Monday, November 17, 2008

What to Do?

One of the many drawbacks of poverty is limited access to medical care. Since November 2005, I've been to see the doctor twice. The first time I needed to get an x-ray of my right arm after I fell off my bike and, later, I had an acute gallstone attack. Other than these two times, I haven't seen a doctor in 3 years for any of my chronic medical issues and it's been several years since I've seen a dentist!!

My wife has seen the doctor a bit more frequently, but not that much. She's having to alternate her diabetes medicine because we simply can't afford to fill her prescriptions regularly.

While we forgo needed medical care, we understand the why. Of course, this ability to understand the economic realities doesn't make the situation more palatable, but, at least, the knowledge helps a tad.

One of our dogs is dying from cancer. She's in a lot of pain right now. It's getting to the point that she's having quite a bit of trouble putting any weight on her right front leg. She takes turns staring at each of us in a pleading manner, "Please make this pain go away." I don't think that she understands why we don't take her to the vet.

I've tried to explain to her about our precarious financial situation and that, if we had the money, all of us would schedule appointments with our doctors. But the sad fact is that we don't have the money for doctors or for several other things (including all of our ongoing bills). So, my wife & I are forced to watch our little Scruffy suffer.

At some juncture -- sooner than later, I fear -- we're going to get to the point in which we'll need to put her down. However, euthanasia costs money too and we certainly don't have an extra $75 sitting around.

Needless to say, poverty sucks.

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