Sunday, May 09, 2010

The greatest wealth is health. ~Virgil

I've had my own adventure in the health care system lately. Fortunately, it's nothing too bad, but it gave me an insider's look into our health care system and I'm even more determined to fight to save it than ever before.

I've had sinus infections on and off for years and really never thought much about it. Never really had the same doctor over the years either and they kept putting me on antibiotics. I started going to a family practice where I have the same doctor all the time and he thought there was something more to these sinus problems. Not to mention, I also suffer from migraines. We had been trying to treat those directly, but it seems that perhaps the problem came from my sinuses.

He was concerned enough to send me to a ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) specialist, who recommended allergy testing and sinus surgery. I'll admit - the news floored me when I first heard it, especially since I had a bad phobia to needles, blood and doctors. I am proud to say that I am no longer afraid, due to frequent doctor visits, an x-ray, two CT scans, 40 shots for the allergy testing, blood tests and the surgery itself, which was two weeks ago last Thursday.

I am feeling fine now. Some stuffiness in the nose and get really tired easily. But I have learned that my fight isn't over yet. I also have a staph infection on top of the sinus infection and will need antibiotics administered through an IV to get rid of it completely.

Fortunately, I do have medical insurance through my job and it's one of those "Cadillac plans" that Obowma and his buddies hate so much. I was surprised to find out I had one, but looking up the definition of "Cadillac Insurance Plans", you might also be surprised to find out you also have one through your job. It doesn't take much and surprise, surprise - it's not only the big fat cats on Wall Street who have them. Not that I ever believe the words that come out of liberals' mouths, but never thought I had one either.

So even with my evil-rich, fancy pants Cadillac Insurance Plan, I still have to pay 10% of my procedure. Even still, it's going to cost me over $1000 out of pocket. My liberal co-workers are outraged! They said "they can't do this to you!" or "how dare they suck every penny out of people just to make them better" and other nonsensical things like that.

Doctors don't work for free. I know that may come as a shocker to most liberals. And the doctors' jobs aren't to bankrupt people out of their money. These procedures are EXPENSIVE - my bill had $18,000 total on it. They use high-tech machines to ensure your safety. I had image-guided endoscopic sinus surgery, where they use a combination of pictures from a CT scan, a tiny camera on the end of a stick, tiny flashlights and tiny scalpels all up the nose. It's all done through the nose, so there's no noticeable scarring on the outside. The camera and CT scan are used so the doctor can see exactly where he is inside of the sinuses. He goes into the sinuses right behind the eye and the sinuses near the brain - two VERY sensitive areas. One wrong move and you are blinded for life or are leaking brain fluid.

Sinus surgery used to have to be performed through incisions in the cheeks, that left the patient deformed for life. Endoscopic sinus surgery was introduced in the 1960's, but wasn't widely used until the 80's (according to Look how far medicine has advanced in just 30 years! THIS is what that money pays for! They aren't purposely taking every dime we have just to be mean. These procedures are expensive and our money also goes towards making advancements for the future. I think it's absolutely amazing how far the medicine field came in just a short time. I also think how unfortunate it is that Obowma and his cronies want to stop that.

And just look at the CT scans alone! That's a high-powered camera that takes pictures of different layers of your body and puts them into a 3-D image. How cool is that? They used to do evasive exploratory surgery for things that a simple CT scan can do now. I'd much rather have a CT scan, thanks. Expensive machine, but safer for the patient (not to mention that it's neat to be able to look at pictures of your head!)

Hey, apologist-in-chief - guess what? I went in for sinus surgery and came out in one piece. The doctor didn't take off my foot, in order to get more money. (Or should that be, take off my nose in order to get more money?)

As for the money it will cost me, I'm not concerned. I had some saved up for a rainy day and I guess the rain shower just came rolling in. I'm disappointed to see the majority if it disappear all in one chunk, but I'm happy that I can concentrate on just my health and not worry about being in debt over this too. I told my Mom, "How lucky am I to have all of that saved up" and caught myself. Luck had nothing to do with it; I saved that money for years. If all of this ends up making me feel better and I am able to contribute further to medical advancements, I'm more than happy to pay the doctor the money he so rightfully earned. (Yeah, that's right - EARNED, an evil term to liberals. He didn't steal, take or cheat for that money; he earned it. The day I went in for my surgery, he had 10 scheduled. I'll say it again - he earned it. Probably works 50-60 hours a week, at least.)

We need to fight to get Obamacare repealed. I don't care if it might be too late. As long as there's a chance, we need to fight to keep our health care system out of the hands of the government. We will lose all of these advancements if we do not. Other people with sinus problems (and anyone else with chronic diseases) will be left out in the cold - there won't be enough time or money to treat them all. As afraid as I was through this whole process, I knew in the back of my mind that I needed to keep pressing forward so as to not give the government the chance to stop my treatment in the middle.

Our health is the most precious thing we have and no matter what the government mandates, I will not give them the power to choose what treatments I can or cannot have. My life and my health is just that - MINE. I will fight to keep my rights and I will fight for my doctors to keep theirs.

And a quick little PSA - if you aren't feeling well and it's gone on for a long time, PLEASE don't ignore it. I convinced myself that my problems were "normal" and it was just apart of "getting old". Go get it checked out while you still have the freedom to do so. 9 times out of 10 it will be nothing and just cost you your co-pay and a little bit of your time. But that one time out of 10 it might be something more serious. And yes, it's scary to find that out and go through all of the procedures to feel better. But if you don't, it might cost you your life. Not knowing and worrying about it will be worse than any procedure you may have to go through. If a wuss like me who was terrified of doctors, needles and blood can do it, so can you.

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