Essays Journalism The Muse

Health Care in America, Job Skills of a Muse, Politics, Newspapers – All Under One Umbrella!

Now that I’ve had the opportunity to recover somewhat from my chaotic year in Baltimore, which was punctuated with much more drama than ever interested me, I can reflect without swimming through the waters of hysteria and panic.

And, as frequently happens, I often begin a post after I have already written it, frequently expressed it to my muse first.

(Yes, I do have one.)

And even though we often think of a muse as some sort of Divine connection or Feminine energy, mine happens to be an ordinary male.
It was accidental.

What can I say?

We don’t choose these things. Rather, they choose us. And, the irony, here, of course? It is his ordinariness that highly appeals to my creativity.

I don’t feel I am ever talking down to him in any way – rather it’s where my ideas often flow more readily and without the intrusion of any psychic storms – even though I may be experiencing one during the time of composition.

With my muse, it’s more like bobbing on the Aegean – instead of struggling in the murky waters of the Atlantic, and trying to keep from getting swept under those waves.

That’s scary.

A muse should never frighten you.

So what are the essential job skills of a muse? Brevity, for one. But even more important than that is this:

 A muse is someone who simply listens but never judges.

So how can you go wrong with that? You can’t!

Of course, I don’t simply replicate the initial piece – instead, when I get over here, I tweak and edit it.
However, the muse covers several areas simultaneously and sometimes I start somewhere else, then come here, then end up there. There is this cyclical rhythm (any musician would understand it) where everything is connected – in one way or another.

So now, after this lengthy digression and discussion of the job skills of a muse, it’s time to cut and paste, what I had written earlier, in the comments section on The Guardian – that’s where I hang out.)


HEALTH CARE Costs, Services, Politics and Money. What’s wrong with this picture?

(Comment  of “heliosmou” in response to “Vladimir S” comment)

I had no problem whatsoever getting excellent and comprehensive emergency medical care when I was in Athens in 2010. I had to wait, of course. But it was worth it. And this, in a country that has been struggling to sustain an economy for some time now. 

Whereas, here, a visit to Johns Hopkins Emergency Center, earlier this summer during a massive heat wave that hit Baltimore – so intense that calls to 911 could not be handled, and you were greeted with a recording, citing the volume of calls, and to stay on the line, and someone would help you – yes, Johns Hopkins Emergency Center, apart from the main hospital, and bigger and better equipped than most “regular” hospitals, resulted in me being escorted by security to the exit. 

Because they couldn’t provide a diagnosis for what had happened to me. I had collapsed because of heat exhaustion and a migraine. Paramedics had to pull me from my car. Took 3 people to lift me from the gurney – ever hear of the phrase “dead weight?” – and they plopped me in chair. They checked my vitals, which were good, and then waited for me to revive from being in an air conditioned environment (approximately 3 hours) then told me I was ready to go!

I asked the physician what happened to me … Medically? The physician could not specify anything in particular. So how do you know I am fit to leave, if you have no idea what happened to me? She skirted the question. You are not in any danger, she said. Well, how do you know I am not in any danger, since you have no idea what happened to me? –

At this point the physician and the nurse standing by her side, communicated with each, which I overheard. It was time to call Security, they said. But what if I get sick as soon as I leave the premises? Well, then you come back. Then what? Go through the same routine, where you cannot determine the cause of what happened, but plop me in a chair again, and release me with the same diagnosis of “Housing Problems?” (Never knew, by the way, that a “Housing Problem” was a medical diagnosis.) They said, all I had to do was step outside the Emergency Center – just one step was sufficient – and then step back in again, and I would be treated again. A merry-go-round? You want me to get on a merry-go-round?

The Johns Hopkins Emergency Center in Baltimore was built with money donated by some Sheik. It’s a state-of-the-art facility, but aside from that, a pretty lousy place to go for medical care.

Ironically, the other patients in the ER rooted for me. A Vietnam vet called me, “The Sargeant,” which is really funny, since I am adamantly opposed to war.

Incidentally, I weigh 105 lbs.

So is this the kind of medical care we are talking about here? If so, I am NOT impressed.

After that and a few other zingers in Baltimore, I promised myself, that IFI EVER need emergency care again, I would demand to be flown to CHICAGO, where I’m from, and where doctors actually take their profession seriously – not like the clowns at Hopkins.

Things That Never Made It Into Print

By Things That Never Made It Into Print

Keep it simple ... Radical ... Writer, Artist, Dancer, Musician, Chicago Betty

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