Last week, I woke up one day with a bite on my right hand, and I shrugged it off. The next day, it was itchy, but I shrugged it off again, and the next day I woke up and my hand was on fire and swollen all around the bite, which was painful to touch.
I still brushed it off, and went to work, thinking it would pass. When I got to work, I made a couple of jokes about morphing into Spider Woman and one doctor I work with looked at it, called his wife (who is also a doctor) and called me in a prescription at the nearest pharmacy for me to pick up on my lunch break.
Apparently, you’re not supposed to just wait it out in situations like that, but after almost 10 years of not having health insurance or a solid, reliable income, I had grown accustomed to a life of “waiting it out” to avoid medical bills I couldn’t afford.
Makes me a little sad to know that, after almost ten years, I’m so conditioned to only seek medical attention in an absolute emergency that I would risk worsening cellulitis and complications of an infection out of habit. How many people in our country are handling their health in the same risky way?
I know there are a lot of disadvantages to a universal healthcare system, but a current system where so many are genuinely falling through gaps just doesn’t work. I hope our new President is for real.