Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

Those of us without health insurance appreciate ‘sliding fee’ clinics


On a personal note, I’ve mentioned several times that I am not able to afford health insurance. The good news is, we have a very well-equipped, HUGE “sliding fee” clinic here that I qualify for — and yesterday was sort of Reckoning Day for my generally inactive, slovenly lifestyle: I had a checkup at said clinic, with special concerns about my blood pressure.

Seems when you’re sitting behind a computer most of the day, growing old, and slamming down various amounts of cheese and other dairy products, well, gosh, your health deteriorates and especially your blood pressure may rocket upwards. (I have a couple of persistent skin rashes, too, but never sought eczema treatments.)

Turns out that I’m surprisingly healthy for an aging guy who’s inactive and overweight. At least I’ve never added alcohol or cigarettes to my bad habits, which seems to count for a lot.

The blood pressure was elevated indeed, but the doc prescribed the mildest possible blood pressure medication. She said if I were to drop about 30 pounds and walk vigorously three or four days a week, I probably wouldn’t need the medication.

Little goals, I guess. But something I should be able to achieve. If I can just learn to shove myself away from the computer once in awhile and lace up the old walking shoes.

Oh, yeah. And the sliding fee clinic? Costs me $30 per visit and that includes a nice range of lab tests. And — the young lady who draws the blood for testing is pretty skilled with that old needle, too.