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Sun Dec 18, 2011, 02:35 PM

I need some opinions on an OP for the GD board I am considering writing. Feed back is appreciated.

My story in short. 6 years ago I was hit by a driver who blew through a stop sign. 1 year after that I was driving back from PT from the 1st accident and it happened again. My insurance companies (company health insurance, auto1 and auto 2) get into an argument over who isn't going to pay. Long story short, no one takes responsibility by blaming the other companies. Doctor will not perform spinal surgery without cash at this point. I am in chronic pain and lost my job. I am also partially paralyzed and have bad balance. Oh and I have migraines.

I got another job with a smaller and nicer clinic working administrative tasks. IT's a switch but I like it a learn lots all the time.

This year I started to get spontaneous nose bleeds and cough up some blood. It becomes a daily ritual. I start to make sure that I ALWAYS have tissue at hand, just in case. Migraines get worse and balance is even more off, but I don't think too much about it because, well, I hurt all the time anyway so what is another log on the old shit sandwich?

I post about the downsides of having health problems, make too much to qualify for aid (I'm lucky that way) but too little to afford insurance with a pre-existing and about the bleeding on DU and I get some really good advice to seek more help and get an MRI. I take this advice and the results are really not good. Really not good. I really don't want to think about it, but reality can't be denied unless you are republican.

I haven't given up but my options are basically nil. My clinic is primary care and not set up to deal with this, and while my boss has been supportive (she is basically paying for my MRI), there is little she can do.

So what I want to write about it the dilemma that a growing percentage of American's are facing. We are stuck in a catch 22; we can't afford treatment and we need it. Our choices are either rolling the dice and impoverishing our families (perhaps leading to them being homeless) or rolling the dice and perhaps dying. And a growing number of us are saying that we would rather not leave the legacy of generational poverty to our spouses and families.

I would like your input on your thoughts on this. If you don't have insurance, what are you doing about it? Would you want to know the results of a test if you knew that you couldn't afford treatment (keeping in mind that a lot of this is NOT what ERs do so that is a ridiculous suggestion anyway), or would you not want to know? What would you choose to do? Would you say your goodbyes and then get on an ice flow and drift off? Would you fight for your life? Would you feel, perhaps with justification, that it wasn't worth the fight?

Is this even a topic that should be written about?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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Reply I need some opinions on an OP for the GD board I am considering writing. Feed back is appreciated. (Original post)
MedicalAdmin Dec 2011 OP
Uben Dec 2011 #1
MedicalAdmin Dec 2011 #2
Uben Dec 2011 #3
MedicalAdmin Jan 2012 #7
barbtries Jan 2012 #4
MedicalAdmin Jan 2012 #8
barbtries Jan 2012 #9
Irishonly Jan 2012 #5
MedicalAdmin Jan 2012 #6
Irishonly Jan 2012 #10

Response to MedicalAdmin (Original post)

Sun Dec 18, 2011, 08:20 PM

1. Man, that's some heavy stuff......

I'm afraid we all just cross that road when we get there. People are different and moods tend to be all over the spectrum when faced with one's mortality. I would have to know what I was facing, I believe. That would provide better information as to the road forward. I'd want to know if what ailed me was curable, or would efforts only be an extension of life for a short term. Sometimes things aren't as grim as we have them painted and depression rules our thought. Find out what it is, study it, and make an informed decision on what steps to take next.

Sounds like any lawyer would love to pick up a case like this, and these days I bet you could find one who would take it with out upfront money. I really don't know because I have never used a lawyer myself.

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Response to Uben (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 08:00 AM

2. Thanks.

Last edited Sun Jan 1, 2012, 10:34 PM - Edit history (1)

Good info and a thoughtful post. It sounds like this isn't something you haven't or aren't facing, but I appreciate you putting some serious thought into your reply.

Do you think this is article you would want to read in one of the main forums if it were fleshed out?

Update: my lawyer called. He's been trying to get this resolved for almost 6 years and one of the insurance companies offered to settle. Yes!

How much you ask? $2000.

It's news like that which will drive me to an early grave. (sorry - couldn't resist a little graveyard humor)

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Response to MedicalAdmin (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 06:22 PM

3. Sure, I 'd llike to read it

My wife is going through another bout with cancer right now that will likely take her life. MAybe sooner,maybe later, don't know yet.
What we know is we are dealing with extension of life, not a cure. We have insurance, albeit only catastophic, but this is a catastrophy.

9 yrs ago she got breast cancer, had surgery, and has had nine yrs of good life. Since then, our insurance costs have skyrocketed.

We are currently paying $25,000/yr in premiums! Regular people just can't afford premiums like that. I thnk the intention was to price us out of the market so they would not have to cover her any longer. But, we paid...and paid...and paid. The federal high-risk insurance program requires one to have been uninsured for six months before they are eligilble for enrollment, and to have been denied coverage by other insurance companies. No other insurance companies are willing to cover us, but our current insurance cannot drop us (thanks to HCR), but they would in a heartbeat, if they could.

