My son once asked me what was the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me in my entire life. I gave my answer careful consideration and remembered pretty quickly that time I fell out of my chair during a meeting.
More specifically, the chair shot out from behind me out of nowhere. This all occurred while at a meeting with about a dozen other doctors. Pretty serious business was going on and in the middle of all that serious talk, I fell out of my chair and onto my ass in front of everyone. To the credit of my colleagues, no one laughed and they showed genuine concern for my well-being, but honestly, dying right then would have covered up my faux pas and I would have been ok with that. It would be as if I died, THEN fell out my chair. Except I lived. C’est la vie.
Now I have a new most embarrassing moment to share. I figured I’d give you guys the breaking story. Sort of a gift, to my beloved bloggers and blog readers, if you will.
My daughter and I decided to participate in the Women’s March in our local big city. We were both quite excited and busily made protest posters the night before. My son was scheduled for a basketball game that morning so he couldn’t make it, but he made a poster, too. His was about trains. Hers was about cats.
We decorated a wagon that I would use to pull my daughter with posters and flowers.
The next morning, we made it to the march, got great parking, stood in the crowd with our posters and our righteous indignation and began to march with all the other protesters. People took notice of us, commented on our signs and took our picture along the route. We met and talked to so many like minded people. What an incredible experience!
So where’s the embarrassing part you ask? I’m getting there.
We finished the march, got back in the minivan and prepared to leave. My protest poster sat in the passenger seat and I looked at it with great pride. I read the words to myself and a feeling of great dread fell over me. I am such an idiot! I misspelled my protest sign! Who does that? I instantly went over the days events, all the photos, all the protestors, all the conversations. And there it was -a missing “H” in the middle of all my good intentions. That missing “H” that just undermined everything we had done.
“H” is now my least favorite letter of the alphabet.
That “H” has haunted me, but no more. One little letter, one little mistake does not diminish our intentions. The missing “H” does not define me or my contributions. It doesn’t make me a bad doctor. It does make me a bad speller and someone that has grown too dependent on spellcheck. It makes me a busy mom, with two kids who wanted to help. It makes me someone who thought that despite a long day and a long week, I wanted to show my children what it is like to be an American. The freedom to march, to speak, to vote, and to misspell your protest poster.
I raise my misspelled protest poster for all the Americans that will likely lose their current insurance coverage without any solution in place. What will be the replacement? How will it affect the millions of patients currently covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? How much worse can it get? Mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies, immunizations. Most preventative measures are covered and having preexisting conditions will not keep you from getting healthcare (I remembered the “H” that time). What will happen to those aspects of the ACA that benefited Americans? Healthcare is not a privilege for the wealthy, it is a right for us all. All Americans should have quality affordable healthcare. Period. With or without an “H.” I would gladly give up that letter (and my pride) if it meant my patients could depend on their coverage when they need it most.
Photo credit to a lovely stranger who took our picture before the march began, you can find her @tracyswatts on Instagram