Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Shame on you, Representative Guice. Shame on you.

Dear State Representative Jeffrey Guice,

Please do not blame my Southern mama for the fact that I am ignoring good etiquette and writing you a letter without asking how you are doing, or even inquiring about your family. I don't have to ask to know that if you have children, they obviously want for little,  have had few medical needs, and were able to depend on your financial fortitude for all they required. Good for you. I hope you recognize the blessing there and give thanks every single day.

I am writing because your email reply to Nicole Nichols is everywhere I turn today. I can not ignore it.



I was 28 years old when my triplets were born three months early. I had been arrogant like you prior to that delivery. I assumed that with hard work my husband and I could meet any and every need that these little gifts had.

I assumed wrong.

We worked hard. Please do not question that. My husband is an engineer-turned-surgeon. He was in his second year of medical school when the triplets were born. For the next eight years, he worked 100-plus hours a week every single week.

We did the math and paying for child care times three would have cost more than my salary. We opted for me to stay home. I spent my days caring for our little babies and attempting to balance a checkbook that required creative maneuvering in order to stretch his small resident salary to cover our family of five.

Our pediatrician suggested we try WIC (The Federal food and nutrition aid for Women, Infant Children). Formula cost more a week than Dad brought home. We signed up.

Rep. Guice, it was men like you who made me feel shame every time I used one of those coupons. I wanted to ensure my babies'  health while we worked to better our lives, their lives and frankly today, the lives of children in Mississippi who my husband provides medical care for, so I used the coupons. I bought first formula and then milk as they grew. I thanked God for the provision of helping my children grow healthy bones.

Because Rep Guice, the fact is my babies were born very early and as a result both my boys -- two of three babies -- have Cerebral Palsy. Formula and milk would soon be the least of our needs.

Do you know how much a power wheelchair costs? More than my first two cars combined. Do you know that when a child can navigate his own environment -- even from a power wheelchair -- his brain develops better, faster, more capable of critical thinking? Isn't the promise of a bright young voice to help our state worth the medical costs incurred?

Do you know how much surgeries, therapies, gait training tools cost for growing boys?

Would you seriously have looked at me and told me Mississippi could offer no help? Really?

Representative Guice, when Nicole Nichols reached out to you, she did so as the voice of a mother not just desperate for her own child, but for the other children in our state who require medical aid. She reached out to you because you have been entrusted with the power to help. Your unwillingness was only matched by your ignorance in thinking that email would not be seen by every mother in this state.

And so I say, how dare you. How dare you use your power over my money as a taxpayer in Mississippi to deny the medication that keeps Mrs. Nichols's daughter alive. How dare you shame the women of this state trying to provide for their children. And how dare you not turn your attention instead to improving the healthcare providers' network for our state and thereby ensuring that we are raising healthy leaders for tomorrow.

Until you do this, Rep. Guice, I say the shame is on you.

With absolute sincerity,
Carol Shrader


(Jeffrey Guice is a Mississippi state representative from Ocean Springs. He is a Republican.)





3 comments:

Danita Munday said...

Good for you! I hope he gets so much "fan" mail, he gets buried alive.

charla said...

Word.

AZ Chapman said...

Don't vote for him when hes up for re election