Point of View: Ah, Medicare

God, it’s been a long time coming

“We can get sick now!” I said to Mary, as she enthused over the pain-free coverage we’ll receive as a result of enrolling in our AARP supplemental plans.

God, it’s been a long time coming. All those years when we feared we’d lose everything were we to become debilitated, those years when I would say, in my usually glib (but not altogether off-base) fashion that a night at Southampton Hospital (or in any hospital, to be fair) would run one $10,000. 

Consquently, we tried desperately to stay healthy, however stressful that was, and now that we’re soon to be nestled within the bosom of Medicare we can have all these unattended-to ills treated, and at virtually no charge. 

Mary can trace a bum knee to wrathful waging of wretched weed warfare, and I suspect I have stage four terminal alliteration, but while it’s a pre-existing condition, Medi­care covers the surgery, I hear, and the rather long subsequent period of rehabilitation. You’ll note that I said “hear.” Because of new hearing aids, provided by Emily Bunce of ENT and Allergy, of Southampton, I can pay attention for the first time in my life, and now there are no longer any excuses when someone maintains I’ve made them sound smarter or funnier than they really are. 

“I can even hear better than the dogs!” I said to Mary after she’d pulled into the driveway one night recently and I’d bounded up from the couch while O’en and Marley continued to just lie there, oblivious, as I used to be. Soon we were all at her. When she said, “Sit and lie down,” we immediately did.

As for the new aids, it took me five years to act. (I played Hamlet once and I’ve been majoring in avoidance ever since.) That was when Emily, during a lifeguard tournament at Main Beach, first suggested I drop by. I had become fatalistic — none of the aids I’d had over the years worked all that well. Too much feedback, they died in the dampness, my ears itched, and the music was never loud enough. (I was in my early 70s when the cops knocked at the door during Johnna and Wally’s wedding in Palm Springs and asked me to tone it down.)

Now I’m hearing things, all sorts of things — mostly musical, as when I pee, but frequently cacophonous. Nothing’s left to the imagination now. I wonder if Medicare will pay for an implant.

At any rate, if something is gaining on me, I’ll be able to hear it now and step aside.