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Friday, March 4, 2011

Bang Head Here

That is what I feel like doing, what I feel like I need to release the stress from today's events earlier today. But let me back up just a bit. This actually started a week ago, and really nearly two years ago when my husband lost his job and with it our medical insurance. OH ! Yep you are getting it, even before I go further are you not? Any time you mention insurance suddenly you become part of a club that totally understands why one would want to bang their head out of frustration. 

When my husband lost his job, then his insurance, we had just had both our physicals. So we knew we had time to get back on our feet, have him get another job and secure coverage. Well as each job came and went it put that off. When finally he was hired in a shift management spot at a local car dealership, we waited our several months to be offered insurance and I was actually excited to be able to get all our check ups and such and maybe even some help with my health issues. I had never had to worry before about not having insurance. We had never been without for very long, and when we had there was always low cost clinics to get what we needed taken care of. So the time came to get insurance from my husbands job and then we found out the premiums. There was no way. Heck we can barely afford the co-pays they were going to require, never mind what the monthly fee would be. We would have to pass and become the 100% uninsured. Not a great thing when you hit middle age and you already have a few health issues and you know possibly others are around the bend as you get older. Scary really! 
We did not panic at first. We had time to see if he could get a raise, a promotion and we would use the extra to secure insurance. But so far that time has not come. But the time had come that we both really needed our yearly check ups, past it actually. It has been nearly two years for my husband and past that for me, and a mammogram, well it has been nearly 4 now. There is not high risk for issues there, but having personally known nearly 10 women in my life that have had breast cancer and some had no family history, it is a bit worrisome going this long without getting a check up. 

I managed to find that I could get a free one, but would have to get a referral first. That meant a visit to the doctor and an exam. If I was going to do that, I might as well get the other dreaded, have to shave your legs exam. I had no idea how hard it would be to find a way to make that happen. That is where the frustration is coming from! I went to the handy dandy search engine seeking out places to go that we could afford. I call Planned Parenthood, as I was told by the people that handle the free mammos to go there. They have sliding rates for people such as I who need care, but can not afford it and can not qualify for state aide.  I call, and am told that the first two weeks are filled up, and the rest of the schedule is not up. Call back Friday. I called today, as I was told to do. Same answer. Now if you are a woman reading this, you realize that there is only a small window each month that you can have or want to have ( and I use that word sarcastically) this exam. I hang up not knowing what to do.

AH HA! Call the local health clinic. No one answered the phone...ever. Called another clinic, they do not do that exam. I got that answer a lot. I call other places, recordings and endless ringing. I run out of local places. Places that are not an hour commute. I am considering just not doing it. Taking my chances. Finally I find a woman's health center, I call. They do not take cash patients. Here is another number, call them. SUCCESS! I finally find a place, and I start to get the cost information. DEFEATED. It will be costing me about 200.00 for the exam and lab fee. This is our entire tax return ( well when it finally shows up) , nearly double what Planned Parenthood would have cost, if it was run properly and if you could get in. Deflated and disappointing that after the exam I will not even have enough cash left over for a cup of coffee, but I make the appointment. 

 I did some research to see if we could qualify for any help. Dead end. I got quotes for low income insurance. Let me just say if we had that kind of money per month I would not even consider us that low of an income. It truly was so disheartening not to mention frightening of what the future holds health wise. Between my already existing health issues, dental issues and ones I surely will face no matter how hard I fight to keep them at bay, not to mention family history feeding into really makes you shake in your proverbial boots at what the future may hold in this area of my life. 

One of my greatest fears, the biggest above any, is myself or my husband becoming seriously ill and not catching it early enough. Having lost my husbands Mother at a young age to Cancer feeds into this. My husband has a skipping heart beat, has had issues related to it in the past, then add in his poor dental health that can trigger all sorts of things, well the one thing a person on a day to day basis takes for granted, good health, can change in a blink of an eye. I have seen it first hand. I have lost so many people when it was unexpected. From a childhood friend dying at the age of eight from a fever after being given aspirin, to seeing my favorite Uncle drop from a heart attack to die instantly, to my Grandpa having a seizure from brain cancer the doctors missed because everything else seemed fine. The list goes on and on. I have seen too much illness and death in my lifetime. Too much. My father in Texas, well he is pretty close as well. All these people had health care, and we do it worsens the fear of what can happen. I shudder at the thought. 
I love my country. I even like our President, and think he is doing the best that he can with the train wreck he has been given to clean up. But I have to wonder what kind of future we all have when there are so many of us living day to day, pay check to pay check unable to take care of our basic needs such as health care, so that we can continue to keep living. I see my three daughters not getting the care that they need. Not wanting children because of the cost and not just from raising them , but medical care leading up to and during and past for them and the children. It just saddens me. Truly. And I am frustrated that I am one of the poster children for what living as the working poor, or the spouse of a working poor man is. Just makes me want to bang my head a few extra times and I will never stop wondering why our country is willing to let us all slowly become more and more possibly become the walking ill and unable to do anything to help us or help ourselves. Banging the head once more out of stress filled frustration...repeating steps 1-3.


  1. I've got a big one on the back of my office door! They sure come in handy.

  2. This sounds very frustrating. I'm so sorry. But I'd keep trying Planned Parenthood. Maybe your local one is a little overstressed right now, but it's a great organization and that's what they're there for. Given the current political climate, I hope they'll continue to be there, but who knows? Get in now!

  3. My mom and dad are going through this same crap right now. It sucks when you're too poor to pay for your healthcare but not poor enough to get it free!


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