Friday, June 29, 2012

A good day for the uninsured - plus an update

I'm celebrating today because something that has been a huge factor most of my adult life is now no longer an issue.

When I was 21 I was kicked out of my parents health insurance and left to my own devices. The college I went to was a commuter college and too small to have a full service clinic. That meant if I was sick or hurt I had to go to an emergency room or pay cash at my doctor's office. If you have never been sick and uninsured you do not understand what a big deal that is. Uninsured patients are required to pay cash up front and in full at most doctor's offices. They are charged almost twice (and sometimes more) than the going rate for a person with insurance. The emergency room can't turn you away but then you will owe thousands instead of hundreds.

As a sophomore with a regular job and a good scholarship, I had a decent amount of money. It wasn't enough to pay for my ongoing medical expenses, but it was enough to purchase a private health insurance plan for around $350 a month. But when I went to purchase said plan, I discovered how really screwed I was. No one would issue me a policy that would pay for any of the care I needed. Because I had "pre-existing" conditions I could buy a policy but it would not cover my brain (migraines), my endocrine system (hypothyroid), or my reproductive system (endometriosis).

I spent many years only going to the doctor when I was deathly ill and frequently not taking my medicine for my thyroid because I couldn't afford the doctor visit to get the prescription. The medicine is cheap - getting a doctor to do the blood test and write the scrip is not.

Over the last 13 years I've had a couple of jobs that offered insurance. I use it when I have it and my health suffers when I don't. For the last four years my husband's job has been providing our health insurance. We had to sign up for the more restrictive HMO (does not have infertility coverage) because it was the only way to cover my pre-existing conditions. His job barely pays enough to cover day care and our commuting costs, but he's had to keep it for the insurance.

Now, FINALLY, I can buy my own insurance. It might even become affordable. There are a lot of people around here that really hate the new law, but I find it hard to believe any of them have ever had to risk their health because they couldn't go to a doctor. I know Americans hate the government telling them they have to do something. I get that they feel their personal freedom is being threatened. But I want to ask them this: You don't want to be forced to buy insurance or pay a fee, but if you chose not to pay into this system, would you really not go to the ER if you were having a heart attack, knowing you had no coverage and couldn't afford the bill? I doubt it. You would go to the ER, have your life saved, and then complain that the cost of healthcare is unaffordable.

At last, someone was willing to stick their neck out and change this awful system we have. To him, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.


On the baby front - I'm still pregnant. As of the last week the baby still had a heartbeat, although I'm nervous that she couldn't get a good measurement because of the position. That automatically translates in my head to 'the baby is not big enough and something is wrong with it'. I've lost my numbness. I never thought I'd make it to the 2nd trimester (12 days to go). I assumed I would miscarry and go on with my life. Now that I haven't (knock on wood) I am faced with my greatest fear: another heartbreaking choice to make and/or another 2nd trimester loss. I'm hanging in there so far.

The pain from my shoulder and neck is nearly gone. GOD BLESS my chiropractor. I can't believe she was able to fix it. That was literally the worst pain of my entire life. I'm still barely making it through each day (hence the lack of blog posts) because the nausea is still horrendous. I'm crossing everything that this will also get better in the next couple of weeks. The thought of dealing with this for another 6 months is completely overwhelming.

Unfortunately me being out of commission most of the time is taking a huge toll on the rest of the family. The arguing is nearly constant and M has had several huge emotional outburst in recent days. I think my mom is right and they are scared by how sick I am. Even though she won't admit it, I bet M is pretty mad that I'm being so selfish by having a baby right now, even if I had no way of knowing I would be so sick. I don't blame her, this was piss poor timing.

I have lots more to write because we are setting up a reunion with M and her bio-mom she was removed from. It's a big huge deal and I have lots to say about it, but the phenergen is making me to dopey to type anymore. Hopefully more updates after the big visit tomorrow. Wish us luck.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

life and death as seen by a six year old

The talk I just had with my daughter:

K: Mommy, I think this baby is going to die because you're so sick.

