Saturday, November 28, 2009

I guess I needed glasses...

Had an eye test done not long ago. Really, my distance vision isn't much better than close up, but close up was the worst. She wanted to write a prescription for bifocals, but since I've never worn glasses before, she didn't want to do that. However, I need to get my eyes tested regularly because I'll be needing the bifocals before I know it. I'd had problems with distances before, but my eyes tested so well, that they really didn't know how to write a prescription for it. My vision has always been way better than 20/20. So the last time I got my eyes tested, in 2003, they wrote me a weak prescription for distances. It really didn't improve my vision much, so I never wore them except maybe at night when I was driving in an unfamiliar location and needed to read street signs. Really, I can make out most things just fine. So, I hadn't gotten tested since then (not good, but I didn't have insurance and I figured it would be like the last time and my vision would test better than 20/20 and there'd be nothing they could really do for me). But I guess it's been getting worse since then. But the new glasses help when I read. I hope that if I really have trouble with distances I can get contacts or something instead of glasses and just wear reading glasses, like now. That way I don't need bifocal contacts. I don't think I could do that. I also don't really want to do the bifocal glasses either because there are times I really don't want glasses on. I'm very petite (only 4'9") and most glasses are loose on me and fall off or down my nose. Sometimes I need both hands, like when I'm painting, and I can't push them back up or put them back on. As it is, my sunglasses are dirty and constantly need cleaning because my eyelashes are long and very straight. There's almost no curve to them at all. So they rub on the lenses and my mascara gets all over them. I don't want to be cleaning glasses all the time, either. But I wear sunglasses a lot because sunlight triggers migraines for me, so I really can't go out without them. But I hate wearing them. Anyway, at least now I can read. Hopefully there won't be a new prescription too soon. We had a 50% off coupon and my glasses were $120. I picked the cheapest frames I could and I didn't even get bifocals. I knew glasses were expensive, but in 2003 I had an awesome vision plan that was included in my health insurance plan and I got the exam and glasses with frames up to $150, so I got designer frames, and I still could get the anti-glare, anti-scratch, UV, transitions lenses, etc., all for only $10. Of course, that was then and no insurance is as good nowadays as that plan was. The plans cost more and cover less. Such a rip off. I know I've already railed against our lack of a national health care system, so I won't do it again. But I have a friend living in England and she wants to move to the U.S. She loves everything about the country except that we don't have national health care. She has diabetes and her health care costs would be quite high if she lived over here as she's got all sorts of complications that I don't want to go into, for her sake. But that's the thing that keeps her from moving here. That sucks, really. I mean, we live in an awesome place. But we shouldn't have to pay so much just to stay healthy. The way it is now, only rich people are healthy. That just seems very un-American to me. Anyway...

So, everything is fine. New glasses. Thyroid still off. My joints are aching and not feeling very lubricated. I feel like everything is rusty and not moving. Hopefully that will improve when my hormone levels are back to normal and I don't have some form of arthritis, which would be my kind of luck. I can't afford glucosamine although I've taken it in the past and it works pretty well. But it costs as much as one of my prescriptions, even at Sam's, so that's not going to happen. I can't afford a decent knee brace. I have a crappy compression brace, but it does nothing at all to keep my knee cap from popping in and out of place. When that happens, I fall over, especially if I'm on stairs, but that's not the only time. Well, a decent brace would hopefully help, but they're not any cheaper than the glucosamine. So I guess I just have to somehow tolerate the pain for a few months and hopefully it will stop. I have one bad knee that always gives me trouble anyway, but it's been worse than usual and both knees are doing it now. That bad one will probably keep giving me trouble even after my hormone levels return to normal, but at least it will be like before and not like it is now.

