The End of My Rope — Again

Just like three years ago, I am anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act.  Three years ago, I was fairly certain that the right-leaning Court would deem Obamacare unconstitutional.  Three years ago, I was lucky.  And I wrote about it here.

Today, tonight, as I wait for the decision on a far more pedestrian case, I’m still worried.  OK, I’m worried again.

You see, the “Prime Directive” of my life, from the age of 17, has been having and maintaining health insurance.

That’s what happens to you when you develop health problems, regardless of the age.  You need to put your square peg of a life into a round hole of getting the treatment that you need.  It never fits.  And you always lose a lot of yourself.  Oh, and all of your dreams.

And frankly, I resent it.

Healthy folks don’t understand just how thoroughly something most people take for granted — good health, good health insurance — can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Because I’m sure — positive — that the Supremes will be reading this blog, and for the new-ish friends who haven’t read this piece, I’m re-posting my most intimate post.

The End of My Rope

Friday, the first of October, 1982, was a really bad day.

Actually, it was a mostly normal day even after I found a memo and a pamphlet in my office in-box. The law firm where I’d worked for more than three years had just changed health insurance companies. The information about our new policy, beginning November 1, 1982, three weeks before my scheduled surgery, would be with Liberty Mutual. I didn’t give it a thought.

But Andrea, one of my bosses, suggested I give them a call. “You’d better make sure they know about your operation and don’t need more information.”

So I called the number on the brochure.

Forty-five minutes later, Andrea found me at my desk, staring blankly at the ‘Sitting Duck’ poster hanging on my wall. It showed a white cartoon duck wearing sunglasses.  He’d been enjoying himself, sitting in the sun in a turquoise blue lawn chair on the side of his house, sipping a soda.  But he was looking in wide-eyed surprise over his right shoulder at two bullet holes in the wall.

Sitting duck poster

Poster by Michael Bedard

I knew that if I looked over my shoulder, I’d see some bullet holes as well. I was that sitting duck — I always seemed to be dodging bullets.  Life with chronic illness had become one fucking thing after another.  Now, just when I’d accepted and agreed to the surgery that so terrified me, my insurance was gone.  BANG! BANG!

“What’s wrong?” Andrea asked.

“It’s not covered,” I said, numbly, without a hint of emotion. Then I began to hyperventilate. “’Pre-… pre-… pre-existing condition,’ they said.”


I explained what I’d been told, that the new policy didn’t cover anybody for 30 days and that it didn’t cover pre-existing conditions for a year. The firm had changed insurance to save money. Their decision would cost me everything. Everything.

I didn’t want to have the surgery — it terrified me. But I’d adjusted, accepted that I was, in spite of my attempted denial, quite sick, and that I had to have the operation. But I couldn’t possibly pay for it. Where was I going to get the tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars I’d need? I lived pay-check to pay-check, and rarely had a nickle to spare; I had no savings. My parents were retired, living close to the bones themselves. My siblings were likewise broke. And I had insurance!

Loss of the insurance meant one of two things.  I could have the surgery that I really didn’t want to have anyway and pay for it myself. Or I’d face another year of ever-worsening illness — hemorrhages, bleeding, weakness, diarrhea.  Dr. C had been clear — my colitis was not just going to go away, as much as I wanted it to.

Without insurance, even if I could convince my surgeon, the hospital and the zillions of other folks involved in a major operation to actually do the surgery on someone without insurance, I knew that I would spend the rest of my life trying to pay the bills.  Bills that would have been covered just the day before.

My mind whipsawed between the injustice of the loss and terror at what would happen to me if I didn’t have that damn operation.

Andrea came around to my side of my desk and put her hand on my arm. “We’ll figure this out, Elyse. It’s late now, everybody’s gone. But we’ll work this out on Monday.”

She sounded reassuring; I was unconvinced.