M: No, baby. It's actually a good sign that I'm so sick, it means the baby is growing.

Skipping over the whole morning sickness explanation:

M: I wasn't very sick with baby Aiden. I think that was a sign something was wrong.

K: So he died because you weren't sick?

M: No, it was just a way to tell that something wasn't going well with the baby. But not always. Some people don't get sick.

K: I'll always have a baby brother.

M: Yes, you will.

K: For my whole life?

M: Yep.

K: When I die I'm going to see him and give him the biggest hug. But you're going to die first.

M: I better, I'm older. You should live a really long time. When I see Aiden I'll give him a really big hug and tell him you can't wait to see him.

K: -makes a funny strangling noise- then he'll probably say, can you stop that please?

Funny girl. Sometimes I love her so much I want to squeeze her and hold onto to that preciousness forever. God I hope this one makes it. I don't want to break her heart again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Poor neglected bean

My last two pregnancies I was super paranoid about everything I did. I made sure I ate right. I rubbed my belly. I talked to the little ball of cells long before it grew the body parts to hear me.

This time, it's all I can do to remember I'm pregnant and can't drink that wine. I only eat what I think won't make me throw up. I take my vitamin but otherwise I try to pretend this isn't happening. That way I won't be crushed when it all goes to hell. I cringe whenever my husband or girls say something about the future with the baby. While they are making plans I have my head firmly planted in the sand. I was watching old episodes of Glee, a show with a pregnant teenager. So many people were focused on that baby. I felt so bad. I looked down at my stomach and whispered, "please grow up, little bean." I hope he/she knows that I'm not unhappy he/she is here, I just don't trust this.

I'm still in terrible pain but not quite as debilitating. I can't do much between that and the extreme nausea (good sign, right?). Two months until my neurologist appointment seems like a ridiculously long time. And I bet they won't do anything anyway. Our fridge is supposed to be fixed (please, please, please), but our master bath is still torn apart and that is annoying me greatly. Both of these are first world problems so I'm trying to keep them in perspective, but geez - can I get one thing at a time here?

Anyway - I guess mommy guilt is better than total denial, right?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Too sick for a good update

But I'll give a short one:

Thursday was the first OB appointment. I was a nervous wreck, especially when all she could find at first was the yolk sac. It was another damning black circle. I started crying and told my husband, "there's nothing there". She told us what she was seeing instead of being secretive, thank god, but it was really hard to be in the same room and see the same image as last time. Black circles are bad. BUT - she couldn't see the fetal pole with the wand so she looked over my belly. THERE'S AN ACTUAL LIVE (so far) BABY EMBRYO IN ME. Heartbeat and everything. I'm still having a hard time believing it. It's measuring right on time, which Aiden never did, and I'm sick as a dog already, so things are already looking much better.

The pain is a tiny bit better. I was able to go to work 2 days but not in the field. My OB gave me ty.lenol 3 so I am at least getting some relief, although I think the medicine is making me even more nauseous. I got an appointment with a neurologist but it's not for two months. I find I don't care all that much because it's unlikely I'll risk surgery before the baby is born.

We told the kids so they wouldn't get worried that I was so sick. My big worry was that M would be upset, thinking that we didn't want her anymore since we were finally getting a baby. She said she was happy and seemed excited. I know she really loves babies so I'm hoping that will help. She did get really sad later in the day after texting with her older brother. She misses her siblings so bad and isn't likely to ever get to see her nephew (brother's baby). I've told her we're saving money to take her to California, but it will take almost a year to save enough. That will be almost 4 years since she's seen any of them. I hate that we don't have the money for her to see them sooner.

There's a lot more I wanted to say about how confusing it is to be pregnant right now and how hard this pain is, but the nausea and headaches are horrible today. Thanks so much for all the sympathy in the last couple of posts. They helped get me through a pretty rough week.