jyorraku: (DS9)
I usually have nothing positive to say about the healthcare system in the US, just the occasional rant or commentary thinly disguised in fan fiction. Obama pushed it out of the quicksand but everyday it seems like we're still flailing in it. Today I have something more uplifting of sorts to share, it'll just take me a few words to get to it.

I haven't had to pleasure to wrangle with the massive suck that is the US health insurance bureaucracy. *knocks on wood* But I've heard horror stories, I've read things that made me skip a meal because it stuck with me and made me nauseous to a point where I couldn't keep food down. I'm fortunate enough to have health insurance right now, but there were times when I didn't. So I can understand what it's like, in the back of your mind, even when you're smiling through the day, to know that you're one medical emergency away from being saddled with soul crushing debt. You could say I'm a pessimist, because who thinks about these things? I do, because I've seen friends stay in bed for days at a time and refuse to see the doctor because we all knew, chances are it was nothing and seeing a doctor meant a whole lot more than actually seeing the doctor to get better.

I still think twice, thrice about going to the doctor, because the fear never goes away. I'm insured, but I honestly don't know what would happen if a doctor found out there was something wrong with me. There are deductibles, caps, small print, insurance jargon all over the packet I got. That was when I was coming into the plan, healthy. What the fuck is waiting for me when I get sick? Is it just the uninformed pessimism talking? Probably, but I instinctively shrink from it, the irrational, crazy fear, it's still there.

But I read something today, that made me sit up. It was like watching a movie, multiple characters, people arguing, and suddenly a guy in the corner speaks up and everyone just goes quiet.  The scene opens like this: A person asks a question on Ask.Metafilter, a hive of ordinary people asking and answering everyday questions. She collapsed last night and she'd like some advice because she really can't afford to go to the hospital. People chime up, 'get thee to an emergency room', 'it's probably nothing, but you need to get it checked', 'well, this happened to me, twas nothing', etc. Soon, there's a sidebar.  People are upset, it's:

She should definitely see a doctor, stat. WTF is wrong with people saying anything otherwise?!

vs

Risk of being in a mountain of debt and ruining her credit/future job prospects for what could be nothing?!

There's even an ironic U.S. vs. the World, in defense of the original poster's rationale. It basically amounts to: If you don't live in the US, you don't know what it's like!  Then this guy shows up. He tells his story and it's a movie inside a movie. There's madness and death and TMI and loss, but there's also a lesson at the end:

tl;dr -- go to the damn doctor; you're worth it.

I read his story, and I continue on, reading the other comments, rubbernecking over this kerfuffle (the original poster is going to a clinic to get it checked out, hope it's nothing *crosses fingers*). But then I come back to his original comment and read it again. You know what? I'm not going to be afraid anymore. That bureaucratic maze and the shadow of massive debt isn't going away and I'll still have to fight myself to do it, but the next time I think I should see a doctor? I'm going to see the damn doctor.

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jyorraku

June 2017

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