“Really, it’ll be OK,” she repeated. “But in the meantime, I need you to …”

Her voice trails off in my memory. Andrea was a compulsive workaholic, an A-type personality. Work always came before anything else. Other people at the firm thought it was annoying, insensitive, or worse. But for me, it helped. It was exactly what I needed. It took my mind off me. I did what she asked, finished up and went home.

Of course I fell apart once I was home and told my roommate, Keily, the news. I ranted, raged, and cried — I wallowed all evening.

“I don’t even want to have this operation,” I shouted as loudly as I could to Keily as I sat in the bathroom, the door open. My gut, naturally, was erupting. It almost always was by then, especially when I was upset. Cramps. Diarrhea. Blood. Urgency. My shitty symptoms mocked me, proving that I couldn’t avoid the surgery. That I couldn’t put it off until my insurance kicked in. That I was totally screwed.

Keily sat outside the bathroom at the top of the stairs, stroking Goliath; that was her perch as I got sicker and sicker. She sat there and talked to me. She kept Goliath out of the tiny bathroom (Keily’s only successful effort at getting the Goose, as we nicknamed him, to obey.) That night, she held Goliath, and soothed him and me at the same time. She let me vent, rage, rant.

“It’ll work out. There’s some mistake. They can’t just do this to you. You need to trust the folks at your office.” Keily said repeatedly.

“You mean the ones who agreed to the new policy?” I wasn’t in a mood to listen.

That night I’d skipped Goliath’s after-work walk. It was getting on towards 10 p.m. and he needed to go out. I needed to do something else, or at least cry somewhere else. Walking clears my head, lets me figure out how to fix a problem, helps me find an answer. I knew a walk would help.

“Do you want me to come?” asked Keily. She often did, and that night she was concerned. I was so shaky and upset.

“No, thanks, I think I need to be by myself,” I responded. “I’ll be OK.” Actually, I was wishing I could leave myself behind. I was sick of me. Sick of sick me, anyhow.

So Goliath and I got into the VW and headed to the Capitol grounds, where we walked most nights. It’s such a beautiful, inspiring place. Plus for a woman walking her dog, it’s perfect. Of course it’s well lit — you can see it for miles. But there are also security patrols that never bothered us but nevertheless made me feel safe. A 120 lb. German Shepherd helped make me feel secure, too.

It was a clear night, with a half-moon casting shadows from the beautiful cherry and oak trees, from the enormous rhododendron bushes and other carefully tended shrubs across the expansive West Lawn. Nobody else was in sight.

I let Goliath off his leash. Deep in my own thoughts, I didn’t pay much attention to him. Unusually, he stayed right with me that night. He was as worried as Keily.

I cannot believe this is happening to me, I thought, rage building again at the injustice. Because my whole entire adult life had been focused on making sure I had health insurance.

From the time of my first hospitalization at 17, I had lived my life — made every single decision — with health insurance in mind. My dreams of acting, of singing, of writing? Of doing whatever the hell I pleased? They’d all been flushed down the thousands of toilets I’d had to rush to over the 10 years since my diagnosis.

After my first hospitalization, and with word from the doctor that my ulcerative colitis would likely flare up repeatedly throughout my life, my parents forced me to go to secretarial school – a career path that had never figured into my plans. My mother was an office worker and she’d always hated her job.  It seemed boring and demeaning. Secretarial work had once been a good career path for bright women. But that, I thought in my young “know-it-all” way, was no longer the case. Mom was stuck with it, and she and Dad stuck me with it, too.

I complained bitterly; I was talented, funny, smart. It wasn’t fair.

I was wrong about both the work and the women who worked as secretaries. I quickly became pretty ashamed of my attitude, and some of the secretaries I knew became great friends.

Still when the chance emerged to turn a secretarial job into a job as a legal assistant, I jumped at it. In the job I’d had now for three years, I wrote for a living, analyzed legislation and regulations for the firm’s clients and learned about U.S. politics and policy. It was a terrific job. The firm had been good to me. And my parents were happy because I was still working in an office. With health insurance.

