So, as most of you now know, I was at a giant modeling/photography event outside Baltimore over the weekend. On Sunday I managed to fall & break multiple bones in my foot…but I waited almost 4 hours before I went to an ER for treatment. Why? Because I was hoping it was just a nasty sprain & I could hop my way back home without seeking medical treatment. The first thing I did when I was asked if I wanted to go to the ER was laugh. Not just a giggle, a full out series of maniacal laughter. My words were, ‘Unless something is broken, there is no way in hell I’m going to spend all the money I’ve made the past couple weeks going to get my ankle & foot looked at, I have no insurance’.
As a result, I sat & watched my foot continue to swell & the pain continued to grow. Almost 4 hours after the accident I sent a photo of my foot to a friend of mine that happens to be a physician. When that person texted back that it looked like I had metatarsal damage & there was no way in hell I had simply sprained something, I spent another 45 minutes debating whether those potential broken bones were ‘worth’ going to get them looked at. I KNEW how much it would cost to get seen, & if there was even a 5% chance that I didn’t have broken bones, I’d be pissed off at myself for giving in and going for treatment. The only reason I went was because my friend told me that if I had breaks & didn’t get looked at, I would possibly not be able to dance anymore. I didn’t go because of any other reason than being scared I’d not be able to dance if I had breaks & didn’t treat things correctly.
One of the models from Canada didn’t understand why I wouldn’t just go get looked at, & I’m pretty sure I told her that I was the American dream-‘best healthcare in the world….if you can afford it’. By then I was in so much pain that I resigned myself to going to get looked at. I then had to choose between the ER and an urgent care center. The deciding factor was that I knew I didn’t have at least a grand or so to pay to go to an urgent care center & get treated, & they require you pay for everything right then if you have no insurance.
While sitting in my car being driven to get treatment I cried. Not from the pain. I cried from the frustration of knowing that yet again, I was going to go through the ‘she’s uninsurable’ game as soon as I tried to get treatment. From knowing I’d worked for at least 2 weeks straight & that all the money I’d made was disappearing before it even went into my bank account. Knowing that because I have lupus, things like broken bones somehow end up being more ‘complicated’ than ‘regular’ folks. And looking down & knowing there was nothing I could do.
Please, do not patronize me when you talk about ‘knowing’ how it feels to have to make ‘hard’ decisions when it comes to healthcare when you’ve never had to choose between food & getting medical attention. Until you’ve refused medication in an ER because you know if you stick it out long enough you can save money on not taking the meds they want to give you while there, as it’s so much more expensive than getting them at a pharmacy. Until a doctor asks you why you waited more than 4 hours to get medical attention for obvious broken bones, & the only answer you have is ‘I don’t have health insurance, & I know how expensive this will be’.
- goodenoughfortoday said: **big hugs** <3
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- crushedviolets said: <3
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- randyc09 said: The last time I absolutely had to go to the ER I was in extreme pain from a rupture disc pressing against a nerve in my upper back. Because I had no insurance I had to wait and wait before they took me in.
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- littlemxswitch said: I have a hard time understanding how something as essential as health care can be set up this way in a well-developed country like America - it’s so far beyond wrong. I am so sorry that you, or anyone, has to be in that kind of situation.
- supersandys-space said: Also, last year, I was bleeding from no-man’s-land for 12 HOURS before I went to the ER. Apparently if I’d waited another hour I’d have died. Oops. 2 days & 25k in debt later, I STILL don’t know why I was sick. No insurance? No one cares.
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- catfunk said: Word. Fucking word.
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