Well, enough griping. Hope everyone had a decent Thanksgiving. Mine was fine. Spent 2 days eating with both sides of the fam since parents aren't together anymore. But it was good. R, C, and E couldn't make it and probably won't be over for Christmas either, but I didn't really think they would since they came earlier and I doubt they have the money to come again. Still, I enjoyed the holiday as much as I can when I'm depressed and my grandmother is too and starts crying that we're not all together and she doesn't know when she's going to die (she's been saying this for 30 years and you'd think her death was imminent the way she's always talking about it and making plans for her funeral, etc.). Still, she is at least planning Christmas, so that's a good sign that she's feeling okay. She still wants to go shopping this weekend, although she wouldn't go shopping with me and Dad on Friday. Apparently, she can only do it on her schedule and nothing spontaneous. But, that's Grandma! I just hope she wasn't lying to me when I asked her if her doctor said it was okay (she goes downtown and walks all around down there on foot since she can't drive and is stubbornly refusing to learn how even after all these years even though she can never get a ride from anyone). Hopefully she'll have a good time, though, since this is something she does every weekend and seems to get enjoyment out of haggling for the best deals (yes, she haggles, even at Sears, JC Penney, Macy's, etc.--the shocking thing is that it works and she gets really good deals somehow--I'd be too chicken to try it as I'm sure they think she's difficult and I have a hard enough time thinking that people are calling me a bitch to my face and behind my back). Anyway....going now.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Well, I haven't been up to much. I know most of the time, I'm talking about my mental health, but I've got other conditions that bother me as well. Mainly my thyroid, but I also get nauseous and get fainting spells that cause me to miss work. The nausea doesn't sound bad, but it can get quite severe. They thought I had stomach flu one time when I was sick and it keeps recurring, so it can't be stomach flu. But I miss so much work that my employers don't like it and I almost got fired from my last job. Finally, I just quit. I guess I'd rather quit than get fired, but I know I'd just continue to get sick and the job wasn't helping my mental state either. It was a very high-stress office. But anyway, I got sick again recently, for about 4 1/2 days. Usually these nausea episodes don't last QUITE that long, usually only a day or two. But this time I was so sick I could hardly get out of bed. And before anyone says anything, I've had loads of tests done to find out what could be causing this, and nothing ever turns up. Is it just anxiety? Surely then, I'd be having fewer episodes then, when my stress level is lower, like now. Nothing much going on my life right now except happy stuff. My sister visited and I had a good time with her, although she was only here for a weekend. But it was great, and we even visited my grandmother, who'd had a mild heart attack, but was doing well. It was good to see her feeling so well and she was laughing (?!) and telling jokes . We also got some information from her regarding our family tree project for my nephew. My grandmother is obviously doing very well, so I'm not worried about her. Her doctor says she's doing great and the medication is working for her. If I was going to get sick, I'd think I'd get sick when I heard about her heart attack a while back, but I didn't. Anyway, later, I'd been painting, and actually, despite the attempt to paint my dog, that I've posted here, I've been getting a good response to my paintings and I've had my little sis commission two more from me. Hopefully, that will lead to more opportunities as she's got a good social life and lots of friends. I've enjoyed the work on top of that, and I'm getting more used to how the acrylic paints behave as opposed to oils. They're very different and I'm having to adjust my style considerably (which is why the examples I've posted looks so weird. Oils are very forgiving and you can make corrections easily. Not so with acrylics; they're too transparent for big mistakes). I've figured out how to do this almost color-block teqnique that seems to work okay, althlough I think I still need some practice getting the stylization level to what will work for me. But I feel that painting lets of some stress when I do have a little. It helps me deal with things that are going on, like when family members don't seem to understand my illnesses and all that comes with them. Most of them are trying to, though, so it doesn't happen often, which is the great thing about my family.

The only thing that happened recently that was not good was that I had my thyroid tested and my TSH, which is supposed to be around 1, was at almost 8. I can't even say how bad that is. Well, I'm sort of a miracle anyway because when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, my TSH was 877. No, that is NOT a typo. A lot of labs don't test for levels that high because it's not usually medically possible for them to get that high. You'd die long before. But I have the test results to prove it, and was retested just to be sure. The second test confirmed the first test. Weird, I know. Have no idea how I was okay and walking around and functioning with levels that high, but I'm okay, obviously. Anyway, so now my doctor raised the dose of my Levoxyl (didn't take well to Synthroid for some reason). I need to get re-tested in 60 days and maybe raise the dose again. He doesn't want to raise it too fast because there's a risk of heart palpitations. Ugh. I don't want that for sure. I'm already in a few risk groups for heart disease (diabetes, too--yikes). The bad part about my thyroid levels being off (and this should have been a clue that something was wrong, but I always assume I did something wrong myself before I think it might be medical) is that I gained almost 20 pounds. It's not that I care if I'm fat for looks or anything, although I can't say I like the way I look fat, but the main reason is, of course, that I don't want diabetes. It scares the heck out of me. I've got a friend with it, and my b-i-l's aunt had it. I don't want it. Plus, that isn't good for your heart or anything else, for that matter. So, I've got to diet and exercise, which is hard for me. Especially the exercise, although I know it's super-important if you're bipolar to get cardiovascular exercise. The problem is that cardiovascular exercise is my least-favorite kind. I prefer weight lifting or something like that. So, I've got to renew my efforts, somehow. My bedroom is always hot. It's only about 57 out right now (of course it's after 10 for it to get that cool--usually this time of year it's in the mid to upper 70s during the day), but my bedroom gets up to 87 during the day. It's down to 84 right now since it's nighttime and the sun isn't coming in. But I can't stand being hot. Long story from when I was a teenager. My mom wasn't well and was severly anemic and she had the heater in the apartment on in July when it was over 100 F out. It used to be that the heat down here in South Texas didn't bother me much. I was used to it. But after that time in my life I can't stand it. I even get rashes and such when I get too hot. I hate it. Really, I'd just go in another room to work out, but there isn't another place big enough. I don't know what to do. Work out and overheat, I guess.

