Thursday, August 26, 2010

Privilege to Survive

On Monday I had a nasty run in with some sort of stinging bug - and because I live in a community with medical facilities, I have health insurance, and I had people around, it was a small thing, a minor incident. But had I not had any of those things the outcome could have been different, there would not have been the nurses or the doctors, the epinephrine, the IV, the ambulance to take me to the emergency room, the benadryl - I may have survived without those things but there were moments when I wasn't sure - but even without the bug sting and my reaction to it, I survived - I could live in Pakistan right now, or Afghanistan, or Niger, the Philippines or the United States (source) or be one of the thousands of children who die every day either from starvation or preventable disease - and in that case, bug or no bug, I might not have survived - survival is privileged.

yes, we have a medical system that can be god like - make miracles, save lives - and if it hadn't existed, I definitely would have died about two years ago from an appendix leaking toxins into my system - However, the nature of that medical system, the high costs, the privatization makes living, life, something that only the privileged can have and afford. And while I am thankful for the times my life has been saved, I know that my life is no more worthy than the thousands of lives that are not saved every day -so yes, I survived Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday - I survive and am able to live every day because others are not.

Monday was a rough day, and I have spent much of my week rehashing it with others, going over it in my mind, marveling at the wonderful support that others gave me - but I can't forget that Monday, though merely the tip of the iceberg of my privilege was more about that same privilege than anything else... what that means for tomorrow, I am not sure, I'm just sayin.....

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