November 24, 2009

Since the health care debate has heated up, I have continued to wrestle with telling my personal health story of a fall from a platform, a broken back, the resulting muscle scarring and chronic inflammation of the sacroiliac that led to a financial nightmare that left me with no job, no savings, no home, lots of debt as I struggled to pay over $1000 a month in health insurance premiums and thousands and thousands of dollars of doctor and treatment bills, and eventually, to spend almost 24 months “house-sitting” for caring friends and relatives as I struggled to get back on my feet.

But along the way, because I was not working, I was also given a gift of time that I could spend with my mother and my family as we struggled through the eldercare/nursing home experience and finally her passing three years ago.

Seven years after that fall, I mostly have the health issues under control, am looking at the end of the debt perhaps sometime next year, am working again, and have come to appreciate that the time spent with my mother was far more important than the pain of the healthcare experience. I have learned to consider my situation a success story of perseverance over the adversity of our current health care system. And, for that, I am most thankful!

However, last week I was speaking with an elderly woman about upcoming Thanksgiving plans. When checking on her health, I learned she and her husband have been busy with doctor appointments because “when the healthcare bill gets passed, we will be abandoned.” Her fear made me so sad – that we have allowed this debate to sink to this level and create so much pain for the innocent bystanders.

Now that is something to speak up about. What right, as citizens of this country, do we have to instill that kind of fear into innocent people – all in the name of political gain?

I get it that the healthcare battle has raged for almost a century. I get it that whenever a political party loses power, they attack and when a party gains power and finds they cannot accomplish all they had hoped, they seem to lose their way.

What I don’t get is what it will take to realize this happens and find a way to get ourselves and our country past this to a better system in the future.

Food for thought, along with the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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