March 4th, 2020

Brian and Anne

We decided

We will not be subjecting Blackie to any more tests or procedures. the lumps in his throat are growing quit fast and already swallowing has gotten so much hard for him that after he eats or drinks he spends a bit continuing to swallow every 20 seconds or so like he just doesn't feel like he's gotten it down.

Yesterday I had a long Confronting racism coalition meeting, which was quite stressful and it didn't help that (I realized this morning) I somehow didn't take *any* of my pills in the morning, so that includes the ones that smooth out the hypoglycemic die effects, the anti-seizure medicine that is also an anti-depressant, my allergy medicine, the antiviral that prevents herpes outbreaks, and a bunch of vitamins and supplements to help fight tumor grown and keep the peri-menopause from making my emotions go crazy. And my birth control pill. Took none of it.

I came home at 4 and TRIED to crash but my headache made vibration from road work in the neighborhood intolerable, so I didn't really get to sleep for like an hour.

Today thankfully I had a half hour massage and a chiropractic visit scheduled, so after a quick round of shoulder (rotator cuff) at-home PT and an ever quicker shower I went there and got treatment that should help keep the terrible headaches at bay for another two weeks and hopefully help the tightness in my hamstrings and on the outsides of my legs NOT cause the left foot to flare/spasm.

The massage therapist worked some on my face by request and found I had a knot in the mandibular muscle in the right side, not doubt from clenching my jaw. Dealing with Rosie's sorrowful anticipation of Blackie's expected demise is hard, yup. Telling her we were not going to try to intervene was super hard. Stressful.

Today after that I stopped by the house and made myself a chicken wrap, then ate it in the car on my way to a Village-to-Village Board meeting. Got there late, which I had told Kacey I would, gave my report, left half an hour later, and went to the quarterly System of Care Leadership committee meeting. There were some new faces, so we all did introductions. I never list everything I'm doing. It's too much. At the end of the meeting the Director of pupil services for Red Lion School District went into how their mental health care provider CANNOT HIRE anyone to be an additional provider so they have a steady waiting list of at least 14 cases in crisis who cannot get care and her parents have lost faith in the school district. It was really sad. She teared up. The director of the System of Care had already indicated they are NOT getting increased funding (again) this year, so while provider costs continue to go up, they have no more funding to give. Many of our human services providers described themselves as being at a breaking point.

I was talking with the mental health provider for the York City School district and she mentioned one of their big problems is that health insurance does not reimburse them enough money for mental health care for them to hire therapists. The salaries they are able to offer are, like, $33K for a licensed therapist. They can get more in Maryland. Heck, as the pupil services director put it, they can get more folding shirts at Kohls. If the minimum wage of $15 an hour passes, THAT would be more than we are currently paying Mental health care providers.

When I asked her how much health insurance reimburses them, she said it varies. The better ones pay about $30 an hour, but the low end is $18 an hour. For a licensed health care professional.

It's just bloody disgusting if you ask me. Executives are getting rich and we aren't able to pay health professionals an even halfway appropriate salary.

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