Fingernails of pain clawed through my intestines up into my stomach. Doubled over, I could feel the pain gnawing away at my insides, twisting and turning them with every pull. More pain racked my body, and a scream nearly slipped through my lips.
These were the bad days. These were the days, where I dreaded that knot that began in my stomach and then followed by the fingers of pain. The calling to the bathroom may as well have been the call of the dead man walking on death row because of the pain and suffering waiting for you at the end. Yes, these were the bad days, and when the good days came, which they rarely do as of late, I enjoyed every moment of it.
But why should I suffer? Why must I endure this pain every time I answer the call to the bathroom? Why double over, bite my lip and empty out with each painful spasm? Why am I suffering?
A bitter taste filled my mouth. It was not the taste of pain. It was not the flavor of afterthoughts on what I was going to do about my situation. The taste was one of disgust, disgust at the overpriced medical plans that offered salvation to me.
Sitting near my father, who was consumed with his own burdens and worries, I watched him pour over the pages on the laptop’s screen. His eyes scanned the requirements that I failed to meet. Ironically, being freed from unemployment left me unacceptable for government health care plans.
For me to end the reign of suffering, answer the call of the bathroom unflinchingly, I would have to carve out my savings. My debt of bills would have to grow for me to move money over to high-priced medical plans ranging from five hundred dollars to a thousand dollars a month. The noose of finances tightened around my throat, and now I found myself choking and suffering.
Yet, if I pushed away from the medical plans and strolled down into the medical office nearby, the cost of just walking through the door would be a hundred dollars. From there, the bill would increase with every poke and prod, and what if this were a serious condition? What if my suffering called for X-Rays, Cat Scans, MRI’s, or what if I had to admit myself into the hospital? The price of my suffering would cost me thousands of dollars, maybe millions, so is the risk of debt worth the price of one medical plan?
How did we come to this? Why must there be a price on life, on suffering? When will we be freed from HMO’s and accept Universal Healthcare, answering the despairing cries and prayers of those like me? How long must we suffer until something is done about this, and how long will I suffer until I have no choice but to fall further into debt and pay everything that I have to be cured from my disease?
As another bout of pain ended, I could only but shake my head. I have heard the news. Cuts were being made left and right, slicing right through Medicare, Medicaid and Education. Was there any consideration on the people that would be affected? Had humanity become so cold that it only sought wealth, domination, and to become more and more corporate? Never would I have thought that a dollar sign would be put on the price of living and being able to live, but here I am holding the bill in my hands.
So, what do I do? It’s been a question that has plagued me, a question to go unanswered. What do I do? Could I afford the medical insurance? This job was only temporarily, or so I was led to believe. I could afford it for a month, at least, but then what? Do I go back to the game of pain and fear to grow worse before something is finally done with the health care system? What do I do, and again, I have no answers. I just have the pain, the sickness, and a bill to pay for living.