LRC Extras

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Writes Heather Clark:

I am writing to thank you for your work, your website, and your daily dose of indispensable information. In particular, I want to thank you for your articles concerning non-economic, non-political wellbeing and health. While these are not the primary focus of your site, and they are things you could easily omit without harming its value, you choose nonetheless to provide additional resources for readers to live healthy, independent and well-informed lives in all aspects.
I am a 22 year old recent college graduate who has recently been exposed to the horror that is the reality of health care in this country. As a childhood cancer survivor, I have always had a bent towards hypochondria, and with my parents’ and college-sponsored insurance plans, have taken doctors visits to quell my paranoia for granted. Then, when I graduated and found myself working a contract job that didn’t offer benefits, I was suddenly struck down–hard– when I found that no insurance provider would cover me with an individually purchased plan, no matter how much I was willing to pay. And that they never would. I lost many nights of sleep over this, worried not only about my immediate welfare should I contract the flu next week, but about my future if I ever wanted to start my own business, work in a small company or otherwise have a career that didn’t provide corporate group insurance plans. To make a long story short, the well-selected articles on your site about living healthfully, and specifically about living without insurance (such as today’s article from Lila Rajiva) were an invaluable source of inspiration, confidence and knowledge for me. I began to realize that though I have taken doctors for granted for peace of mind, never since my chemotherapy days has mainstream medicine really provided anything beneficial for me in solid, measurable ways. I am reminded of the time I rushed to the emergency room at 6 am with a severe case of hives, then sat in a waiting room for hours only to receive an official diagnosis of “undetermined skin reaction” and a dose of steriods that did absolutely nothing to help. Oh yeah, and a bill for $3000. The hives only disappeared after I did some careful study on alternative methods and self-medicated with herbs, good food and some psychological work.

To end the story on a happy note, last week my employer extended me a full-time position with benefits, and I can’t say I’m not a little relieved to be covered again, but this time I’m not going to the doctor with anything short of blood coming out of my eyes. I’m seriously considering a raw food diet, have kept up my interest in alternative medicine, and thank you sincerely for the continuous source of information and inspiration provided by your site, specifically those things that may seem peripheral but are what make a truly valuable resource.

8:11 pm on April 27, 2009