Anyway, I guess that's it for now. I've got some problems with my eyesight, and will probably have to check my eyes soon. Mostly I have problems with serif fonts, which is why I always choose to type in a sans-serif font. It's much easier to read. I read a lot, too, so that's why I noticed it. I was getting words confused and transposing letter sometimes and even not being able to make out certain letters at all. They just looked like strange symbols to me. I'm not sure why they're not clear. I don't know if it's fatigue (in which case, it wouldn't be bothering me as much as it is because it seems to do it all the time not just later in the day). I don't know if it's just too dim in here. But the computer is just as hard to read sometimes, so I don't think that's the case either. It could just be a part of normal aging. I almost 40 now. I don't know. It just seems like everything happens at once moneywise. Hopefully I can find a place that can do it that isn't too expensive and save up for the upcoming blood test. Still, I have time, so I'm not too worried. Anyway, hope everyone out there is doing well. Have a good Thanksgiving for you Americans out there. I'm going to be at little sis' with Dad. Should be good. : )

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Artwork

These are based on the automatic thoughts that come into my head when I'm depressed.

When people criticize me, this is how I feel...

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Am I just a little down on myself or something? Sometimes I wonder if I just IMAGINE slights that people give me. Am I just so sure that someone is going to say something offensive that I make something offensive out of nothing? Why is it that I feel I'm being treated so unfairly and even rudely be everyone else? Is it all in my head? Am I really a bitch like everyone says? Really? Is it me? I do feel like people think it's funny to make fun of me, and I try to go along with it and not take it to heart, but it does hurt. Sometimes the jokes can go a little too far and people don't even realize they've hurt my feelings at all. Am I just being ignored? Do people just use me as a tool for their amusement and then not care about me at all?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nightmares and Anxiety

Big problem with me is anxiety. I know my dad was diagnosed with OCD when I was a kid, but he probably had some other problems that were never diagnosed. I know my therapist thought I had social anxiety disorder (I'd buy that. I didn't talk to anyone except my parents and my twin sister until I was 7 years old). But I know I've got other anxiety problems as well. I probably have some symptoms of OCD, although I don't do the usual ritualistic behaviors that my dad does. I just have general anxiety and obsessive thoughts associated with it. When I first started on anti-depressants, it helped a lot. I started being able to do things I'd never been able to do before, like sleep with a door cracked open or with my feet uncovered. I could talk to people I didn't already know. It was nice. But it seems like my anxiety symptoms are coming back. Actually, even on anti-depressants, I was still shy, just not cripplingly shy like before. But lately, I'm back to checking the doors to make sure they're all closed and covering my feet, etc. It bugs me that my closet in this apartment doesn't have a door, so there's this big black yawning space staring at me all night and it freaks me out sometimes. I have to sleep with the TV on (it lights up the room, but is dimmer than having the lamp on, so I'm still able to "sleep").

