Me and Hillary Almost Find Common Ground


 It started the day after Christmas. For a week or more I had been having trouble with my left leg…weakness, pain…and by the day after Christmas I could barely stand on it. Pulling my pants leg up, I examined the offending limb and was shocked to realize that it was roughly twice the size of my healthy right leg.

“Honey, I think I may have a problem.”

Mel walked over, took one look at my leg and gave me the ultimatum; “I’m taking you to the emergency room.”

Oh hell no! I purposed an alternate solution: “Call the doctor and see if they can see me and I will go in there.”

Now I have a great doctor. He is set up in a large medical center and he will take patents who have no insurance. All you do is pay fifty dollars up front, when you walk in, to cover the office visit and he keeps the tests to a minimum.

She didn’t like it but she agreed and made the call. I figured it would probably take a week or more to get an appointment this soon after Christmas so I was not going to have to endure his poking and prodding for awhile. Imagine my surprise when the nurse told my wife: “Get him in here within the hour and we will work him in.”


So, trapped by my own devices, I had no choice but to bundle up and head to the city to see the doctor. Once there, it only took minutes before I was ushered into an examination room and before I knew it the doctor came bustling in wanting to know the problem. I explained as best I could, then I showed him the leg. He poked and prodded…it’s what they do. He asked a few questions and I answered them, then a funny thing happened. I actually saw panic in his eyes.

He told me that it was possible that I had a blood clot in the leg and if that clot broke free, which it could at any minute, it would travel to either my heart or lungs and kill me.

In that moment I stared into a very deep and dark abyss.

The doctor informed me that he was sending me downstairs to have a test done to find out if it was indeed a blood clot.

“Hold up doc,” I said. “How much does the test cost?” He told me and I nodded agreement. I figured the bank account could cover that one.

“If it is a clot we will need to get you right into the hospital and start you on a blood thinner and you may need surgery.”

I closed my eyes and gave a loud sigh. I guess I knew a day like this was coming and a decision like this was going to have to be made. I just wish it wasn’t now….this day.

“Doc,” I replied, trying to keep the emotion out of my voice. “You and I both know there’s not a hospital anywhere that’ll take an old man with no insurance and perform the costly procedure it would take to fix a clot. If there is a clot, just let me go home and do whatever I can there.”

I could see it in his face; he knew I was right. “Let’s just get the test done,” He said. “Then we will go from there.”

I agreed. So I was loaded into a wheelchair and with Melinda pushing, we began the long journey to the labs. Down two floors and across two long hallways that seemed to stretch on forever she pushed and I rode. Neither of us could find the courage to talk.

The test…an ultra-sound…was done quickly and we were told the head Naboo who determines the results would be back within a couple of hours to give his determination on what the test showed. So left with no other option but to wait, I told Mel we should go and have lunch somewhere to pass the time. We had a nice lunch. We laughed and talked about the ranch and the animals and anything but what we were both thinking about….the damn tests.

The longest two hours of my life.

But, as hours are prone to do, these two passed and I found myself back in the exam room and confronting the doctor.

The News: It was not a blood clot. Bullet dodged. It was a couple of weak veins that allowed blood to leak into the leg and the blood was pooling and causing the infection. This could be treated with antibiotics and bed rest…two weeks minimum. There was also the matter of wearing a ace bandage on the leg and keeping hot packs on it. No problem. No hospital.

So that is where I am today and it is why I have not been around the blogs much lately if anyone has wondered.

Now the Hillary part: I heard yesterday that the Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton has been diagnosed with a life threatening blood clot. Wow, me and Hillary ALMOST had something in common. Of course she, being the Sec. of State and a fairly rich white lady, has an army of bright young doctors standing by to move heaven and earth to get her well whereas if I had of had that clot….well…let’s just say I wouldn’t be making any long range plans.

Health Care in America? Oh yeah, it’s reformed isn’t it. I’m old, I’m sick, and I find myself just not caring anymore. Bring on that Fiscal Cliff and let’s all go over it together…Me, you, Hillary…everybody and maybe, when we hit the bottom and are blasted into pieces, we can pick ourselves up and start to put the pieces back together again. Maybe we all need to stare into the Abyss in order to see what is really important…or…maybe not. What the hell do I know, I’m just a sick old farmer who almost had something in common with Hillary.   

Views: 254

Comment by Oryoki Bowl on December 31, 2012 at 9:32am
Ouch! sorry to hear of the scare, blood clots are nasty business. Seriously, though, if a blood clot should show up, don't count the pennies. The ER has to take you. Glad to read this, and know you are doing better.
Comment by L in the Southeast on December 31, 2012 at 9:38am

Phew!  Stop scaring me like that, David!!!!!!  Oryoki Bowl knows what she's talking about -- she's a doc.  I like the way you wove your own story in with Mrs. Clinton's.   I am concerned about her, because the news reports just don't seem quite right.  I wouldn't want to lose either one of you, so please don't let money keep you from taking care of yourself in an emergency.  I do, however, understand how you felt.  I'm one of the lucky ones with insurance; don't know for sure that I wouldn't react exactly the same way you did.

