It has been an oddly surreal weekend. A very enjoyable one to be sure, but surreal none the less. It started on Tuesday night while talking with tamile and roswyne. The idea came up of going to Fargo for the weekend. It was just a random trip or anything the was a charity fundraiser being hosted by the same group that puts on one of our favorite annual conventions, Corecon House the person it was for has long been a major fixture of the convention and is one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. He has also been battling cancer, which as it turns out is a very costly endeavor in the United States (more on that later)
So planning the trip turned into something of a cluster fuck. Which I guess in a lot of ways is why I don't like to plan trips at the last minute. It started out as a day trip four hours down spend the day and the four hours back. For the record I hate trips like that. You spend more time driven then you do at the place you are driving too. It seems wasteful and like stupid idea to me. So I started exploring a few options for crash space. With little to no effort found crash space for Friday and Saturday. Roswyne was comfortable. Being down that long or being tied to our schedule, so she made other plans. I tried to adjust what I had started to set up to accommodate what she needed. Which didn't work out at all. So rather than taking one car that could easily have fit 5 people we traveled in separate cars and honestly hardly saw each other over the course if the weekend. In the end I guess it wasn’t to big of a deal one way or the other. By all reports she had a good time and I had a good time, which in the end is the important part.
In our car was tamile, naivara and myself. Now normally naivara suffers from a condition jokingly called carcolypse, you put her in a moving car at highway speeds and she is asleep. That didn't happen on the drive down which lead to one of the better discussions the three of us have had since our break up as a trouple. The three of us talked about a lot of different things and I think we were able to clear the air on a lot of things. tamile and I also found a fair amount of time to talk this weekend as well. I think it put the two of us back on a better track for our relationship in a time that we really needed it. Honestly I think tamile and I need to make a point of taking car trips of a minimum of 4 hours on a regular basis. We both tend to talk with each other really well and open up while trapped in a car moving over 100 kilometers per hour.
The point behind the trip like I mentioned was to help support friend who is undergoing treatment for cancer. Now this wasn’t for moral support, this was about financial support to help cover the cost of his care. I heard a few numbers tossed around over the weekend about exactly what his treatment was costing. All of the numbers seem to me to be ridiculously high (1 quote went as high as half a million), but I have been assured by Americans who are familiar with the system that they are certainly within the realm of possibility. As a Canadian and someone who has grown up with socialized medicine this completely boggles my mind. Now thankfully in my friend’s case he does have medical insurance coverage. I don’t know to what extent it will be covered it wasn’t really any of my business.
Another friend who I saw while down there had also just undergone a major medical incident and had spent two weeks in intensive care. She had no coverage, so she is going to have to pay for that all out of her own pocket as I understand the American system. The cost of that stay is going to follow her around forever. The amount of money it would cost for a two week stay in an IC unit up in the hundreds of thousands am sure.
I did some quick googling and they even have a special term for this type of debt “Medical Debt” The link will take you to the Wikipedia page that discusses the term. After this weekend I don’t think I have ever been more thankful to be a Canadian. Sure we might have long wait times to see a doctor at the emergency room, but I would rather sit around for 8 to 10 plus hours to see a doctor then have to work for the rest of my life to pay of the debt that was incurred because of the visit.
If you are reading this and would like to help out my friend house please visit House Is Where the Heart Is page to make a donation.