Our Voices, Our Health
Part 3: Happy & Healthy
Previously on Part II of Health on Hold, Catherine and Judy discussed how high medical costs and lack of insurance can prevent people, like Catherine, from seeking help for their illness. In this segment, the two women reflect on the importance of health in their lives and the need for more accessible health coverage programs.
Read the entire transcript in Korean.
▼ English Transcript (click to expand)
Speaker Initials: Catherine Choi - CC, Judy Choi - JC
*This is not a direct translation. This story has been summarized in English for those who do not understand or read Korean
CC Staying healthy is the most important thing for me right now. I have to take care of my kids and take care of the things around the house. I can’t afford to be sick again. I am still young.
JC Yeah, you sure are still young.
CC I feel better now. The only thing is that I still don’t have a regular insurance so my ability to visit dentists or internal medical doctors is very limited. In order for me to receive a check up, I need to pay cash or I need to find other programs that might help me.
JC I hope there are more programs that could help people like you.
CCRight. There are many people like me. They avoid going to the hospitals and just take a few Tylenols for the pain. Unfortunately, this would let the illness grow further. People would eventually end up in the ER like I did. I wish there was a program that would allow people like me to receive a health insurance service, so we could at least get some check ups.
JC I hope and foresee that they will expand programs like that.
CC I think so too. I don’t know exactly when it would happen so I don’t expect too much. I am just thankful that I am no longer sick like I used to be.
JC Yeah. I was glad to see you improve your health over the years.
CC There were a few times when I would visit the local community clinic for my sons’ immunization. The doctor would see me and ask what my illness was.
JC Yes, the color of your face wasn’t so good
CC My face was always yellow from being sick. When I visited the doctor for my mother’s stomach..
JC They would ask you how sick you were?
CC Yes, instead of looking at my mother, they would notice the color of my face and recommend me to visit the hospital as soon as possible.
JC But now you don’t feel sick any more. If I didn’t know you, I wouldn’t be able to tell if you were seriously sick before.
CC Nowadays, I hardly ever lay down and spend all day because of dizziness. I feel good now. I try to forget the things that happened to me in the past. But I sometimes think about the time when I contemplated whether the surgery was the right decision for me. I think it was the right decision because I was so sick in those days and I didn’t really want to keep being on birth control pills or receive someone else’s blood through the blood transfusions. Even though I don’t know what else may develop later in life, I think I am ok.
JC If you know of anyone who is in your situation, please tell them about the ER benefits you talked about today. I will do the same.
CC Yes. Let’s spread the word. I always tell people they could get their surgery covered through the ER insurance. They shouldn’t just endure the pain at home.
JC You were pretty lucky after all.
CC Right. I am very grateful. I am so relieved that I could get back on my feet and be normally functioning again.
JC That is a very good thing.
CC I can raise my kids properly again.
JC Your family members are happy now?
JC Because their mother and daughter are healthy.
CC That is corect.
JC I am happy too.
The Korean Resource Center (KRC) was founded in 1983 to empower low-income, immigrant, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and people of color communities in Southern California. Using a holistic approach, KRC strives to empower our community by integrating services, education, culture, organizing, and coalition building.
For more information, please contact KRC:
Address: 900 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90019
Phone: (323) 937-3718
Our Voices, Our Health is a series by Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) in collaboration with StoryCorps and multiple Health Justice Network partners. Beginning November 2017, we are be sharing compelling stories to highlight the diversity of health care challenges and experiences within California’s Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.
November 1, 2017 to January 30, 2018 is the open enrollment period for Covered California, California’s health exchange marketplace. If you need assistance to enroll, renew, or use your health coverage, click here to find a Certified Enrollment Counselor near you or contact (213) 241-0262 or [email protected]!
This series was produced by Advancing Justice-LA, with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate word. www.storycorps.org.
Advancing Justice-LA would like to thank the following Funders for their generous support of this project: The California Wellness Foundation, The California Endowment, Covered California, DentaQuest Foundation, and Walter and Shirley Wang.