Saturday, April 16, 2016

The World I Want to Live in

Yesterday I stopped at a gas station that was across from a hospital. A woman was asking people in the parking lot if they could help her out with a couple dollars because she had just left the ER and need to fill two prescriptions.

She said she'd fallen and injured herself, and I could see one eye was very swollen and bloodshot. I wasn't sure it looked like it was from a fall, but what do I know? It looked painful and I believed she'd just come from the ER. She was still wearing the plastic bracelet from the hospital. She offered to show me the prescriptions so I would know she wasn't lying, but I told her I didn't need to see them.

I had a $20 bill and a $1 bill on me. I started to give her the $1 and then gave her the $20 as well. It just felt like the right thing to do. Whatever I would have spent that $20 on, I figure she needed that medication more.

It just did not seem right to me that someone would be injured enough to go to the ER and then have to stand outside and beg for money to buy medication. There is something wrong with that. I do not want to live in a society that does that to someone.

When I handed her the $20 bill, her eyes got teary. She asked if she could hug me and I hugged her and told her I was sorry it was so hard and sorry she had to do this to get the medicine she needs. She said, "It is hard."  She told me she has a job, not a good job but a job, but didn't have any money until payday. Which apparently was not yesterday .

She said she'd gone to work that morning but had been in a lot of pain and also was having trouble seeing out of her injured eye. She also mentioned that the light was really bothering her eye. So she left work to go to the ER. She said they did a CT scan and other tests at the hospital and told her she really needed these medications. She was afraid of experiencing lasting damage to her eye if she didn't get the medications.

It was a bright, sunny day yesterday and it did not escape me that she was standing out in the bright sunlight, begging for the money to get the medicine she needed.

There is something wrong with a society that would make an injured person beg on the street for money to get medication. Whatever you think should be done about health care in this country, surely no one thinks this is right.

And this is not the world I want to live in. I want a better world, a kinder world. A world where people do not think it is OK for an injured person to have to beg on the street for money for medication.

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