We all have our share of struggles and hard times. We all stumble and fall down. I have seen first hand the devastating effects of major medical issues and how that impacts a family, friends, and most of all…your sense of self. Our healthcare system leaves SO much to be desired. For the truly ill, obtaining assistance is like navigating explosives in a foreign country while juggling nitroglycerin, riding a unicycle over a pit of hungry piranha with an F5 “Sharknado” imminent.
Providers become so callused to what they see and what they do, that they forget these tests and appointments and such may be costing money that is the difference between eating, having a home, or getting care. I know as an Emergency RN, I sent countless people out the door assuring that once they get therapies going, start healing, and just being patient with their expectations, that “everything will be just fine, you’ll see.” Yeah…about that…for traumatic injuries, PT, OT, and Speech Therapy are usually ordered. For you money crunchers that are following along, 5 days a week, 3 therapies a day, 3 separate co-pays, plus transportation and someone else’s time as well……..that adds up fast. Throw in medicines, doctors, specialists, equipment, and you have a situation that is as explosive as an atomic bomb. Now the kicker. Throw in if they are the monetary provider, the job is gone, the money is gone, the rent and bills have to be paid and OH BY THE WAY….there are kids to care for…..that my friends is a perfect storm.
Suddenly, the “Sharknado” arrives, the unicycle breaks in half, your sweaty palms drop the nitroglycerin just as you step on an IED……BAM!!!! You ARE the person that is homeless, the one people avoid. You find your “friend” circle for help is not that big, they never were your friends to begin with. Your children are ripped out of their home, lose their entire life as they know it, and while understandably terrified for their parents health and crying “please don’t die,” they also are looking to you for some kind of stability or answer as to how to fix it. Isn’t that what you did? Ensure their safety, comfort, their stability? Their wide eyes staring, holding back the tears as their few belongings they could fit in a box are shuffled from motel to motel…..no longer knowing what tomorrow will bring, or where they will be sleeping. Eating? Now every good parent knows that the children eat first, so while injuries may need nutrition to heal, children need food to grow. There is no choice. Next…….
Now try to go from nurse to patient…..all of a sudden you’re meeting resistance. Things are said, your fragile sense of self begins to deteriorate. In your head, you know what SHOULD be done, but suddenly there’s 9000 hurdles you must cross, rivers you must swim, and you realize that you’re going round and round in circles, but you’re so dizzy lines are becoming blurred. Then for an ER nurse, a fate worse than death occurs……..you are seen as THAT patient. You look around and realize that somewhere you have become lost in the rat maze, and that if you have to stand and defend your position, you’ve already lost the battle because they have already made their minds up. It doesn’t matter how “right” you are, what matters is their perception.
Evoking the memory that for these brave warriors all gave some, but some gave all. Maybe when you talk to him, his memories are what make him “grumpy and intolerable.” That he had to take a life for his country should be enough for us to be non-judgmental, but yet we are. Why is that? Can’t we just offer company, or even better just someone to sit with him and be silent. Let him go through his memories, but this some knowing someone is there should he need a hand.
We are taught to be biased and judgmental, and that we MUST be first, best, and right. I challenge you, my friends, to set that way of thinking down and try to look from your heart at WHO the person is and what it is they want or need. Don’t judge. Be open. Communicate. Most of all, give people a chance. We all stumble. We all fall. We all wish we could take that moment, that action, those words back. Humble yourself and ask for forgiveness. Give forgiveness. And since you are visiting with me, SHARE A LAUGH! MAKE SOMEONE SMILE! BE A HERO! BE SOMEONES SOMEONE TODAY! It’s past time to regain our humanity. I hope you are SOMEONES anchor in the storm today, or the beautiful rainbow they see that offers hope. Sometimes what you see outside is not always what’s on the inside.
These images haunted me, as I hope they do you as well. Those “dirty, homeless people” also have a story. A place from where they were to where they are. Spare a moment of your time in kindness. Get to know the REAL person you are judging. I no longer see wasted space and drains on economy in the faces of the homeless. I hope maybe you too will take a second look. Somethings might surprise you.
BUT STICKING TO MY SMILE, LAUGH, LOVE, OR FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT THEORY, I LEAVE YOU WITH THE IMAGE THAT MADE ME LAUGH THE MOST. THE IMAGE THAT REMINDED ME THERE IS HOPE FOR HUMANITY IF WE ALL JUST TRY A LITTLE HARDER TO MAKE SOMEONE ELSES DAY!