Sometimes my anxiety level gets so high, that I'll get nauseous and start throwing up over and over again and I can't stop (which is why I have promethazine tablets in my house). I'll start having tremors (probably tardive diskenesia ). I once became so short of breath that I thought I was having an asthma attack, but it turned out to be that there was no medical reason for it, so they blamed it on anxiety. I started having panic attacks shortly before my last trip to LA (no scarlet fever this time, yea!). I really did believe I would die if I got on that plane. Really, there was no doubt in my mind that it would happen. The only bright side I can see to that is that at least it was unappealing to me to die. So, the only thing I can think is that this must be somehow related to the bipolar disorder somehow, because my anxiety symptoms seemed to get worse as I got more depressed. However, on the Lamictal, I feel like I'm already not as depressed. But my anxiety has yet to get any better. I've been having nightmares every night for the past week. It's always something bad happening to a loved one. Last night, it was that my mother died and had probably been murdered. I woke up devastated and couldn't get back to sleep in my grief. I just couldn't believe it was just a dream. I was so relieved when I heard her wake up and walk her dog. I just dread what I'll dream tonight, if I can even get to sleep at all. Since I haven't been sleeping well, I've been groggy and unable to get anything done (well, less than usual anyway). I did, however, make an attempt to vacuum my bedroom, because they were "inspecting" our apartments the next day, only to find out that the vacuum is broken. Ugh. So, nothing has worked out lately.

My mom and I were going to go out to eat today (spending money neither of us actually had--but it's been months since we actually went out to eat that we felt like splurging--and it's finally gotten down below 100F). I had won a $50 gift card for this local wine bar. Neither of us really enjoy wine, but it's also a restaurant and somewhat reasonably-priced at lunchtime. So we've eaten there a couple of times. I still had $5 left on the card, so we'd have gotten a discount if we ate there today. We get to the restaurant, and I pull on the handle only to find the restaurant locked. They were totally closed and have discontinued lunch service altogether. Well, the place is too expensive at dinner, so I guess that's it. Goodbye, $5. We thought we'd see a movie then, but nothing was showing at the decent theaters that we really wanted to spend that much money on (already saw "District 9" a while back--it's really awesome, for those of you who haven't seen it). So that didn't work out either. I mean, we never do anything together and we so rarely go out that it was really disappointing. I did manage to pick up a "birthday cake" for my baby, but it took all my spending money for the week (no, the cake was not that expensive--I just really have that little spending money). I guess maybe it was good that we didn't see the movie or I'd have ended up putting it on my credit card (yet another bipolar topic altogether--already have one bankruptcy and don't want another). Anyway, it's just really hard to de-stress and relax when things have been the way they are. I know I should exercise, but it's 85-87F in my bedroom. It's just too hot to do it in there. Luckily, today it's only 81F since it's only 75F outside. I'd go hiking in a local park, except that it's also raining. Normally, that would make me feel bummed out, but we've been in a drought and we needed that rain sooooo badly. We've lucked out this summer in that there weren't any wildfires even though it was the hottest and dryest summer on record. But, it's not like I want to go traipsing around in mud, so no hiking. There's no mall near us. I just don't know what to do. I just feel like I never get to do anything fun and I'm always doing what everyone else wants me to do instead of what I want to do. I never get to make my own decisions it feels like. Well, I do have a bankruptcy, so maybe I can see why no one trusts me with money. Ugh. I just don't know what to do. I miss shopping. : (

Monday, September 21, 2009

Can't Sleep!

Well, another night when I sleep weird. I got to sleep fine with melatonin, although I had to take 2 3mg pills since one won't do the trick. Then I have to take a Xanax even though I hate doing it. But nighttime is the time I'm most anxious and stressed out for some reason. Still, I slept fine at first, then I wake up (as usual) and can't get back to sleep. I woke up just before 3 and it's now almost 5am. Sucks because I don't get enough sleep as it is, and that's supposed to help my recovery. It's also good to wake up at the same time every day, but like that's going to happen when I've only gotten 4 hours of sleep. Then I'm groggy all day. I guess I should say that I have bipolar II, so I don't have the kind of mania where I can get by on less sleep, or when I'm euphoric and happy. I tend to be irritable and impatient with people and my racing thoughts keep me awake, along with anxiety. I should at least say that on the Lamictal I haven't been as depressed, and even when I'm manic it doesn't seem to be as bad as before. Still, I'd like it if I could get a decent night of sleep. Well, when I'm depressed I can hardly stay awake and that's not good either. I just want my sleep cycle to normalize and I can get on with my day without feeling wiped out and exhausted. Plus, I'm having difficulty motivating myself to do normal things. Like, sometimes I can't make myself brush my teeth or take a shower. I haven't vacuumed since we moved into the new place, which hasn't been that long really, but long enough that I need to vacuum pretty badly. So, I don't know if I'm having a mixed episode and not just complete mania or depression. Then again, all the drugs they give me cause fatigue, so I don't know how I'm ever supposed to have any energy. Ugh.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Noisy new place...

