I can't tell you how thankful, inspired and encouraged I was by Bernie Sheahan's story ("A Beautiful Mind's Uncertain Future," May 5). It was beautifully and accurately expressed. As a social worker in the mental health field, I wish there were more stories such as hers. Her language was comical; yet the "differing shades of dark gray" couldn't have been more accurately described in such languid tones. Also, she is right when she says that God is our creator and there is nothing that has not been created by him. Science, doctors, therapists, social workers and medications were all created to help bring about this sort of "village" for those who need its shelter. Each cannot work without the other. Thank you for giving her the opportunity to write this story. I wish her continuing success and hope she embraces life, love, hope and encouragement for those who support her. Thanks again for such a beautiful story!
Paging TennCare decision-makers...
After reading Bernie Sheahan's cover story, I just had to let someone know what an amazing article I think it is! Ms. Sheahan is an unmistakably talented writer, and her personal story is poignant, inspiring and alarming. I truly hope that those in political decision-making positions take the time to read it as well.
And thanks, Carlos, for sharing yours
To Bernie Sheahan: Kudos, and thanks for telling me your story.
I, too, have battled with depression for many years, and was just recently diagnosed as BP.
After being a guinea pig for the past two years with my primary care physician, I tried a plethora of antidepressants from A-Z in different dosessome with success, and some that sent me further into the pit of despair. I finally sat down with our health reporter, Terri Merryman, who was very understanding and caring. She told me all the drugs over the past few years had my brain chemistry all screwed up, and suggested I get help from a clinical psychiatrist.
Also, God bless my general manager, Steve Ramsey, who set up an appointment for me when I went to him to tell him of my problems. It wasn't until about a month ago that the new doctor made the correct diagnosis. I suffer from bipolar disorder. The name has such a stigma attacsubhed to it, but I don't really care. At least I now know the root of the problem, and with the help of a new drug I can hopefully move forward.
Both sides of my family have also battled with various forms of mental illness, but of course growing up in the rural South as they did, they just didn't "talk about it." Things were kept hush-hush from me as a child and growing up. At least now I know I'm not alone in this battle.
Thanks again for coming forward with your personal struggle.
Carlos M. Johnson
Senior Producer, WSMV-TV
Bernie, our staff writers are getting jealous
I just read Bernie Sheahan's article, and I wanted to thank you. Her writing was beautiful and expressive, humorous and informative. I am so glad that you put this article in the forefront of your paper. I have been a fan of the Scene for years, and I also work in the mental health field. It is encouraging to know that others have the same concerns as myself and are willing to make them known. Thank you again and please thank Bernie for me, too. Her writing is moving and her courageousness is commendable.
Potential help for Bernie and others
I read the cover story by Bernie Sheahan and wanted to let her (and any others in her position in regards to TennCare) know that there may be help with prescriptions for residents of Davidson County through the "Bridges to Care" program (part of the Safety Net Consortium of Middle Tennessee). Our program tries to help uninsured and underinsured residents of Davidson County get access to primary care and a lower-cost pharmacy. (All clinics and pharmacy operate on a sliding scale fee for our enrollees.)
Anyone can contact our office at (615) 760-2799 or https://bridgestocare.nashville.gov/ for advice and information about this program.
Bernie's courageous...we're just lucky
What courage it took for Bernie to share her story...and for you guys to risk her missing her deadline. Thanks for letting her share, and for getting the word out. I have known Bernie for years, and can promise you that she is doing better now than she has in a while.
LSharp@umpublishing.org (Old Hickory)
Not her brother's (or sister's) keeper
I've just read the moving and articulate piece by my near-neighbor Ms. Sheahan regarding TennCare and the cost to one individual. I strongly sympathize and empathize with the grim situation facing the author and the others like her. It's bad when life kicks you in the teeth and then bills you for the dental work.
Through my work I've come to know many bipolar people, some of whom worked at the same company as I. They put in at least 45 hours a week for an annual salary of $22,000 to $29,000. Out of their biweekly take-home, the insurance bill is $45 for a single person, $120 for a family. In some cases, that's half the paycheck. This insurance coverage does not pay for routine psychiatric visits, and pays only 80 percent of the cost of medications as a reimbursement. The patient pays up front and can expect to receive his or her money in two to three weeks.
What I don't understand is why these people, and the many like them who are living at or below Tennessee's median income of $36,000, should be expected to pick up the tab for Ms. Sheahan's medications as well as their own. None of them get to sit in an Old Hickory diner all day and write on a laptop when the urge strikes them.
I do hope that there will be an equitable solution to the health care issue in my lifetime. In the meantime, perhaps the Mensa-qualified Ms. Sheahan can use her abundant free time to come up with a solution that doesn't penalize others for her benefit.
If only it were that simple
Too bad Bernie Sheahan can't see the irony of writing an article about her health problems in a greasy spoon. I can, not because I have a Mensa-qualified IQ, but because I am a raw fooder. It's simpleeat pure, clean-burning fuel, and your body won't malfunction.
Hey y'all! Just wanted to drop a lil' ol' line here in response to Ms. Suddath's article "Laugh It Up, Y'all" (Planet Claire, May 5). While I understand that she was just pickin' fun at all us dumb ol' Southerners, perhaps a large part of our traffic woes come not from those of us who are a courteous and mannerly bunch, but, rather our less patient and temperate from-parts-elsewhere drivers.
'Cus I gotta tell y'all, I see more folks with out-of-state tags who seem to think the posted speed limit on Belmont Boulevard is 70 mph, or refuse to let someone change lanes to get to that red light five seconds faster. Oh well, I guess I should just remember what my ol' granny used to say about folks who were just plain ornery about things; she'd just smile and say, "Well, bless your little heart."
Claire, Moses and Frank Sinatra
I just wanted to say I agree with Claire's article about driving in Nashville. I am from the Baltimore/D.C. area, the maelstrom of commuter congestion. I have never seen so many people forgo the rules of the road, the ones we all learned and were tested on before getting our drivers' licenses, until moving here. Either people are being extremely polite to the point of undermining common sense, or their egos are so large that they believe they can command the other drivers on the road, bending their will to suit one's whimsy. (A Moses complex? Trying to part the Red Sea?)
I lovingly call it, "Who died and made you Frank Sinatra?" Viva la beltway!
Thanks for covering the launch of Radio Free Nashville ("Low Power to the People," April 14). I, for one, am hopeful that the exposure given to WRFN-LPFM 98.9 by the Scene will enable the station to raise more money so that they can increase the power of their signal and their bandwidth and reach a broader audience. I have made a small contribution to WRFN and encourage others to do so. If you are tired of what is currently on your radio dial, send a contribution to: Radio Free Nashville, P.O. Box 41488, Nashville, TN 37204. Thanks to all the folks who helped get 98.9 off the ground. I am hopeful it will be a huge success.
107 Broadley Court (Franklin)
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