I’m an insulin diabetic.

When I catch a cold, I need an inhaler.

I have multiple food allergies.

The healthcare system in its current iteration is designed for me to stay broke.

I have to pick and choose which treatments I want to receive. Currently, I’m neglecting my teeth because I need insulin and supplies for my pump. I’m hoping they stop crumbling long enough and stop hurting long enough that I can enjoy my birthday. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck, payday loan to payday loan for so long, I don’t know what it’s like to not live in financial distress.

Well, there was that one time when we shut down due to a global pandemic and I lost my job. Due to Medicare, I was able to get medicine for free. Due to SNAP, I had a refrigerator full of food. I was able to pay my bills with the unemployment.

I took a job in February of this year and all of that stopped. Now I’ve lost my apartment, and it’s back to the cycle of financial distress, all because this country doesn’t treat our bodies like infrastructure when it’s time to maintain them. That treatment is reserved for when companies are paying people below what they’re worth.

I’m exhausted, but I keep going.