Sean Plunket and a few other right-wing powerful people in the media have bought up about parking fees at hospitals again. I have a couple of stories, I would have phoned Plunket but I am too upset and he would have just abused me, like he abuses all disabled poor people he doesn’t want to hear from.
Early last year I moved to Wainuiomata from Carterton, my daughter was leaving home and I could not afford to live in the house I was in. I had got a boarder a few months before, he was 16 and on one of those government schemes for under 18s who HAD TO leave home. I have a disability/stress disorder as a result of sexual abuse and have been unable to work (because ACC refuse to reinstate my rehabilitation and treatment). He was incredibly strange, wasn’t able to pay up front and his father and him told me repeatedly WINZ would pay his board right from when he arrived.
The money for his board didn’t come for weeks, I had to get a food grant to pay for his food, my daughters and mine – (begging for food grants is deeply humiliating) I was only charging him $150 per week. By the time he had racked up $600 worth of board I was beside myself, writing to WINZ etc - his father was giving him some food and I watched the revolting little shit throw out food he let go to waste. When WINZ eventually paid me it was $350 and they said I would get no more – his father said he was broke and couldn’t pay and neither could the little shit. He had money for a new phone though and other things.
He wasn’t from an abusive home or anything, he was from a home where he was spoilt rotten, he was abusive towards his friends and family, he took advantage of me – and I am disabled with a stress disorder, because he thought everybody owed him. He moved things around in the house, invited friends around for parties & had noise control called because he wouldn’t listen to me. I phoned youth services repeatedly saying he should not be on the scheme there was nothing wrong with the spoilt little shit and in fact some neglect and physical abuse would do him good.
How does this relate to parking you ask?
Because I didn’t get the money for the little shit from WINZ I couldn’t register my car, which had never been without a warrant and rego ever! After I moved to Wainui, I moved in with a ‘friend’ living in squalor, starving herself to death after years being degraded and denied care on ACC – she was a badly abused child, now an adult who didn’t have enough money to live. We tried to support each other it didn’t work out after police turned up with tazers and a police dog looking for me, because I phoned John Keys office begging for ACC care both of us were entitled to and saying how unwell we were. She was frightened of police after they refused to believe her complaints of sexual & physical abuse by her stepfather, that lasted for many years.
Then my best friend Richard had a stroke (I have very few friends after years of poverty, disability and unemployment), I used what money I had for petrol so I could drive to Wellington hospital and see him as I knew he was distressed. I couldn’t afford to park in the carpark at the hospital, even though I knew if I parked on the street I would probably get a ticket of $200 for no registration – thank you Wgtn City Council. And I was right, I got the ticket, knowing there was no way in the situation I was in that I could ever pay it. At the time WINZ Wainuiomata were paying me $280 per week, I could not live on that – but they didn’t care. My case manager said she knew I couldn’t live on it but couldn’t do anything (behind her was a full wall mural of with a Maori phrase that says something about HE TANGATA, HE TANGATA, HE TANGATA).
SECOND STORY ABOUT PARKING FEES AT LOWER HUTT HOSPITAL.
This one is really hard to write because it still traumatises me. I had had to move from my first place in Wainuiomata because my flatmate became abusive after police turned up for me under mental health. I found board with a couple at another place in Wainuiomata, I didn’t want to move back to the Wairarapa, even though I considered it, because I knew there were no mental health services there and I was badly discriminated against because of my disorder. (FOUND OUT EVENUTALLY ALL MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ARE NOW ABUSIVE.) I just wanted to get better and get back to work.
Six weeks after moving to the next place, where I soon felt very unsafe and again taken advantage of, the woman attempted suicide and I had to phone the ambulance. She spent 3 days in intensive care, then was sent home with NO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES – NONE - no consideration of my mental health issues either (I suffer from suicidal stuff myself). It was a living nightmare.
