Born with hemophilia. Infected with hepatitis B at age 5. Infected with HIV between the age of 6 and 10. And then hepatitis C at age 18. I’ve been a crawling, walking, talking pre-existing condition my entire life. But, thanks to medical advances and a lot of luck, my doctors say I have a normal lifespan ahead of me.
But my biggest worry these days isn’t my overall health. It’s the extreme likelihood that- if Republicans get any more control than they already have- it’s going to be a very rough road ahead. In general, it feels like Republicans play Jenga with my healthcare while the Democrats seem much more inclined to carve out more blocks of wood to build on. I know that there are plenty of people in the crowd at President Trump’s white nationalist rallies who are dealing with a multitude of medical conditions as well. They listen intently as he lies about protecting them from imaginary threats (foreign people seeking asylum) as well as real ones (removing protections for those with pre-existing conditions).
It’s all very disheartening.
Today, for instance, I had an ultrasound... I’m having a baby boy! No, but really, I had an ultrasound on my liver because I’ve been having some viral activity as it relates to hepatitis B, which has largely been dormant my entire life. It’s not dangerous levels of activity, but we don’t have scans to look back on to see what the progression has been. Mainly because the focus has always been on hemophilia and HIV, more ever-present threats. So now, every six months, I go in a for a jelly massage and scan. This will probably be the case for the next several years or more- it’s like we are starting from scratch in terms of tracking my liver’s health.
Basically, it’s preventative healthcare, which is all about screening and, should a problem arise, it can be identified in the early stages when things are easier to treat. The Republicans tipped their hands on preventative healthcare by attacking Planned Parenthood. And Obamacare. Healthcare in this country isn’t perfect- but politicians who keep trying to strangle a national healthcare plan in the crib because of a president’s skin color is a sickness that can’t really be treated. We have a white nationalist President who wants to erase his predecessors accomplishments rather than improve upon them. And I don’t think he goes to bed thinking about anyone’s needs beyond his own.
I’m voting blue tomorrow. I will likely vote blue for the rest of my life, no matter how long or short it is. Why? Because I know who has my back and who doesn’t.