Saturday, October 25, 2008

Do I eat or take my medicine?

My first blog post! I feel like I have to have the perfect entry for this momentous occasion and finally decided to just write:

There was an article in the NY Times the other day about how some financially poor people are opting out of buying their medicine because they need to make choices. These are choices no one should have to make: do I eat and pay my rent this month or do I buy my medicine. I see this often in the clinic where I work. Just the other day, I was seeing a patient who came in just to have me put his medications in his pill box and to talk to me about them. When I took his blood pressure it was 190/110. For anyone who doesn't already know this, that's high. He is also a diabetic, although not on insulin. When I asked him if he'd been taking his blood pressure medications and his medications for his diabetes, he said he'd skipped them this month because he couldn't afford them. I reminded him of a pharmacy our clinic uses which gives patients many medications for only $4 but he said he couldn't afford that. He very sadly told me he's been out of work for a long time. When I asked him what he used to do (he's only 59 years old) he told me he used to work in construction. Then he said, "I send my resume out all the time but no one wants me now. I'm too old." I just listened to him and looked at his sad face, once again feeling angry and frustrated that we are a country of the haves and have nots. I reminded him to vote, got him some samples of some of his medications to last him for at least a little while, and arranged for him to meet with our eligibility worker so he didn't need to pay for that visit.


K. said...

This just plain sucks. This guy isn't a bum. He's worked hard all his life, and in a business where he helped build his community. Now, it turns its back on him. Great post.

Premium T. said...

Very heart-rending post. Glad you're finally out here with us bloggers!

(My word verification is "redsfur" -- red surfer?!!)