Archive for March, 2012

March 7, 2012

Health Insurance

Universal health care in the US has been a major political topic the past couple years, so why shouldn’t I bring it up?

Most people know I have a condition called endometriosis. I will not go into major detail on what it is, but for this post you need to understand that endometriosis can result in infertility or other major health complications. Needless to say, if you want kids and you have endometriosis, you will go through anything to have that multi-thousand dollar surgery.

I have had one surgery already, which helped for a short while. Most women with endometriosis have as many as five of the same surgeries I had a few years ago. I am due for another. An endometriosis specialist recently developed a more efficient surgery and is becoming well-recognized for it. This surgery supposedly can halt, or dare I say cure, endometriosis. I was scheduled to have surgery last December, before I was rescheduled due to a personal conflict with the surgeon. I rescheduled my operation for June and defaulted on insurance payments.

No, I am not poor (or rich). I am a middle class white woman. My insurance costs (before I failed to pay for too long) were nearly three times the cost of any “healthy” persons. Because of this, I did not have my surgery in June and rescheduled for August, with the hopes of finding someone that will give me insurance.

The search for affordable (not cheap) insurance has been absolutely impossible. I attend a university in California and my own school will not give me insurance. The best offer I have found was to pay an astronomical premium for 6 months on time with no treatment on my condition, and then my rates will drop. My mother has been doing everything in her power to find insurance for me, however we are both close to giving up.

In order to slow the growth of my endometriosis, I have been taking an endless amount of birth control. I don’t remember what it is like to have a natural balance of hormones in my system. Artificial hormones have been pumping through my system since middle school. As much as I would like to stop taking birth control, I cannot because I cannot get treatment for an extremely common disease.

About a year ago, I felt ambitious and stubborn and enrolled in a dance class that was far above my skill level. Trust me this is related. I had a great time and learned a lot, however because I was so under skilled, I tore my meniscus in my left knee. I ignored it and began to favor that leg, and now my right knee has the same problem. Once again, the only solution for a torn or damaged meniscus is surgery that I cannot afford. And so, here I am with a $17 dollar knee brace on my left knee hobbling around a university that has been dubbed “Hills and Stairs University.” My knees are getting worse and I cannot do anything about it.

Yes, I know, I’m whining about how hard my life is when others have it worse. But, if no one complains, how can anything improve? And if we all go my this “there are children starving in Africa” attitude, we will never address the hunger that is happening in the neighboring town. Other countries have their problems, some much worse than others, however that is not an excuse to not fix the problems that we see in our backyard. Who sits on their front porch and says, “Well, I’m not going to mow my lawn today, because he hasn’t for a week.” I would hope no one.

I sure as hell don’t. I have a tattoo on my ankle that reminds me everyday to “be the change I wish to see in the world.” And so here it is. Maybe I’ll write the Senate, or to Santorum, or Obama. Maybe I’ll just write on here and hope someone stumbles upon it. Or maybe I’ll do something else, I don’t know. All I know is I am sick (literally) of not living my days to their fullest because of someone else. And I’m tired of waiting for someone else to do something about it.

Wish me luck.