Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why Didn't I Act Earlier

One of my longtime friends I haven't seen in almost thirty years asked one of the best questions about my "mass" on the thigh.

"How could you let it go that long?"

My answer on Facebook was partly true. I let it go, in part, because I'm a guy - one of those people (usually male) who believes that if you ignore it it will go away and anything other than that is just weak. I know that's not rational, but illness isn't rational. I'm not even willing to call this an illness. I chide myself - as have others - on taking time away from work for this. As one of my colleagues said (in jest) when I couldn't stay for church on Sunday "I've got a pain in the butt, but I don't let that keep me away."

There's all that irrational guy stuff in my makeup.

But there's also an economic reason for the situation becoming so serious.

I just paid the first installment on treatment. Our first step was an x-ray a month and a half ago. The insurance company left me $220 and change as my part of the bill. My total out of pocket expenses could be as high as $3000. Plus co-pays on medications and co-pays for every MD visit. What will my total cost for this illness be?

Given the kind of health insurance climate in which we in America live, I'm hesitant to get medical treatment. Like most Americans we're paycheck to paycheck. Kris has gotten a new job, but it is definitely under-employment. She had an interview for a full time job yesterday - and if she gets that job it will make our lives comfortable. If not, we're pretty much sunk.

I don't want to become a medical bankruptcy, but . . .

So I haven't kept at my medical treatment - ignored the symptoms when they first appeared in March - because I'm a guy. That's my fault.

I haven't kept at my medical treatment because I'm afraid of what it will cost me. That's not my fault. It is the climate of this country that makes people like me, people who are responsible citizens scrapping by, fearful of becoming sick and even more fearful of seeking treatment.

I have very personal reasons to want that to change! I'm working against me. I don't need a social more that piles on!

1 comment:

DebraDownSth@gmail.com said...

There with you. My doctor just yelled at me over my blood work. I hadn't taken my liver meds in almost 5 mos. When you are barely paying bills, that $90 Rx gets put on hold, like teeth cleaning, new glasses and other things. Yes, I have called my liver specialist for a refill, but mostly because my GP sent me to a pharmacy that takes NO insurance (I don't have any, am "uninsurable" since COBRA ran out for us 19 yrs ago), but is almost half the cost of other pharmacies. I can maybe eek out that 45, seems manageable whereas the nearly 100 seemed astronomical.