I am not wealthy. If you look at my salary, I’m barely middle class. But I am a white woman (now an older white woman) in America and I’m am privileged.
My life isn’t perfect. I have my share of frustrations and disappointments. I complain and even bitch (probably too often). But I am privileged.
I should recognize and appreciate my privilege, but I don’t always. I forget how grateful I should be for all that I have as well as for what I don’t.
I particularly recognize my privilege this month, this week and today. Why?
Two weeks ago I was privileged enough to go to the lab (located in my physician’s office) and have my blood drawn by a skilled and careful technician. I went into a clean bathroom and peed into a cup. I had electrodes carefully attached (and then removed) by a technician who was concerned about my comfort.
Earlier this week I was privileged enough to see my physician (who I hadn’t seen since December of 2019). She had all the results of the tests I had taken the week before. She went over them with me in a clear and concise manner. She asked me questions and listened to my answers. She wrote a prescription to refill my (not quite) daily medication and sent it to the pharmacy of my choice. She wrote prescriptions for a mammogram and for a bone density test. (Because I am now of “that age.”) She was thorough, she was concise. She has only been my physician for a couple of years (as my prior physician, who had taken care of me since I was a teen, retired), but she has proven herself to be caring, compassionate and full of common sense.
Today I was privileged enough to go to my local diagnostic center. (If you reside in North Jersey I cannot recommend Montclair Radiology enough!) As always (because I’ve been there several times over the years), I was treated with respect and kindness. From the administrator who checked me in over the phone (we are STILL in a pandemic … infections are on the rise EVERYWHERE so wear a mask inside public places, stay physically distant, wash your hands and GET YOUR DAMNED VACCINE!), to the assistant who brought me inside and showed me to the cubicle where I could change and wait, to the DEXA technician who quickly and painless scanned my bones and the technician who deftly and cheerfully adjusted my breasts between the plates in the mammography machine (and yes, it IS uncomfortable, but also pretty darned quick); all these women were not just professional, but considerate and gracious.
I am privileged because I was able to have this experience. I am privileged because I am able to have regular wellness checks. I am privileged because all of those who I interacted with were efficient and competent.
I am privileged. I am grateful that I have that privilege. It is my prayer that someday everyone will have this same privilege. Because quality healthcare shouldn’t be a privilege.
Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona. For more than six years, she has been chronicling life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog. This piece was originally published as “Letter FROM the Board of Elections“
We have a pretty amazing life environment, don’t we? Very well said, and so appreciated.