Another wave of anger came as I walked down the groomed hillside.

And then I saw it. Something I’d never seen there in the dozens of times I’d walked that route. Inexplicably, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building, there was a pole sticking out of the grass with a chain attached at the top, and a ball hanging down.


I walked up to it and started smacking that ball. I’d only seen cheap sets with rope attaching the ball to the pole. This one had a strong chain that was covered in a canvas sheath. But instead of improving my mood, hitting the ball deepened my feelings of desperation.

SMACK. I hit the ball as hard as I could. “MY BODY HATES ME!” I shouted as I pushed the ball around the pole.


SLAM. “Fucking, fucking FUCKING INSURANCE!

SMACK, SMACK, SMACK. “Hopeless. Hopeless. Hopeless.”

With each hit of the ball, I pushed myself towards the end of my own rope. There was no way to unravel all the problems I was facing, the problems that kept expanding.  Just as I thought I’d licked one, it would multiply. No way to fix all the crap that kept piling up. Crap that I suddenly felt that I was facing alone.

That was the moment when I realized, with surprising clarity, that life just wasn’t worth the trouble. At least mine wasn’t.

I decided at that moment to hang myself. I would hang myself from the tetherball chain on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.  It suddenly became the perfect solution.

I saw no way out. I couldn’t continue, didn’t want to continue. And I’d gotten way past the amount of shit I could deal with.

I sat down on the grass on the hill just above the contraption and allowed myself one last cry. Naturally I didn’t have any Kleenex. Snot running with my tears did not make me feel any better.

The first problem I discovered was that I couldn’t quite figure out what to call the thing. It seemed important that I know what to call it if I was going to die on it.

I wondered: Is it a tetherball set? A tetherball apparatus? A tetherball thing-y? I didn’t know the answer.

Goliath tried to distract me, to cheer me and when that didn’t work, he sat down next to me and let me use his shoulder. He tried to lick my tears away, but they kept coming. He butted his head into me. But he got bored with my misery and wandered away.

I didn’t watch where he went, I didn’t care. It didn’t matter where he went, what he did. Whom he harassed. I was done.

The decision was made.

I got up and walked up to the tetherball thing-y and realized what I hadn’t noticed before: that the chain was actually quite short. Too short, possibly, for my plan. The ball itself fell to just the height of my shoulder.

I was shocked. How am I going to do this?

I reached up, stood on my tippy-toes like a kindergartner, grabbed the chain in my left hand, and tried to pull it down a little more. But it was a chain, so it was very strong and not at all stretchy. It was also pretty thick, about 2-1/2 inches wide and not terribly pliable.

I stood there, grunting, sobbing, trying to stretch my body. I held the ball and the bottom of the tether chain in my hand, trying to figure out a way to make this work. Wondering if I could quickly have a growth spurt.

How can I get this short thick thing around my neck?

Even on my tippy-toes and pulling it as hard as I could, it wasn’t long enough. It just reached from my chin to my shoulder — not even half way around my neck!

What sort of an idiot designed this damn thing with an impossibly short chain? I wondered. You can’t even smack the ball around the pole more than a couple of times.

Not to mention that it wasn’t at all helpful for putting me out of my misery.

I pursed my lips and moved them from side to side like Charlie Chaplin’s little tramp. I rubbed my chin and scratched my head.  Tried to solve the shortcomings.

Naturally, other problems popped up too.

What can I jump off of?

Of course, the answer was “nothing.” I was on the manicured grounds of the Capitol. I couldn’t pile up debris and jump off of it because there was no debris. The neat grounds rarely had much in the way of move-able objects.  I was starting to get annoyed.

I want to die. Now. Tonight. On the tetherball thing-y. How the hell can I do this?

