To Your Health

Living with a mental illness and being accident and illness-prone leave you spending long hours in doctor’s offices, in waiting rooms, in line to get your third CT this year or more “routine” labs, at the surgeon’s, at the medical supply company.  And then there’s the routine stuff — the dentist, pdoc appointment, therapy over phone, therapy in person, renew prescription, flu shot, ear infections, the dentist again.

You get the point and I am personally at a point where it feels like all I do is talk to medical and mental health professionals who prescribe tests and medication and specialists.  While all of this does aggravate me (obviously), I am grateful that I have good health insurance.  When I sigh about heading to the next appointment, I think to myself, ‘well at least I can, I have that option.’

I’m not sure what I’d do if I didn’t have any insurance.  I would probably be dead, with two broken feet.  No access to mental health care is unthinkable, unacceptable to me — as someone who has worked on the inside of the system and been a customer on the outside — because it is absolutely vital to many persons, even in a city this size, that meds, therapy, community support saves lives and improves lives and can in many cases make all the difference.

I picture me unmedicated, with my broken foot not in a cam walker, with all the gastro problems of the last year unsolved, no flu shot, no antibiotics for all the ear infections, and so on and so on and, well — I actually can  picture that.  I think you have to live the life of the uninsured or underinsured to really feel the strong pull for healthcare, that desire we all have to be (mostly) well, physically and mentally).

I spent years being underinsured and racking up credit card debt and owing debt to my parents just to pay for my medications.  Then a program was found and it turned out that if QoB laid enough battle down, she could get me on this program.  I’ve been on it for quite a while now, and have since never had to worry about prescription drug cost or what would happen if I broke my foot (again).   And now that I am on SSDI and have two years in, I just started Medicare which will improve my treatment options quite a bit.

What I want to know is — why is it that you must be disabled or elderly before you can get some really good insurance working for you?

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5 thoughts on “To Your Health

  1. I’ve been fighting this battle for fifty years. I don’t understand this country’s reluctance to make sure everyone has medical care if they need it. I’ve lived in a socialist country and the medical care was great. Obama’s program is a big improvement over the nothing that came before. My son FINALLY has insurance. As does my granddaughter. I almost died of lack of insurance 7 years ago. We’ve come a long way … but there’s still a long way to go. Medicare, though, is totally the best medical care money can’t buy. Except for their basic drug program, which sucks. Fortunately, that’s not what you are on … until you turn 65, when they take away all the extra benefits because you don’t need help when you are old … If there is any logic in there, I’d like to know what it is.

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  2. Our country’s priorities are messed up. It’s a good thing that now anyone can get insurance without being denied, but it really is only a first step.

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  3. Obviously living in a country where we have a free national health service, the idea of people not receiving vital medical care (whether for physical or mental health needs) is so alien to us! I’m not saying our health system is perfect, it certainly has many problems, but at least we can go to the GP, or the hospital, without having to check our bank balance, or whether it’s something covered on our insurance, first! I did live in the states for a few years and so experienced it from that side, and I think it certainly made me appreciate more what we have here!

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  4. I was homeless for awhile and was refused service because I was “too high functioning.” It was a nightmare. Once I started to receive Medicare things got better.

    As Marilyn said, Medicare’s drug program sucks. Fortunately, for me, Medical (California’s version of Medicaid) is great when it comes to most prescription drugs. The two combined are a great combination. It took a lot of struggling to get to this state, though.

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