So, hello again from Happy Meadows, where the weather has been glorious, although some surrounding regions had terrible storms this week. We once again saw the power of nature as tornadoes raged through the South destroying property and killing people in the random way that they do. I hope all of you were spared from a tragedy. The other scourge of springtime here in Happy Meadows is pollen, especially pine pollen. Everybody is sneezing, blowing their noses, and wiping their red eyes. The yellow pine pollen gets all over everything, and sometimes forms clouds as I have referred to previously. Fortunately, the pine pollen season has just about passed, and black cats like me are losing our ghostly green glow.
Mike was released from his captivity on Monday, briefly, doing the only thing that he gets to do away from home (except for walking in Happy Meadows.) He went to a doctor’s office. Actually, it was the Urgent Care center, but that is the same thing, basically. He had a stye on his right upper eyelid, and his eye was swollen shut. He was hoping the doctor there would drain it, but he thought that was a job for an ophthalmologist, so he prescribed antibiotics. Mike had called his ophthalmologist, but the office is closed, even for emergencies. Fortunately, the antibiotics are working, and he is already much better. We took a picture, but I will spare you.
So, Mike’s new chemo medicine came by UPS on Tuesday. It is a capsule that he takes once per week for 3 weeks, and then is off for 1 week. Mike took note that the cost was about the same as the chemo medicine he is already taking daily for 21 days, then off for 7 days, and start again. So the new medicine per capsule is 7 times as expensive. And per milligram it is even more expensive. Mike wondered what the cost per ounce of the new medicine is, since gold is priced per ounce. Mike is no mathematician, so this could be wrong, but he calculated the price of the medicine at $34,625,331.04 per ounce. Compare this to the current price of gold at about $1,735 per ounce. The medication costs about 17540 times more than gold. With his insurance he only has to pay 5% of the cost, and fortunately, doesn’t have to buy it in ounce quantities. He is grateful to be getting the world-class care that he receives at Emory, and that he has good insurance. But this exposes how messed up the health care system is in our country. And the pricing of pharmaceuticals is only a small part of the problem. Let’s hope the politicians have the courage to fix things to make health care affordable for everyone. Good grief!
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed numerous weaknesses in our healthcare system. I will give you one example. Many people have either poor insurance or no insurance. So, a visit to a medical establishment is frequently an expensive undertaking reserved for emergency situations. People who start in with a dry cough and fever are staying home hoping it won’t get worse. But the COVID-19 patients are now known to deteriorate rapidly, and can go from what seems like a cold to severe pneumonia in a day. Then they either die at home or get to a hospital in critical condition. Had they gone to seek medical care a day or 2 earlier, they could have gotten care which would have possibly been stablizing at a less critical level, and been life-saving. I hope all of you are staying safe. I also hope you survive financially. This is a scary time. And speaking of scary, how about the lions and tigers in the New York City zoos that are infected with COVID-19? If domestic cats can become infected, which so far doesn’t seem to be the case, containment of the pandemic will suffer a huge setback. Let’s all hope and pray for good health and blessings.
So, I hope you all had a good Easter, or Passover, or whatever you do or don’t celebrate. I have a lot of hope that things will improve, and I’m sure Mike does too. Until next time be well, be safe, love your neighbor, and pray for world peace. So long from Happy Meadows!