Monday, November 16, 2009

Nick/ Cut

So, today I had the little tumor-thing cut off my back. I named it Nick, after one of the Backstreet Boys. Subsequent tumor-things removed from my back will be named after the other band members. The doctor was very pleasant, and quite kind. He played music, I think to keep me from hearing what he was doing. Regardless, I heard the "snip" when he cut away the bulk of Nick. It was a bit disconcerting. Not nearly as disconcerting as seeing Nick, held between thumb and index finger four feet away from my body.
I have a few stitches that have to come out next week, and a few rules to follow in the meantime. Put polysporin on it, change the bandage, don't get it wet for twenty four hours, those sorts of rules. It twinges a little, and if it really starts to hurt I can take tylenol (I think it's weird that spellchecker has no problem with the word tylenol, but Avis is flagged). The only thing that worries me is when I sleep. See, I move around when I sleep. A lot. I don't want to aggravate the stitches anymore than they already are.
I do not have health insurance. So every time I need to have a tumor removed (or just a plain old check up) it costs a lot of money. Out of pocket. Most of my doctors have been really cool about it, offering some sort of price reduction to help out. This visit cost less than it could have, thanks to the doctor for understanding that no insurance and no job means parental payment. We still had to pay a lot though. Plus there was an additional $200 pathologist fee, to have someone look at it to see if it has anything to do with the dreaded "C" word.
Neurofibromatosis is a "pre-existing condition" that precludes me from most insurance. The places that WILL cover me want an arm and a leg in monthly fees and a HUGE deductable. It costs less to not have those fees. But, if any of my tumors (I have well over 40) should turn cancerous, I'm screwed.
Why does health care have to cost so much? Why isn't there a better system in place to help people who can't cover those costs?
I would like to encourage everyone who reads this (all four of you) to go to www.ctf.org and learn more about neurofibromatosis. The site explains things far better than I could. If you have any questions pertaining to my specific case, I'll answer as best I can.

--Little Bird is now Nickless

12 comments:

Ms B said...

I'm glad Nick got nicked without a hitch! Speedy recovery!

Bruce said...

I'm just incredibly angry. It is an abomination that people in the most developed country in the world have to choose between their health and their finances! How can anybody tolerate the status quo?! Why aren't people rioting in the streets?! AAARRRRGGGHHH!!!
*pant pant pant*
Sorry. This just really gets me steamed. You and Sharon are both screwed by this, and it just so very WRONG.

Scott said...

I'm not going to bother with the long rant about how screwed up health care is in this county. I'll just wish you a very speedy recovery.

DeepInTheHeart said...

Health insurance problems add insult to injury. I look at the price my insurance company has negotiated with the doctor and it is lower than I'd have to pay if I was uninsured. How is that fair?

As though people who can't afford health insurance need higher prices?!?!

But hey, I didn't comment to rant. Just to send hugs and well wishes!
word verification: pionch - when you pinch a beotch

Anonymous said...

I always love it when people talk about the uninsured/underinsured like they are people who did something wrong, or that they choose to be that way.
Hope you feel better soon!

Little Bird said...

You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for your well wishes! It still itches like mad, and I can't scratch it. The really fun part is when I have to put the polysporin on. The now-nickless spot is that one spot on the back that most people can't reach. I can reach it, but when I do, it tugs on the stitches a bit. *sigh*
But, with Nick gone, there is no more excessive bleeding, so that's good!

Bruce said...

Sounds like you got rid of him in the Nick of time!

Clare Huber said...

Glad you are OK, I live in the UK where our healthcare system is free to all. We pay through a system called National Insurance, which if you are working, gets taken our of your pay, you do not get a choice, I think it is about 10%. This also goes towards a state pension, which you get at 65 no matter what. What is great about the system though, is that if you dont work and contribute you still get state of the art healthcare, it does not discriminate, all are treated the same. You can pay for additional private healthcare, which means you get treated sooner, but not better. The USA system is floored in so many ways, I cannot imagine having to cope with a condition, and also have the concern of how to pay for treatment. The way you handle it is admirable. I wish you all the best. Clare. BTW, have you considered moving to the UK???

Little Bird said...

I think about moving to the UK or France often. I couldn't afford the move though! As for the health care system here in the states, something's gotta give. Unfortunately, it'll probably break in such a way that we're all screwed.

Clare Huber said...

Hey Avis,
Am I right in thinking that there is no free healthcare at all? What happens if someone is really sick, would they turn them away, regardless, and leave them in pain? I don't know enough about the system at all?
Have you ever been across the water?

Little Bird said...

While there really isn't such a thing as free health care, the hospitals are required by law to treat anyone who comes in. At least until the patient is well enough to be shuffled off to some second or third rate dump. There are also programs for those who need them, but they usually have a time limit and a cost cap. Some people (like me) have a pretty hard time of it because employment is difficult at best, but because you can't really SEE the problem, we are often denied things like SSI and medicaid. We fall through the cracks.
But yes, I have had the opportunity to travel to London, Florence, and Barcelona. My family and I find a way to travel when we can. I haven't been in a long time, like ten years or so though.

Jessmeca said...

Hey Avis,

I hope you are feeling allot better soon and that Nick doesnt decide to make a come back :)

Have you ever thought of moving to Alberta? Im an Aussie but am living in Alberta atm and we get alberta health care cause we are working here and living her for 6 months of the year.

There isnt a minimum you need to earn to be granted Alberta Health Care, and they treat me with my pre-existing medical conditions with no questions or premiums... best of all it is a completely free system, the only thing you have to pay for are any take home aid's ie casts crutches etc (as we found out when my partner broke his arm and leg)

Just something for you to think about :) Oh and i thought Obama was fixing health care???