Some days, what bugs me about having Interstitial Cystitis isn’t the big things – the pain, the diet, all that jazz. It’s the little things. The little things which add up into a big thing – money.
In one sense, IC isn’t that expensive. I pay about $20 for my directly IC related prescription medicines a month. But the money still adds up.
It’s the $43 co-pay on my sleeping pills I use once every few weeks because my bladder turns to flare when I travel. (I didn’t fall asleep till sometime after three last time I was on the road!) It’s the insurance company which requires a prior authorization because they want me to take the cheap pills that make me hallucinate. $43afterI got them to reduce the number of pills and gave them a $50 coupon. They left me with a “we can try to get you a refund” but I know that I would gladly fork over that muchto be able to sleep next time I can’t.
It’s the $120 co-pay because my pharmacy wouldn’t let me refill a prescription before I went out of town, and so I was left using another pharmacy which couldn’t get my insurance to cover my medicine.
It’s the $100-200 co-pays everytime I see a specialist because the school’s free clinic can’t deal with my problems.
It’s the money spent on supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter pain medicines that insurance doesn’t cover.
It’s buying organic instead of conventional produce. $2 a pound pears instead of 30 cents for bananas. $5 a pound for blueberries instead of $1 for grapes. Red peppers instead of tomatoes. It seems that IC friendly foods have two things in common – they are low in acid and high in cost.
It’s taking last summer off so that I could concentrate on getting healthy (and getting my research done).
It’s getting take out on days that standing up long enough to cook seems impossible.
It’s buying my own insurance instead of remaining on my parent’s, because I have to see doctors out here too often to just have “catastrophe only” insurance and their insurance won’t cover any out of network providers.
These things all add up. And you know what the crazy thing is? I have it easy. I have insurance. I don’t have cancer. IC can nickle and dime me all it wants, but we’ll make it through. But there are millions of other Americans without any insurance. Who can’t afford organic produce. Who don’t have the options I do. IC has taken it’s toll on us financially. Don’t get me wrong, we’re keeping up and doing fine (paid for my whole masters degree in cash & scholarships, thankyouverymuch), but it’s still not cheap. But even at the end of the day – we have it easier that millions.
The Supreme Court is debating today whether or not the new Health Care reform law is constitutional, and you know what? I don’t care if its constitutional. Because it’s right. And there’s so much left to do. A new insurance company can deny me any coverage for my IC next year if it wanted to. That needs to go. And companies profitting off of my inability to sleep at night? That one can go too. Me crying at the pharmacy counter half an hour ago because the insurance company wanted to deny me coverage again? I’m ready to be done with that. And even if this health care bill stays law, those things won’t change any time soon.
But we will have planted the seed the health care is something everone deserves. And we can continue to work from there. We can move away from a greed driven system to one that truly works for all Americans.
Because health care is a human right.
Because poverty shouldn’t be a death sentence.