Friday, September 6, 2013

The truth about my band...

I made the big mistakes, I broke some cardinal rules.  I aggressively filled my band for the first year, while I had free visits to see my doctor for fills. I had heartburn in the second year, and I could not sleep at night from this.  It would resolve, come back, resolve, then I'd gained.  I gained 10 lbs. in year 2.  My struggle to eat anything in the morning caused me to stay on soft foods for a long time.  In the third year, I had everything taken out. I still had issues keeping stuff down on a regular basis. The bad days started to out count the good days.  But I didn't go to the doctor because I didn't have insurance.  I attempted to go to the Charity Hospital Emergency in April 2012.  They told me to follow up with my surgeon.  At that point, if I'd had insurance, my band would have come out.  The problem was that serious.

But I didn't get that service.  I know, obesity surgery isn't on the top of the list of severe diseases that any insurance company wants to cover, but I made below the poverty line at that time.  I still got denied Medicaid benefits. What is really awful though, is even now I still don't have insurance. I work on temporary contract with the responsibility to pay my own taxes, and it just isn't affordable for me when my entire year of medical expenses is less than $1,000 out of pocket. I do have an emergency policy, if God forbid, I become critically ill but my "pre-exisitng condition" was not covered in that policy.  I will just die. And I still don't make much more than I did last year, when I worked for a Medicaid clinic that didn't provide insurance or even guaranteed work for its employees.

Our government cares more about fighting wars in other countries to kill people, in their conflicts, which we really should stay out of, which neglects everyone here at home. It takes away from education, health, and peace of mind.  We are a country at a constant war against taking care of people at home. No one person should have to without medical care.  When that is taken care of here, then let's offer our hand to other nations. Let's be the role model our forefathers had planned for us to be.  Let's be the peace leaders, the wise, calm, considerate model country of American humanitarian philosophy, but let's take care of our own people first, let's stop acting like keeping people at home healthy is not important.

I don't get publicly critical about in the government issues.  I have few friends whom have political views similar to my own, so I just don't talk about it.  My views a very different than most of my family.  I really wish anyone with medical insurance who can see a doctor would understand the neglect those of us who go without experience.  It cost me about $80-120 to see my primary care doctor to get two prescriptions twice a year.  No testing, no X-rays, no sleep study.  If I want that, it can cost me anywhere between $200-600.
That's a lot of money when you make wages below the poverty line.

Everyone says, "Well, why don't you get insurance through your husband's employment?"  Don't you think if I could, I would?  It's not financially beneficial for me to get on his plan.  Sure, he's an attorney, but the firm he works for is really small.  The unfortunate part it all is corporate greed that drives the decision for employers to not cover spouses. The skimpy plans, the denial of services...

But, I don't understand it.  I don't get it at all.  Because in my true nature to the core of my being, I believe everyone deserves the same chances at being healthy, well, and enjoying a very long life.

Tell me that it's okay to let people be sick and die.

Tell me.



It irks me that my story could have been different if I'd had the same benefits as Medicaid patients. That last year of my life with the Lapband would have gone differently. That life-threatening visit to Charity Hospital Emergency Room would have played out with a different story. I would have at least had the option to go to the OR for a revision within a few weeks or a month or two, rather than having to wait six months for my surgeon who'd ignored the problem because I didn't have insurance. I see it every day, people who don't work, get government assistance, have quality health care that I could never afford as a working individual. It's a crime and shame.  

It's an unfortunately circumstance to be put in.  I've lost a lot of money over it.  I missed work a lot when I was sick from Lapband complications for those last two years.  I've been bitter about it.  I am getting better though.  I am trying to not be so hard on myself when I know I am eating right, exercising, and doing what is within my capabilities to try to lose weight that I lost before.  The research isn't encouraging though.  The weight is getting harder to take off because of age, metabolism, my dieting history, and the mild feeling of hopelessness I get when I realize that this is hard. 

It's hard with weight loss surgery to help and it's hard without it.  I could be considered depressed, but honestly, I don't let those moments get to me for too long.  I try to combat the mental torture of not knowing when I will be able to get back to where I was, with the confidence that I am doing what I can to lose weight.  It's just not working.  It's not good enough to undo the damage I've done.  That damage being to trust a device and to trust that I'd have health care that would make my weight loss surgery situation right. 

I don't know when or how, but I know it won't do me any good to be depressed about it. It defeats the purpose of trying to live a healthy life and positive attitude.  I just wish my experience would have played out differently.  I wish I year ago, I wouldn't have been on the verge of death.  But I will count my blessings, it could have been much, much worse.  

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