A Teacher’s Gift of Life

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by Amelia Anderson

Wow, how inspiring! And a reason to include teachers with Charles Dickens at the top of my Christmas story list. Made me want to get out of bed and fight! I’d been AWOL under the covers for 13 days and 12 nights (without even a partridge in a pear tree) hacking a bronchial cough that rocked the walls of Verdugo Hills Emergency on Christmas Eve but couldn’t budge the interns into issuing me a Z pack so I wouldn’t have to return to blow pneumonia all over them on Christmas Day.

In mourning as a woman bereft of losing her GP, I realized these people were inexperienced. I had the lungs and medical records to prove I had survived a yearly bout of bronchitis since I was four years old. The odds of recovery lower with age. I needed something stronger than Robitussin and aspirin. But they didn’t want to listen. Four took turns, spouting,”No flu; no bronchitis, no pneumonia.” “Here’s a list of doctors.”

It took eleven days to get up the breath to call for appointment. “Can’t take in a new patient ‘till the end of the month.” Mostly men, they all used the same message. “Leave your name and number,” but there was no intent to call back. I felt trapped in a fascist society. Trump had tried to destroy Obamacare which would remove 25 million from healthcare. But the people stopped him. Then he pulled a fast one, passing a tax cut bill before Christmas before anyone had a chance to read it. And attached were only fifteen million people he planned to cut off healthcare so he could confiscate their subsidy monies and give it to the rich as a ‘tax cut’, including himself.

Why would he do that? Purportedly to ‘jump start’ the economy. But our unemployment figures are already low. No, it’s a ‘pay-back’ to Republican donors like the Koch brothers who really rule the roost (sorry, Putin). Political donations are now declared tax exempt, so they not only got their cake, but they can eat it, too. While the poor are defunded and deprived of health care, they are defrauded of life itself. Statistically, this is the equivalent of sentencing 186,000 people to death. Why aren’t people out marching in the streets? Well, because a goodly number of them, like myself, are sick. Or working their asses off trying to survive. And, hazily, we always think that will happen to someone else, not our selves.

But, it’s happening to me, and I thought I had Medicare. Trump sent his goons into my doctor’s office because he wants to force Medicare recipients into HMO’s. Tighter control, lower costs. A nurse inspected my doctor’s records and had the nerve to tell him he owed $17,000 dollars and she would continue to audit his records ie. tell him what to do. He severed his contract on the spot and told her he would see her in court. So this is how I lost my doctor, at an inopportune cold weather time, which put me in a life threatening predicament.

But, cut back to last Thursday night, My spirit was so buoyed up by teacher Donna Hoagland’s selfless action, that I decided to make one last call to a doctor’s office after the evening news at 6:05 pm. They all close at 5. So, I selected a lady doctor because they’re less predictable. And “God’s Miracle” she answered herself ‘Evlyn Avanessian, MD’’, a UCLA graduate right here in Tujunga within crawling distance of my house. She invited me to come to her office at 9, “If I wouldn’t mind waiting a bit” she purred in a lilting voice. No problem, I was absolutely thrilled to sit there amongst five men who had apparently already gotten a look at her and seemed as thrilled as I to wait. Her Sunland Medical Center is at 7709 Foothill Blvd. and the phone is (818) 296-9601. All insurance accepted.

So, Doc. chin up. Maybe it is the water. But we’ve got a lot of good people doing good things in this community. I remember your gifting Pattee Colvin’s homeless with 800 pair pf socks in one year alone, and this year she hosted a wonderful Family Holiday Celebration in the activity room of New Hope Community Church honoring underprivileged children and families. Even the STNC contributed to budget merriment. Save the morning of the 20th, 10 am to 12 pm, for Pat Kramer’s Crisis Management Conclave with Firemen and Police at City Hall 7747 Foothill Blvd. And a few nights later, on Tuesday the 23 at 6 pm, we’ll again convene at City Hall for the National Homeless Count. “We need to show them they count. Will You?” Call me if you want to ride to Paul Kerkorian’s Homeless Town Hall on 1/18 at 6:30 pm, in Monarch Hall at LA Valley College on 5800 Fulton Ave. in Valley Glen. (747) 218-1070.

Your homework for this week is to look up the definition of fascism. The funniest joke I read is Europeans calling Russians ‘baptized bears’ at the of last century. Maybe it’s the water.

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