finally have a president who cares. In one of his exit interviews the
outgoing incompetent bemoaned the fact that Americans have to worry
about their 401Ks and losing their jobs, but, he asserted that those
bad old financial institutions are to blame for that. With his nifty
house in Texas and a secure retirement he's good to go. At least the
dumb cluck didn't get a bonus from the taxpayers. That we know of.
Obama seems to want to improve the lives of Americans who actually
need his help. To accomplish this he's going to have to perform some
radical surgery, cutting and gutting where the greed has been
strongest, then prescribing some tough therapy: ethical, fiscal and
spiritual, if we ever again would like to see ourselves as the
greatest democracy on earth.
I do. Idealism doesn't die as we get older. It may even intensify.
Nursing homes and senior centers will never know what hit them when
the boomers arrive. Even now, as I face a surgery of my own, I can
tell my physician has never dealt with a feminist gay libber
environmentalist peacenik with my generations' holistic tendencies
and desire to keep our bodies as pure as we can.
first time I met with the surgeon, I introduced my sweetheart as my
domestic partner. He did fine with that and even addressed her
occasionally. I told him about my food allergy and explained how it
affected my health care. He took notes and, in recording his comments
in front of us, addressed the problem. I was impressed. It was like
President Obama acknowledging that we have unprecedented economic
problems that must be dealt with in unprecedented ways.
course I had Googled total knee replacement surgery, a tool patients
never had in the past. The surgeon answered my informed questions,
telling me the brand of prosthetic, and that he would use one that is
gender specific, as I'd hoped. Previously, it was one part fits all,
with no acknowledgement of a distinct female physiology. The surgeon
also told us that he would be using a cobalt chromium prosthesis. It
wouldn't, I asked, contain any nickel, would it?
recently learned I am allergic to nickel. Researching both nickel and
allergies, I learned how prevalent this allergy is. The surgery was
postponed. I was appalled that the doctor had no idea what
potentially toxic substances he was embedding in his patients'
bodies. My sweetheart and I asked each other, could this really be
the first time he had dealt with the issue? Was the FDA as lax with
medical equipment as it was with processed foods, not requiring
I asked myself if there was something wrong with me to want to know
what he was using to replace my worn out cartilage. Was I being an
obnoxious, whiney, oversensitive new age northwestern dyke? Would the
physician decide against operating on me because I was being too
can only hope that President Obama is as proactive about the body
politic, that he does ask the hard questions, does the extensive
research, and insists on proper procedures, because toxic substances
in our nation: greed, compulsive materialism, taking the easy way out
– these can eat away at the infrastructure of democracy as
aggressively as an incompatible substance can destroy bone, requiring
multiple operations or worse, making an affected limb useless.
the need to save our nation after the monstrous attack from within
and the bizarre need to insert metal plates into my once limber leg
to save my knee are almost inconceivable to me. I am as amazed that
oversight and responsible follow up were too much to expect from our
bailed-out financial institutions as I am that a life-threatening
superbug thrives these days in our hospitals, killing patients. It's
documented that banks shored themselves up with taxpayer money
instead of, as they were expected to, making loans that would have
saved millions of jobs and businesses. At the same time, studies have
shown that some medical professionals weren't bothering to perform
the simple sanitation chore of washing their hands.
it has been someone else who has gone under the knife, not me or my
country. Sometimes I contemplate what the incompetence and
criminality of some elected politicians has wrought with the same
horror that I have when I think about this medical doctor cutting
open my flesh and prying off my knee cap. "Good god," I
think with repugnance, "this is real!"
other times, when I read the paper or see the headlines on my
computer, when I must stop as I rise from my desk chair and wait
until the pain in my knee subsides, I am humbly grateful for the
miracles about to be performed in the years ahead by our new leaders
and, this week, by my accomplished surgeon. In the end I will again
be proud to be an American and I will walk our land without the
physical and spiritual pain of these recent years.
Note: Lee Lynch is the author of over 12 books. Her latest, Sweet
Creek, is a bittersweet love story. You can reach Lynch at
Lee Lynch 2009