Friday, May 27, 2011

Sword Unsheathed and a Fire in the Whole

When Tom and Lane’s house burned down, we cried and consoled each other, tore down the rest of it to the charred floor and then proceeded to build it all back up again.

At the very same point of completion as when the fire struck before, a bolt of lightening shattered the night air, burning down through the center of the giant sitka spruce a few feet from the house as if we needed to be reminded that fire could return at any time. It would seem my effort to complete this surgery to repair my urethra and ultimately my manhood must have needed a similar jolt.

That my fall from the scaffold eighteen months ago happened at all, I say, was no accident. The time had come to set aside all temptation to distract myself from writing by thinking carpentry was the way I should make a living. Since I was not strong enough to act on the choice by myself, my body—with a little divine push—made it for me.

The final clause of my divorce was the end of my health insurance on an arbitrary date that happened to land two weeks before my actual fall (the only time in my life, therefore, to be uncovered). Not to worry, they said, the COBRA act provided the chance to put a safety net under the hospital bed, a little late but totally available. Unfortunately, a bureaucratic “T” needed to be crossed which I did not discover in my mail until I was up and walking a good bit after the COBRA had relaxed its bulging neck and the period of grace had expired.

A year ago, full of a mix of hope and trepidation, I was so close to this surgery I had started the liquid diet for the anesthesia when the insurance company decided the now pre-existing condition disqualified me from coverage. With not enough time to wage a proper battle, I kicked and screamed, but limped back to my couch, having to postpone my rightful and proper restoration.

This past March, I discovered by way of a regular appointment to have the tube changed, a bureaucratic response to my failure to file a form had once again cut me off from coverage. Quickly, I rallied to repair my mistake and was able to get it restored, and when my income (or lack thereof) qualified me for Medicaid, I considered it might even have been a blessing in disguise.

However, having learned a few things along the way, in late April, I fortunately got suspicious that a state funded program from Vermont might not pay for a procedure in Massachussetts, so I made a few phone calls to investigate on my own behalf. Sure enough, it took a focused scramble and a lot of bitten nails to secure the necessary switch back to Blue Cross by the first of May.

I asked if a check was needed and she said just to wait until a bill for $60 or $120 arrived. I received a card with the effective date and presented it cheerfully at my next tube change and other pre-operative appointments without incident. As advised, I sat impotently, staring at (and wondering about) the bill for $49 that had arrived in the meantime.

A few days ago, just ten before the surgery to fix all of this waiting over the past eighteen months, I opened a letter from Blue Cross to my surgeon requesting more detailed information before they would certify the operation. Just to know if this was bureaucratic protocol or something requiring attention, I called to see if there was anything I needed to do.

Actually, the innocent woman replied, the computer indicated my coverage had terminated last February.

Six frantic calls to the state later, I learned for lack of payment, I was lucky to even still be on Medicaid, a second computer glitch they could not explain. They admitted all records proved the mistakes were theirs, but it would take days to rectify to get me continued on Medicaid at best--no chance for Blue Cross--and nothing could be done in the meantime until a check was in hand to unlock the computer, and no one was allowed to bring one directly to the office which happened to be just a few miles from my home.

At the lower levels, clerks could sympathize with my predicament, even agreeing I rightfully should be able to use the card in my pocket, but no one had (or was willing to take) the authority to actually push the keys that could make this happen.

Only me.

It took hours of passionate, empowered, fully aroused persistence to get through to the people who could make the decision. At one point, I lamented, “You’ve got to understand, I’m a fifty-seven year old man, sitting in a parking lot in tears and clutching my testicles because you’re telling me to wait means another six months or a year with a bag of pee strapped to my leg.” Over night, I lay blitzed and brainless back on my couch, staring at movies I cannot remember this morning.

Yesterday, at my insistence, human beings finally recognized it was just plain wrong to make me wait any longer for bureaucratic reasons and finally short-circuited the system, speeding me back on my way where I thought I was a month ago. The certification process that had been closed was re-opened and shortened. A case-worker has been assigned to hold my hand the rest of the way and ensure this time next week I am under anesthesia.

Where I thought all this time the injury to my groin has been to restore my sexuality, the energy to make this happen is actually around the more masculine traits of assertion, strength and determination. To be healed, I had to prove I really wanted it, to rattle my saber and fight for not only what I desire, but what I deserve.

I can orgasm whether or not the stuff ejaculates to prove it. I can have sex without love any day I might look (or pay) for it. No longer being willing to accept an unjustified “no”, demanding, instead, the resounding “YES” that should be shouted from rooftops is the lesson I have actually needed to learn.

In the best movies, the guy does not twiddle his thumbs meekly, prevaricating and posturing like Hamlet, but at the climax, marches forth with a determined expression, clear about what he wants and exactly what he is willing to do to get it. The true journey of a hero is facing the fire and rebuilding the house.

I am done with this bag and tube. Now it simply needs to be pulled out in a timely way through a lengthy surgical procedure which has a high percentage of success. I am ready, at last, to run, jump, twist and dance, to make love whole-heartedly and passionately, and to be the very best I know how to be, no matter the risk. Boldly, with pen in hand, I go forth into this life of mine, ready to put these bolts of lightening I have been given to good use.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! About Time I must say and congrats on boldly going forth for what you want---it takes a fight or large push or force of energy to that and I am exited for your future results! Healing energy being sent your way for your lower chakras ---