The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008



My daughter’s second trip to the Emergency Room turned into a three-day stay in the hospital’s pediatric unit. She suffered a painful kidney condition and doctors suspected something else was wrong, too.

After multiple I.V. insertions into her little arm, and numerous tests, ranging from urine and blood samples to ultrasounds and CAT scans, doctors were finally able to get her symptoms under control and make a diagnosis.

Throughout all this, the doctors and nurses were so thorough— treating her symptoms carefully and listening to her every word— that despite my daughter’s pain and fear, I had confidence in her care. So, I felt calm and strong.

My mother, though, had another story. When I was five, the same age as my daughter, I developed a raging earache. My mother, who was working full-time as a bookkeeper in a lumber yard and receiving minimal child support, made a midnight trip to the Emergency Room. There, she learned that her insurance wouldn’t cover the visit because it wasn’t technically an emergency.

How dare they? I thought. America prides itself on the choices its healthcare system offers. But what kind of horrible system would make a parent choose between the care of an ailing child and an unaffordable financial hit?

As I thought of the trauma my mother must have experienced, I cried. It was the only time during my daughter’s ordeal that I did.

Fortunately for us, we’re poor enough as a dental student family that we qualify for excellent state insurance – and I am grateful to my government for that.

But I can’t help but think of all the families who fall in between: the families on insurance that won’t cover certain conditions, or the families who work really hard but still can’t afford any insurance at all.

When I think of my little girl, pale and exhausted after days of fever and pain and uncertainty, I know it was never a question of whether she’d get care, only how well the care would work.

Shouldn’t it be that way for everyone?

Note: For the 2-minute audio essay that aired on KQED’s show, Perspectives, listen at: where it’s archived for February 11th.

By Anjie Reynolds


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Way to go Angie!

Marianne Lonsdale
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