Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Marginal Utility of a Dollar

Thank you, thank you, thank you, anonymous donors:
It may not seem like much to you. But there's this thing about money that economists call *The Marginal Utility of a Dollar.* It describes the way one dollar means much more to someone who has only a few to begin with.

I've had times in my life when $50 didn't seem like much to me either. This is definitely NOT one of them.

Here's one of the big differences in my life a *small* amount of money just made: I can type some tonight. Why? My hands are now covered with these Lidocaine patches. My *mummy* hands. They're very expensive, nearly $400 for 2 boxes, or even more if you don't shop carefully.

My previous Medicare HMO's refused to pay for them at all, they just weren't covered. Effective January 1, I changed HMO's. This year's HMO does cover them, hooray! OMG! I've waited to get these patches for 3 or 4 YEARS, and now, suddenly, I need them far more than ever before.

However...that new HMO still wants a $20 copay.

Just a little $20 copay, right?

But when you have less than zero money, and you acquire a small sum, first you buy food. So those patches sat at Walgreen's for a week, because I didn't have $20 for the copay.

And now I have my patches, and at least for tonight, I can type.
It's so easy to give in to despair, particularly in times like these--to think, "there's nothing I can possibly do to alleviate the suffering around me, so I won't even try." It happens to me, more often than not. I read about the war in Gaza, slave trafficking in Thailand and India, brutality in Africa, the overwhelming global financial meltdown, and my faith feels like the spark left after a candle is blown out, confronting a tsunami.

Then I ask for help, and help arrives, sometimes from people I don't even know. Miracles abound.




1 comment:

Joan said...

lieben und arbeiten