I'm not playing hooky.
And my dog is home, too, so technically I'm not completely alone. My husband is back to work after a week of vacation.
I've called in sick. This is the first time in a long time that my migraine medicine is not enough to get me up and out the door. I started having these cyclical headaches several years ago. Apparently it's a perimenopausal malady. Yay. My doctor said that she has it, also.
The first time I experienced a migraine my husband took me to the emergency room at a nearby hospital. We both thought I was having a brain hemorrhage of some kind. I could not even sit up in the waiting room chair; I had to lay with my head on Tim's lap.
Now, when I get the first symptom of dull pain behind my eyes, I take my medicine and, though it makes me a little foggy, I can function amazingly well.
"So what does this have to do with social work," you ask?
It causes me to think about how the other half lives. And I am talking about our nation's poor. What does a woman without insurance do when she gets a perimenopausal migraine every month? How does she manage her pain and get through the usual three-day cycle of a migraine?
As a social worker, I will refer this woman to Medbank or a local clinic to get the medicine she needs. Unlike me, she will need to jump through lots of hoops and when she finally gets a medicine, it may not work for her. She may just head to the emergency room when she gets a debilitating headache. Of course, this will be said to be a financial drain on the hospital.
What is the answer? This physical and social dilemma can be applied to every illness from depression to lung cancer.
I believe every American should have equal access to health care. Plain and simple. I don't have to present all the research that supports the positive outcomes of socialized medicine and health care. This isn't a term paper, and my thought process is a bit challenged today.
I wish for all people the ease with which I can access the health care that I need. Wow. Wouldn't that be the greatest holiday gift of all?
--Ms. T. J.
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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.
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