Reader warning: This post contains my pet peeves and opinions on them. Some may not want to read this. You have been warned.
Do you ever have one of those days where you see something that triggers a need to vent? Today is one of those days!
I was coming home from Champaign and what do I see but, the one-legged man holding his cardboard sign for money, of course. It's not that I don't have sympathy for disabled people but this man stands on the corner almost every day, all day. I also see him frequently in Urbana begging at Wal-Mart. He is not dressed poorly and he's not dirty. In my opinion he could spend his time a lot more wisely like trying to get a job! What I have observed is that people who truly need help and need money are the ones that don't ask for help. They aren't the ones standing on the street corner asking you for money. In fact a lot of the people on the street corners are actually pretty wealthy. They play on people's sympathies to make their living. Yes, I'm standing on my soap box but, I'm not wealthy by any means if you are measuring by money. We are a 1 income family. Count them, 1!! We don't live in a $200,000 home or even a $100,000 home. We don't dine at 4 star restaurants or drive $60,000 cars, or take exotic vacations. Those things aren't important to us. Sure we could both work but, it was important to us for me to be able to stay home and raise our son. So, we made sacrifices to be able to do that.
I'm not a heartless person but, being a nurse has made me lose a lot of compassion. Being around people every day who just use the system and are too lazy and irresponsible to take care of themselves will do that to you. It's sad that you can tell by looking at a patient if they have insurance or not. What makes me angry is when they have the nerve to complain about their measly little copay. It took everything in me not to say, "Well, who do you think is paying for the rest of it? Those of us with jobs!" or "Imagine what it would be like if you had to actually pay your own bill?" It's funny because I thought that being a nurse would make me more compassionate. The majority of patients that I took care of were not married, didn't know who the father of their baby was (or he was in prison), didn't know the race of their baby, had kids with multiple fathers, were teenagers, and of course were on Medicaid (but, you can bet they could still afford to buy their cigarettes). A good day is when you got the big 3; married, wanted their baby, and had insurance. It was like hitting the jack pot if you were lucky enough to get one of those patients. It's so sad that it's so rare now. The patients of today are me-centered. It's what can you do for me and what can I get for free, and how much of it can I have? It's not just patients but in society as a whole. The sad thing is instead of educating them we just give them the handout and make them more dependent. I'm sorry but there's a serious lack of priority and education if you can't pay your bills or feed your children but, you go out and buy a dog, get a tattoo, and can still afford your cigarettes. It's amazing to me the number of people (I can't bring myself to say the word parents) who don't have formula, diapers, a car seat, clothes, or the essentials for their child when they go home. Haven't they had months to prepare? Plus, they know absolutely nothing about taking care of a baby! And as nurses we had 24-48 HOURS to teach them how to take care of their child and usually 8-16 hours of that time that baby was in the nursery because the parents wanted to sleep. Plus you had to work around their visitors and phone calls. It is impossible to teach them everything that they need to know to be a parent. I was a nurse for 4 years before I had my son and I still felt unprepared as a parent!
Maybe this is such a sore subject for me because it wasn't easy for me to have a baby. No one ever thinks about not being able to have a child until they can't. It certainly never crossed my mind. I planned on having 4 kids and being Super Mom. That was my dream always. If Hell had a name it would be; Infertility. That's what we went through literally. The endless tests, painful procedures and surgery, innumerable ultrasounds, hormone shots that made me break down into tears, and almost made my psychotic. The physical part wasn't nearly as bad as the emotional part. Every month having a negative pregnancy test was devastating. It was almost impossible to hear when someone was pregnant. I would just cry. Then, we were told that we weren't going to be able to have a baby. My heart shattered into a million pieces. I hit rock bottom. I have never felt such despair. There was nothing that anyone could say that made it better and more often than not it made it worse. If I could give anyone advice it's this: Do NOT ask people when they are going to have children and do NOT ask them when they will be having more children! It is frankly nobody's business but the couples. I literally laid into a someone for asking me that question. I also hated hearing, "I know how you feel." No you don't know. Everyone's experience is different. We were extremely blessed with a happy ending. Our son is our world and he brings us the greatest joy.
I guess what I'm really trying to say in all this is the world is definitely not perfect. I wish people would stop being lazy and take care of their responsibilities instead of being dependent on everyone else or expecting everyone else to do for them. Change starts first by recognizing that there is a need for change. I truly believe that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and is willing to help us in any way but, we need to first do our part by doing all that we can first and then, he'll make up the difference. We have to put forth effort and work. For example, He is not just going to give us a job if we ask for it but don't apply anywhere. He has promised to never try us beyond what we can endure. This life isn't suppose to be easy, just worth it.
P.S. I don't think everyone on Medicaid is a total user. I understand that there are circumstances beyond anyone's control that would cause it to be necessary. My concern is more for the people who use it and have no desire to try to get a job and just want to be taken care of.