Well, it's been a while since I was blogging. For one thing, I got extremely depressed and did not want to have anything to do with anybody or anything. I'm still not working. My disability case is still being worked on, but I got a lawyer this time. Been denied twice so far. Now it's down to a hearing sometime in the future (really, couldn't this be speeded up somehow?). I hope I'll hear about it enough in advance to prepare. It's been months since this whole thing started. Really, with me being suicidal and not being able to afford treatment, that's not good that I have to wait that long. Even so, I know that there is medical care available with the disability payments. It's just that it's cost-prohibitive. I doubt it helps at all, because I'd be paying for the plan, plus deductibles and co-payments. When you add all that up, it will probably be more expensive than what I'm paying now with no coverage. Gosh our medical system sucks. And no, I haven't seen "Sicko". I hear it's good, but I'm afraid it will just make me more pissed at the government than I already am. Yes, I'm jaded. I admit it.

Anyway, in other news, we've moved. Could no longer afford the old apartment and had to move into one that is $200 a month cheaper. So, nowhere near as nice, not that we could afford anything really nice the first time. The neighbors are noisy and the apartment management (who put it in the lease that loud noise was unacceptable) do nothing at all. Actually, they don't do much about anything else unless you badger them several times. My drain was stopped up for weeks! So, although my room is bigger and there's actually a walk-in closet for all my art supplies (well, some are stored at Grandma's--even the walk-in closet wasn't big enough for ALL of it), I still feel bummed and irritable because it's never just quiet. I need quiet sometimes. I just can't relax with noise going on all the time. I'm not sleeping well. It's certainly not helping my mood or my depression.

Still, on the Lamictal, I'm doing somewhat better. We're up to 75 mg a day now. I've only been on the new dose for a couple of days, though. On 50 mg, I was still having episodes, although they didn't seem quite as severe (still bad enough, though). I'm still taking Trileptal, although I don't see the point. I guess my doctor was afraid to take me off of it without the Lamictal being up to theraputic levels yet. But really, if the Trileptal had worked I wouldn't be needing the Lamictal. My anxiety has gotten worse. I had panic attacks and went back up to 100 mg of Zoloft, although I know it could make the manic episodes come back. I just couldn't stand the panic attacks. Hopefully this will all get straightened out at some point. I know my doctor doesn't want me on too many medications and will take me off the Trileptal and Zoloft when I'm feeling better. Hopefully that won't be too much longer. I'm really sick of this.

Anyway, I guess I just had to vent a little. Not much going on except medical stuff most of the time. I was volunteering at this artist-in-residence program/art gallery here in town. However, they said they didn't need me this coming semester. I'm really sorry about that because I enjoyed it, even though all I could manage was 10 hours a week (and was sick for 4 days in the 2 months I was there). At least since I was a volunteer I didn't get fired. I will finish the neon pieces that need to be done, but after that I don't know. I let them know I'm interested in working there permanently, although it will have to be part-time, of course.

Well, I guess that's all for now. Hope everyone out there is feeling okay and not as depressed as I am.

