iPod, my empty med bottles (which are crucial) and my journal?!?!? No. He and I would have had to fight that one out. Bottom line? Damn the torpedoes, that bag is not leaving me without a very passionate fight.

And, that was when the rain hit and I ran to the store in hopes of getting an umbrella so that I don’t get a cold. Well, the best laid plans. I called B and vented a bit. I called my best friend to let that friend know I could not be there to help tomorrow. I got that friend’s voice mail but I marked it urgent. I bought a Diet Coke and a cookie for $5.25. Somehow this purchase made more sense than an umbrella.

But, you know what? It is all good.

1. I’m alive and well.
2. I love and am loved
3. While there is a great deal of turmoil going on for the four most important people in my world, they themselves are alive and well.
4. Pending one more reference, I have been told I will have a job! The very job I want so badly (and I can’t think of a time I felt so positive about a potential job!) …but that final reference must be secured. However, if it be a good one — the job is mine. And, I am fairly sure it will be a good one.
5. What I don’t have in life means relatively little in the long run. What matters in life, I have!
6. I have a warm place called home in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
7. I will go through some adventure and frustration, but I will get these meds.
8. In time I will get off them.
9. There is music to warm the soul and there are images/ideas to warm the mind.
10. And, we are all connected in magic ways to remind each other that it’s not so bad.

…All one has to do is stop for a moment, take a deep breath and look around. It’s not all great and perfect. But, it can be all good. Actually, as I pop a piece of sugar-free gum in my mouth I know this to be so — “Hey, It’s all good!”

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January 26, 2007. Uncategorized.

15 Comments

  1. Kalvin replied:

    You’re a far better human than I am. I don’t know how you manage to be so positive, and it’s something I truly admire. Here’s to that last reccomendation being truly great. And to your having an umbrella soon! Goddam rain.

  2. sortedlives replied:

    Yes, it’s all good and you are LOVED!! It’s nice to see someone so positive.

  3. Daniel replied:

    Matty, you’re my hero today. I think you’re terrific.
    I know it’s costing you something to keep your chin up right now, but you’re made of tough stuff and I believe you can make it through this. I want to celebrate with you when you land the job you need.

  4. Old Cheeser replied:

    Yes, that is an amazing post and you are truly an amazing person Matty. Like the others, I find your positivity so inspirational. Especially after your account of the day at the clinic and the awful things that happened to you. So sorry to hear about that. What is it with people? How brave of you to ignore the man who asked for your bag and walk on. Did the trick though!

    It’s funny I’d always pictured San Francisco as a very open, friendly and bohemian place but I guess that’s the media image? (I must have read too much Armistead Maupin). Your description of the city and how people can be reminds me a lot of London. Here can be a harsh place and sometimes you encounter rude and aggressive and sometimes crazy people. I’m a sensitive soul at heart and find it all a bit hard to cope with sometimes. My husband on the other hand is more of a City person and can shrug off the kind of stuff that I let upset me. Anyway I’m digressing a bit but what’s good is that you carry on regardless of all the rubbish going on around you.

    AND – I didn’t read this post earlier – but SO totally glad to hear about the job offer!!! Yaaay!! Here’s to the reference coming through. That is fantastic news. Hope it all works out.

    I really like your list of positive things too. I think I will construct a similar list for myself – it’s a great idea and a real pick-me-up for when one is feeling down!!

    Fingers crossed for that reference.

    OC x
    PS I must write a post on the Will Powers album “Dancing For Mental Health”. I think it would be totally your thing, it’s such an inspirational album. Anyway if you’re interested try here:
    http://cdbaby.com/cd/willpowers

    Just copy this into your web browser. You can buy the album from this website and there are also reviews…

  5. Lubin Odana replied:

    Matt you’re fab. I don’t know how you do it. I really don’t.

  6. Karyn replied:

    I’m proud of you telling that guy to fuck off. Do you really have a MEAN voice? Good job spinning the perspective to work for you! You are right – you are so loved. And for crissakes, next time put me down as a reference – you know you’ll get a glowing one from me! 🙂 Hope that comes through for you , lovey.

  7. tim replied:

    You are definitely a much stronger person than I will ever be. For instance, after the guy asked you for your wallet, I would have turned around and beat that guy so badly, I would be in jail. Maybe, I am just a hardened New Yorker. But, you are right, it’s all good.

  8. ing replied:

    Matty, I love you so much, I just can’t put it into words. I’m still trying very hard to do positive things, healthy things, stuff that will make me feel great about everything and live a long time. You are such a good influence right now. And I want so badly to return the favor. I don’t know how I’d ever have made it without you, my friend.

    Now get your meds! Once your insurance kicks in, get off of them!