There on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol Building — with security patrols passing every 10 or so minutes — I was hell-bent on committing suicide by tetherball.  I was trying to stretch, to grow, to find a ladder, a chair, anything I could jump off of with a piece of US Government-issued sports equipment wrapped around my neck. Wanting to and trying to die.

And then it hit me.

Or rather, he hit me. Goliath, of course.

SLAM! Something hard hit the back of my legs.


From somewhere on the grounds, Goliath had picked up a huge stick – an uprooted tree by the size of it. It was at least five feet long and four inches around. His mouth was stretched to the limit holding it. And he’d hit me with it in the back of my legs.

WHACK! He did it again. I turned and saw that he’d lowered his chest towards the ground into a bow. He kept his rear end high in the air, wagging the whole back half of his body ferociously.

He’d had enough of me feeling sorry for myself. It was time to play. So he rammed me with it again.

“Owwwww, Goliath STOP THAT!” I commanded.

He didn’t listen. He went around to my left and hit me with it again. His eyes caught the moonlight – they sparkled. He was laughing at me.

SLAP! “Owwww, NO! That hurts. Cut it out!”

He bounced to my right side with the long thick branch firmly in his mouth. Pretending to loosen his grip on it. Teasing me. Trying to get me to play. Wanting me to reach for the stick, which he would never give me.

(Come on, Mom, catch me!) He was play growling at the stick and at me. He bowed again, swung his head to and fro, and the long stick swung left to right, wobbled up and down. It got stuck in the ground for a second, and then he forced it back out again with a flick of his massive head. Goliath came close to me and then bounded off with his treasure. Circling me. Approaching me, but backing off before I could get to him. He never got close enough for me to grab that damn stick.

(Come on, Mom, try to grab it!) We were going to play, whether I wanted to or not. And he hit me with the damn thing again.

“Give me that stick!” I ordered. He wouldn’t. He danced around me and the tetherball thing-y and bashed me and the pole repeatedly.

I’m not sure if he knocked me over or I sat down in defeat, crying. He bashed it into me a few more times, but then lost interest. Goliath dropped his weapon — well out of my reach — and sat down beside me. He put his paw on my lap, his head on my shoulder and nuzzled me. Chewed at my hair and my ear. Let me scratch his ears.

“You silly Goose.” I said pulling his ears and tail affectionately. Hugging him. “You’re gonna kill me one of these days.”

I knew then that I couldn’t kill myself, that night or any other. Nobody in their right mind would take my stupid dog.

 *     *     *

I learned when I went back to work on the following Monday that the person I spoke with at the insurance company was wrong.  Mistaken.  My company’s coverage was considered continuing coverage and so my condition was insured.  I had my surgery and became healthy for the first time in about a decade.

Since the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, started, I have been haunted by the memory of the night I nearly ended my own life in a fit of desperation.  And while I think we can all agree that it was the silliest suicide plan ever constructed, that misses the entire point.

And that point is that folks who lose their insurance or who are without insurance are often desperate.  And close to the end of their rope.  I certainly was .

How many other Americans have been in that position?  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Millions?  How many think, consider, and/or attempt suicide?

The New England Journal of Medicine reported the following:

First, many suicidal acts — one third to four fifths of all suicide attempts, according to studies — are impulsive. Among people who made near-lethal suicide attempts, for example, 24% took less than 5 minutes between the decision to kill themselves and the actual attempt, and 70% took less than 1 hour.  (Miller and Hemenway, 2008)  (Emphasis added.)

I am not a traditional candidate for suicide, I don’t have the risk factors.  But I was, literally, at the end of my rope because of a combination of constantly dealing with a difficult disease, being broke because I was young and just starting out, and suddenly losing my insurance.  I would have had a huge financial burden I would never be able to pay off.  All through the bad luck of bad health.  Simple bad luck.

When I hear the anti-Affordable Care Act folks preaching about how we need to get rid of Obamacare, I want to scream.  Because a flawed system is better than the old system, where pre-existing conditions — the very thing that makes insurance absolutely necessary — will be the very thing that made insurance coverage impossible.

