October 30, 2008

This Made Me Cry

A woman in the day care (I'll call her Susan, but that isn't her real name) had had an emergency. Susan is the oldest woman at the day care. She comes in early in the morning and opens the day care, sets things up, and prepares for the other workers to arrive. Yesterday after the other workers arrived they noticed that Susan was off by herself, and she was crying. The head of the day care (we'll call her Jenny) approached her and asked what was wrong. The staff down there is very close and they support each other really well. This was nothing out of the ordinary - workers shared problems and pains regularly. That closeness is part of what makes the day care great. But this wasn't a normal situation.

Susan reported that she hadn't been able to feel half of her face all morning. As Jenny listened she could see one half of Susan's face contorting on its own. Shocked she asked why Susan hadn't told anyone or gone to the hospital. Susan said she didn't want anyone to know because she didn't have insurance and didn't think she could afford to go to the ER. But after some urging from the other ladies in the staff who could also see the noticeable difference in Susan's appearance, she agreed to go.

Jenny drove her to the local hospital but, upon arriving, was unable to convince Susan to go in. Susan began crying. She was terrified that if she went for treatment it would severely damage her financially. Meanwhile, Jenny was crying because she was terrified that Susan was having a stroke and could literally die right there in her car in the hospital parking lot.

I was stunned by the story. I can't imagine having such a terrifying medical issue going on and having to chose health or financial security. The thought of having to sit there, in the moment, in a parking lot and choose to throw something away - either thousands of dollars (perhaps even a house, car, or any number of other possibilities) or your health and maybe even your life.

And then it made me mad. It's time for change.

(via dkos' proseandpromise)

Posted by Mary at October 30, 2008 08:35 PM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |

Moreover, it's horrible to have to pray that it's "only" Bell's Palsy instead of a stroke.

Strokes are life-changing. I have too many friends who have already been hit before the age of 50.

Posted by: Scorpio at October 31, 2008 10:33 AM

Truly upsetting, especially knowing that this story isn't unusual. In just three more days I hope this country will put a stop to this.

Posted by: Flo at November 1, 2008 12:23 AM