You hear about it over and over again. Maybe you’ve even gone through it yourself. Your life is hanging on by a single unravelling thread. You cry for help. Your family immediately scours the hospitals for anyone who’ll listen.
And then it begins. In one hospital, out another. In another hospital but unable to take you into their program. This one doesn’t take your insurance, the other one is not the right fit. Stuck in a revolving door of emergency rooms and hospitalizations, a victim of circumstance, red tape, and lack of finances. And yet we know the diagnosis. We know the treatment that’s needed. And none of it is coming any time soon.
The system has failed many of us, despite our best, desperate efforts.
Jennie* is one of them. Her family touched base with me just to see what I could do. I couldn’t do much but offer what I knew about the local programs and emotional support. I used to think receiving a diagnosis was a good thing — now you know what you’re dealing with. Now you know what to do next. Then I hear about Jennie, her suffering, her story, unable to access proper treatment — and now she can’t get to next. The opportunity for a chance at recovery slips away with each rejection, each no, each sorry. Sometimes I feel time is running out.
To be honest, I don’t know the point of this blog post. Most of the time I have something hopeful to share, something empowering, even despite our difficulties. But it’s hard to find the silver lining when you know what it’s like to hold on to dear life from one minute to the next. What it feels like to be incredibly vulnerable and dependent on other people for help, support, for life itself. I’ve lived like that for too long.
I can’t fix this. It’s bigger than me, bigger than Jennie, bigger than the system. When you can’t do anything more to help someone else you find in the same situation, you either give up or you pray. I chose the latter. You surrender. And then you reach out to other people. To you. Perhaps it’s about community.
*Jennie is not her real name.