Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy News! and the (same ole) Sad News

Happy News! A patient called today to let me know she was about to be a grandmother—by her daughter that I delivered 23 years ago (yes, I am that old!).

Sad News- the same list of messages included a call from this young woman: she needs an annual exam & Pap smear asap. She hesitated when I told her that our clinic has no funding and we must charge $45.00 for a Pap. When she said she didn’t have that much right now, I asked her if she had called the health dep’t. She almost exploded on the phone. “I will never go there again, the health dep’t SUCKS” she proclaimed. “The people there make you feel like crap.” Then she told me about her experience when her baby got very sick after she got the wrong formula. “No one would listen to me.”  She went on “and you know what really makes me upset is because what if I were a parent out there on the edge and I almost was, I didn’t want to have a baby, but I am trying to do the best I can, but some parents aren’t-I know parents like that and what if the health dep’t makes some parent on the edge like that feel like they aren’t a good parent- what is a parent like that going to do.” (I’m paraphrasing by now because her words were just coming out in a torrent).   She went on to say “I mean, they are getting paid for what they do and if they don’t like it-they should just go home.” This young woman’s baby is just a few months old but she is not using birth control because her Medicaid was cancelled and she REFUSES (she says) to go back into this health dep’t.

I explained to her that for several years we have tried to no avail to get the attention of anyone within Georgia public health to act on these many problems we have reported.  I told her that we needed for her to speak up. She will be in the next time we are open--on Friday- and she will try to bring $20.00.

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