Saturday, April 16, 2005

Things That Scare Me.

Is this middle age coming on?

Today I volunteered for several hours for the 9News Health Fair.

9News is the local NBC affiliate, and they sponsor these health fairs around the state where people can get bloodwork done, have their prostates checked, breast exams done, bone density scanned and get various other things done.

Well, I was Bone Density room gal, punching buttons on the computer as literally hundreds of people came through my room where I scanned their foot, then had them talk to the person who could interpret the numbers to see if they had osteoperosis either existing or on the horizon.

In the faces of all those people I saw few youngsters (a couple of gals in their 20s with their Moms), a couple of women in their early 30s, but most are boomers -- those in their 40s and up.

These were not rich or poor, ok, some were -- but for the most part these were decently educated working class people, and they had to get to a free health fair and line up at 7 a.m. to get their bloodwork because they either lacked insurance or their deductible was so high that they couldn't afford it otherwise.

What the hell is this country thinking?

I wasn't at a soup kitchen for health care. These are not normally needy people. They're not really down and out, or in any other way needing a handout. But they came in droves and waited patiently in long lines to be seen by me and so many other volunteers.

This is just one of the breakdowns I see in our social safety nets that bothers me more and more. I start wondering questions like "What the heck is health care going to be like by the time I'm 95?

Is this the kind of crap that keeps middle-aged people up at night? Is this why I wake up at 2 a.m. and can't go back to sleep? Because I start thinking things like "This country's going to hell in a handbasket"?

Yeah. It felt good to volunteer and interact and meet people. It also scared the crap out of me how many there were.

Yeah, when my President says the middle class is just fine and dandy, he oughta - oh never mind.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Hey... I have thought long and hard about how to respond... this scares me too!!! I wish, wish, wish I knew how to fix it. I don't know the answer though. I live in a country where everything is supposedly paid for (although we pay user fees/premiums so it's not truly universal health care as it is advertised) and still, there is so much not covered and the lines are SO long, literally.

Here you can't buy it if you wanted to. Instead you sit and wait, in pain or unsure of what might be wrong until you either put in your time on the list or you die. Now that scares me even more. My FIL spent 7 months waiting for an MRI to diagnose why he had a stroke. And we are one of the wealthiest provinces with the most resources. I can't imagine how it must be in other places. It doesn't sound like the system is working this way either.

I waited so long to respond hoping something more intelligent than good ole frustration... couldn't do it. Sorry...


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