Uninsured, unhealthy, but not very “Un-American”

You may have noticed that I haven’t written in a while, but sadly I’m not off on another continent trotting around so I can’t blame it on my travels.  Barely a week after I got home, I came down with this crazy pain all throughout my innards.  It started in my womanly parts and made me believe it was just cramps, but as the day went on the intense pain spread throughout my abdomen and up into my chest.  I tried to sleep but could only do so for an hour at a time from the random pains that would shoot through my sternum if I accidentally breathed too deeply.  At around 4 am last Monday, I decided to look into going to the emergency room.

After a few minutes of clicking around on the interwebs, I realized I had two choices:  Go to the emergency room, hopefully figure out what is wrong, and end up with a medical bill of a few thousand dollars… or just wait, hope I survive, and be able to afford my future college education.  Unfortunately this kind of choice is something that many people deal with all the time.

You see, I am one of the millions of Americans who lack health insurance.  According the the US census, in 2011 with a population of around 306,560,685 people; 46 million Americans lacked insurance. Of those 46 million, 40 million of them are in the age range of 19-64 years old, thus making myself just one more person of that big statistic.

I survived through my Monday by moving very softly and not eating much.  My stomach seemed to be incredibly bloated and it definitely was, using my tape measure I noticed my waistline was three inches larger than normal.  Late into the night, my throat started to hurt incredibly bad when I swallowed so I told myself if it still hurt in the morning, I would go see my wonderful and free practitioner at the Santa Rosa Junior College.   The next morning I woke up and saw my throat looked as if Lindsey Lohan and Amanda Bynes had a snow party in it, so I made the call and got an appointment half an hour later.  It didn’t take long for my doctor to diagnose me with Strep Throat and to tell me that it’s better just to assume that my internal pain is because of the Strep, instead of believing it could be two separate issues.

So now it’s eleven days after all my pain first began, my strep throat issues are gone, but yet the internal pain is still hanging around.  It hurts to breathe in deeply because something weird is going on within my right shoulder… not the muscles or bone… but something up in that region is quite painful.  I also still have the abdomen pain and have been having a headache nearly every day.  Alyssa and my friends have been harassing me for many days now to try going to the doctor again (not the simple care at my school) and I keep giving the same excuse of not having enough money to do so.  But being that I just lost a classmate to colon cancer and many people in my life seem to be having health issues; I decided I better just cough up the cash and get myself checked out.

It’s been over twelve years since I’ve had any sort of blood tests or even a physical just to check up on myself.  I’ve had my womanly parts taken care of thanks to Planned Parenthood, but who knows what has been going on elsewhere in my body.  Maybe I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome too…   Maybe my internal pain is just from strep throat…

Regardless of what the results are, at least I’ll be able to find out what has been going on.  I have one more day left of penicillin and then I’m excited to start on an Erba Vita detox supplement for the next month to get all these medications out of my system.  I’ve done my grocery shopping and will be saying goodbye to refined sugars and processed foods again, hopefully this time I’ll be more motivated since I won’t have any excuse of “being on vacation” or “being sick” again.

So what I wonder from all of you – Who has insurance?  Who doesn’t?  What does it take to finally get YOU go to the doctor?

Till next time,

AprilSignatur


16 thoughts on “Uninsured, unhealthy, but not very “Un-American”

  1. I feel you! I’m in the same boat for now and it’s scary to think that if something happens to me, I don’t have the choice to just go to emergency without worrying about the costs. I hope what you have isn’t serious and that you get well soon! 🙂

  2. I’ve been uninsured off and on for YEARS now – I have been a seasonal employee. Now I am actually unemployed, have NEEDED to go to a doctor but couldn’t. I’ve been lucky to know a few nurses and physical therapists, etc, who have helped me (my SIL actually did PT for me and gave me exercises to do at home and saved me and my shoulder from just excruciating pain!). I will be fully insured in about a month (marrying someone who has a state job) and I am going to the doctor, the gyno, the dentist and a therapist RIGHT AWAY!!

  3. I was lucky. Before I got insurance through my job, I had a catastrophic policy ($1,000 yearly deductible) that my parents paid for. Not being able to go to the doctor when you need to is such a horrible feeling – I’m so sorry!

    For you and anyone else who’s in the same boat, here’s a link to California’s state-sponsored insurance exchange website where you can find out how much it will cost you for insurance starting next year when it becomes required for everyone AND how much you’ll get back in tax credits to help pay for that insurance.

    • I’m totally lost on the whole deductible thing! I found a plan for $116 a month but it has a $2,500 deductible. I’m guessing that’s not a very good plan?

  4. Aghhh. This post brought tears to my eyes. I have chronic health issues that require meds. Without insurance, I’d be basically bedridden. The system is so effed up!!! No person should have to decide between debt and medical care. On that note, take care of yourself the best you can. I hope everything works out!!!!

    • I’m happy that you’re able to get taken care of! I’ve been really lucky all these years without anything major happening… well I did have some cervical issues but I happened to be insured for those six months that it all was happening… so at least that worked out!

  5. I’m so thankful I married a dude who has health insurance, because now that I’m freelance, I don’t get squat. Even with his insurance though, it ends up costing me about $350 a month to be insured on top of his premiums. I am GLAD you’re going to the doctor though. It sucks it’s gonna be expensive but your health you can’t always get back… money, you can.

  6. I hate not having insurance. I lost my job in February of this year and the one thing I was terrified of losing was the insurance. It wasn’t the daunting idea not being able to support myself it was losing my insurance. We live in a world where we may need medical help and unless you have insurance you could spend the rest of your life paying off medical bills. I can tell you that unless I’m bleeding badly or in sever pain, I don’t go to the doctor. It’s a scary thought because unless you go get regular check-ups how do you know if there is something wrong? Or if you could have prevented it?

    • It’s totally scary! I’ve been quite concerned for my health after the past few months and having so many people in my life coming down with illnesses and finding out they have some serious stuff going on.

      It sucks that so many Americans have to have that choice of not getting healthcare pushed upon them because of the cash.

  7. We went without health insurance for several years. It isn’t fun.

    However, if you do go to the ER, most hospitals have a patient assistance plan that will greatly reduce or eliminate your payment. It was what saved me when I came down with pneumonia while uninsured. An ER has to treat you and then they’ll bill you. It might be worth a phone call to see if your local hospital has a Patient Assistance program.

    Feel better soon!

    • That’s good advice!

      I always had this image in my mind of walking into the ER and telling them I have no insurance… and them just looking at me blankly and telling me that they can’t help.

      🙁

  8. Being from England the whole healthcare system here sucks! I am lucky that I have healthcare through my husbands work, but have heard so many horror stories, it makes me so sad.
    Hope you feel better soon

  9. Until HCR goes into affect in January, apply online for CMSP [county medical services program]: https://www.mybenefitscalwin.org/

    You won’t have to come in for an interview or anything, but you will need to provide income [if you have any], original forms of citizenship and ID [which can be done in either offices – 520 mendocino ave or 2550 paulin drive] and assets [vehicle information, bank accts, etc]. It is not the best in the world, but it will at least help you get the care you need and get you through the new year. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

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