Friday, November 11, 2011

Pardon Me If I Can't be Bothered To Give A Rats Ass

The Kid has another abscessed tooth. This is what 10 years of medicaid dental gets you. His face is swollen. He's throwing up. He's in mountains of pain. He's cranky (and let me tell you, Kid is normally the chillest person in the room, cranky doesn't happen with him unless things are extreme). I am a sympathetic puker, so in addition to the giant hot rock of guilt turning my stomach, I am nauseous to boot.

But we finally have dental. Real dental. Not the "only for extractions done by a one or two providers in a 500k population metro area" medicaid dental. Not the "sometimes kids die of toothaches because they are poor" medicaid dental. Real dental, with deductibles and co-insurance that doesn't cover as much as it should but covers more than the nothing of medicaid. If I get up really early and start calling around, I may get lucky and find a dentist in our plan that can take him. If I clean out my tiny savings account, I might be able to pay for it. I was hoping we could make it to January 1 before using the dental, so I could skip this year's deductible. Oops. And we won't talk about how I am gonna have to call into work tomorrow. I'm going to push the fact that there were people let go last week out of my mind. I am going to cross my fingers and hope that taking a day off for a sick kid isn't going to put me next on the list of expendable employees.

This is a kind of violence. Economic violence. A thing that causes actual, physical harm to an actual living being. Kids not being able to go to the dentist because they don't have the right parents. That's violent. Hell, anyone not being able to see a dentist because that shit is expensive is a kind of violence. Parents skipping meals to stretch out the food budget to maybe last to the end of the month is a kind of violence. Choosing between drugs that keep you alive or paying the heating bill in the dead of winter is a kind of violence. Slow, creeping, scarier than anything Hollywood could come up with violence.

So while you're all throwing hissy fits about property damage, I'm gonna go deal with the inevitable outcomes of economic violence done to the poorest of us. Yeah broken windows suck. But I'd rather lose every single thing I own than have my kid suffer one more second of pain. Graffiti my door, piss on my sofa, steal my last dollar. That's all just stuff. My door doesn't feel pain. My sofa doesn't feel pain. My wallet doesn't feel pain. That's property damage. And having literally lost every damn thing that I own in the not so distant past, I am familiar with what losing everything feels like. It sucks. But it didn't end us.

And I just can't be bothered to give a rat's ass about property damage. Not when a real, live human being is sitting next to me in agony because he had the misfortune to be born to a poor woman in a time when things matter more than people.

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