Showing posts from February, 2016

Reflections on Love

It is February 13th. The stores are filled with roses, bouquets, beautiful boxes of candy and chocolates of every description; bakery windows are stuffed with heart-shaped cakes, cookies, and pink-frosted confections. Red streamers, glittering pink and red banners, teddy-bears, plushy bunnies and puppies, and even jewelry are prominently displayed everywhere I look. Valentine's Day is at hand, and here I am, single.

Valentine's Day as we celebrate it today is a holiday for lovers. Sweethearts buy each other flowers, candy, and other gifts. They make plans, have dinner, or go away for the weekend. Couples get engaged on Valentine's Day. There is a coalition of singles, an unspoken cadre of the unattached, who are supposed to be anti-Valentine's Day. They make plans to pig out on pizza and bash the idea of love and relationships. My married, or coupled, friends are careful not to talk about their Valentine's plans when I'm around. They don't talk about the gi…

Receiving the mark

Sharing again my thoughts on Ash Wednesday, written years ago. Now, I need to find a church and receive the ashes, begin my wilderness journey, and come closer to Christ.

Receiving the Mark On Ash Wednesday the Christian world begins its wilderness journey with Christ in commemoration of his forty days in the desert. At my church, the Sanctuary is quiet as we come forward in long, solemn lines to receive the ashes. Before me, I hear the ministers whisper about how we are all made of dust and must therefore return to dust – exhorting us to repent and believe what the Gospels have taught us. I pray the prayer of contrition, confess my sins before God. I stand with the rest, my forehead bare, waiting. Knowing that the season of Lent begins in that moment, when the minister’s finger draws the midnight-black cross on my skin, marking me as a follower of Jesus, as one who stands in solidarity with the Son of Man in his long suffering, his work for human-kind, and his violent death on a rough…

The cost of living with RA

The only thing I regret about having taken a new job is that I had to miss my quarterly rheumatology appointment today. I have rescheduled it for a month from now; by then, I will have the sick time built up to cover it, and I hope that my health insurance will have kicked in as well. I may need to put it off for another month, though. It is possible that coverage won't begin until April 1. Knowing that I will have excellent coverage greatly helps my stress level, which keeps me feeling pretty good, but I hurt for people who don't have the same opportunities.

I completed my taxes on Sunday afternoon, and because I spend a lot on medications and health-care, I decided to itemize those costs and see if I qualified for a deduction. I did - costs needed to be more than $3700 and they were. My out of pocket costs for health care and medication exceeded the $3700 limit. In checking that number, I saw how much my insurance policy had paid for my care. My Enbrel alone cost the company…