My friend Mike posts Mirror Mantras to help him get through the week, and I’ve decided to join the positivity.

With the next two weeks of finals ahead of me, I figured I’d need something to keep me from regretting the “I didn’t study enough” / “I studied the wrong stuff” / “I’m being way too negative about this whole thing” perceptions that surely will infiltrate after one of these exams.

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And I still can’t find a black (or not pink) Sharpie.

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As I was tweeting with Mike earlier about the difficulties he and I were having with this prompt, I was blank. I was so, so blind to the fact that I have been having an amazing conversation for the last twenty-four or so hours with friends, new and old, on Twitter. The thing about Twitter conversations is that there are so many that are so full of goodness, I often find myself lost in the ideas and not present in the conversation that builds these ideas.

I cannot recapture all of the conversation from last night with Jamie, Larry, Tom and Carrie Lynn, because there were too many ideas, too many tweets, and too long of an amazing discussion of an eruption of tweets, rapid-fire, between two countries–one state and two provinces, Twitter, the facilitator hepling to make our big, big world just a bit smaller. It spawned from my mention of trying to get myself to Toronto in August . . . and then the volcano erupted.

Chronic Roadtrip was born.  A journey being discovered, a plan being determined, a purpose being ignited. A spark we want to spread into a flame of empowerment for people with chronic diseases, like Jamie, Larry, Tom, Carrie Lynn and I.  Except they [ahem: Tom] are going to steal my pancreas as mine is kickass [read: I don’t have diabetes], whereas I’m going to cough while their pumps and meters beep, and Larry’s guide dog Keeta barks.  It’s gonna be an epic chorus in our adventure, wherever it goes.

There is very little solidly determined to formulate a road map, and very little I can say, especially at this point in the journey.

If we are even to make it happen it may involve August, an RV and plenty of adventure with a purpose: education and empowerment.

Ready, set, go, go, go!

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Those of you following on Twitter may have seen my tweets the last few days regarding medical ID. And 140 characters is not a lot of space for me to effectively communicate my thoughts on the whole price-gouging thing MedicAlert Canada seems to be doing.

I became a MedicAlert member in August 2011, and have six months left on my prepaid membership. When I signed up, I chose the Advantage membership at $49/year, plus the cost of ID. I have two sportbands and a stainless steel ID, and I love them. I love the security of the MedicAlert service, especially in that I am active, travel, and often, nobody was home if the number on my generic ID was called (more details of why I chose to join MedicAlert are in the above-linked post).  A few months ago, MedicAlert Canada announced the increase in their membership fees from $39 for a Standard membership or $49 for an Advantage membership, to a $5/month membership to link all members up with Advantage–a total of $60 a year for the exact same service.

The price gouge was done to upgrade all members to Advantage, but now those who were happy paying for standard are paying $20 more per year. I chose the Advantage membership because of the craziness that is my summer with my emergency contacts being all over the place, but this is just ridiculous.

And further, it comes down to principle:

This is the exact same service that is received in the US for $45/year–including that MedicAlert Canada and MedicAlert US utilize the same medical database. In addition, many of the IDs in the MedicAlert Canada catalogue are the same as those in the MedicAlert US catalogue, but at extremely increased prices.

How is this fair?

Black MedicAlert Dog Tag: $7.45 USD . . . $39.40 CAD

Purple Flower Sportband: $22.95 USD . . . $40.00 CAD [AND with the US service, you receive a free sportband when you purchase one]

These are for the cheaper IDs. As the IDs get more expensive, there are few same-products to compare, but the watches are still $10 more each for the Canadian versions [that I assume are no different].

MedicAlert is a non-profit, charitable organization. I do not have huge knowledge into the World of Non-Profit. I know MedicAlert provides membership assistance [that I likely do not qualify for, nor would I want to simply because I think their costs are ridiculous, I would never want to take that funding away from someone who simply cannot pay for it] and programs to provide the service to kids for free pending their school is a part of the No Child Without program. This is great, especially for kiddos who have autism and cannot communicate their needs effectively, or kids with medical needs like severe food allergies or type one diabetes and are at higher risk for requiring emergency care while away from their parents. Like I said, I am a huge supporter of the service that is provided, and aside from this, my experience has been positive.

But can I justify that simply because I am Canadian, I have to pay more for the service than my southern neighbours? Can I justify that the service that is supposed to save my life has just jumped their costs and potentially made it more difficult for people who need the service to access it without membership assistance? And can I justify this when I know I can get other awesome medical IDs cheaper than MedicAlert’s and link them to a RoadID profile for $10 per year, thus receiving essentially the same service without the big-name?

I’ll be disappointed to say goodbye to my MedicAlert membership in August and the security it offers. Disappointed to put my small, less-intrusive emblems and cute flower sportband away in a drawer.

Because, simply I cannot justify it.

circle encircles the earth, chance and choice break His heart, His innocent moves to save me and i, i am spared. His beautiful arm is bloody and cut off, HIs heart ripped out to show me He loved me

but i wouldn’t believe Him, He did all that He could, i still would not believe Him

i left His arms empty and tied, outstretched for me until He died

and no man shows greater love, then when a man lays down His life for His beloved . . .

and here i am alive, and i don’t have the right. and He gave me the right, costing Him His life, new mercies in the morning

i believe! what if i believe You now? could it ever change this heart? forgive me, relieve me, please come back to life.

come back to my life.

circle, flyleaf.