Die or Get Better

by S.C. Torrington on February 9, 2007

Grave angel cropOn Monday, my upper right second molar went Super Nova. I take such lousy care of my teeth; it’s my own lazy-ass fault. But being among the working-class poor with no health or dental care, I’m not financially prepared to spend hundreds of dollars getting my tooth pulled, or worse—get roped into the whole root canal/crown route. So I rubbed the tooth. I paced around. I couldn’t concentrate. But we still did schoolwork. Morgan was sympathetic, but still had his own agenda. Finish so he could play.

That got me thinking about how a chronic illness or injury would affect our homeschooling. Shit, if I drop dead, Morgan might as well start packing. I suspect out-of-state military school will be in his future. But what if I got sick for a long time BEFORE I die? I hope I won’t linger long, making everybody miserable and resentful and wishing me dead—to end ALL of our suffering.

But I watched a TV news feature about how much money people spend for health care/meds that insurance, if they even have any, won’t cover. They interviewed a woman recovering from cancer who was bitching about her family’s debt caused by putting her treatments on their credit cards. Yeah, so? You want something, even if it’s life, you’re gonna have to pay for it.

But this woman was indignant. Like the government owed her affordable health care. Where does she think she is, Canada? She didn’t think it was fair to have to choose between financial security and her life. Well, darling, sometimes all the money in the world isn’t gonna save you. And even though we live in a country that will, for your own good, ban trans-fats in restaurants and ticket you for crossing the street while listening to your ipod, there’s NEVER gonna be affordable health care, let alone socialized medicine in these here United States. It’s just too big of business.

Okay, if I break my arm, I’d like to get it set, please. But if I’m just delaying the inevitable (since Death does come a-knock sooner or later), I hope I’m willing to go graciously. And if I stroke out on the kitchen floor with that cheeseburger locked in my hand—Do Not Resuscitate!

My responsibility is to NOT drag my family into a debt hole they could never dig out of. Grief fades, interest compounds.

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