Politics Magazine

Los Angeles II

Posted on the 21 March 2013 by Erictheblue


We're home from California.  Amanda ran her marathon Sunday morning in 4:34:23 while her one-man support crew lounged in the Santa Monica branch of the UCLA Medical Center with blood clots in one of his lungs.  Bound by marriage and shortness of breath.

The onset of a pulmonary embolism, according to the Wikipedia article, is typically sudden.  In my case, I was wolfing down spaghetti at 7:00 and unable to sleep on account of chest pain by midnight.  An American needing medical attention in the wee hours of the morning while away from home would be better off almost anywhere in western Europe than in an adjoining state, where the phrase "out of network" has a plain meaning.  It's not obvious where you should go, and it could end up costing anything.  In civilized countries, the sick do not have to navigate other choppy seas, but this is America and Amanda and I darted about the World Wide Web in our Culver City motel at two in the morning.  We decided to forgo the nearest options in favor of a hospital with "UCLA" in its name.  I think that was probably a good idea.  I got good care, and now that the emergency is over, I've learned that I have a $2500 per person maximum. I'm pretty sure I had enough fancy diagnostic tests, and a long enough stay, to blow past that, even if I'm only responsible for thirty per cent.  As I type, Amanda is out in the backyard inspecting our money tree for buds.  But it looks like a late spring.

All the brown-skinned people taking such good care of me in the hospital recalled to my mind one of Archie Bunker's more memorable lines:  "If you're really sick, make sure you get a Jew," he advised, in a grumping departure from his usual pronouncements concerning Jews.  From what I saw of Los Angeles, there are few Caucasions of any kind: it's a "majority minority" city full of quiet, plainly dressed, mostly young people with black hair, dark skin, and a "tap card" for the public transportation.  Who would have thought?  The Republicans have a problem so big even they can see it.

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