Who Gave You the Right to Procreate?

I almost cried at work tonight! There are few things that penetrate my cold hard exterior that I’ve built in order to do my job. Few things make me feel, makes me think, few things.
I met a baby tonight, one who had just begun to live and was almost ready to die. The mommy didn’t see the need for antenatal care, so she went nine months without seeing a doctor once. Her baby was born with a heart condition, it was difficult for me to watch him, pale, blue struggling to breathe, struggling for life and not feel agony. Sometimes when I think that humans can’t be any  more cruel, they up and surprise me yet again. That infant will probably not live to see a month, and that is a tragedy. There are couples and families that have tried in vain to have a baby, some who spend thousand of dollars, trying every new and experimental treatment on the block, just to be told that they would never be able to have their own child. It’s sad, that the ones who want can’t have any and the ones who have don’t want.

Sometimes I wish I was a rabble rousing, holier than though, evangelical nut, who was on a crusade to rid the world of IDIOTS WHO GO NINE MONTHS WITHOUT GOING TO THE DOCTOR ONCE. It bothers me, that they feel that having sex has no consequence and they have no responsibility to the growing person  inside them.

Firstly, I’m pro-choice, I don’ wave it like a banner or hold rallies about how awesome and right we pro-choicers are but I am. I don’t condemn someone who is pro-life, that’s their choice and I can respect that, but I believe in the ability to choose. I never want to be one of those persons having babies and being unable to care for them, thinking that its the government’s job or relatives’ job, or even the random man of the streets’ job to feed my children. If you can’t afford them, I don’t believe you should have them. There are enough abused, neglected and abandoned children in the world, without adding to the quantity. Being pro-choice for me, doesn’t mean using abortion as birth control or being loose and irresponsible. Yet to have that option of birth control and abortion should the situation call for it. I can tell that the backlash from writing something like this may be great, but fuck it, who cares.

Where I come from, prenatal care is a free service offered by the public heath department, you can go to the clinic and see the midwives, get standard care at no cost. If you want to see a specialist of course you will spend specialist money. There are always options and there are always excuses.

I conducted a research project when I was in my final semester of School of Nursing, investigating the percentage of women for 2010 who didn’t have prenatal care and the complications that occurred as a result. What was surprising was the high amount of women who didn’t see a doctor was approximately 30% and from that percentage only 5-6% actually had complications. The problem was however, was when the complications came, they were usually devastating to mother and infant.

This culture that we have cultivated of entitlement has really begun to dig us deeper and deeper to societal despair. No one wants to work hard for what they want anymore, they demand. From everyone but themselves, and it sucks, further reinforcing why generally, the poor always remain poor. I’m so tired, seeing women running into the hospital, in labor, ready to deliver a baby that she doesn’t even know the due date. It also bothers me, when they come in bleeding, after having taken four cytotec pills, bleeding out almost half of their blood volume and expecting us to save them. It’s the job, but it bothers me, that women feel they have the right to procreate just because they have a vagina, but with every action, there is consequence, I just hope it won’t be too high.

Life of a Nurse

I’m tired 

It’s nine am 

And I should’ve been home two hours ago 

Cuddling with pillows and toes that missed me from the night before. 

But the toes are up and about 

Getting ready for work and life 

A day spent without me… 

Another day 

Another night 

Days running into each other 

And off days that are anything but… 

I chose this 

This life that’s all consuming 

Consuming my time 

Consuming me…

Consuming me 

I’m tired 

Running on two hours of sleep

And a bunch of chores…

I need to rest, 

Because it all begins again in four hours. 

But I chose this…

Ebola: You will be charged

The Ebola Virus has become the new epidemic on the block and in its advent we have seen a bunch of disrespect and paranoia to those persons infected with this deadly disease. Ebola isn’t something new, it isn’t this mysterious “new” virus that has come on the seen and is killing persons who have no idea what it is and how to treat it. However, it was isolated to Africa. Across the globe, out of sight and out of mind, until it landed on the shores of the Americas.

My country has recently placed a BAN on Persons travelling from all the African countries currently affected by the disease. I have mixed feelings about this decision, However, I think that it is in the best interest of the country as a whole. Antigua and Barbuda is a small country, with little money and small amounts of resources. Should an epidemic as deadly and contagious as Ebola hit our shores, it would annihilate a large portion of the population.

As a Nursing professional, I would be one of the most at risk persons for contracting Ebola. It’s scary and terrifying and alot of medical professionals are frightened for themselves and their families. You can’t blame us, for fearing what we do not understand. You can not blame a person for refusing to care for a person that can cause the death of a family. Some say that we expose ourselves to all types of diseases on a daily basis without fear. Yet, since becoming a nurse, I have never experienced the kind of fear and worry about dying, ever.

So, In their wisdom and their brilliance, the medical director for the country has deem it fit to criminalize any refuse by medical personnel to treat an Ebola infected patient. That pisses me off to the core, because it is wrong. I will personally be sitting in a cell should Ebola ever make its way here. I know myself and I know that with my pre-existing Asthma and other respiratory issues that I will not be putting on a Has-matĀ suitĀ unless it is absolutely necessary. I think that it should be a choice. The right to refuse to treat a patient is in our code of ethics. Why is it, that it is okay to refuse to treat a patient if you have a bias or a “personal” problem with that patient, but it isn’t okay to refuse to protect yourself and your loved ones.

It upsets me, that we are lying to persons stating that we are “prepared” should the disease come here, yet, the professionals who should be caring for these patients are not being educated. If we were prepared, we would all be given hands-on training on proper draping procedures. How to dispose of dead bodies and waste and what universal precautions are essential to observe to prevent further spread.

The question must be asked If the shoe was on the other foot, Is criminalizing refusing to care for someone the solution to panic and fear?