17 Donald L

Insurance is a part of life.  Growing up in my house, there were only three things you had to do; pay taxes, pay your insurance and die.  My mom is a registered nurse who worked in intensive care.  She knew first-hand what accidents and health conditions can and do occur unplanned.   I remember her telling stories of resuscitating patients repeatedly.  The patients had no brain function but their bodies were reluctant to die and the family members couldn’t let themselves say good bye.  So, they would do CPR on these patients repeatedly and for hours before the doctor felt it was okay to stop.  She said the cost of their hospital bills would eat up any fortune they may have saved and if there was a remaining spouse, he was destined to live in poverty even if they had insurance.

We always had insurance coverage but I remember people coming to the house after dinner trying to sale my parents more.  My mom never really complained about the insurance but we heard about it for other reasons.  Once my sister complained that her stomach really hurt.  She wouldn’t get out of bed and my dad called my mom to come home.  As my sister never had any issues, my mom was worried so she brought her to the ER.  The only thing they found was gas.  She had faked the sickness and didn’t want to go to school, so when my mom said she was going to bring her to the ER, she didn’t know how to get out of it and it was too late.  I remember my mom threatening her that she would be paying for the ER visit and X-rays because her amount wasn’t paid yet.  I asked her how much it was and she told me $500.  I didn’t know if she was kidding or not but I was trying to figure out how my sister, 9, at the time was going to get the money.

Me and my younger brother were always getting hurt.  Sometimes we’d end up in the ER, and other times we didn’t.  My mom would say, “unless there’s a lot of blood, I can treat it here quicker and cheaper” and she did.  She took care of everyone.  Whenever a player went down at our ball games, she’d jump up to the rescue.  All our friends and our neighbors would come to the house for her to look at them.  Sometimes, she’d take their blood pressure, other times she’d give them something to feel better and once in a while she’d drive them to the ER.  Some had insurance and some didn’t.  When they did not have any insurance or let their policies lapse, you would hear her go on and on about how important insurance was and they could get hit by a car leaving the house and then what would they do.

I did a count of how many times I personally have been to the hospital in the last 17 years and I counted between close to 20.  Now I’m relatively healthy and stable.  I had my tonsils out, had surgery on both my feet, I’ve been to the ER about 5 time and admitted to the hospital twice for my epilepsy.  I’ve been to the ER and had X rays twice for pneumonia and bronchitis, once for a broken ankle.  I’ve also needed seen for skin issue when I wrestler and a broken ankle from basketball, and I can’t forget the two different trips about 5 years apart to drain a cyst.  I didn’t include all the physician visits I’ve had for my seizures and the EEG’s and lab work.    If we didn’t have health insurance, my family would have had large medical bills to pay and nothing left over once they were paid.  Plus, this doesn’t even include the rest of my family that are frequently getting into mischief.  It’s obvious to me that one cannot live an active life and never expect to be in an accident or have a significant illness or have kids.

I plan to major in criminal justice with law enforcement as my ultimate career goal.  If I said, I’ll never get hurt on the job, that would be naïve.   Instead I’ll say, if I get injured on the job (and my mom can’t fix it) I plan to have good insurance to help cover the bills until I’m fully recovered to venture out again.  I know better as I was taught by the best and it’s important everyone knows.

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