How much does peace of mind cost, exactly?

Back in the fall of 2010, I went to my primary care doctor with a certain symptom, the specifics of which are not important for this story.  Based on my symptom and my medical history, my doctor sent me to a specialist who recommended that I get a certain test done, the specifics of which are also not important for this story.  This was to rule out a serious medical condition, which I didn’t think I had, but it was something that I could have had, if that makes sense.  I had the test done for peace of mind.

After the test was done and I got the results, I learned that I was perfectly fine; there was no serious problem.  But what was really interesting was the number.  Ordinarily “peace of mind” is an amorphous, unquantifiable thing.  Not in this case — I can tell you exactly how much “peace of mind” cost.

  • Doctor visit, primary care doctor, $20.00 , what insurance did not cover.
  • Doctor visit, specialist, $35.00, what insurance did not cover.
  • Hospital charge, test, $221.88, what insurance did not cover.
  • Specialist charge, test, $291.20, what insurance did not cover.

Peace of mind cost me exactly $568.08.

Here’s a photo of part of the hospital complex, where I had my test.  This photo is from 2009, looking out from a wing in the hospital.  I think these buildings are offices associated with the hospital, but I’m not sure.   The area is pretty.

View, hospital complex, from a wing in the hospital, October 2009

So if anyone asks you, you can tell them.  Peace of mind costs $568.08.

At the rehab place last May, beautiful grounds and bad art

In May 2010, a family member of mine ended up in a rehab facility. Thankfully, there was a complete recovery from the injury.

The rehab place is a very good place, very well known. I thought the care was very good. I was glad we could get in.

The grounds, though not large, were beautiful, well landscaped, with secret little nooks and places where people in wheelchairs could gather.   Being out there was restful.

The grounds of the rehab center. May 2010

Flowers and a path. May 2010

Secret garden. May 2010

Secret garden, and a glider. May 2010

Then there was the statue. I’m sure the artist and the donor were well meaning, but to me, the work does not evoke real and honest emotions. It’s sentimental,maudlin. The sculpture also doesn’t make sense, as a family member pointed out to me. Why is the little girl still clutching her crutches, wouldn’t she drop them?

I think the style is supposed to be reminiscent of the social realists. I’ll quote “hard-edged muscular forms popularized by Mexican muralists Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco” — This was a style for paintings and murals, not as far as I know, a 3D work. This looks like an appropriation of a style without everything that goes with it. It doesn’t provide the impact, the political punch, of, for example, the murals of Diego Rivera.

I’ve been in enough hospitals and public spaces to have experienced my share of institutional art. While the art is not generally controversial — that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. You can evoke an emotional response, if that is your intent, without resorting to a little girl in a dress and crutches being lifted by a social realist character from the 30s wearing workman clothes. Just stop.

The statue


Clutching the crutches


I’ll close with several photos of the beautifully landscaped grounds.

A space big enough for wheelchairs. May 2010

Lovely grounds. May 2010

Knee Surgery – I love my Cane!

I had knee surgery on Thursday, October 16.  I thought it was arthroscopic knee surgery, but it turns out that the arthroscopic part was for diagnosis, and the rest was regular surgery, darn it!  I’m not into medical terms, or medicine in general, so my translation of “arthroscopic” means “you heal faster”.   OK – just to be thorough – here’s a link, from medline plus –   I got squicked out just by reading the article!

I’m in the process of getting better.   Even though it was “regular” surgery, this is not expected to be a long drawn out kind of recovery.  Two things I really like are the following: artificial ice and my cane.

Artificial Ice.  I decided to ice my knee myself, instead of renting the “keep it cool” medical device you plug in.  The big breakthrough –  the blue stuff you put in a cooler, when you are going on a picnic.  At Walgreens I bought an artificial ice pack designed just for knees.  The freezer part has the liguid suspended in little globes on a sturdy piece of plastic.  Even after you freeze it, the sheet is bendable.  It comes with a velcro cloth pack.  You stuff the sheet of artificial ice into the cloth pack and attach it to your knee with the attached velcro strap.  The “ice” pack is easy to use and really swell.

I like my cane even better.  I got my cane at Walgreens, the same place I got the artificial ice for my knee.   I’d give you the brand name of the cane, but I took off all the tags.  My cane is a marvel of design – light aluminum,  adjustable, sturdy tip, padded handle, a strap, and it’s a pretty bronze color.  It’s so well designed that it fits over a door knob or the back of a chair, without falling off.  This is not the type of cane that you see on television shows like House, a cane just for pretty – this is a cane you can use.   I’m going to keep my cane in case I ever need knee surgery again.

Here’s a picture of my cane.  I shot it from the door of my place.  My cane is resting against the railing of the second floor walkway. 

My Cane

My Cane




I love my cane!









amarez – mszv