Romanticizing poverty.. no, it really sucks

Thanks for the well wishes, its really boosted my spirits to know that folks actually read this blog. Its my space to blow steam and let loose, its funny because my day gig involves writing but I really enjoy blog writing since I can just write in a stream of consciousness, and not get bogged down with grammar and shit.

Today as I called the local health clinic again (aka, the place ya go when you got no health insurance) I was reminded of the many folks I know in real life and online who sometimes like to romanticize poverty or being broke. Well as I called yet again trying to get through to my provider, being put on hold again and basically being treated like my time is not valuable because well I don’t have health insurance, clearly I must have an hour to sit on hold. (yesterday I lost 4-5 billable client hours waiting to get a callback from these jokers since a client asked me to attend a meeting on their behalf but I was trying to see the doctor yesterday instead I am still waiting  for a callback)  I was reminded of why being broke sucks donkey balls as my teenager would say.

Now I know even when you have health insurance, you can still can get treated shabbily, overall though as an adult once I got health insurance, my experience has been if I call and say I am ill, the front office folks work to get me seen right away. Well this little clinic in my area that works on a sliding scale (see, its not free.. I do pay something) clearly believes if clients are having a medical emergency they can just avail themselves of the emergency room. Now I don’t know about you but for me the ER is the place you go when you think you are in imminent danger and need help right away. Maybe its because the spousal unit spent years as a medical writer coupled with my social service background, but frankly too often folks of limited means use the ER and its not the best place to go. Yes, I am not well but I know the ER is not where I need to go.

So as my head has been too hazy to work and I have spent most of this week on hold, I was reminded of folks I have met who think being broke is cool, that living off less is fine. Well the events of the past several days reminded me that while frugality is cool, not having enough to meet your needs really sucks. Growing up I rarely saw a dentist, why you ask? My folks had no cash to pay and no dental insurance, at 17 I had to get a tooth that could have been repaired pulled because it was more affordable for my parents. I spent my 20’s spending thousands of dollars fixing my teeth and getting then in shape. Now I know my folks did the best they could, but as parents it was their responsibility to take care of basic needs. To me dental care is a need not a want since bad dental hygiene can have repercussions health wise.

No, when you are broke in America it means not having enough and not having enough especially when it relates to health-care can have disastrous effects. Its one thing to earn just enough money to get by and needing to be frugal, we can all benefit from a bit more frugality in our lives. Yet knowing folks who rely on food pantries every month to feed their kids and who are ok with that, well that’s plain old fucked the fuck up.

As for me, I am going to try and be patient and also thankful that while this time is humbling, the reality is I will have health insurance again next month so getting my medical needs addressed in a timely fashion will happen soon enough, I just need to get through this month. So here’s hoping a sista doesn’t keel over anytime too soon.

2 thoughts on “Romanticizing poverty.. no, it really sucks”

  1. You are so right. It’s one thing to live above our means or to spend more than necessary and another thing to not have your basic needs met. It’s one of the reasons I’ve remained at my county job – the medical benefits. Everything has a tradeoff. I do realize that there is no such thing as “job security.”

    I’ll keep you lifted before God.

  2. Hey Shay,

    I’m really feeling you on this one. I had to come out of pocket for a medical expense last month to the tune of $700 despite the fact that I have medical insurance and they supposedly cover what I needed. Now I’m just praying they’ll reimburse me something but my experience from previous times say don’t hold your breath.

    It is such a delicate balance and it just strikes me so hard at times. One big medical emergency that insurance covers but doesn’t cover or if you don’t have insurance at all . . . and it could all be over.

    And yeah, my parents did have to make the choice between the best health care and, in my case, better than sub par schools. Many choices get broken down to basics like this when money is not flowing like a river.

    Anyway, you are on my mind in a big way. I send positive energy your way several times a day and I am hoping for your complete healing and wholeness.

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