  9. Topher replied:

    It boggles me how the U.S. is considered the greatest country in the world, and has one of the worse health plans. I guess it’s kinda good that the city has some sort of free care. But why did it have to be like that? Having you wait around for a few hours, yet telling you you’ll have to come back the next day. I’m shocked to say but we get treated better when I was in the Philippines, we really can’t afford much as far as hospital bills go, and resorted to the city hospital as well.

    Anyways, I really hope you get a good insurance that’ll help you adjust to not having to take this medication.

    That really makes a HUGE difference, staying positive when it seems like everything around is crumbling. It’s hard sometimes but you’re doing it.

    Congratulations on the job. LOL, If only you can use us a reference. We’d have nothing but good things to say about you Matt.

  10. kevKev in NZ in NZ replied:

    Matty, you sound amazing.

    You sound like a cool guy. It is good to see someone staying so positive.

    Keep with it mate.

    Kevin in New Zealand.

  11. Metalchick replied:

    Hi Matt,
    I’m sorry to hear about your medical situation. I know how it is with the free clinics and ER’s. It’s no better out here in Southern California, where I live, we only have one hospital with an emergency room. Although our neighboring city is finally building a hospital of their own, it’s a For-profit kind.
    There is one thing that we really need, Universal Healthcare. The United States is the only country that doesn’t have it, and it seems to work in other countries so why not?

    I read in Ing’s blog that you got the job you wanted, so congratulations! I hope that more good things will happen for you.

    Take care.

  12. Kevin replied:

    Hey! I hear congrats are in order!!! Go YOU! And thank you for not getting killed by that mugger (or any of the free clinic patients). I just found your blog, but I’d miss it if it went away.

  13. Robert replied:

    Y’know, sometimes what truly matters the most, is what we have now. Thanks for the inspirations Matty. I hope you get some really good news soon enough!

    xoxo

  14. matty03 replied:

    Kalvin! I am NOT a better human than you!!! Thank you for the sweet comment! And, I got an umbrella!!! Yay!

    Sorted Lives — Yes! I am very blessed!

    Daniel — Thank you!!! …yeah, I guess it takes a sort of toll — but I think the toll would be greater if I got all pulled down into it. You know?

    Old Cheeser! I don’t think I’m at all “amazing” I just think life’s too short to let the things you HAVE to do get you too down. Tho, I’ve learned this weekend that I need to be more open about them or the one who needs to know what’s going on doesn’t understand or get it. But, thank you.

    I’ve got to check out Will Powers!!!

    Oh, and San Francisco is a very open and wonderful city! I think it the best possible place to be gay that I’ve yet to encounter. Being gay here is almost expected! LOL! When we live and go to a place like San Jose or something it is sort of a shock to realize that we can’t kiss or hold hands in public the way we do here. I mean, i guess we could but all the looks and possible threats. In San Francisco that is not a part of our day-to-day. You know? However, it is an urban city. So, there is more than a little poverty here. And, it has it’s rough areas. “The Western Addition” (I belive it is called is one of those rough areas) …and that is where I had to go for the clinic. You just have to be street smart and not show fear. …It isn’t all rainbows but, mostly it is.

    Lubin! Oh, it isn’t so hard. One does what one has to do. And, I got the job!!! Yay!!!!!

    Karyn – LOL! Thank you!!! Yeah, he was going to have to take me down to get my stuff. And, yeah, I can be pretty tough if need be! Believe it or not! However, I much prefer glitter and love ballads!!!

    Tim! You’re tougher than me! I would have gone there if I had to but I’m not sure of that outcome. Tho, I was pretty pissed off. LOL! All the time I’ve spent in NYC no one has “yet” to attempt to mug me. I always say I’d just hand it over but the times it has happened to me here and in Boston I always go into fight mode. My inner butch comes out!

    Ing — I hope you know that the feeling is completely mutual. My friend, we’ve gotten each other thru some very tough times! And, we always manage to have a bit of fun, too! Love you more than you can know!

    Kris!!! I know! Our healthcare situation so sucks! Actually so much about our country sucks right now. One either must be RICH or POOR — no in between. And, God forbid you are POOR because there is NO WAY OUT. Really. I’ve always had the “advantage” of being white, male and a college degree. We need a revolution I suspect. …And I sometimes think I smell it in the air.

    Kevin In New Zealand! Hey! Thank you! Can’t wait to check out your blog!!!

    Metal Chick! Thank you! And, yes! Our country needs to get rolling on so many crucial things. Yay! I got the job!!!

    Kevin! LOL! Thanks! Yes! I always strive to not get killed!

    Robert! I love the way you expressed that thought! And, I got the good news!!! I got the job!! Yay!!!

  15. hot lunch replied:

    matty, i didn’t know u were on meds for such a long time till i read this post. seizures and a whole lotta danger? oh, i don’t want that to happen! i hope you are doing alright! hugs and kisses!

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