Put my picture beside the angry face.

In Kate’s classroom, there is a poster with drawings of faces reflecting different feelings, a face drawn in a frown to be sad, a face with furrowed brows for angry, a face with squinted eyes and wavy mouth for frustrated and so on. As part of their daily activities, the kids use Polaroids of themselves and place them beside the face that matches how they are feeling. The exercise helps them identify what they are feeling, normalize it within the context that we all sometimes feel this way, and then give occasion for discussing how to deal with these emotions.

I am doing my best to be an adult and deal with my emotions in a rational way, but I admit that I do not always succeed in this effort. I’ve said it before, by definition, I am just Too Much. I love too much, believe too much, trust too much, and give too much. And when I get burned, I feel angry, disappointed, frustrated, and hopeless — and, characteristically, I feel all those things too much. And now, although I’ve named everything I am feeling, I still don’t feel any better. It’s no wonder that Kate does this exercise everyday in school and still throws things when angry. Right now, throwing something (preferably at someone) would make me feel better, too. Mental note: remember how hard this is next time the kids try to destroy each other.

Yesterday, we got notification from Humana (our current health insurance provider) that the family insurance plan we requested had been denied — or, at least, parts of it had. Plans were offered to Paul and Will, but not to Kate and I. This is after spending more than an hour, during the bedtime rodeo!, on the phone with a nurse representative going over 10 years of medical history for all 4 of us, including Every Single claim for a doctor’s visit or a prescription. Looking back on my notes for the week, I see that I’ve spent about 12 hours on health insurance research, phone calls, and applications. And now we have to do it again.

I can almost see how they might deny me. I have allergies, my BMI puts me in the “overweight” category and I have a prescription for acne treatment. Definitely an insurance risk, me. But Kate? She’s 2 and has had maybe 2 prescriptions in her life (one for thrush, one for her ear infection earlier in the year). It makes me feel better to say that they are women hating and leave it at that.

Today, Paul began to pursue getting our life insurance policies in order. So this morning, I spent 54 minutes on the phone giving medical history which will influence both IF we can actually get life insurance for me and HOW MUCH it will be when we do. One of the questions was if I had ever been denied health insurance. Following up this invasive interview, which included a 10 minute line of questioning about the fact that I see a dermatologist for the acne that I’ve had since puberty, someone will call me within the next 2 days to schedule a blood draw, urinanalysis, and height/weight check. For life insurance.

What the whole experience has shown me, for one, is that I do not ever want to see a physician ever again for anything. That preventative care is a BAD IDEA if you want to coverage for anything. Want or need a prescription? Steal it or cross a border. In short, the smart thing to do is to avoid the medical establishment all together, because anything you do can and will be held against you.

University of Michigan, the source of my graduate training, recently had articles about health insurance in it’s School of Public Health alumni magazine. Several of our illustrious faculty discussed the insurance industry and how it’s not that bad, it actually works well, and it keeps costs relatively low. I remember reading it thinking that maybe the arsenic in the city’s water supply had gone up dramatically or perhaps the legalization of marijuana had finally been passed. Academics are the most famous Mr. In-Between-ers on the planet, being completely unable to commit to a solid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on any topic, so it makes sense that someone would try to balance out arguments against the way insurance companies work. But I also noted that the faculty who were the most supportive of the current system were also consultants to big insurance companies.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

I know this is suppose to help, but all I really want to do is find someone to call a douchebag. Ah, it felt better just to type the word.