San Bernardino, California, USA
October 23
Former Beatnik, former hippie, always bohemian and joyfully married and retired in San Bernardino, California.


Rosycheeks's Links
AUGUST 2, 2011 1:06PM


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Scan"Nurses" at AIDS walk, NYC.

Three weeks post op and not even four weeks since I last posted and that muse bitch of mine has gone off to do something more amusing than to hang out with me during my boring recovery.  I have beseeched and cajoled and beckoned and yet she remains elusive and is keeping her distance.  Now I am severely pissed.  None of my friends deserted me when I was down and out but my muse?  No way was she going to be part of the nitty gritty when all she ever wants to do is party.  Well who needs her anyway?  Thomas quoted Chuck Close, a very smart artist, who said that “inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work.”  So there Ms Erato, or whatever you are calling your smug self these days. You do whatever you want; I need to get back to work. So lacking my fair weather friend, I come without inspiration and only determination to guide me over this keyboard, which incidentally is new.  While I was in the hospital Thomas got me this nifty new computer, one with lots of memory, had all my information cleared off the old one and sent it off to my dear daughter, known to OS readers as Eva T.


300px-The_Anatomy_LessonThe Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicholas Tulp , Rembrandt 1632, Mauritshuis, The Hague

 So, let me tell you about my operation.  Basically it was a colo/rectal repair (I know, not a pretty picture and maybe more information than you want but it is what it is).  On a scale of serious surgery with say, quadruple bypass being a ten, this might be a four or five.  I was in the hospital for three nights and during that time I was never in pain and even the discomfort level was mild.  I had powerful pain medications for the first two days.  Of course I am grateful for not having had to have any pain at all but as with most things, it came with a price tag and that was that I had some fairly unpleasant and weird hallucinatory dreams. 

The operating room

 The Opereating Room, Jose S. Perez, 1929,ga

I found our local hospital, St. Bernadine Medical Center comfortingly efficient, meticulously clean, well staffed and organized and nothing if not professional.  I was asked at every turn from the moment I was admitted what my name and date of birth were and what I was there for.  This was repeated at every stage and continued right through every medication and treatment.  There was never a chance that they would amputate the wrong limb or transplant the wrong organ or give me someone else’s medication.  My nurses were beyond reproach, attentive and supportive and helpful in every way.  At St. B’s I felt safely cared for the entire time. Still and all, hospitals are places not only of healing and birth but where suffering and death are commonplace occurrences and thus by definition, hospitals are disconcerting.  There is always the specter of pain and heartache hovering in every hallway and mainly it is good not to have to be there in the first place.  

3509470108_4e8ce855d9_z  The Gross Clinic, Thomas Eakins, 1875 Philadelphia Museum of Art.

It is not however very comforting to be signing one’s life and rights away at every turn and that too is part of being treated in a hospital or by doctors where big pharma, big insurance and big medicine are capitalistic and self serving.  No treatment, no procedure is done without patients signing an agreement that they will be personally responsible for any costs not covered, not that anybody is willing to tell you what those costs might be(!) and truthfully I don’t even think they know themselves.  During the manic two and a half weeks prior to my hospitalization I was sent on a round of tests and procedures and doctors at a dizzying rate and in one, the office of a gynecologist, I was asked to sign away my right to a jury trial if such a situation were to come up.  It disgusted me to do so and I really wondered if I would have been seen had I refused to sign.  Where do we draw the line?  Each office I went to had something for me to sign.  In some cases it was only to take responsibility for unpaid portions of the as yet undisclosed fees and in some my legal standing was to be given over and in some all of the above.


 The Agnew Clinic, Thomas Eakins 1889.

 By far the strangest deal was the one we struck with the surgeon.  The insurance company, Anthem, approved of the surgery but not in the way it was being billed by the surgeon.  He divided the parts of the service into one set of billing codes and Anthem another with them paying significantly less than the surgeon wanted.  We got a call from the surgeon asking us to speak with the insurance company, as it seemed they were more indulgent of patient’s requests than doctor's.  This took place on the Thursday before the Monday when the surgery was scheduled.  Thomas called Anthem and after lots of telephone tag and on holds was finally told it was all approved only to be told on Friday by the surgeon’s office that it was, but only the way they wanted it billed and for the lesser fee.  In the end, we agreed to simply pay the difference ourselves and deal with it later.  Luckily, we had the money and Tom ran over there to hand over a check for just under five hundred dollars.  I like my surgeon but I do have to say I resent having been put into this ridiculous position of being in the middle of this dispute at a time when I was most vulnerable and didn’t need the additional stress. 


