I have a knee injury that’s quite painful. My husband has also refused to provide me with any health insurance, even though we can afford it. He controls the purse strings, and has done so ever since I got laid off earlier this year and lost my own health coverage. Now I have a painful knee injury, which I’ve been attempting to have diagnosed and treated. I do qualify for ‘charity care’ through our county hospital, which is better than nothing, but which is also overwhelmed. Thus far, I have not yet gotten an accurate diagnosis of the injury after 3 months. However, I have been prescribed a mild prescription pain medicine which is ‘stronger’ than over-the counter meds. This medicine also works very well in combination with Advil (ibuprofen), a good example of ‘1 plus 1 equals 3’. Now, I can afford to buy generic Advil at the dollar store, where I can buy a small bottle for $1. But the prescription medicine costs about $10 (my copay on the county plan), and I don’t always have the $10. I don’t have it now, as a matter of fact, and I am in need of a refill. The pain wakes me up at night, and the Advil isn’t always enough to keep it sufficiently at bay to allow for a decent night of sleep.
He is refusing to give me the $10 or buy the medicine. He is refusing to add me to his coverage at work or help me to pay for a policy. Without decent and timely access to quality care (and possibly a ‘simple’ arthroscopic surgery), I am essentially disabled. But if I can get care and if surgery is needed, have the arthroscopic procedure, do my rehab therapy and get my knee better than it is now, I can work again or at least do a more thorough job search. This man won’t even help me with gas for the car or a bus pass so I’m trying to do what I have to do by riding a bicycle (very painful but necessary if I expect to do laundry or the grocery shopping that he asks me to do). That includes riding my bike to Mass and Cantor/Choir practice-- a 9-10 mile trip. Today he didn’t even leave me $5 for the bus so I could renew my county health plan. I ended up riding my bike 25 miles round trip to the hospital business office and back. If I hadn’t, it would have been another 3 months before I could have gotten an appointment, and I would have had NO coverage at all. Note, I am trying my best to care for it myself and am doing some home remedies like ice, gentle exercise, wearing a brace, resting it as needed, and so on. But the diagnosis is leaning toward a torn cartilage (meniscus) and a ligament injury/tear which probably cannot heal on its own.
I agree that if I was working and making money, I should be able to pick up the share that I could handle, within my honest ability. But right now, my honest ability is about zero even though I am trying to find a job that I can do with my hurt leg AND that I can get to on foot or a bike until a paycheck starts coming-- then I can bus t work or put gas in the car and buy some insurance. Note-- I DO NOT qualify for Medicaid because of his income, and the fact that we live in a state that has not expanded its coverage… Texas. So that is not an option. I can’t afford plans like Medi-Share or any of the faith-based plans since I can’t afford to contribute my fair share right now. I have handled my own health issues in the past when I had my own coverage, but I don’t have anything other than the county plan right now. I’m blessed for that much, but I can’t afford my meds or small co-pays out of my own pocket right now. I pray that will change soon… just NOW I am in pain and experiencing a ‘temporary and fixable disability’.
Summary-- he is refusing to meet my basic, ordinary medical needs during my ‘down time’ when I’m not able to meet them myself. There are other issues for which I am fervently praying. But is his refusal to help me in this matter a sin, or is it my ‘lot’ as he says and points to Thessalonians as his ‘proof’? (Yesterday’s second reading, for instance).
Thoughts? Is this a sin?