We need this program or we need a better program.  Going back to the old system is already unthinkable.

Is Obamacare perfect?  Nope.  Is there a perfect solution?  Nope.  But it is an improvement.  A huge, huge improvement.  And the problems will be fixed.

Health insurance for many people makes the difference between life and death.  Literally and figuratively.


Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Criminal Activity, Crohn's Disease, Dad, Dogs, Family, Farts, Flatulence, Goliath Stories, Health, Health and Medicine, History, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Illness, Law, Love, Mental Health, Mom, Plagarizing myself, Politics, Stupidity, Suicide, Suicide Attempts, Surgery, Taking Care of Each Other, Tetherball, Washington, Wild Beasts, WTF?

48 responses to “The End of My Rope — Again

  1. I remember reading this story in an earlier posting of yours– but this one goes into more depth. It’s so horrifying. I’m not the least bit well informed but I don’t understand how we get away with not providing healthcare for our citizens. It boggles the mind. Hopefully future generations will look back at this in shock and outrage.


  2. No one – well or unwell, old or young- should have to worry about getting their basic and serious medical needs covered. That is how it is in most developed countries, and how it must be if the US is to remain part ofthat world. Otherwise, you will have no choice but to move to France!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I already DID that! I lived outside of Geneva, Switzerland for 5 years — 2 of them in Divonne-les-Bains. But I had Swiss healthcare through my husband’s employment.

      Still, I agree. The US has to stop being so stupid about this issue. (OK there are other issues we need to stop being stupid about, too. But they are off topic!)


      Liked by 1 person

    • I also worked at the World Health Organization when they last listed countries in order of the quality of their healthcare. We Americans were mighty confused to find ourselves at No. 39!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I didn’t see that one coming. What a harrowing tale. And people say pets aren’t intuitive. Give me a break. Hoping for the best for you. I am compelled to add that if I had not found a job with benefits at the very last second, the Affordable Care Act would have bankrupted my family and I. We were too poor to pay for insurance on our own, but according to the parameters set by the ACA, not poor enough to qualify for assistance. My monthly healthcare nut was about to skyrocket but I found a job. The ACA is being financed on the backs of the middle class. Honesty, I didn’t know what I was going to do. It was awful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember this. It’s just as powerful reading it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I listen to people talk and they blame everything that happens in the healthcare industry on Obamacare. Things that aren’t even connected with it but you can’t talk to them about it. They don’t like the president so they don’t like anything he does. Of course, they have corporate health insurance so they don’t really “get it.” The ability for non-insured people to get health insurance is huge and it shouldn’t be overturned until someone comes up with something much BETTER. Politics makes me sick. It’s a battle of the egos.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t! I just can’t wrap my head around how people on all spectrums, including those in charge of making these enormous decisions, do not look beyond themselves and understand the far reaching effects of their actions. I know parents with children who have very unfortunate health issues that are life long. The pre existing clause alone was a weight off of their shoulders. 99.9% of the haters of “Obamacare” don’t even know why they hate it, what is is or how many people it is helping. Sickening beyond measure!
    You know how I feel about Goliath!!


    • Foolish folks vote against their own self interest all the time, and I will never understand it. I feel like I need to walk around slapping people awake!

      I do know how you feel about Goliath. He was a treasure (usually buried)!


  7. I read this again, I raged with you, again. Like you, I am not feeling good about what SCOTUS will do. Having just gone out as an independent again, I am truthfully scared. If we go back to the old way, I will once again be uninsurable, or at least what I need insurance most for will not be covered. Like so many others in this nation, I will be constantly at risk healthy wise and financially. End of my rope, yes I would say so.

    thank you Elyse.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cheers to Golith’s sense!

    In the first case, I too thought the Court would declare the ACA unconstitutional … missed that one. In the current case, I haven’t been worried about it, which could mean my contrarian nature should be worried.

