This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from June 1 through June 30. Follow along and add comments to posts that inspire you!
I’m going to take a break from my usual Techie with Epilepsy post this time around. Can I be completely honest with you? I have had a rough past few months. If you know anything about Epilepsy then you know that stress is a major seizure trigger. I always tell everyone to practice self-care. I mean I LIVE by the motto “You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first”. But even I struggle with that. It’s honestly hard to maintain. Just like going on diets and not changing your lifestyle and expecting to have lasting effects. Self-care has to be a way of life in order to really be successful in maintaining it. What made it so hard was losing my health insurance for 8 months. Here’s my story.
Being without insurance wasn’t only bad but it was outright dangerous for someone like me. Someone who requires quarterly neurology visits, 4 monthly medications and is at high risk for having a few seizures a month. Being without caused my meds to go from $10 a piece to over $300 a piece. A part of me is a bit happy I was able to experience what millions of Americans go through in order to get some type of insurance. I’m not talking about the opens who are in ideal shape and only see the doctor once a year for checkups. I’m referring to the ones with chronic illnesses. The ones who would struggle to have any chance at a normal life without their medications or seeing a doctor. Honestly, I think I got so used to being insured that I forgot what it was like to not have it.
When I made the transition of leaving my corporate job back in September, I knew I would run into some things when attempting to obtain individual health insurance. During my search, I was told that my monthly premium would be $500+ a month. Yes, a month! Why? Well because I have a pre-existing condition, I am indeed a high risk. Do you know what I could do with $500 a month?! I’m pretty sure we all could think of something. As an alternative, I checked out Obamacare. While the prices were reasonable, my doctors were not covered. It was a catch 22. Finding a doctor and healthcare team that works best for you is a struggle in itself. It can sometimes take months or even years to find the perfect match. So either I could cough up the $500 a month or try to find random physicians to help manage my condition. I just couldn’t find the courage to take that risk.
My question is, why does it have to be either or? Pay outrageous premiums, get a doctor who may not understand your condition, or going uninsured all together? Affordable healthcare should be a given. Americans shouldn’t have to sacrifice so much in order to get the medical coverage that’s needed. We have to continue working together to make change seem more tangible. There are actions you can take. Write & Call your state representatives. Write to Congress. If you aren’t sure what to say, visit Epilepsy Foundation: Advocacy page for templates. Provisions are being made to help us help the community. This fight is far from over. If you want to join me in the cause, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Going through this motivated me, even more, to continue to fight for us all. To fight for the chronically ill, for the underinsured, for lower income families. Your fight is my fight. The light out of this situation is I am now insured through my new job and able to get back to a doctor asap. I am able to get back on my meds and become even more equipped and prepared to stand up for us all against this monster called Healthcare. I know it won’t be easy adjusting to meds again but I have 65 million worldwide as my motivation. And yes, self-care is also back in its rightful place. #1.
NEXT UP: Be sure to check out the next post tomorrow at Living Well With Epilepsy for more on epilepsy awareness. For the full schedule of bloggers visit livingwellwithepilepsy.com.
Don’t miss your chance to connect with bloggers on the #LivingWellChat on June 30 at 7 PM ET.