In A Nutshell

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Despite being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about a decade ago, I was able to work and lead a "normal" life, until I became severely ill with MS type symptoms one month after being laid off in June 2009, which meant no health insurance to properly address the problem. I spent 3 days in the hospital but since they initially did not want to keep me (one doc said I may have MS, but was overruled), I did not qualify for the financial aid for hospital bills because they did not think I belonged there. I was misdiagnosed with Labyrintits and sent on my way. I was told it would go away in a few weeks, that was 3 years ago and I have had the symptoms of dizziness, balance problems, vertigo, and pain every day since then. I went to a local free health clinic until they told me they exhausted all their options and could not help me any longer. I cannot drive nor work outside the home and only walk briefly with the aid of a cane, but also can't get disability because I have no real diagnosis for these particular symptoms. These are the chronicles of my (so far) dead-end journey riddled with bodies of good intentions.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dignity is for People with Health Insurance

It's time to try a new avenue once again. I am at the end of my thyroid prescription. I made it last twice as long because I only take half a dose. Yes, all medically trained people will yell at me for that, but it is what it is. Can't just call in a refill, because you have to see a doctor regularly because they will only give you so many refills. Plus, I still have to pay for the prescription. However, my paperwork for the free clinic expired a while back. Despite what  many may think or Dr.Oz says, you don't just walk into a clinic. You have to make an appointment first for a financial intake, then, if you qualify, make a separate appointment. Often just obtaining the first appointment can take months.

I wanted to see if there was another local free clinic because the one I went to said they exhausted their options in regards to trying to diagnose my balance and vertigo problems. I went online and saw another one (Crossover Ministries), so I called it. Much to my relief, she simply asked me a few yes or now questions.

"Do you have any income?"

"No." (It's much easier to say that than explain that I make money by writing, but not enough to make a living really. I do tell the whole story at the actual appointment, I found it's better this way)

"Did you file taxes for 2010?"

"No." (I did the calculations, but found out I would only get back $48 dollars so did not file for that year)

"Is family financially supporting you?"


"Are you on food stamps?"


"Are you on Medicaid?"


That was it, luckily she did not question any of my answers and I got  my appointment for January 18, 2012, the earliest she could give me. I told her I would run out of my prescription before then, so she gave me the number for Care-A-Van. She said they provide services, but move around to different locations each day and as soon as I found out where they would be, I should immediately show up. I can read and hear between the lines, so the translation probably is:  "Lines will be long, there are no guarantees that you will be seen, and please leave your dignity at home."

Since I have to find someone to drive me there, I have put that option on the back burner as I do not want to subject someone to that inconvenience unless I absolutely have to.


Wordstock said...

I wish I had written "Dignity is for people with health insurance". Great post and oh so true. The Dr. Oz comment was even better. Some people just don't live in the real world. BTW, Happy Birthday!

Diane said...

More important facts about life without healthcare. Most Americans WITH insurance haven't a clue. "Oh, yeah," they think. "Someone else will help them."