And here is the last daylog about my mom. It's not interesting at all as such; it is just something that is... for me. My mom passed away on July 7th, 2011, after catching the flu, it seems. And so it goes.

I seem to acknowledge grief on an intellectual level. Not quite sure what to do with it I start to analyze it. And I start to think. Well... duh!

My mom was an ordinary woman. As a mom she did her best, I'm sure of it. She was probably not a spectacularly good mom, but she was the best she knew how to. Like most of us, who trundle along through life doing what we do. I wasn't a very good daughter, but, again, I was the best I knew how to be.

Which is what scares me now.

You see: I have two lovely children. And now I wonder: What have I brought them up to be? I'll know, I guess, some time in the future.

Since my mom passed away I have been thinking and thinking about... my children and me. Remembering their childhood, drawing parallels to my own childhood; thinking about all the mistakes I made (and here's a heads-up for parents now and in the future: remember that all the mistakes you make are there forever. They cannot be unmade. Spooky, innit?). As a whole I did okay by my kids, but there are so many things I would like to be able to change. Or not. 'Cause then they wouldn't be the same people, and I really like the people they have become...

Anyway... I have reached a decision (not that it in any way is something new or anything, but now it is a conscious decision): I do not want to be like my mother.

Seriously though. I am still in the midst of thinking the whole thing over.

My mom will be interred (or whatever the term is when we're talking cremation) on August 5th. My daughter will be there, but my son won't. Because on that very same day Fniggles will become a big sister. She'll be getting a baby brother by the name of Oliver via a planned c-section.

Is that cool or what?!

Like most people in the United States, I have been keeping close tabs on the intense political negotiations involved in the raising of the debt limit ceiling, something that involves both grinding details about fiscal technicalities and high political theater. I won't attempt to cover every angle of this, because I haven't been keeping that close of track, and plus I said most of what I mean to say years ago.

Instead, I will do something I usually loathe: give a single folksy example of a concrete instance that happened to me, and tie it into the nation's problems at large. This Tuesday, I had a tooth removed, a procedure that was long overdue and relatively easy. After having the tooth removed, I was driven to the local Walgreens, where I had two prescriptions filled. One was for Vicodin, a drug I had not previously had. The other was for ibuprofen, a drug that I had already been taking. This was not just normal ibuprofen, though, this was prescription strength ibuprofen. For seven dollars, I got a small orange bottle with 15 800 milligram pills in it.

Checking online, Walgreens sells a bottle of non-prescription ibuprofen, 1000 200 milligram pills, for 20 dollars. This comes out to 10 grams for a dollar. My prescription ibuprofen was 12 grams for 7 dollars, or about 2 grams for a dollar. My prescription therefore cost over five times as much as I would pay for the same medication over the counter. While there may be some incredibly slight advantage of taking one 800 milligram pill instead of 4 200 milligram pills, it seems that the added cost is almost pure waste.

Being that I had a numb mouth full of blood, and was under the influence of Halcion, I didn't take the time to argue about unit cost with the pharmacist.

The reader may be wondering why I prefaced a story about money wasted on an ubiquitous drug with a discussion of the United States' financial situation. The reason is, that a large part of the United States' financial obligation is the ever-inflating cost of health care. While much of this is due to the fact that medicine can do things that are incredibly useful, a lot of it has to do with the fact that there is an entire culture and mystique built up around health care, and a gap between how the economics of Capital-H, Capital-C Health Care works, and the actual economics of production of the materials involved. And while I can't track every instance of this, and I can't say how it impacts programs like Medicare and Medicaid, for sheer, simple, populist example, I will say that the fact that I basically paid eight dollars for a little orange bottle is something that should be thought about.

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