Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole


DEAR HARRIETTE: I was laid off from my job about a year ago, and I need to get my yearly physical. My insurance expired a few months ago, and I need to find an affordable way to see the doctor. I am 42-year-old male. Do you have any suggestions? -- Get Fit, Los Angeles

DEAR GET FIT: I feel your pain. There are too many people who choose to be responsible for their health and want to take the right steps but cannot afford to do so. Since you did have insurance, check to see if COBRA can still support you. Perhaps the time limit for the insurance program is not up yet. Talk to your insurance company about any extensions that you might be able to request. Sometimes there are options that are not commonly revealed. Here is a link to more information about health coverage for unemployed workers in your state:

Beyond this, if you have any money, you can go to one of those walk-in health facilities that offer physicals and other health services. Let them know you are unemployed -- you may be able to receive a discount. What will not work is going to a hospital emergency room, which many indigent people use as the doctor's office. Emergency room care should be limited to real emergencies. Doctors there do not check for overall physical health.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I went on a date this past weekend with a beautiful woman who I have been trying to see for some time now. For our date, we went to a book signing party. The book signing party and subsequent dance party was amazing, and we had great time. During the dance party, we had an interesting conversation about a possible relationship. What came out of the dialogue was that she was okay with being friends. I said OK, but I would like to see what could come out of a potential relationship. Do you think I should pursue a different relationship and just be friends with this woman? -- Just Friends, Chicago

DEAR JUST FRIENDS: Did you tell her that you want more than what she is offering? You have already said that you have been trying to see her for some time. What has been the block to making that happen? Could it be, unfortunately, that you have always been the one seeking a romantic relationship while she has always wanted to be friends? If that is true, it may be time to face reality. If you have never made it clear to her what your intentions are, now is the time to do so. Otherwise, you will continue to wish and hope and end up unfulfilled. Of course, the downside is that she could push way back if you push her toward intimacy. Dwelling in the purgatory of your desire is no fun either. Stake your claim and see what happens.