I am not well. Got turned away from free clinics and the ER. I am sitting here balanced between not wanting to worry people and being more than a little concerned that the chest pain and nausea and extreme tiredness is really not a good sign. I know how it feels, to be utterly helpless to assist someone that needs care, and it is a horrible feeling. I don’t want to do that to anyone else. I simply do not know what to do apart from sit very quietly and drink glasses of water. I can’t stomach food, I feel so nauseous it is just not possible. I am covered in a thin sheen of sweat and staring down the barrel of my mortality, wondering if I have some kind of rib inflammation, or if pushing myself physically and emotionally beyond any kind of human tolerance to pain and suffering has caught up with me and I am actually in trouble.

So. There you have it. I am a horrible person and instead of not saying anything I would rather tell people I am not well and was refused care, rather than something potentially happen to me and be blamed for not getting care. I tried to get care at two locations in this supposedly blue liberal caring oasis, and was turned away. It took everything I had to get up and dressed and out the door. It took more than that. It took more than I had any energy and ability to withstand. I am strange that way. I am one of these strange people capable of pushing myself beyond time and time again. I eat pain for breakfast and when more gets piled on I eat that up too; but I admit it, this is all I have the energy for today. I can barely walk to the bathroom, walking down the street, clutching my chest was already too much.

I cannot take risks. My status and my need to hide from my husband means that certain options are not available to me. I can’t pay. I am not eligible for insurance. There was a huge gap between what I was capable of and what I can offer and what is possible. In short, being turned away from the two most likely options has left me feeling like no one cares if I live or die, and if that sounds churlish, then I am very sorry, but I don’t have the energy to be reasonable right now. I am in too much pain and I am too tired.

This is the reality of life for me and others like me who are undocumented and struggling. I present with chest pain and nausea and get turned away…

(Six Hours Later….)

I am back from a hospital which saw me. The third place I went to actually took pity on me. Thank goodness. I had symptoms of a condition which mimics the symptoms of a heart attack, but it was not my heart or lungs. Hurrah. I have to really rest. I will be back of course, as soon as possible, but I am going to be back as soon as I feel better.


  1. clcouch123

    You are not a horrible person. You were and are sick, which in and of itself is not a matter of human worth except in asserting the norm that all humans suffering deserve care. Meaning everyone is worthy to get that kind of help and get better. I’m relieved the hospital, the one that took you in, well, took you in. I hope you have a course of whatever you need to improve. And at least you have knowledge, which I find is important. Not everyone wants to know, but I would want to and you do. I hope you can now have health grown from within and without.

      1. clcouch123

        I’m sorry for your feeling terrible. I can only hope that there’s improvement. I’m okay. Stressed due to the kind of noise the person upstairs makes. Wishing I lived something else in town. (Trying to get there.) But I’m not on the housing deadline you are on. By degree, I worry less.

  2. Ellie Thompson

    Oh, I’m so sorry you’re in so much pain and could not get help. That’s dreadful. You are definitely not horrible at all. It must have been a very frightening experience for you. When I first started reading your symptoms, I immediately thought about heart problems and was horrified that you were turned away more than once in your condition. I’m not a doctor, by the way! I’m very fortunate to be in the UK as, although people still complain about our health services, the NHS are wonderful when you need them. I count my blessings when I read accounts like yours. I do wish you better very soon. Take care. Ellie

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