Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Healthcare Circus and Sideshow

Today I took Jamie to the doctor. He got hit by a cab last week and has been hobbling around since then. Really, getting hit by cars is no joke. Poor little fella.

I can't even begin to describe the horrors of the American medical system. My Danish friend who I was talking to in the airport the other day was explaining the nature of a 'yellow card' that not only accounts for medical care for every man, woman and child in Denmark, but also guarantees that the Danish government will pick up the tab for all medical expenses incurred in a foreign country. Genius. I was mulling this over today as we were waiting in line for x-rays. It was like a goddamn circus of the infirm. For real, there is sick people up in here.

So, the waiting room gradually filled with the poor, tired and unwashed and in need of being x-rayed masses. My breaking point occured when an old man, who had poor eyesight, and even poorer hearing was left alone by his nurse for a moment or two on one side of the waiting room. On the other side of the room a midget with a terrible cough ambled up to the chair next to mine. Each time she would cough the old man across the room would shout 'HELLO' thinking that someone was calling him. The urge to laugh until tears streamed down my face was overwhelming. Jamie asked why I didn't try to photograph the incident, and we both decided that, aside from being heartless, it wouldn't have done it justice. It's just a
good thing I had that mask.

On the plus side, it was a beautiful day in Northern California. Take that New York.

The Unbearding; Complicated By A Momentary Hitler