Sunday, May 07, 2006


My next door neighbor Frieda Sanford was rushed to the hospital late this afternoon. She was having trouble breathing and I overheard a medic say something about an abdominal infection.

I didn't know this until now, but she was taken to the hospital Friday morning for basically the same thing. We plan to go see her tomorrow after Agent Wife's baby doctor appointment, conveniently located in the same area of town as Frieda' hospital.

There seems to be a frequent use of 911 in the poverty culture. I'm not making light of Frieda's serious situation. She's pretty ill. But she's only in her early 40's (about 6-7 years older than me) and I know of at least 2 other times that ambulances have hauled her off since we've lived next door to her. And seriously, I've lived mostly a middle-class lifestyle since birth and I've never known any of my friends or family to call 911 for an ambulance unless they were elderly or in a serious auto accident.

Frieda obviously has health issues, mostly related to weight and possibly former lifestyle choices (heavy smoking, drinking, etc) which she has quit long ago. I suppose all that added together could make one fairly unhealthy at a moderately young age.

I have also seen people in the poverty culture use 911 and hospital stays as attention-getting tactics. A young couple once came into the izzy ministry long ago wanting a ride across town after our meal. I said that I couldn't drive them anywhere and nobody else offered. So they faked an illness and called 911, hoping to get a ride to the side of town the hospital was on. I didn't figure out what they were doing until it was too late. They thrived on all the hoopla and attention. It was nuts.

Agent S once wrote a post loosely on this subject HERE (the July 28 entry).

Also, I've been to the emergency room on several occasions with these 911 events of friends. And while there it was 'old home week'. Several of the izzy ministry family would be the emergency room was a social place to hang out. They were there for supposed health issues.

I could conclude that the poverty culture often frequents the emergency room through 911 calls due to: a) poor health due to poverty related choices and b) the loneliness that engulfs poverty, thus, craving attention. Even if that is negative attention like emergency rooms. And this is financially feasible since the government pays for it 9 out of 10 times.

I'll report more on Frieda when more is known on her situation...


Mike said...

my mom was an ER nurse for a while and she used to say that the poor use 911 and the ER like we would use the walk in clinic because they know the county will pick up the bill and they can't aford the clinic. also, sadly, many abuse the system for things most of us wouldn't even go to the doctor for.

miller said...

i think illness is a much bigger deal for those in the poverty culture. most of the time middle classers have simple medications that make recovery and comfort much easier... meds the poor can't afford.

middle classers probably have a more robust immune system also. we have access to healthier foods... whether by choice or for economic reasons matters little. most of the food that is readily available for the poor is just shit. i mean think about it, paturized, processed, food product! what exactly is in hormel chili, and thats a name brand.

add to that the fact that hygeine may be a contributing problem... poor dental hygeine can lead to all kinds of problems... and you have a body that can go downhill pretty fast.

and then there is probably an urgency to seek preventative alternatives. if you feel like you may be getting sick, it makes sense to get to a doctor quick... but you can't afford the clinic.

i don't know, i think the system probably does get abused... but is what appears to be abuse always that?

just some thoughts...


Agent B said...

ME - I meant to add reasons like the ones you mention to my a) point, ie: crappy foods, unaffordable over-the-counter meds, hygeine, etc.

So...thanks for mentioning them.