So, we were considering taking the chance of dropping coverage for six months in order to get on the federal plan, since it has been nine yrs since the breast cancer. That would have cut our premium costs almost in half. HAd we done that, we would have been screwed. She now has cancer again with multiple mets on her spine, multiple mets on her liver, mets in her lungs, kidneys, and colon, and maybe her brain (no results back on that yet).

The prognosis isn't good, but there are good treatments to extend her life.....maybe for months, and who knows, we might get a yr or two.

I can't say what I would do in your situation, mainly because you don't know for sure what your are dealing with. It might be something totally curable or fixable. Blood scares us all, but damn near everything in our body has blood in it or around it.

I don't know if there's anything in our story you can use in your article, but feel free if there is.

Good luck to you friend.

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Response to Uben (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 10:40 PM

7. 24000 a year? Zoinks.

That is the same amount I was quoted with a 10000 deductible. Which is why I don't have insurance. Well, one reason. I can't even afford the crappy federal alternative pool insurance (40% not covered on most procedures) so it's a moot point.

And that waiting period is fucking insane. That definitely needs fixing.

Good luck to you and your wife and thanks for the feedback.

I'll start working on that article tomorrow. And I'll do my best to finish it.

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Response to MedicalAdmin (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 01:12 AM

4. i have thought about you so many times

since that first thread you mentioned. i wish there was something i could do. i don't know where you are, but are you near a teaching hospital? any large city?
i'm so sorry to hear that the news was not good. every time i would think of you i would imagine some easily treated malady.
love your family, love yourself. and please keep us posted as much as possible.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 10:47 PM

8. I am sort of close to the U.Minnesota but I've already applied.

And been turned down. I made too much on paper because I worked as an independent contractor. I would apply again but I really don't want to spend my last days filling out forms.

The sucky part is that I can't afford to see a doc for pain meds. But i have an old friend who said he'd get me something not entirely kosher to help.

Right now I'm just trying to come to terms with this. I'm not a weeping kind of guy, but the last week have been one long cry fest.

I only have a few things left on my list of shit to do before I die. A few phone calls left, a few letters to write, and a few joys to live. I want to see one more good concert.

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Response to MedicalAdmin (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 11:09 PM

9. so sorry to hear this.

please keep in touch. don't stop looking for alternatives. perhaps a clinical trial can help and the drug will work.
how can you not be crying, i don't know. stages and all that.
i was fortunate to see paul simon last month. i recommend, it was great.
there's so much i want to say, don't want to say the wrong thing. like, don't capitulate. if you can still go to work, maybe there is something you can do to turn this around.
what about the county hospital? i don't know, i don't know. write. write and write, not just to the message boards, to the newspapers, to your lawmakers. be as well as you possibly can. love, and let yourself be loved. amen

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Response to MedicalAdmin (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 07:40 PM

5. My uncovered days didn't happen when I was in cancer treatment

When my state disability ran out my husband got insurance through his job and then the company closed. We couldn't afford Cobra and the deductible was high for medicaid so no one went to the doctor. Right before we lost insurance I found out I was diabetic. We knew I had neuropathy. I don't know how I lived. I was trying to get Social Security Disability and it was hell. When I finally got Medicare I went to the doctor and they were astounded I hadn't ever gone into a coma. I knew how to eat a diabetic diet. I believe some of the health concerns I still have go back to the time we didn't have insurance.

I don't know how anyone can receive cancer treatment without insurance. I know in 1999, my chemo treatments were $1600.00 every ten days. It went on for six months.

We have the City of Hope and if you are lucky and uninsured you can receive treatment there at either low or no cost. The problem is the waiting list.

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Response to Irishonly (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 10:30 PM

6. I am well and truly fucked.

But that aside, why does anyone have to rely on charity with it's means testing, spotty coverage and long waiting lists?

Were I in a civilized 1st world nation, this would not be an issue. It wouldn't mean i would survive but at least I would be given a shot.

And what about my family? What about them?

What about them?


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Response to MedicalAdmin (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 12:26 AM

10. I agree with you

If Paul or another republican would have his will, millions more would be hoping a charity would help them. It is criminal that very American does not have health care.

Most of my family is very conservative and think I am nuts. My parents were liberal and I got great values from them. A cousin lived in Belgium and loved the health care her family received. However, when she got back to the states she went back to her old, tired opinion that if you didn't have insurance from your job there was something wrong with you.

I believe most of my health problems got a lot worse because of the time we had no health care. I got through shingles without seeing a doctor and still have scars on my torso. We need to focus on our citizens and we all need to have the same health care that our congress critters have. Many people would have lost their lives if they had the health problem Cheney has. The co-pays and insurance caps would have made treatment almost impossible.

Every year I watch the co-pays increase. I would be terrified if I would be told I had to go in the hospital now.

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