After my move to 2nd house in Wainui I had been lifting so many heavy boxes I ruptured a cyst I had under my right breast and it became tender and sore. I went to the doctor thinking it might be cancer (as you do) and had a biopsy done on it. I had been returning to the Wairarapa to stay with a friend every week after the suicide attempt, staying for a few days during the week, then returning home on the weekend. I had become really worried for my flatmates grandchildren who were sent every weekend by their parents to stay and be cared for – they were sent the weekend after the suicide attempt. The parents stayed an extra hour, but left the kids anyway. I could not believe it.
So I was in Carterton with my friend and the cyst was becoming really angry, red and sore, I had started to feel really unwell and stopped eating. My friend looked at it, but she hates people being sick and told me I was worried about nothing. I knew there was something wrong so on the way home, I only had enough petrol to get home and $10 in the bank, I stopped at Lower Hutt hospital. It was a week day so I couldn’t get a park on the street around the hospital and had to park in the carpark.
I waited for two hours to be seen (and that’s another story, about something that happened with a foreign nurse and a mother with her OBVIOUSLY very unwell teenage child). The whole time sitting there feeling nauseous in a cold sweat, worrying that I would be there too long and wouldn’t have enough money to leave the hospital carpark – then what would I do.
Eventually I was seen and the cyst had turned septic, it required a small piece of surgery to lance it and dress it or I would have got worse and worse until I died of toxaemia. I had to have it dressed for weeks afterwards as there was a large hole. I was asked if I wanted to stay in hospital the night to deal with it, or a surgeon could do it then, but it would mean a little more pain for me. I chose NOT TO STAY of course, wouldn’t want to be a bludger, NZers hate bludgers.
This really nice young surgeon performed the operation, which was horrible and made me almost throw up because of the smell, poor him. Afterwards I was getting ready to leave and had a severe traumatic stress reaction, where I went numb, couldn’t speak, put my fingers in my ears, closed my eyes that were leaking (only my eyes were crying, just tears streaming down my face), put my head down and started rocking backwards and forwards. Nursing staff saw what happened, realised what was going on and put me in a room, on my own for a while, until I had recovered. (I should not have been left alone but they don’t care about how suicidal you are, its not important, they’re busy.)
All this time I was still worrying about the parking fee, I even mentioned it to the surgeon when he was operating on me. I asked him afterwards how something like that could get infected as I had never in my life had an infection my body didn’t deal with – he said if I was under a lot of stress that could do it – which I was. Not that ACC, mental health, WINZ or the NZ government gave a shit, in fact stressing people out so they do get sick is probably what they want – then they can moan about how much poor people cost.
By the time I left Lower Hutt hospital (who prides itself on the long wait times and tells people they must accept them – see the posters) I had racked up $7 in parking fees. Problem was I needed painkillers and anti-biotics which were going to cost me $10 (thanks to NZ govt for upping script charges). I went to the urgent pharmacy up the road, so humiliated, I had never been into a shop and begged for medication before because I didn’t have any money – I am 50 years old.
I will never forget the complete humiliation I felt standing their waiting at the chemist, with people standing around that I knew were going to here what I had to say, waiting to see if I could get the medication I desperately needed or not. (I still felt very unwell, my whole right side of my upper body had been poisoned). I wanted to run and I wanted to die, I want to die a lot.
The pharmacist said he would still give me the medication but I would have to give all my details and would have to come back the next day, when I had been paid, to pay back the money. It was a 30 minute car journey from Wainuiomata to Lower Hutt and I had to pay for the petrol to get back the next day on top of the $12.
When you go through things like this you become even sadder and so much more disappointed in all the people who created this neo-liberal hell we now live in. Government, hospitals etc. Also with the mainstream media who are ignoring just how bad things have become for the poorest NZers. When you go through things like this you realise NZ is not a civilized country any longer after 30 years of austerity against the poor. You realise the leaders of our country are corrupt and what’s happening here is not much different to what was happening in NAZI German – with the majority of the population participating in the persecution, degradation and discrimination of an innocent minority.
Can’t stop crying, kia kaha to us all