Pain But No Worries

Tonight I got this pain in my upper back, between my shoulders. What is the scoop with that? I wasn’t lifting anything or straining myself or doing anything that might have caused an injury at that moment. I was walking toward the kitchen to cook up some beans for dinner. And pow! Sharp pain between the shoulders. It is sticking around.

Whenever I have any kind of injury, I reflect back to when I had back surgery. Two years ago I was dealing with some serious pain. I literally was rolling on the floor at night, unable to sleep. I went to a chiropractor and saw my primary care doctor but the pain stuck around. Ultimately, I had surgery for a ruptured disc. A neurosurgeon sliced me open and took about the bad juju.

All that was a drag, of course, but it happens. We get hurt sometimes and we can’t predict when it will happen and how badly it will happen. But here is the deal: I had no worries about paying for all the care I received. I have great a great health insurance. Even chiropractic care was paid for. I paid nothing for all of it.

I am lucky and I know it. How many people don’t have any health insurance? Forget the huge deductibles or problems that won’t be covered. What if I simply had no coverage at all? Given the medical issues I had, I would have had to pay thousands of dollars. I would still be paying for that without my health insurance.

I met a high school student today who got injured playing football. He is hobbling around on crutches, just as he was two weeks ago when I saw him last. He tore three ligaments and will need surgery. He doesn’t have it scheduled yet. He is unsure when it will happen. My guess is that he does not have health insurance even close to what I’ve got. Does he even have any? Is his surgery getting put off because he can’t afford it?

Vermont has pretty good coverage for minors. We have a state program to cover children whose parents do not have health insurance or can’t afford it. As a state, that is a smart thing to do. The legislature has talked for a while now about passing legislation that would cover everyone, regardless of age, who does not have access to coverage. I hope that may one day happen.

So, I have some pain that is slowing me down for the evening. Sure, that isn’t what I want. I am worried what it might be. Could it get worse? Could it be a sign of something really bad? I will not worry about those things until the pain persists. Otherwise, I won’t worry at all. That is a gift.

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