During the afternoon, the head social worker met with an America citizen, a man referred by the Department of Veterans Affairs. He had fought in many wars and was tired and poverty stricken.
The head social worker asked him if he had gap coverage and when he said he didn’t know what gap coverage was, she explained it to him.
When the head social worker was finished explaining what gap coverage was, the American citizen war veteran told her that  he took no prescription pills and that if he ever needed any, he planned to commit suicide.
The head social worker’s head jerked up.
“I’m sorry but I have to stop you there. You said suicide.”
“Are you thinking of committing suicide?”
“I said I’m not ever going to get into the clutches of the health care system if I get very sick.”
The social worker looked at her phone. The social worker looked at her door.
“I’ve been trained to ask certain questions when I hear the word suicide. Are you thinking of committing suicide?”
“I will kill myself rather than get into the clutches of the health care system.”
“Are you having suicidal thoughts?”
“I will kill myself if I get a terminal disease and fall into the clutches of the health care system. I thought I just said that.”
“I’m a social worker. If I hear the word suicide. . . . . . that’s one of the first things we learn.”
“Sorry. I forgot your training. I was trained too.  I euthanized my cat the other day. I considered myself fortunate that I was able to put her out of her suffering. People don’t feel that way about humans. They let ‘em suffer.”
“Then you’re not suicidal?”
“I should have said euthanize.”
“Just had to clear that up.”
“You did. Your training.”
“I’ve seen much worse cases than yours. There’s a food pantry twice a week in the neighborhood, and you’re definitely eligible for food stamps. They won’t even ask to see your bank account.  And public housing, you can try that. Although they usually prefer that you’re about to be evicted or have an eviction notice before they consider you for public housing. Has the landlord started eviction proceedings against you?
“Any shut-off notices?”
“They help too when they decide if they will help you.”
“What helps when they decide?”
“Shut-off notices.”
“Sure you don’t have any?”
“I’m sure.”
“Let me know if you get one. It will definitely help. Also, you may be eligible for help for dental care from the Jewish Society for Poverty-Strickenness. The trouble with that is you have to show them your bank account. Any money in that?”
“Five hundred. But I owe $1500 and my rent is $1267.38.”
“Mmmm. That won’t work. They only go by what’s in the bank. Not by what you owe.  The cutoff is $200 in your bank account.  Above that raises red flags.”
“Like saying the word suicide?”
The war veteran American citizen said, “Life is very precious. Even right now.”
“I like your attitude,” said the chief social worker.
“Thank you.”
“Never give up.”
“I don’t. I certainly don’t.”


About judyjablow123

In my youth I was a world class tournament golfer. I earned an MA in history at NYU, after which I knew I had had enough of academia. I have remained a student of history. I have a strongly personal - almost entirely negative- take on the contemporary pharmaceutical and mental health industries. That was the impetus for my Bluepolar blog, which will also include stuff on sports, history and anything else that strikes my interest.
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