Friday, January 16, 2009

US Health Care

Okay, I've just got to vent here. I'm pissed. The generic of Lamictal is $92 at my local pharmacy. I am not working anymore and not eligible for unemployment. I'm going to be applying for disability, but not likely to be approved, and anyway it's only a pittance and not enough to live on. There's no way I could get assistance with my medications except a line of credit which has to be paid in full at the end of every month. Well, if I had the money every month for the prescriptions, I wouldn't need their help, now, would I? I have trouble holding down a job with bipolar disorder. I get stressed and then I get extremely depressed and suicidal after only a few months. On top of all this trouble I've been having, I just found out how much my prescription costs in Canada. It's $59 for 100 pills, not the 30 pills I got over here. That's a little over a 3 month supply, and it's almost half of what I paid here. It's the exact same prescription! This is ridiculous! And if I were Canadian, I wouldn't have to pay for it at all!!!! Why is it that America is supposed to be the best country in the world, and we don't have national health care. Why are people so afraid of that? Why? It's completely irrational. Are they thinking they'll never get sick? Are they thinking that it's okay for people to rack up thousands of dollards in debt to pay medical expenses and end up declaring bankruptcy? That's OKAY to these people. I think it's wrong and shameful that our country allows that to happen. We're supposed to be the best country in the world, aren't we? Aren't we supposed to be the shining example of democracy that everyone else wants to follow our example? Aren't we? My friend L in Australia has schizophrenia. She gets her medical expenses paid by the state. She gets set up in an apartment of her own (which she couldn't do without their help--they have medical personel on staff to help, then she gets set up in a regular apartment after that). She gets regular doctor appointments. She gets disability payments every 2 weeks. AND she's allowed to work while this happens. That would NEVER happen in the United States, because apparently we think that mental illness is not important enough or life-threatening enough (if you're mentally ill, you KNOW that's not true) or else that it's not a real illness and it's all the ill person's fault. In England, where S lives, they have national health care and she doesn't have to pay for her diabetes treatments, even though she has severe complications. She gets disability as well. On top of that, their income tax is higher than ours and they have a separate tax for health care, although it's cheaper than insurance payments for us Americans. It all takes about 40% of her husband's income. BUT, they still afford go on regular overseas trips and they get 5 weeks of vacation a year, if not more. They have GUARRANTEED vacation--4 weeks minimum BY LAW. America doesn't even require ANY vacation time. WHY NOT? You're lucky if you get even 2 weeks (which won't happen unless you've been at an employer for several years, usually). That's just crazy. We complain so much about how high our taxes are. They're not even that high. They're among the lowest and that's because we have this stupid capitalist system that says we should pay for everything ourselves and screw you if you're poor or ill. So I just feel like Americans get screwed by the government and we're just supposed to accept the propaganda that our country is so great and we're better off than everyone else. Bullshit. Our country should do more for us. They really could do better. If I could afford to move to Canada I would. Sorry US. Love the country. Hate the government. And I swear that I'll really have a chip on my shoulder if Obama can't get us national health care, because it's about time we did have it. Or are the Republicans so rich that they don't need it and don't see any reason any one else should have a problem affording their doctors or medications? They're so out of touch and if they sabotage Obama's plan I'll hate them even more than I already do. Our country is supposed to be better than this. The government should do better and take care of our people. That's what they're supposed to do. Isn't it? Isn't that their role? They're supposed to maintain law and order, protect the nation from threats, protect the economy, and take care of those less fortunate that others. Taxes pay for that. Shouldn't we get what we pay for? If it were a product in the store, we'd have returned it because it's defective. Capitalism doesn't work. It just makes people greedy for money and they only look out for their own interests. We can't expect private coorporations to handle health care. They're not doing a good job now. Too many people fall through the cracks and it makes me very, very, very mad. I know there are people worse off than me moneywise and healthwise. My family helps the best they can, but it's not fair to them. Neither of my parents are rich, and anyway I'm 37 years old! It's not their job anymore to take care of me. And if I'm having problems I know there are people much worse off than me. This poor woman I used to work with had some weird immune disorder where her immune system was attacking all the cells in her body, including her heart and lungs. She has to have chemo frequently and she gets sick a lot. But she couldn't afford to pay her bills, so she had to leave a job she loved to take something that's not even in her field and that she hates (she's miserable and depressed now) just because the pay was better. Even then, that's not enough. She'll be paying that debt for the rest of her life because there's no cure (they don't even know what it is) and she'll need treatment forever. She might end up losing her job because of missed work. What's she supposed to do? Even if she could get disability, it probably wouldn't be as much as she's making now. How can she pay her bills? She's going to end up in bankruptcy over and over again because of the constant chemo. She racks up $15,000 of debt a day during chemo. She doesn't make that much in a month, much less in a day. And with inflation, the bills will go up higher faster than her income will. That's not fair. Why should she have to struggle like that for some illness that she had no control over? Why is it that France (a country many Americans hate) treats its people better than we do? They get a minimum of 5 weeks of vacation a year (by law), although most employers offer more than that or no one would want the job. They have a 35 hour work week. They have national health care (it even covers pre-natal care and even other costs for the mother after the birth--like someone to come take care of your house for you so you can concentrate on the baby!). Oh, I could just go on and on. I doubt anyone would change their mind on national health care because of this, but I just had to vent my frustrations. But I'm really, really, really pissed and disappointed in the US right now.