    Yes, the ACA is (as a whole) better than before. Yes, he ACA is far from perfect – but what makes me furious is Congress has done nothing to improve it. Not a damn thing … and now we could be at the point where we have to rely on those self-center, arrogant, pathetic individuals on Capitol Hill.

    Thanks again for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t know if the figures exist or how you would even measure it, but I believe that one of the biggest drains on the U.S. economy is the healthcare system. How many people are under-employed? How many don’t take risks, start businesses, grow our economy ? Because they have to settle for jobs that provide healthcare, how many people have to give up on their dreams?

    Thank you Elyse, for sharing this deeply moving story. (And thank god for Goliath, who made sure you were around to tell it!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The figures are available for many of the things you wondered about, and I’ve seen them (although I don’t remember them). under-employment, business startups. Not how many people have to give up their dreams, though. After Obamacare passed, there was a surge in new small businesses. It has helped the economy.

      Goliath was an amazing dog — a life saver on a daily basis, actually. Because he not only saved me this day, but he helped keep me sane and made me go out and move around whether I wanted to or not. Plus he had a great sense of humor.


  10. Paul

    Elyse, I am so glad the tetherball chain was too short and that Goliath intervened – the world would have been a lesser and sadder place without you.

    Here in Canada we are lucky that we have socialize health care – but long illnesses still will easily lead to bankruptcy. At least we don’t have to worry about the health care. I think you are wrong when you say that if the stats were known of how many die because of inability to pay that attitudes would change. The stats are known about how any people die from gunshots yearly and that hasn’t changed the attitudes towards guns.

    In the last 13 years I have faced death from medical issues a number of times and have seen the dominoes effect of treatment that continually causes a worsening of the issues in the long term. There is a good chance that I will die young of health issues rather than natural causes. That said, it gives me some idea of how you feel – less the health insurance issues, of course. One of the truths of heath care is that it consumes a very large percentage of income over a life time. How that money or value is acquired depends on where you live. Another truth is that for most people the vast majority of health care cost is accrued in the last half of life. Unfortunately, it is very hard to impress that upon those in the first half of their lives and they set policy and procedure.

    Everyone says we are lucky here in Canada, but we pay the price. We have one of the highest tax regimes in the world. Most people don’t realize but one of our deep dark secrets is that we pay very close to 50% of all income out in taxes of various sorts and to various levels of government , collected from wages, at each purchase, any transaction, capital gains, death taxes, etc, etc. Our health care systems are funded by the provincial governments and consume between 25% and 42% of all provincial spending depending on the province. The federal government does fund transfers to help pay these costs. So, behind the scenes we pay as much or more monthly for our heath coverage as we do for our housing from the day we are born to the day we die.. We just don’t see it. and that is per person, not per household.

    So the bottom line is that many in the US think Obamacare is too expensive but it is close to the real cost – heath care is expensive and doing without is not an option.

    Mind-blowing post Elyse – so glad it all worked out and I hope it continue to workout for you. You are in my prayers.


    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Paul. I understand that Canadians DO pay for their healthcare, they just do it differently — smarter, in my mind. I am a strong believer in taxes. In pooling together to pay for stuff. That way everybody benefits. The tax-cut mania here in the US is asinine.

      But as you know, being sick just sucks. It robs you of so much — dreams, time, simple pleasures like a walk in the park. Things that make you feel so isolated and alone. Even though there a millions of us chronics in the world.

      I’m glad it all worked out, too. The surgery bought me 22 years of good health. I’ve been having problems lately, but that’s life.

      Besides, I have a new crazy dog in my life who doesn’t put up with it much, either. And that’s good.


  11. Glazed

    My heart broke when I read this, even though it was also kind of funny. I wonder how many have died because they couldn’t afford the health care they needed. If the real number was known, maybe there would be less opposition to Obamacare. And while you may have attempted suicide over a suspected lack of health insurance, it also seems suicidal for anyone to oppose universal health care. No one with health insurance today, can know what their circumstances will be tomorrow.


