Monday, April 9, 2012

Health Care

There was a little girl whose parents could not always afford food. At night she had a hard time sleeping because she was hungry. Often she got out of bed and waked her mom in the middle of the night to say she was hungry. Her mom would get up, fix her a big glass of tap water with a little sugar stirred in and tell her if she drank it when she woke up in the morning she wouldn't be hungry. Hunger was their family secret. "If you tell anyone," her parents warned, "you will be taken from us and have to go live with strangers." It wasn't all the time that the month lasted longer than the food but to a child that experience lasts a lifetime. How do I know about this little girl and her horrible family secret?

I face her in the mirror every morning. Yes, the little girl was me and with the exception of this blog I've kept the secret.

Some may be surprised at how many people mask a lot of things. I'm talking about being judgemental about those that need health care. I'll bet people walk around sick and in pain and pretend that everything is fine because they are embarrassed that they have no insurance. Not being able to afford going to the doctor is no more a character flaw then not being able to afford to buy food. Greed and mistrust has eroded our humanity, stripped us of compassion. People that are suspicious of others taking advantage of the system most likely are guilty of doing so themselves.


  1. Debra, its amazing how many people in the world do not have healthcare and here in the UK we take it for granted that we can access the services as we need. Mum used to tell us back in Jamaica you had to pay every time you went to the doctor so they use to rely a lot on herbs and natural remedies they would grow, bitter herbs for cleansing etc. Everyone should have access to healthcare. Thank you for your post it reminds us not to take for granted what we have. Blessings, Amanda

  2. In the UK we have the National Health Service and though it is currently undergoing a lot of changes, most of our health care is free. I am glad about that as I do have cause to use it.

  3. Hi, I, too, have been hungry so I couldn't sleep. I was born during the depression years and there were days that we had no food in the house with 6 mouths to feed besides parents. I don't know how they did it, but then no body had any money. We lived in town and had no garden to raise veggies or any such thing. My parents were out of work. I think living through those years is what created a lot of hoarders. (not me) Thank you for your candid and interesting post. Now I am on my way, blog-hopping to visit others. Best regards to you, my friend. Ruby

  4. What a heartfelt post. Yes, the systems are there for those who need it. I live in a rural, poverty-stricken area and I know our guidance counselors have a secret open-door policy for kids and we are constantly stocking their offices with canned goods, school supplies, and backpacks for easy pick up and unnoticeable departure so kids won't be embarrassed.

    Health care is a human right.

  5. A most excellent, if very sad, post.

  6. Appearances can be deceptive. Today, you are a strong and brave lady which shows in your writing. <3

  7. It must have been very difficult for you to experience that when you were a child. I think though, that it has made you a very strong and compassionate women!

  8. Your childhood experience has definitely made you stronger. I wish we had national healthcare like some European countries.
    Great A-Z post!

  9. I want to first say you are ALL some pretty amazing people. I thought this post would polarize people and I would be creamed for speaking out on what has become a hot button topic. It humbles me to be in the company of such compasionate people.

    Amanda- thanks for sharing how its done in the Uk. Mum is smart!
    Rebeccas- I'm happy that the system works although not perfect
    Ruby- thank you for your story. Sharing is so cleansing
    Jaye- there are so many needed my heart goes out to the kids
    Farawayeyes- Its sad but triumphant and sympathetic to suffering
    Janaki- if it doesn't kill you it will make you stronger
    SherryE- hunger stays with you. No matter how great your life
    turned out or blessed you are you remember.
    nutschell- I think Nat'l Healthcare would be goof for us all.

    Thanks to all for visiting and commenting. I believe we go through things so we can have a testament to give hope to those that may feel hopeless and courage for those to speak out.

  10. I also have been there. I remember being embarrassed because we had to stand in food pantry lines. My mom used to make these peanut butter and honey "cookies" because that would be all we had to eat. I can't stand honey to this day. It's amazing what goes on behind closed doors that people don't know about.

  11. It's the stories that shape us that are the most affecting when shared. Thank you.

    Moody Writing
    The Funnily Enough

  12. We weren't quite there when I was growing up, but I knew kids who were. I think one of the most tragic things about us as a society (not individuals, I know many individuals are not like this), is that we've forgotten compassion.

    I'd say more, but you already summed it up so well.

  13. My heart is broken after your story. I'm sure that your parents are pleased in knowing that their daughter worked through those times and grow to being such a brave and thoughtful woman.

    If only our priorities were more human. Imagine food, water, health, shelter, and education being on top of the list. But there is no room for corporate gain when we think like that.

  14. We never really know what hides behind closed doors. The beauty I see in that story is that our lives don't have to end they way they may have began.

  15. Being exposed to many different people can really open one's eyes. I've been without insurance at times, both as a child and as an adult. We get so wrapped up in our own worlds that we forget that people don't have to be homeless to go without.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  16. This is so sad to see, and a good reminder that some things in Norway are better, such as a national health system.