The trunk of my minivan tells strange stories. Most people treat their vehicles like a big purse or backpack. I am no exception. As a healthcare advocate and middle-aged housewife, the mishmash of the radical and the domestic aspects of my world can get a little spooky.
I am part of a network of local nonprofit healthcare providers that share our resources to better serve our community. Today, I drove up to the HIV Alliance to drop off a donation of insulin syringes. I opened the trunk and reached in to put the sharps container on top of our donations. The sight before me gave me pause.
Along with the syringes and filled sharps container the size of a milk jug, I had the following:
- 3 empty water jugs (3 gallon size)
- a washing machine hose
- a 16oz bottle of hand lotion
- a box of a variety of bulk vitamins
- empty shopping bags
- a shoebox with over 30 bottles of herbal medicine
- a box of 4 x 4 gauze pads
- a jumbo box of ABD pads
- a 10# bag of organic potting soil
- 8 boxes of blood glucose lancets
- a basketball net
- 2-32oz bottles of rubbing alcohol
- 3 boxes of sterile cotton-tipped swabs
- 2 packages of men’s athletic socks
I understood why each of these items were in the back of my van but I imagined what a passerby might think about the person who kept such a wild menagerie. All I was missing was a set of test tubes marked “Property of Frankenstein Labs”.
The contents of my trunk reflected the events of my day: picking up and dropping off donations for the clinic and our allies, personal errands and debris of the week that I had been too tired or distracted to unload from yesterday. It all made some kind of erratic sense to me but it got me thinking.
Occupy Medical has been just as beautiful a gift to my community as it has been to me. My life has been transformed by the focus that this little weekly free clinic demands in order to serve the needs of our patients. I am doing things now that I never thought possible or even probable. The truth is that I love it even if it means that I have the scariest minivan-shaped purse ever.