Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dead Like Me

Bizarro is brought to you today by a Man With A Big Heart.

This gag was given to me by my good friend and fellow cartoonist, Michael Capozzola, author of Surveillance Caricatures in the San Francisco Chronicle, stand-up comedian, actor, play-on-words expert.

The older I get the less I like going to doctors. I've never enjoyed it, lord knows, but lately I've begun thinking what is really the point at all?

I've never been one to run to the doc for a cold or flu, they can't do anything for you anyway, it's just a needless expense. I have found over the years that if I fight my way through the occasional sickness with ibuprofen and good nutrition, I get sick much less often than my friends who are hooked on antibiotics. The fact that I eat a healthy vegan diet (as opposed to an unhealthy vegan diet full of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup and fried foods) and exercise moderately leaves me much less vulnerable to most "big" diseases, but even if I come down with one, chances are I won't be able to pay for the treatment.

I don't have health insurance because the insurance industry's number one job is to find a way not to pay back the tens of thousands that you've paid them over the years. It is quite literally their business model. I used to have it but came to see it as a false sense of security: even if you get sick or injured, chances are they will find a way to disqualify you. Then you're sick and frustrated with the unmistakable feeling that you've been screwed. Since I'm self employed there is no one to pay for part of mine, so it's like another mortgage payment each month to carry even bare-bones catastrophic.

So I've gotten used to the idea that as long as I live in the U.S. if I get really sick, I'll just die. I won't care after I'm dead, any more than I care what I'm missing when I'm asleep. Quality of life is more important to me than quantity, so I do what I can to keep myself healthy and if I get unlucky anyway, so be it. I'd rather die at home (or at my own hands if it gets too painful) than in a hospital hooked to machinery and leaving my family bankrupt or with a huge insurance company battle on their hands.

I know this isn't conventional and doesn't make sense to most people, but it's my choice. To hell with doctors, insurance companies and our corrupt health care system; I'm tired of buying yachts for others. We've known it sucks for a long time and we refuse to fix it.

For now, my motto: Eat right, exercise, die like a human. Of course, my tune might change if I get diagnosed with something wicked. It's easy to talk this way when you're still healthy.


dionysus1999 said...

I'm a very lax vegetarian. It's funny how often people equate vegetarianism with healthy eating habits. One of the most unhealthy people I knew in college was a vegan who ate way too much deep fried food.

Piraro said...

@dionysys 1999...totally true. I know a number of obese vegans. It can be the healthiest diet on the planet, or just another type of junk food that destroys your body.

Cecilie said...

It feels so relieving somehow, reading your thoughts on and approach to health insurance, because I feel exactly the same way. And like you pointed out, a lot of people don't get that approach and think it's really weird (and thus, in the case of my acquaintances, keep trying to make me change my mind through repetitive nagging). So this is the kind of post that just makes me go: THANK YOU! Finally someone gets it - and without me even having to explain it. :)

MikeTeeVee said...

Diet and exercise (and lucky genes) might keep you healthy, but what if you're injured? Maybe you have a choice between a knee operation and being in a wheelchair. The injury doesn't kill you, but lack of treatment affects your quality of life.

The US health insurance system is a mess, so it's hard to fault a self-employed person for not buying expensive coverage.

Katherine said...

I think you're a very brave and sensible person. I'm going to be a doctor, but I never go to mine. I always get better on my own. I guess I would go if I broke my arm or something like that.

Allan Koay said...

antibiotics. i got a little story there:
i used to fall sick a lot when i was younger. i took a lot of antibiotics. yes, sure, i got well quick, but i also fell ill a lot more often. then one day, i decided to go cold turkey and stay off antibiotics when i was sick again. it was one of the toughest weeks of my life, the suffering was terrible. but in the end i got well and didn't fall ill again as often. and when i do, it's minor and i get well again real quick.

so, stay off antibiotics if you can help it!!

dannybuntu said...


We have exactly the same philosophy in life. Except that I'm not vegan.

Vegetables are a big part of our diet though, since we are practically living in an agricultural community.

That said, we have a saying here in the Philippines:

"It is illegal to get sick"

My grandma would put it another way - "It is illegal to not have money."

patrick said...

My wife is a vegetarian, and she really craves sugar. I keep telling her that sugar doesn't count as one of her "five a day" fruits/vegs.

Allan Koay said...

“People in North Korea don’t bother going to the hospital if they don’t have money because everyone knows that you have to pay for service and treatment. If you don’t have money, you die,” said a 20-year-old woman who lived in the city of Chongjin, in the northeast of the country, before fleeing North Korea two years ago.

sounds familiar, huh? and this is in North Korea!

ojeano said...

I don't imagine you miss much while you're asleep.

Thank you for the context in the famous migrant family photo - I'd always only seen the mother and baby, and pictured them looking out the window of a ramshackle shack at least!

Hopefully soon we will all have fair health coverage so if something bad and fixable happens, you'll be good and fixedup.

Sometimes I have a big A in my heart and it is rather pokey.

rhhardin said...

The hyped fear is that you will get very very sick but _won't die_, which requires a huge insurance policy.

And even if you fall into that unlikely crack, they won't renew your policy, and you'll hit lifetime limits anyway.

Look for a cash for service doctor and forget it.

Susan said...

I hope your healthy life style doesn't include really smoking that cigar! Just wondering.................