Monday, June 21, 2010

You're her wife? So you're married?

For some reason today was the day for dealing with people who just aren't super familiar with dealing with gay people. I started the day asking an out-of-towner how their weekend went. They had inadvertently stumbled onto the Portland Pride parade and had to do a lot of explaining to their teenage child. This gave me a giggle at first. I could just imagine running into a parade and stopping to watch then being mortified as your teen asked why someone in the parade was wearing nothing but leathers or perhaps had a dildo strapped onto the outside of their clothing. I chuckled a little and then, when I realized she was still horrified, reminded her that only a few of the groups marching in Pride wear things like that. Then she said, "I said to my family, 'Do married people dress like that?'" I quickly changed the subject.

I wanted to say, I'd like to march in Pride sometime. I'd like to have been at Pride, but I was sitting in the hospital with my wife this year. Do married people do that? I wanted to explain that I am gay and here I am all normal looking, I'm in a job where I dedicate myself to helping families with sick children and I've spent the last week busting my ass and worried sick making sure my wife has the best healthcare possible. That's what married people do.

I also spent several sessions listening to how part of the stress that has her hospitalized is from her frustration with the comments people make to her about how her marriage isn't real or she just hasn't met the right man....

Then this afternoon, as we were sitting down with another professional, I was asked, "Who are you? Are you a friend?" When I said, "I am her wife," the professional looked startled and then asked me, "So are you married?" I thought that's what "wife" meant.

I'll end on a positive note though. The rest of this past week I was treated as nothing other than a complete and 100% spouse by my wife's team. I was able to help make decisions and see that she got the best care possible. They were fantastic folks and I was so appreciative of being able to just do everything I could to help.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Add Screening Options to Friend Requests!

I want a feature on Facebook that allows you to ask some screening questions when people send you a "friend request." Here's what my - so who are you questions? - would be:

  • Do I actually know you?
  • Do you remember me because I have no idea who you are and my yearbooks are in another state...
  • I'm not an ass, high school was traumatic and I blocked most of it out.
  • Have you at some point actually wanted to be my friend or do you just add everyone who might have been in your graduating class, the year before you or even the year after you?
  • Do you just add everyone who might have gone to the same high school as you did in the last 30 years?
  • I'm gay, do you still want to "friend" me? 
  • If you say yes to the question above, you do realize you should not post homophobic, anti-gay marriage crap on your wall or on mine at any point in the future right? 
  • Do you regularly post inappropriate drunken night out photos and/or other crap that will lead me to have to eventually block you so I don't have to worry about your stuff coming up when I happen to be checking my FB at work (for work purposes of course)?
  • Still with me? OK. Let's be friends! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010


OK, so just remember, I still love you even if you don't agree with me and you don't have to agree with me to love me : )

I hear a lot about how we can't change our healthcare because if we do something to it it might get worse. I also hear about how awful Canadian Healthcare is. I have several thoughts about these things.

1. If we never changed a bad situation we were in because we were afraid it could get worse... well we would probably not have or do many things we love to have or do.
2. I lived on the Canadian border for 13 years and I have many Canadian friends. Not one actual Canadian that I know that still lives in Canada would trade their healthcare system for ours.
3. Our system is broken. If you think that it's good, you have great insurance, but you are not why healthcare needs to change. Here is a real example, albeit from the friend of a friend, but this was from their online journal about dealing with their child's illness:

(This is not something from a family I work with)

"A close family friends son (10 years old) has a brain tumor. This comes after 5 years of remision from Leukemia. They suspect that it could be a result of the intense radiation treatments he previously received (wasn't aware this could happen) for Leukemia. Apparently chemo is now considered a "prescription drug" because it is available in pill form. So, the insurance company won't pay for it because their plan doesn't include "prescription drugs". Wild."

"This is from their CaringBridge Journal.

'And actually, before we did that we went up and met briefly with the oncologists. We got one little "ray of hope" piece of news. The molecular findings from the lab at UT Southwestern, which contain words that would win pretty much any Scrabble game, indicated that the nature of the tumor is such that it might be more susceptible to the chemo than was originally believed based on the microscopic findings.

And speaking of chemo, at this point we do not have a resolution on that front. We did not begin this treatment yesterday. The doctors assure us that a few days delay should not have an impact. So we hope to hear whether or not Schering-Plough will provide this. For anyone unaware, our insurance does not include prescription drug coverage. And since advancements in chemo delivery now make more of it available orally via tablets, the insurance companies have siezed on this and are calling it a "prescription drug." While we find it hard to make the leap that chemotherapy is a prescription drug, the insurers are apparently comfortable with that leap. So we have applied to the drug-maker, with information from our oncologists, to see if they will provide it. So if we can get some good news soon on that front we should be able to get the chemo going. '