Written by Danielle Champiet-Coronado
Terrorist, a simple word with a simple meaning. Through the media and our government, that word has been applied to many things and shaping what we as a society have come to associate with that word, but did we ever stop to consider our own, home-grown terrorists. I’m not talking about the uni-bomber or the Oklahoma City bomber, those are more obvious associations with the word terrorist. There is a more conniving, subvert form of terrorist that we never saw coming because we were too busy looking elsewhere, just as they wanted us to. The terrorists that I am talking about have been promoted and elected by the citizens of America.
A system of government that seeks to rule by intimidation, sound familiar? If not, just look at the current events, namely what is going on with our health care system. We were promised a better system, but they lied and what were getting in return is a lot of nothing for a not much lower price. How much less in care? How much in cost? No one knows because it’s been done in secret. Something that affects the lives and welfare of millions of people and they don’t think that we deserve to know the details. Trump ironically called it “mean,” but condemning millions to die a slow, painful, preventable death is abhorrent and cruel. A further slap in the face to the very people who pay their salaries is that they are killing them for money. The House bill was bad, but the Senate promises to cut medical benefits even more and increase tax breaks on the rich even more. No “terrorist” foreign or domestic can even compare with the fear, death and destruction these government despots are raining down on the American people. My senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, have been asking people to share their stories and this is mine.
I too get my medical coverage through Medicaid. I have had severe asthma since 1999 due to second-hand smoke at work. I had a boss who smoked in the office to the point that clouds of smoke would come rolling out whenever anyone opened the door and the derelict building didn’t have any ventilation system at all. I have wrestled with managing it ever since, my success determined by if I had insurance or not at the time. In addition to that, I also have arthritis in my back that causes chronic pain and have recently been diagnosed with diabetes. The arthritis was caused by a car accident that happened in 2010. I kept working for as long as I could after it happened, but it damaged my health so much and put me in a constant state of severe pain that I finally had to quit working at the end of February 2014. My health and fitness have always been important to me, so after I had recouped for a couple of months, I began working to regain any part of what I had lost. Slowly, but progressively, I gained back my strength and endurance. I’m not at 100% but I am much, much better than I was in 2014 and mostly pain-free.
None of my progress would have been possible without access to the right medications and doctor care. I was able to get tested for allergies and found out that I’m allergic to most of what is around me. I’m half-way through a three-year treatment course with allergy shots and they have helped me manage my asthma tremendously. That, in turn, has helped me develop an exercise routine that keeps my arthritis at a manageable level. It’s the only thing that has helped me. I don’t take any medication for the arthritis since nothing I have tried worked and I refuse to take pain medications. As for the diabetes, when my new doctor had me tested and the results came back that I had developed diabetes, we had a lengthy discussion about treatments. I asked him to give me a few months to see if I could control it through diet before we went the route of medications and he agreed. I researched diets on the diabetes website, http://www.diabetes.org, and designed a meal plan that appealed to me. I have always had a slow metabolism and have been very restrictive with sweets, but diabetes is nothing to mess around with, so I cut out all complex carbs from my diet. That and exercise has helped my lower my blood sugar to a good level. Again, without access to medical care and testing, I not only would have been able to control my diabetes but I wouldn’t have know I had it until it had cause more severe health problems. That’s a terrifying thought.
Now I and millions of other people are facing an even more horrifying reality; that of no access to medical care and medications. Something that will potentially kill millions of people who’s only crime was being unable to afford other insurance and for having a terroristic government that cares more about stuffing more money into it’s already too-full pockets than it does the health and welfare of it’s people. There’s rumors circulating that the changes won’t happen for a year or two, but I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday and was notified by them that they and other doctors had received letters telling them not to schedule appointments for Medicaid clients past June 30, 2017 and if they did, it was at their own risk as Medicaid most likely would not be covering the appointment. I had not received any such notification from my insurance company and I can tell that others were blindsided as well by how packed the clinic was today. I came in to pick up a prescription refill and have one, last diabetes test done and found every area of the clinic packed. It was a gorgeous day, warm and sunny, which usually means the clinic will be nearly empty. Not today.
I thought it was a shitty thing to do not to notify the people who depend on Medicaid for their care. Almost as shitty as what our government is doing to us. They are turning America into terror nation. People are afraid for their health and lives and their loved ones are afraid for them. Dealing with the death of a loved one is stressful enough. The grief and anger that often accompanies the loss is bad enough when the death is expected. To watch a loved one die a slow and completely preventable death going push some past their breaking point and there is nothing more dangerous that someone who has nothing left to lose. Our elected terrorists should do well to remember that as they will be creating those people by the thousands. As for me, I most likely will be among the dead. Not to be dramatic, but that’s my reality. There’s no cure for asthma or diabetes and without proper care and medication, a preventable death awaits me.
My biggest danger is my asthma. I had been concerned with not having a buffer a while ago, so I periodically would half my medication in order to give myself a few months cushion. If I cut what I have in half, I have enough for six months. If I cut it down even more, I may be able to stretch it out a year before running out completely. It won’t be as effective for me, but I can do stretch it out that long. Once I finally run out, it will depend on how long I can make my rescue inhaler last. Before I found the right maintenance medications and began my allergy treatments, someone merely having cigarette smoke on their clothes was enough to cause me to have an asthma attack. Not even a lot of smoke either. So, I feel the fear that many others have expressed. We may not like everything about how our life is going, but we don’t want to die. But that is what our government is handing us, a death sentence.
I may be weak in body, but I am strong in spirit and I will live long enough to see them all fired and hopefully arrested, starting with Trump!