Saturday, December 4, 2010

insuranceless in the USA

I apologize to the person whom I partly wrote this to...but this was a good summary of my adventures with insuranceless chronic illness.

 When I got sick in 2002 it started with a runny nose.  And never stopped. So imagine having first bronchitis for a few months, then a cold that never, ever went away. For eight years.
Chronic pansinusitis.

Had I had decent insurance, I would have gotten an ENT consult and proabably had surgery for the problem within a year of diagnosis, if surgery was even necessary. I suspect it would have been, and even if not necessary, I still think it would be beneficial sans the infection. My sinuses and allergies have been chronic problems and chronically made my asthma worse.

My life has been totally derailed by the combination of the sinus infection and the inability to access needed care.  I lost my savings-better yet, I lost the ability to make independence, my apartment, my sanity. I now take more pills than Pac-Man.

You see, sinusitis made my asthma go nuts, my allergies go nuts...and now I'm running across research that suggests it made ME go nuts...apparently, cytokines, which your body pumps out during an allergic reaction, get into the brain and break down serotonin. You then have decay of the serotonin...this might explain why SSRI's coincidentally stopped working as well for me at the same time...because the serotonin is getting broken down while in the synapse....

You see, I was okay for many years on one mood medication. Now I'm not okay on three.

So my lungs were barely working for a while, I was chronically fatigued for a long while, and I had constant hayfever, pretty much. I am physically a lot better. My allergist said if I lost a lot of weight I'd get better. He was right...although I seem to have done it without the stomach stapling he suggested.

But my wife and I also tried to get surgery for me in Mexico..and the Mexican surgeon...well, he didn't do what should have been done-he only took out all the polyps...which was helpful, yes, and I feel better, yes...but it took all the money we had and only fixed the problem about 30%

Since 2002, my life has been one giant allergic reaction due to the presence of the infection. Sinus infections do that.

They also cause chronic fatigue, so I was either sleeping or taking ludicrous amounts of caffiene to work, so I could pay for medicine, for a long period of time. The reason I didn't go to the county sooner: the last time I was with the county, their fee schedule went up such that it was cheaper to go to a private doctor.

That, and they really do suck: they screw up my meds, they can be inflexible even though it causes me an enormous amount of headache, very inefficient, disorganized, have no effective complaint response, I see a new intern resident each time, and I can expect to spend two to four hours at most appointments, waiting for them to get around to me.
Sometimes I have to leave and reschedule so I can go to work.

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