From 2008 to 2010 I was an uninsured, recent graduate working three part time jobs. I was living paycheck to paycheck, no savings. (I did have car that was paid off and an adorable rented apartment off of the Plaza though.) Going without health insurance did not bother me as a twenty something - that is to say, until I needed it. (As with most thing in life.) Suddenly, I found myself in need of an emergency procedure with no out of pocket funds to pay for it. Before anyone in the medical profession would assist me I was forced to take out my first Credit Card to pay for the entire procedure up front. (Thankfully, I was approved, I guess.)
It took me a year to slowly pay that Credit Card off. (But yet again, leaving me with no savings.)
I was angry that opening up a credit card was my only option. That I was forced into it. All because I wasn’t able to get full time employment with benefits - and had aged out of my parent’s coverage. It was an awful feeling.
When I went to my first GP appointment in the UK, needing a physical for University - I was amazed. Any residing citizen was able to go in, receive assistance and leave without paying a pence! There was no billing department. There wasn’t a receptionist judging and rolling their eyes at you as you try to explain why you were uninsured. It was an amazing feeling.
As we planned our immigration to the US, the possibility of being uninsured was brought up.
I never wanted to be in that situation again, nor put my family through it. A feeling of helplessness when you are at your most vulnerable. Having to choose between food or medical care. By ignorance or optimism - we clouded ourselves around the thought that it would not happen to us. (Dummies.) We are both very capable and employable people - one of us was definitely going to get health insurance. No worries, right?
Well, one of us did find employment with benefits. The cost of insurance was beyond the salary I made, but we were signed up and promised an October start date for the insurance coverage. I had been getting ill the last few months, so it was important to me that I get in to be seen as soon as.
My employment started, contracts signed, and WHAM! “Sorry to inform you, your insurance begins in November”. A month difference, no biggie right? Well, as I was getting sicker and sicker, we had no money coming in - I had to put off seeing a doctor. Until I couldn’t.
$136 GP Appointment (That is with a 30% discount for being uninsured)
$175 Blood-work taken**
I had to decline a CAT Scan - as there is no way in affording that.
And here we are. Three months into our American adventure. Still uninsured. This time around, we do not have an option of opening a Credit Card.*
*Tip for anyone moving abroad - KEEP YOUR BANK ACCOUNT OPEN IN THE U.S. Inactivity within the US screws your credit score into the ground
**That is what they told me it would cost, later on I would receive a bill for $387 thus beginning a new adventure in negotiating between a doctor’s office and laboratory - fun shit.
“Settling in, again. Not really settling but a bit of starting over again. Startling in sounds better. We are startling in just fine, thank you.”
That is all that I have written in regards to Dummie Diaries since my last post. I thought that moving ‘back home’ would provide me with more time to write. I also thought that my husband would be able to continue his career trajectory. I thought about a lot of things preparing for the move over.
Just not my health.
In the year running up to the move I was hit hard numerous times with illnesses - I chalked it up to living inside a school, stress, whatever it took to rationalise my continued momentum ‘forward’. Just kept going. Moving to the end line of our move date.
Because once we made it there - all our current problems would vanish. Right?
Oh, how naive. I know. But I had to tell myself something. Once we were here - we hit the ground running hard. With every day, our savings dwindled and our desperation to replenish it grew.
I now had more time, but it was all to set us in motion for the starting over section in our life.
I wanted my husband to transition well to his surroundings. I wanted my daughter to embrace her family. I wanted desperately to make up for lost time. In all of this newness I did not take the time to notice how I was still getting ill. May be not virus, or cyst or infection… possibly not. But the dementors in my life, migraines, began creeping over me more and more. Draining me. Stilling moments.
It wasn't until taking on a full time position working with children that I was able to take notice.
In one month of employment I have missed a minimum of 1 day each week. This week is the game changer. It is making me take a step backwards and take a look at my health. I cannot continue on as is. I have to make drastic changes. I have to admit to myself that I am not ready for full time employment.
I cannot be the best employee I can be when stricken with these debilitating pains.
So. One month into employment - and one month away from receiving health insurance - I must take leave. I need to get my health back.
**THIS IS AN ALERT, A LADY IS ABOUT TO TALK ABOUT HER LADY BODY THINGS.**
Hello, and welcome to my (first) period piece - a little write up I have had sitting on the backburner of the blog-pile, editing and adding to only while menstruating. My red tent ramblings, if you will.
Fun imagery, right?
Let’s wade right into the crimson tide. Before Child (B.C.) my menstruation was an unruly backpacker who would show up at random times of the year, usually the most inopportune times, and ruin all laid out plans. Sometimes I would have warning signs beforehand - my hair feeling and looking like someone switched it out with a bad toupee, acne, or thoughts that world/people around me were going insane. Other times it would be a complete surprise (usually during travel).
During this time of the month my symptoms would also vary. Sometimes there were cramps so strong that I would physically double over in pain or I would get so emotional that I would hide myself away watching youtube videos of pets reuniting with their owners and weep until dehydration. Other times I would be bleeding so heavily that tampons and overnight pads could not contain things for more than a few hours. Occasionally there were times where things felt “normal” and I could go about life as normal without too much worry.
But nothing really was ever usual or regular about my periods except for the Migraines. Every month I would be stricken with a debilitating pain that lasted at a minimum of 12 hours in length. (They are a blog post in themselves, the damned time thieves!)
Now Post Child (P.C.) my menstruation, my body and my feelings about both have changed. First off, my periods did not return until Peaches was 9 months old (hallelujah!) to which the only explanation I can give is that I had been (still am) breastfeeding. These days they are lighter, harsh cramps have ceased and they are a lot more regular.
My body has altered since giving birth (vaginally) and I can no longer use tampons. Let me rephrase that for clarification - I no longer feel comfortable using tampons. They feel like I am shoving surgical gauze up my hoo-ha and I just do not like that feeling. I have ordered a cup and will write a separate blog post all about how I get on with that. (Are you on the edge of your seat?)
The feelings I now have about both, Aunt Flow and this form, are very different. I used to get so tangled up in myself worrying about how both were perceived to the outside world. Now, ain’t nobody got time for that! I am fascinated by what this body can do, giving me a little more freedom to experiment in dressing and treating it. I have to worry about a whole little other body (I made, super cool) and do not have time to worry about what others think (as much, still do a little, enough to keep me from leaving the house without trousers/leggings on).
So here we are. (Of course this could all change tomorrow, but today I am feeling saucey).
A while back Peaches coming home from church saying ''doo doo'' and ''blood” and that sums up my feelings about periods.
I can wait until it is her turn, poor mite.
Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.