Monday, March 22, 2010

Deciphering Healthcare

I hear some amendments to our current healthcare system passed into law recently. Healthcare is something I know way more about than I ever wanted to. I now speak the language of deductibles, EOB's, MOP's, co-pays and in/out-of-network. My medical costs have been astronomical, mainly because modern medicine offers very little preventative or alternative coverage and does not know jack shit 'bout Fibromyalgia! It has taken me years, and many amazing doctors and providers, and many stages and levels of healing, to get to where I am today. I have a great doctor at the Fibro & Fatigue Center in Las Vegas to thank, an amazing acupuncturist in the Bay area, a UCSF resident that was the first doctor to take me seriously, a research doctor at Stanford, and currently an awesome osteopath at the Mayo Clinic. There have also been many duds in the mix. There have been lots of bad drugs, asshole physicians and unsympathetic caregivers. We have paid and paid and marched on, always with the faith that things would get better...I would not always be unable to sleep, every inch of my body in writhing pain and mentally unstable. I would not always suffer from vice-gripped migraines, the "afternoon flu" a.k.a. EBV, swollen hands and throbbing feet stabbing knives into my calves with each step. And I am so overwhelmingly happy to say that today I don't.

Oh it's not gone...never gone. But so well managed I can now look back with perspective and say with confidence that the worst is behind me. What I have learned about myself and my character is huge! My capacity to march forward into the eye of the storm, my ability to pick myself up by the boot straps and do what needs to be done. There were months where my only activities were 3-4 doctor appointments a week. The money we have spent on prescriptions and supplements and provider expenses could have paid for a house by now! So do I think this healthcare bill will change things for me, or for people living with Fibromyalgia, or worse, those yet to be diagnosed? No, not really. We will still have a really hard time getting a diagnosis, we will only be offered drugs that "mask" the symptoms, not heal the source. We will still gain the best relief from natural, holistic living, something that is not given its proper place in mainstream medicine. And we will still cling to any concrete proof that what we have is indeed real, needing to be researched and needing to be understood, all the while this very tangible and ever-present pain being classified as a "syndrome".

Will I say at the end of the day I am better off for this? Am I a better person for having stripped myself of all control and options, surrendering to an illness that required intensive, repetitive perseverance to conquer? I am stronger and more capable, more faithful and lighter of heart because of it. My priorities are correctly in place and I have educated myself to the truths of the relationship between man and nature. But if you asked me to go through it again to gain the same insight I would have to tell you to shove it...where the sun don't shine!

Thanks for joining,

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