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