By Vari X., Alachua County
I’ve been here in Gainesville for about a year. It’s been tough, because I’ve been a student, which is a notorious undertaking. I’m also working as a supervisor in order to provide for myself, my partner who’s disabled, and their service dog. We recently found out that my partner’s younger sister may be coming to live with us because she’s not in a good situation right now. With all of this happening I knew that I needed some balance in my life. Even if I didn’t have funding, I knew that I needed to figure out a way to get to a health care provider because life was going to be asking more for me. I knew I had to be emotionally ready. I knew that if I was out of balance, everything else would be that much more difficult.
I moved here for college but didn’t think they would take me at the Equal Access Clinic because I’m a student at Santa Fe. I was surprised to find out that you don’t have to be a UF student to get help here. I really didn’t know what to expect at the clinic, but the doctors are great. Here I don’t feel pushed in and pushed out. It’s not a drive thru situation. It was just such a relief to be able to come to a place where there are experts who could tell me more than Google. Even if I hadn’t gotten the care I needed, it was good to have a sounding board and medical advice from a doctor. These days just getting to talk with a doctor can be so expensive.
I tend to be a very grateful person. I realize that others have a lot more that they have to deal with. That being said, the more I figure out, the more life asks of me. There are a lot of things you can’t predict. I never allowed myself to think about those things because I never viewed insurance as an option. I wasn’t ever able to consider how much of an issue not having health insurance was because it never seemed possible. So, having options to see a provider has allowed me to start thinking about what could go wrong and the steps I need to take to be prepared – especially if I’m potentially going to be a guardian. It would be really nice to have more options.
I do a lot of research on healthy living. I take the time to find out about my own body and fuel it with what I need. Eating right goes a long way, but I also know that fruit won’t fix a broken bone.