Case in Point

So.  After discussing access to supplies and access to care yesterday, we had quite an ironic event occur.  This morning my youngest child ran into the kitchen table and needed to go to the emergency room for stitches (another post in itself).  While in the emergency room, we got a call from my MIL, reporting that our daughter with spina bifida was complaining with UTI symptoms.  Never a good thing.  BUT.  We keep a big ol’ 16oz bottle of Bactrim in the the cabinet for just such an occasion.  My MIL was able to go to our house (probably in her car- yet another luxury not everyone has), let herself in, and dig through the medicine cabinet until she found the Bactrim.  One teaspoon later, we were on our way to having a healthy child again.  Second dose this evening.  By tomorrow she should be much improved.  And lets just give her some ibuprofen before bed to knock the edge off that discomfort…

Do you see what my point is, here?  We have great insurance.  We have a great pediatrician (who prescribes enough antibiotics that we can self treat a couple of infections before having to go in for another office visit), we have transportation, and we have access to medications.

I see families in other countries that don’t have money, insurance, or access to medications or care.  If they did, would they have transportation, or would they have to walk for two days to reach the nearest hospital?

I see families here in America that have access to care.  They have some type of insurance.  But do they have a support system?  Who takes care of the other children when a single mother needs to take her child to the emergency room at 3am because their shunt is failing?

I sat in the hospital room, watching my husband communicate with his mother via his cell phone.  We were able to be reached within a few seconds thanks to the technology we can afford to pay for.  Thanks to the area in which we live- rife with cell phone towers.  As they talked about how easy it would be to meet one child’s needs, I was holding another child who was now receiving care at the best children’s hospital in the Carolinas.  I looked down at my shirt and noticed the blood stains I incurred earlier in the day.  No big deal.  I was wearing my exercise clothes, anyway.

Folks.  What if that was the only pair of clothes I owned?  Or maybe one shirt out of a grand total of five?  Would I have to continue wearing a blood stained shirt on a daily basis?  A reminder of how my child had an accident?  An accident that permanently scarred his face because we were unable to receive stitches and medical care?  An accident that led to infection?  Infection that spread to the blood stream and took the life of a child who is not yet two?

That sounds dramatic, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility for many, many people that live in our world.  Even right here in America.

I don’t want you to get compassion fatigue, but I’m going to leave you with that for today.  Later we’ll discuss what can be done to help some of our neighbors.

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