Thursday, March 05, 2009

I'm Not Buying Newsweek

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," casting a jaundiced eye on news magazines every time we visit the doctor!

I took my daughter The Spare to the orthodontist last week, and Newsweek had a story about how the governor of West Virginia is trying to pull that poor, backward state out of its miserable status as the hillbilly cesspool of America.

Sorry, I didn't get very far reading that. I might have worked myself into a rage. I admire Buzzard Billy for having the stomach to read and blog about it.

Do you think I'll live long enough to see a fair and balanced assessment of West Virginia? Me neither.

Yesterday, after several days of acute suffering, I broke down and went to see the doctor about my poison ivy. This attack was different from any I'd ever had before -- a lot worse -- but come on, it's only poison ivy, right?

Mr. Johnson holds the health benefits around here, and his job is a slowly sinking ship that will eventually tank like the Titanic.

So I asked the nurse how much my family doctor charges for appointments to people who pay out-of-pocket. Turns out his rates run from $22 (which is just about the current co-pay) to $130.

I can tell you right now that if I thought I'd be out $130, plus medication, for this poison ivy, I would never have gone to the doctor. But it wasn't a long appointment, maybe 10 minutes. So he probably would have charged about $75. And although he didn't come right out and say I was on the verge of a serious medical event, he did commend me for coming in for help.

Anyway, to digress, I'm sitting in the doctor's waiting room, digesting the charges we may face for his services, and there's another Newsweek glaring at me. This one's cover story is, Stress Is Good for You.

Talk about a one-two punch! West Virginia is bad for you. Stress is good for you. What's with Newsweek?

Okay, I'm no fancy Newsweek reporter. But take it from me:

1. West Virginia is a beautiful state with a wide variety of people, just the same sort of people you might find in -- oh, I don't know -- Maryland.

2. Stress is bad for you. Bad. You feel bad when you are stressed. That's why you drink, that's why you eat chocolate, that's why you hyperventilate. Did I say that stress is a bad thing? It is.

Note to Newsweek: Maybe you ought to have a swimsuit issue. You might get that right.


democommie said...


One of the things to watch out for, I've had it, is staph. When I went to see the doc, after a particularly nasty episode, he said, "The poison ivy has about run its course, but that swelling is a staph infection and that needs serious attention, stat!" I didn't even know I was sick.

Get better.

I don't know about WV, but I've been hearing that kind of crap about Nebraska all of my life.

Buzzardbilly said...

Thanks for the plug and I'm ever-so sorry about the poisin ivy. My Dad had a case so bad one time he had to go to the doc every day for a week to get shots (on top of the itch-soothing cream...ask a pharmacist as a real locally-owned pharmacy if they have a cream for chicken pox itching the itch-relieving is better). Dad's case was so bad because they'd been clearing the hillside and they were taking down poison ivy vine/wood that was 2-inches thick. He said they'd carry armload after armload and this milky stuff ran out of the cutting, down his chest. It worked its way into his bloodstream.

You did good getting checked.

Buzzardbilly said...

You could also try covering your itch with a combo of calamine lotion (I know I spelled that wrong) and Anti-Monkey Butt Powder (yep, that's the name's calamine powder and talc, I think)

Sarita said...

I don't have much advice to add to dealing with poison ivy...just to add to the others war stories that the first time my mom got into poison oak (that time when she was lovingly pruning it while wearing a two piece bathing suit) the doctor put her on meds that had her asleep for two, maybe three, days, it was so bad.

As for the magazine - sorry, but I can't say I'm surprised. I've known newspapers to totally slant and even outright lie about things, so why shouldn't magazines do so too. :( Sad, but true.

myrope said...

I'm giggling trying to imagine how newsweek might get a swimsuit issue wrong.

Celestite said...

It's not the $70 office visit that scares me about health care, it's the $7,000 broken arm!.

I think WV is lovely.

yellowdog granny said...

so what are they going to do about your ivy?...and no one reads timeweek except for people in drs office..dumb magazine

Buzzardbilly said...

Myrope, My guess would be they would have the models wear longjohns. :)

Anne, You'll both love and hate this: I just had a search show up on my stats from Maryland. They had searched "I hate hillbillies." To borrow from Jackie Sue, "Bastiges!"

sageweb said...

We use to rub watermelon rinds on our poison ivy...dunno if it worked, but it make it all sticky so you didnt itch it. I also stuck a lemon wedge in my armpit once and about 5 minutes later I could taste it.

Thalia said...

Sageweb, you are deeply, deeply odd.

Anne Johnson said...

Sage, if that's true, how come we can't taste sweat?