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Precious Being and a Burden - Dhamma Wheel

Precious Being and a Burden

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
sattva
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Precious Being and a Burden

Postby sattva » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:27 am

I had an interesting talk this morning with a long-time Zen friend. I was telling her about a procedure that my one doctor would like to do if it can be okayed by my insurance company. It would involve going to the hospital every day for about 40 straight days, i think, for about an hour or two a day. I laughed and said to my friend, "I have probably cost my health insurance company(a managed care program through Medicaid) this year alone more than i have made financially my entire life. I can't help feeling that i am a burden to society."

She told me not to go there, that i am a precious human being. I have thought about it and both statements are true. I can look at it somewhat dispassionately. This year just in office visits, i have seen a family doctor numerous times, a cardiologist twice, a heart surgeon twice (i think, maybe 3 times, not sure), a kidney doctor 3 times, an infectuous doctor twice, a wound care doctor about 6 of 7 times. the pulmonary doctor maybe 3 or 4 times, an ophthamologist three times, a low-vision specialist, and am set to see a retinal doctor at the end of the month.

I go to the wound care center twice a week since about May. I have been to the emergency room once. I was admitted to the hospital for 5 days in July (I saw the family doctor, the infectuous doctor, the wound care doctor and the pulmonary doctor while in there, as well as visits from respiratory therapists. I received IV antibiotic treatments every other day since September till this week. Have had a picc line put in (which they haven't taken out yet), so many x-rays that i can't count them, blood work, blood work, and more blood work, respiratory testing, a bone scan, a CT scan (i think only one). I have had a pharmaceutical stress test, echocardiogram, and cardiac catherization. I am so aware of the resources i am using. I think i have covered everything. :rolleye:

Yes, I meditate every day. Yes, i am a human being deserving of help and compassion but i am still using vital resources. I wonder about this at times. In Zen there are several stories about old monks/teachers who can no longer contribute to the community and stop eating. I have no plans to do that. I am kind of fond of food :D but i still wonder if all of these resources are being wasted on me, a person who probably at best only has a few years to live. Of course, you never know.

I mentioned this conversation i had to my sister and she didn't want to talk about it. I don't know. I mean i think it is a valid question. Is there a limit to the resources that should be spent/used on any one individual? I am not old, nor young. I will be, hopefully, 58 in a few weeks, but this can be a question asked about any person who may have multiple health problems that seem to drag on and on. I don't feel it is about compassion or lack of compassion, but sort of putting the money where it could be better used, like seeing that children have health care and food. What do you all think?
:anjali:

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retrofuturist
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:43 am

Greetings Sattva,

If not spent on you, the government would just spend it on guns and ammo.

:guns:

Take care, friend.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

sattva
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby sattva » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:51 am


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Ben
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby Ben » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:52 am

Dear Louise,

The resources are not being wasted on you. You pay insurance premiums, the insurance company invests your premiums in capital markets and then pays your medical costs as per the contractual arrangement you enterd into (or someone else entered into on your behalf).
Feeling as though you are undeserving is natural but try to look at it this way.
The medical treatment is extending your life so that you can continue to practice, to continue to walk along the path.
As my teacher would say Make best use of your time. This is the only time in which to practice.
All my metta and merits,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

sattva
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby sattva » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:05 am


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manas
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby manas » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:55 am

*warning: admonishment coming up*

'Ahem' - sattva, are you forgetting the law of cause and effect? You really think all that care you are receiving wasn't 'earned' (so to speak) by you in some previous existence, by kind, wholesome, caring acts?

I'm going to argue, and not without justification, that your own previous good actions are the cause of every single bit of care you are receiving now. Your own good actions are simply returning to greet you. Yes, thank the doctors, nurses and caring friends and family, etc...but you might as well remember to thank yourself, too:

When, after a long absence, a person safely returns from afar, her relatives, friends and well-wishers welcome her home on arrival.

As kinsmen welcome a dear one on arrival, even so her own good deeds will welcome the doer of good who has gone from this world to the next.


My point is, this is that 'next world' - and all that wonderful health care is / are the good deeds returning to you!

So, accept it with a carefree heart... :heart:

:anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

palchi
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby palchi » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:06 am

The health care you get is your basic human right Sattva. Many of the internationa human rights treaties - including those the US has signed up to - repeat that every human being has the right to the 'highest attainable standard of health'.

Wishing you all the very best!
:hug:

palchi

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tiltbillings
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:53 am


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David N. Snyder
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:34 am

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chownah
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby chownah » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:12 am

sattva ,
I think that the only real burden that any of us has is our delusional concept of self. When one is successful at banishing this delusion I think that mostly it is all pretty delightful.....it is sort of too bad that we can only do this for ourselves and not for others....but in working to accomplish this for ourselves we inevitably help others if for no other reason than by example.
chownah

pegembara
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby pegembara » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:53 am

Hi sattva,

The decision is not yours to make. The stakeholders ie. insurance companies, taxpayers, doctors etc have already determined that you get what you get. Just accept with a gracious and thankful heart.

Regards
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

sattva
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby sattva » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:59 pm

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful and insightful posts. You sure had me thinking. There is some validity in each one of your replies and what I am left with is a synthesis of all of our insights.
:group: :bow:

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Ben
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby Ben » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:09 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Fede
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Re: Precious Being and a Burden

Postby Fede » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:21 pm

Next time i mention a headache, somebody - kick me.....

Thanks.

@sattva: :namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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