 View from my bed at St. B's.

To his credit, the doctor did seem somewhat abashed by this but we didn’t have time to dick around if we were going to get this thing done on Monday and at the moment the money seemed less important (at least to us) than my mental and physical well being.  We of course are fortunate.  We have an income, “good”, very costly insurance and a small savings account and could do this. I don’t expect we will be able to collect on that amount although we might be able to use it as part of our deductible.  What about everybody else?  I have worked for doctors for enough years to know what goes on after the patients go home.  I understand that medical mal-practice eats away so much income that doctors end up feeling as though they work for the insurance company.  I understand the burden that horrendous student loans impose on young doctors whose families could not afford to subsidize their medical education and that running a practice is costly.  What I don’t understand is how we can call ourselves a civilized country when most of our people can’t afford the wonderful medicine we know how to deliver to the wealthiest of us.


View from my bed at St. B's.

 After three nights in the hospital Thomas came to take me home on the Thursday where Trixie, the little dog and I had a reunion although she was a little snitty at first ( terriers can resemble the above bitchy muse) as if to say 'where did you go without me?'  She got over herself soon enough and I was very happy to have her company again. On Friday, poor Thomas while slicing an onion an a mandolin (a very sharp kitchen gadget), managed to slice the tip of his shutter finger as well and had to head back to St. B’s ER to get that stitched.   On Saturday afternoon our old friends Pedro and Zoe arrived from Berlin for their annual visit.  This had been scheduled long before the surgery and since they really are family more than just friends we saw no reason to change those plans.  Naturally, we invited our friends from the hood to come by for cocktails as we had been doing these past few years to celebrate the German contingent.  This year however, we did keep the count down in deference to my recovery and Thomas’ poor stitched up finger.  Next year we’ll be back to full compliment I hope.  So we had surgery, houseguests and a party as well as a trip to the ER.  Sounds like par for the course around here but it was very helpful to do the things we do (not the cut finger) to shed that patient mentality and to feel normal again.  I got some wonderful cards and messages as well as some really nice get well gifts including a Kindle from my mother in law, a great tote bag picturing Wonder Woman from Eva, some new speakers for my desk from Thomas and just for good measure he threw in Paul Simon’s most amazing new CD, 'So Beautiful or So What'.


The view from my bed at St. B's


 I got many loving messages from my OS friends and your support has been very important in making this recovery a little less tedious.  I thank you so much for being there now as you have been in the past.  If and when that old bitch goddess decides she might enjoy a return to try out this nice new computer, we might find a bit more eloquence coming from San Bernardino but for now I am just so happy to be home and back among you.  Thank you very much for all your good words. 



 Nurse, WWI, Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine.




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So pleased your back and that your muse is 'on'! RATED!
So nice to see you back -- and your compelling rosy cheeks avatar. Happy that your surgery went well. (Will be talking to the doctor in the next weeks, about possible similar problems. I may contact you.)
Even though I am not blogging on here anymore I am still thrilled to see you back.
What disgusts me is that you had to be billed and all this crap. Move to Canada where it's free,
Welcome back! I missed you while you were recovering and I am especially grateful you're back and well. {{{BIG HUG}}}

If ever you do get to the LA area, I hope you would contact me as I am only about an hour away from LA and would love to meet you.

I hope you won't need to have any surgical intervention but if you do I would be glad to discuss this with you. As you see, mine was not nearly as bad as I feared and I wish I had acted sooner.

How we have missed you! Would you reconsider and come back here to write? Yeah I know about the insurance and all of that....really stinks big time. Thanks for your good wishes as always.

