The lack of healthcare will have you literally dying.
You break out in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, your breath short and your head foggy. You look at your phone, the time is 5:47 a.m., you have work at 9:00 a.m. and you cannot be late for the big meeting, or John will get the promotion instead of you, you hate John. He thinks he is better than you, and so do your employers. But this is your chance to prove them wrong, but the feeling in your head won’t go away.
Stumbling out of bed, you wander to your bathroom mirror, a slight pain creeps into your chest. You can’t go to the doctor, it would cost more money than you have in your savings account. But most things cost more than $20. “That’s just how living paycheck to paycheck goes” you think after checking your bank account. You try to shrug off the feeling, a cup of coffee and a donut make you feel a little more alive. Your hands feel cold and clammy, “it’s the nerves” you think to yourself.
As work approaches your heart starts to beat harder and faster, “maybe the coffee was a bad idea” you say, trying to rationalize the fear away, but you know that you do not feel normal. But you also know that just an ambulance is enough to bankrupt you, much less a stay in the hospital. As always, economic anxiety plagues you. When you headed off for college you thought your high paying undergrad degree would help, but rent just went up again and you can’t stay with your parents ever again.
As you start the car, your back and shoulders start to ache. The drive to work was as bad as ever. The highway was completely full of cars at a standstill. NPR is your only friend on this trip. Today the radio speaks about the rising cost of healthcare in the United States, and how many hard-working Americans got their healthcare taken away for someone else’s political gain. It hits too close to home, so you switch to a pop station to ease your stresses.
You finally arrive at work, feeling even worse than before. Your breath has gotten shorter and shorter as time passes, the stair climb felt like a marathon. The walk to your cubicle, a sprint. Finally as you sit down at your chair and frantically prepare for your presentation, Your chest ache develops into intense pain, a tight ache overcomes the area. You are Nauseous, your stomach is doing somersaults as you try to calm yourself. The anxiety and sweating is not going away. These few minutes feel like an eternity. Your heart skips every other beat. You are not able to move anything above your chest without extreme discomfort. You try to cry for help, but the pain prevents you from speaking.
Moments later your boss comes in to find you half-conscious on the floor, she checks your pulse and rushes towards your phone to call an ambulance.