I had my annual physical today. For a moment I dreaded the fasting, the getting up early, the pokes, the prods, the tests. But as the thought crossed my mind, a report from Haiti aired on the radio and it stopped me in my tracks. As I was driving to a modern, attractive, clean, and well-maintained facility, were a nurse and doctor would focus solely on me and my well-being for over an hour; millions of people are suffering in Haiti. It reminded me one more time how lucky I was to be born in the US. I haven’t done anything in my life to deserve such fabulous treatment, I was born into it.
It’s this sense of entitlement that makes me want to reach out and save others. The unfairness that surrounds my trip today leads me to find a way to help those that by virtue of birth only, will never receive the treatment I did today. I only wish more people felt the same way I do.
I find reading my favorite blogs frustrating. Talk of trips, purchases, etc.., but very little acknowledgment of the pure devastation going on half a world away. A Twitter “friend” even posted that she’d had enough of this “Haiti stuff”. I was appalled and saddened. How can a human turn her back away from the tragedy? Has she not seen and heard the reports of the bodies lying everywhere? Decomposing and filling the air with the smell of death? Children sleeping among the dead bodies? No food or water for 3 days and no promise of real relief in the next few days?
Has she not heard of the millions needing health care for serious injuries that are lying in the streets, crying out in pain, while they wait for more doctors and medical supplies to be delivered? Perhaps it’s time for the media to post the REAL pictures. Not the sanitized versions. For those who think that this Haiti thing shouldn’t be an issue in our US lives, please visit The Boston Globe’s story – “Haiti – 48 Hours Later” and tell me you still feel the same way. Click on the photos that let you know they’re horrific. See the REAL devastation and then cherish what you’ve been given and share it with others.
I will never complain again about a medical procedure. I have to have 2 brain MRIs next week. I’m extremely claustrophobic and having my head strapped inside a cage has caused me distress in the past. But this time I’m going to remain calm, because I realize how lucky I am to be able to have this advanced medicine that is not available to much of the world. I’m GRATEFUL.
This gratitude leads me to send more money to Doctors Without Borders. I can have one less meal at Mc Donald’s, buy one less DVD, one less Diet Coke from 7-11. Am I rich? Nope, I have the same bills and stresses you have, but our everyday stresses are NOTHING compared to what the Haitians are experiencing. I can do with less.
Our life is so easy and it’s so unfair.
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- Austinist Altruist: How to Help Haitian Earthquake Relief Efforts (austinist.com)
- Health care in Haiti: a battered system is dealt another blow (cbc.ca)
- Haiti survivors sleep in streets (news.bbc.co.uk)
- 10 Ways You Can Donate to Haitian Earthquake Victims (usnews.com)
- The Devastation in Haiti (theasthmamom.com)
- Haitians fill triage center, but little treatment (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Haiti’s Immediate and Longer-Term Health Crises (blogs.wsj.com)