Thanks for the big welcome back. Nothing like being missed to feel human again and getting back to you all has been a major motivation. I was so happy to post something again. And, hugs right back at you Dan.
We're not a little snitty, even though you did go somewhere without us! Glad you're back and feeling better.
Out on A Limb....
good to know and thanks for that.
Glad you are back and better than ever!
So glad it went well. ~r
Great to see you posting again. As for all of the rigmarole re: money and insurance, it's so beyond what I can fathom. Hospitals and operations are bad enough, let alone having to deal with that financial crap going on in the middle of it all. Glad everything worked out ok, though.
Hope you're doing well Rosy!! Big hugs!! XO
Rosy, So glad you are on the mend. I loved this and your insertion of the art was a hoot. And you are right-on here ..."What I don’t understand is how we can call ourselves a civilized country when most of our people can’t afford the wonderful medicine we know how to deliver to the wealthiest of us."

By the way, I think that Muse of yours is absolutely there. Is there any chance you're still under the influence of those great drugs and hallucinating so you don't see her? :-)
I like that nurse picture at the end. Why aren't nurses allowed to wear pretty clothes anymore? They all seem to wear smocky tops and lumpy pants that make them look fat even if they're not. And those babyish pastel prints. Blech!
I also like the AIDS walk nurses.
Good for you, refusing to take crap from some minor lady deity who dresses like Isadora Duncan and probably did too much absinthe and opium, back in the day...
I'm glad you had good care. And that Trixie forgave you. And that you liked the Wonder Woman bag.
This was actually a very interesting pose, even if you did feel NOT A-MUSED.
Welcome back to OS!
Good to see you back, it looks as though the muse has not completely abandoned you.
Lovely pictures, I remember when I was in the hospital when I was 9 years old and the nurses all wore those caps in the first picture. I wonder what they get at graduation now???
rated with love
Welcome back, glad you are doing well again. That Muse will find her way back to you, she was just on a holiday jaunt...Wonderful to "see" you again!
It is so great to be back and to read your posts and comments again. I think posting and exchanging on OS over this past year and a half has become my normal mode and you were all greatly missed. I know that having been able to write this one piece for re-entry into my world has been more therapeutic than anything any doctor could do for me right now. Thank you doesn't say it but it's all I've got.
Rosy: Good to see you back and writing. Your muse must be slinking back in the room from the sound of your words here. I am glad you got such good care and appalled that you had to call the insurance company for your doctor. I have never heard of a surgeon requesting that be done--I guess it is a sign of the times. Here's to a speedy remainder of your recovery!
Welcome back! Great news, great post and AMAZING graphics! Keep on keepin' on, as they say!
Welcome back! Great news, great post and AMAZING graphics! Keep on keepin' on, as they say!
This was really Amusing...
Great post, Rosy. Your muse sounds all but missing. Welcome home.
I also have Anthem and have noticed a definite decline in what they cover...nobody is safe from the ugly truths. I'm dealing with them now and I resent the difference in just 2 years...but I digress.

So happy to know you are home, doing well and searching for your muse....I bet she's hanging with mine!!

Take care and keep looking!
It is so good to be back "home" with my faithful OS companions and colleagues. I can't thank you all enough for your support and encouragement during this less than wonderful moment in my otherwise very good life. Every day comes closer to the reality that I live with and love so healing is on. Many heartfelt thanks to you all.
Your muse?

Oh gosh! I borrowed her for a bit and meant to bring her right back.

Now where did she get to?

W H A T ? ! !

Oh my goodness - she went off into the thornbushes with some “strange” cat. Y’know the one, his name sounds like he repairs pots and stutters a bit.

I’ll chase her out of there and send her right home to you this instant........


Glad all went well.... Missed yer Rosy Cheeks (bet them doctors didn’t!) there Ms Rosycheeks.

I hope she was nice to you. She can be a jealous mistress and gets a little prickly if her ego isn't stroked well and often. Thanks so much, all best wishes and kind words are welcome and helpful.
This is the time when the most independent and self reliant person on the face of the earth can not do anything but trust those who love us, those who are delegated our care and those who support us as friends are there and will stay. Your muse has not deserted you...she has just changed her costume. Your writing remains amazing and again, reflects your life. the difference is that what was hindsight biographic has entered real time biographic. Your spirit and creativity still shines through. You remain Rosie!
Welcome back my friend, and I hope you're feeling well. Next year you can have a grand party to celebrate another great year of living and writing on OS!