Comment by Renae Edwards on December 31, 2012 at 9:40am

Color me unintelligent  but don't you have medicare?  You reached the age of retirement and all that...  I don't want to get started on the fiscal cliff and other issues.  I personally see our nation heading towards a revolution  in the not too distant future.  Not because I want one, but because I have followed history.  What I don't get is why the government isn't seeming to see that if they push the people too far someone is going to call for the heads of the the oppressors and that is what our government is appearing to be.

As for your leg, I am very happy it is an infection and not a blood clot.  But don't ignore the issue.  infections can be very serious in their own right.  I say this for selfish reasons.  I love reading your stories about Almosta Ranch.

Get well, be happy and hug Mel for us.  Hugs

Comment by Cranky Cuss on December 31, 2012 at 9:40am

Glad it's not a blood clot because those are dangerous. Don't be one of those guys who disobey the doctor's orders! (And Mel's.)

Comment by David McClain on December 31, 2012 at 10:11am

Oryoki....I know you are right and I understand where you are coming from. It's just that I refuse to leave a widow who is drowning in unpaid medical bills accured trying to save me. As for the ER, well Mel and I have had some heated discussions about that. For me, to go there expecting help when I know full well I have no way to pay is somehow dishonest of me and I have a hard time doing that.

Renae....No hon, no Medicare yet. You see I took early retirement at the age of 62 and Medicare is not avalible to me until the age of 65. I did that because of the mini-strokes I suffered and the resultant dizzy spells I suffered. I worried constantly about having an accident one day on my half hour commute to work and maybe killing some innocent driver in another car. So I retired three years earlier than I had planned. Since it was a volenteery retirment and I was not deemed disabled, I can not recieve Medicade in the interim time before Medicare kicks in.

Lezlie...Sorry for the scare but when I saw the news about Ms. Clinton I could not help but see some irony in the contrast of our stories. I agree with you, her story seems, somehow...incomplete. Some of it just doesn't sound right.

Cranky....disobeying a doctor is no big deal, however disobeying Mel is like slapping a tiger up side the head....I hesitate doing that.

Comment by Boanerges on December 31, 2012 at 10:26am

Listen up, Boyo (I can say that 'cause I'm older than you are): You take care of yourself, whatever is involved. We need Our eminence grise -- and the dispatches from Almosta. Say hey to Mel for me, and do what she and the doc tell you to do.

Comment by Zanelle on December 31, 2012 at 10:33am

Mel knows.  I was very glad I was not married to my fellow who died a year and a half ago.  I would have been swamped with his medical bills.   I am not sure about that but it does seem like that to me.  I do not encourage my kids or anyone to get married.  Am I wrong?  My mom says the guy can leave anytime and I say yes, but the girl can leave anytime too.  I got off easy last time too.   I think you just go into debt and "they" take everything.  What a crazy system and I too resent the Hilarys, Lettermans and Barbara Walters who get incredible healthcare because they are rich.  Even Cheney is almost a robot.  Geez.  That story on sixty minutes last nite freaked me out.  They have artificial limbs now that you can control with your mind.  The sky is the limit and the elite rich will be immortal.  The future is now.   Be well. 

Comment by Sheila Luecht on December 31, 2012 at 10:45am

Hopefully the American future holds healthcare for all. In the meantime, those of us who are not rich do not the access to the best healthcare or any healthcare, so we will make the sacrifices to preserve financial fitness for our families and take what comes as a result of that. What an American dream...nightmare...Hope you feel better soon and I am happy it seems to be something manageable.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on December 31, 2012 at 10:56am

You and me brother... poster boys for Obamacare... in the past three years I tried to tough it out twice and damn near killed myself both times... two trips to the emergency room, one in an ambulance, two surgeries , twenty-two days in the hospital and $180K in debt, I get to celebrate 2013 by divorcing my wife to protect her assets and declaring bankruptcy... helluva thing getting old and not having insurance.  But pay attention, screw the expense and don't be a bone head.  We like having you around, and Mel and all the critters would miss you as well.  Here's hoping you and yours have a Happy and healthy New Year.

Comment by Dan C. Boutwell on December 31, 2012 at 11:20am

David, you old fart, it is scary how much you and I think alike...and how similar our situations are.  I don't want anything to happen to you, because I''d damn sure have it happen to me too.  I've had a couple of those embolisms.  Strange, they told me that's what they were after they passed through my heart/lungs.  Geez, what's a fella to do?  We also had to drop our insurance; it was costing  $30,000 per year in premiums.  Just trying to hold out till September when Medicare will be available....if that landslide of a fiscal cliff doesn't bury the dang stuff.


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