    • I’m glad you saw the humor — because I see it as a funny story as much as I see it as a cautionary one. (I actually have done research on suicide and the statistics are true — it is more often than not, impulsive, when a person just can’t take it any more).

      Opponents of healthcare use smoke and mirrors to convince people that they’ll never need healthcare. But how and why anybody falls for it is beyond me. EVERYBODY, rich and poor, knows people who are sick — acutely with heart issues or cancer, or chronically with a whole slue of things. Illness doesn’t discriminate on the basis of bucks in the bank.

      Then again, the same people who will be eating cat food when they retire are the ones voting to put the cutters in office. Go figure.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I want to be optimistic also, but this court scares the crap out of me. But, I’m sure the super-secret health insurance plan the republicans have will save the day for the millions of people who have coverage now for the first time.

    I’m so glad the tether ball thingy was too short.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe we should call this court the IBD Court — because it scares the crap out of so many of us! I may just have to steal that (with due credit to you!).

      And yeah, the super secret (Nixonian?) plan will be great. Of course. Sure. Positive.

      I’m glad the tetherball thingy was too short too. What a stupid way to die!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank goodness for Goliath or we might not have Elyse with us today. And the world would be a sadder place without your sense of humor–of that I’ve no doubt.

    I think of the millions of people who still go without the care they need, whether it be lack of insurance or lack of access or whatever the case may be. So sad that’s still the case in our country. The healthcare law should improve that. It’s not perfect, but it’s a first step. Getting rid of it at this point would create more chaos than it would reduce. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t say it any better than Ms. Rubin. And, yes, Goliath sure is a wonderful dog. Wonderfully written, Elyse.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks, Marty. This piece was to be more or less the climax of a memoir I was writing about being sick with a psychotic alcoholic dog at my side. I’ve kind of put it on hold (current crazy dog takes up most of my writing time which is good and bad.) But this piece was about two years in writing — and I am quite proud of it.

        I just don’t get people who don’t get that public healthcare is good!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I was incredibly lucky to have Goliath in my life. He truly kept me sane because he was completely crazy. My mother lived in fear for about 3 years that he would somehow die and then I would too. It was not a groundless fear.

      The whole issue of healthcare just makes me crazy. And to make it an issue of the haves and have-nots is so barbaric. When it comes to contagious diseases — it’s so short sighted. We are a stupid race. Or maybe we are just a stupid country.


  14. I read this before but I just read the whole thing again. What an amazing dog. He knew and saved you from yourself. I’m sure glad he did for so many reasons, one being I got to me you well sort of. 🙂
    I had a teacher in Gr. 4 unknowingly (I think) save my life.


    • You need to write about that, Gib. Teachers are so maligned.

      Goliath was an amazing dog. A demon. But an amazing demon. They say that everyone has one dog … I will miss him until I die.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He does sound amazing. I had one dog too the way you meant it.

        I have written about it in the past on another blog I used to have. 😉 Maybe I will again sometime. This teacher was amazing. I had the opportunity to tell her in my young adulthood. I also went back and became her teachers assistant as a practicum while I was in high school.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I think the end of the post got cut off, Elyse. Which is probably appropriate, because that way (and thanks to Goliath) you wouldn’t reach the end of your rope now.
    As for this court decision…. We’ll see what happens. If the court decides against Obamacare, it might turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory for the GOP.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right- it was cut off. Thanks.

      I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I am feeling very pessimistic at the moment. It is such a huge part of me, my identity, the whole way I’ve had to live my life. Tears are forming as I type this.

      I hope I hope I hope I hope


      • Are you not getting medical insurance through your job? Because if you are, whatever decision the court makes won’t affect you personally – it would, however, take away the insurance from millions of people who bought it through federal exchanges. .


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