Mama was a nurse. A registered, trained and able nurse.
When she married my Dad, she was doing what she loved, treating and helping sick and disabled people in Gainesville, Fla. Within seven or eight years after the marriage, she had a nursery full of her own kids to take care of – me, my younger brother, Nick, and sisters Margie and Judi.
Daddy moved the family to Nashville, and Mama became known throughout the community as the “go to” person in an emergency, even before a doctor or hospital was called. She kept the usual first-aid supplies on hand, and stayed attuned to the latest products and popular treatments. She was still a nurse – though freelance, and free to all.
I myself kept her pretty busy, in addition to all her household and motherly duties. Always athletic, I broke several bones, including my nose twice, and sometimes suffered from idiotic things kids come up with, like squatting for a minute or more, huffing and puffing, and then standing quickly, blowing air pressure against closed mouth and nose, hard, and seeing stars and crazy images–because of sudden pressure in the brain.
When I pulled that particular stunt, I was in our living room at home after school, and I fell to the floor in a violent seizure. Mama knew immediately I’d caused a small stroke, probably burst a (hopefully) little blood vessel in the brain, and that I needed to lie still and have cold compresses on my head. I recovered and went on my merry, adventurous way.
Another time, I fell out of a tree, about eight feet, landing on my back. It so knocked the wind out of my lungs that I thought for a couple of breathless minutes I was dying. My sisters screamed; Mama rushed to my side and pounded on my chest, getting heart and lungs operating again.
Brother Nick suffered painful burns when he sat on a “heat register,” the grid through which the hot air flowed from the furnace, and another time when very hot soup fell in his lap. Sister Margie slipped off the fence over a hog pen we had and cut a gash over her eye; it scared all of us, but Mama quickly and expertly took care of it. Judi had her accidents too, but I’ve forgotten what they were. Our Mama was just a terrific nurse.
Still, even the best make errors in judgment sometimes. Mama was open to other people’s theories, and several times when Nick and I had a serious flu, she made us take big tablespoons of a mixture of castor oil and turpentine. Somebody convinced her this was a strong healing agent, and somehow my brother and I both survived the flu and the medication.
Another time, I broke out in an itching rash all over my body. Mama diagnosed it as poison ivy and made me get into the bathtub, where she slathered my whole body with calamine lotion, a smelly, caking liquid – for . It was a tremendous ordeal for me, adding the foul mess to the unabated itching. And then we discovered I had three-day measles!
Here’s my point. Our good Dr. Obama wants to take over the whole American health-care system, having come to his own diagnosis that we have a terrible, unacceptable mess … and he’s Dr. Fixit. If it will cost trillions of dollars that we don’t have and can never re-pay, so what? If the majority of our fellow citizens are happy with our present system, so what? If wealthy people from all over the world, who already have the health-care system Dr. O intends for us, go to great expense to fly here to get our medical care, so what? He knows what’s best for us – and if he has to trample roughshod over Congress, ignore the economists and medical experts and the American citizens themselves, he’s going to force this down our throats!
For a while, he was saying there were 45 million Americans without health care. (False, of course, in that any hospital emergency room in America is required to care for any human being who comes in.) Now he says it’s 30 million without insurance, and he’s determined to see that they get it. And – though we’ve just heard an earlier recording in which he himself says ramming this proposal through Congress with a 51 “hands up or down” reconciliation vote will never do – he’s decided that if that’s the only way to force this on us, that’s what he will demand. And he is.
But wait. Analysis has shown that his 30 million includes 12 to 14 million illegal aliens, not entitled to any government benefits at all. It includes a few million more young people who don’t want insurance and millions more who could have and afford insurance, but choose not to have it. So the true number of people who actually need and can’t afford health care may be no more than 12 million or so. That’s a lot of Americans, and we’re right to be concerned and want to help. And what conservative leaders are shouting at us is that we can do that with a much simpler plan, for peanuts compared to the Obama plan. A simpler plan that won’t bankrupt our economy.
And what are Dr. O’s credentials? Medical experience? Zip. Economic expertise? Nada. Political experience? Precious little. Ever run a business? Nope. Brass and charm? Well, sure, he got elected president of the United States!
He reminds me of that guy Leo DiCaprio played in “Catch Me if You Can,” the great imposter Frank Abagnale Jr. Tall, good looking, with gall of a burglar, he pretended to be an airline captain among a number of other preposterous things – even a surgeon! He faked his way through surgeries, with absolutely no knowledge or training, with a patient’s life literally in his hands!
He simply exuded confidence and was so persuasive he even persuaded himself he could do things he had no qualifications for at all.
I’m terribly concerned we have that situation here, now, in this country. This Dr. O’s resume shows he has no experience at all that would prepare him for forcing such a drastic, completely unaffordable, unwanted, unreasonable dose down the national throat. We may end up having to gag and throw it up.
Much like the turpentine and castor oil Mama gave to me.