So it’s Open Enrollment time! My favorite time of the year! (sarcasm) . .. I started my current job last July, 3 months after I was discharged from the hospital. Since I was still paranoid and finally understood the life of living with a chronic illness, I immediately noticed the premium plan was my best option which was $120 out of each paycheck. Well I just realized today, in late September, I haven’t met the deductible for my current medical plan in this past year. I guess that’s awesome? This past year I have had fewer visits to doctor offices and no increase in prescriptions . . . ..not too shabby.
My dilemma is should I drop to a lower level in medical benefits? Money is tight now and I need every cent to pay off my dental bills. My new Dentist thinks that I might have periodontal disease and I need like 3 new crowns . . . my immediate response to a proposed dental treatment plan of $7k+ was “Bitch Please” but all the medications, long term steroid use, and me putting off dental work to pay for other medical expenses has finally caught up to me . . . sighs . .
Since I’m starting to look for new employment anyway, I can deal with this lower tier of benefits for a temporary time? . . . Ugh, I need to make more money to pay of my medical bills . . . feeling frustrated.
In honor of Crohn’s & Colitis awareness week, December 1-7, I decided to participate in the #7daysofIBD campaign sponsored by Crohn’s & Colitis UK. You take a picture for the next 7 days that display your life living with IBD. Since we are a very visual society these days, a photo can speak a thousands words. So below is my Day 1. For my fellow IBDers if you wanna participate click here for more information.
Day 1 – December 1, 2015
Below is my daily morning routine, filling my pill box for the day. I used to do it for the week but been lazy lately. 10 pills a day is not bad, 7 months ago I was taking 14 pills a day, at least one pill every hour I was awake. That was a very depressing time for me .
When you tell someone you have a chronic illness what is the typical response? “Aww I’m soo sorry, but you don’t look sick?” “You look good and at least you’re skinny” have been common responses for me. I always felt the need to change the subject as soon as a person say , “but you look really good”. I always took that response as “Why are you complaining?” . . . . Maybe I’m being oversensitive, but its hard to connect with people that do not live with your illness. So the response of “well you look really good” is their way of being sympathetic because they can’t relate. Unlike a response of , “Wow I can’t imagine the pain you go through but thank you for sharing and if you ever need anything . . . . ”
I found the below video which I think perfectly illustrates the difference between empathy and sympathy, do you agree?
Saw my primary physician (pp) yesterday and when I got on the scale I gasped. I am officially 20 pounds heavier than what I was a year ago . . . fascinating. . . crazy thing is that I can still fit my jeans, it’s a good thing they’re stretch jeans. It’s also nice that my big clothes fit again and a belt is no longer needed . . . sighs. In the past 2 weeks I have gained 6.5 pounds, crazy right?!? I have either been an eating machine or hold intense water weight. . . I’m sick of it. Would like to eat well and not be big as an elephant. However, with the colonoscopy next month, I’ll probably lose those 6.5 pounds, so that’s something to look forward to . . the little joys in my life!!
My hip and lower back are starting to ache again. I told my PP about it and stated it’s probably because I’m completely out of shape, but she took it a little too seriously and immediately gave me a referral for physical therapy. . . “bitch please!” was the look I gave her. How dumb is it to walk into physical therapy pain-free. The pain is not like the hip injury I had a year ago when it was painful to walk, It’s just aches here and there. When I got home I trashed the referral, because the one thing I’ve learned this year is that Health Care is a freaking business! Most of you are probably thinking, “Well duh!” lol but I have truly seen the game and tricks doctors play from my many doctor visits this year. It’s like going to a car dealership where there is a problem everywhere! I was actually at the dealership today and the one repair that I’ve putting off might have to be replaced sooner than later.
I was so proud of myself earlier today, finally paying of medical expenses and reducing my credit card debt, it was such a feeling of relief. I went to the car dealership this morning for regular maintenance and they tell me this needs to be done, blah blah . . . a total cost of $1400 . . . bitch please! I walked out only paying around $250 the bare minerals. But the repair that cost the most needs to be replaced like yesterday. It sucks my commute to work is horrid and I have to drive my car (which might not be the safest now). I plan to go to Jiffy Lube right after work tomorrow, so I will no longer be paranoid but unfortunately hike up the credit card debt again. My little Corolla just hit 90K and all hell is breaking loose. . . it sucks because this was supposed to be the year I would start saving for a new car. That all changed when I was diagnosed with IBD plus a hospital stay. I’m pretty sure I’ve paid at least $3K (thank god for health insurance) this year in medical expenses, but I can’t complain. It would’ve been a lot worst with multiple hospital stays and even surgery(s) . I guess this year has been easy as a crohnie . . .
So is this my life now? Always worrying about money which causes stress, which causes a flare up, which could lead to a hospital stay and expensive medical procedures? Is this the routine of my life? I just realized prior to Halloween, I don’t recall the last time i did something social, like a party or just being around a lot of people, it’s embarrassing to say in the last year of my 20’s . . . but this year has REALLY sucked! And now with my car woes. . . it just keeps pouring . . .
I’m really tired . . .
Today was a rough day, fatigue and insomnia has been a struggle this week, but the highlight of my day was to see the below article trending on Facebook!!! His story has been posted on major publications such as CBS News and People Magazine. The more awareness the better!!
Thank you Ste Walker for sharing your story and proving that looks can be deceiving.
Thank you for spreading IBD Awareness!
Check out the article – http://www.people.com/article/ste-walker-crohns-disease-viral-facebook-photo?xid=socialflow_facebook_peoplemag
Found this video on my newsfeed, enjoy!
I’m not a mom, but hope to become a mother one day. However, I started thinking how hard it can be to have children and be chronically ill. I barely have the energy to get through the day and it’s just me. I can’t image working an 8-hour day and coming home to a family. How do you have the energy? How do you get by not only paying for your medical bills, but taking care of your family too? I can’t imagine doing that right now in my life, but mothers do it every day, even those who are chronically ill. I found this article To the Mom Living With Chronic Illness Who Feels Inadequate It gave me great insight of being a mom that’s chronically ill and thought I should share with you guys. My favorite passage of the article . .
“Most importantly your children don’t know you are sick. Not really. Sure, you tell them. I did. To explain why mommy can’t take them to the park today or why mommy is on the couch again. They may even complain about your illness getting in the way of things they want to do. Children are great at playing the guilt card. But they don’t really see you as sick. They see you as MOMMY. MOMMY who may be sick sometimes, but MOMMY. And that makes you the most important person in the world to them and they love you for it. No matter what. So although you may think they see you as sick mommy, when they see you, all they see is L-O-V-E.” – Sharilynn Battaglia