Tuesday, February 11, 2014

All About the Ifs


So...what a whirlwind of days. It all started with my going for a long-overdue wellness check/physical. I will admit it has been far too long since I had seen a doctor. I have a list of excuses (note excuses dear reader- not reasons):

1. Lack of time and not making it a priority. Highly stupid excuse due to the fact it only takes a phone call and 1-2 hours of my time. Usher in excuse #2.

2. No health insurance so didnt think I had any options. Yeah...as with many Americans I was without health insurance for almost 2yrs. Face it...medical care is EXPENSIVE...crazy insane so. But there are options. However, being between lower income brackets where such options are available and middle income where I make too much to utilize...my options were basically pay out-of-pocket.

See CRAZY EXPENSIVE above. I just didnt want to spend a chunk of my paycheck to have tests and such done. $115 for office visit? Not to mention tests, labs, RX? Yeah..that whole electricity, food and gas need came first. Jump to excuse #3.

3. I hate, hate, hate going to the dr. Whether it be for mental or physical I hate it. I have a complex history in both areas. But since my wonderful long-term doctor in Kentucky is well...in Kentucky and I now live in Texas, the thought of seeking a new primary care physician to have to "get to know and trust" was more daunting than proposing marriage to that cute girl in the check-out line. I would opt for that before wooing a new doctor who would undoubtingly look at my medical and history and go...hmmm. Toss in the scars and mental issues...yeah...wouldnt even have to know cute chick's name...I'd so be hitched and hope her grocery list was compatable with mine. A fear of a new DR is very real to me. To the point of anxiety attack. But still..not even trying...lame and cowardly. But not as cowardly as excuse #4...

4. I knew I needed to go. See..I've had issues in the past. One is a mass in my lung myself and kids have named Bob. It rests snuggly on the top lobe of my right lung. It causes me some pain if I cough...but otherwise behaves itself. It was benign and was monitored every few months since found during a routine well check about 6 yrs ago. It's discovery led to mulltiple biospie and scans. All negative. I went thru exhausting rounds of testing from cancer to Bird flu. Nothing came back positive. Bob...was just Bob. And I came to terms that Bob was just..well...there. But I became lapse in having Bob monitored. See excuse #2 however in having a role in this excuse.

Now how does all this come into play? I now have health insurance. I asked around and found a wonderful, blunt and understanding physician. His practice is a full sevices facility-- which means full lab, MRI, CAT and the works all within his office. So no dealing with multiple "wooing" of different staff.

When discussing my history, Dr. P handled it well. He didn't coddle (which pisses me off--pity is a trigger for me) and listened. He then proceeded a full spectrum of tests and labs so we would know what we were dealing with.

And boy...he might be regretting that decision.

I have three masses. A new one all snuggled up to Bob (calling it Jr) as well as Bob's new nearby friends-- Steve which is a mass on my throat/thyroid and Frank who is a boob kinda guy on the left side.

So now my schedule is a flurry of tests, scans and biopsies being scheduled. It's all happening rather quickly and I am blessed to have an understanding employer.

And health insurance.

Am I worried? Of course. Am I trying to be positive? Absolutely. But I'm a realist. I've caught cancer early before and was very lucky to do so. But...these were not caught early. Whether they be benign or malignant, they most likely have been setting up shop for awhile. So much so that my thyroid has all but shut down. Guess those periods of fatigue and exhaustion shouldnt have been excused either...

So now I get to run the gambit of health and the various factors that may or may not rob it from me. But those factors arent the sole players in all this. No...I more than let them in to have free range and claim. Albeit I have never smoked (cancer is very prominate in my genetic history) and for years have eaten healthy and strove to take care of myself.

But bodies don't come with what I call idiot lights (check engine, low oil...) like a Chevy. And I felt on the whole pretty good. And if it doesnt feel broke......

I don't care what anyones political beliefs are. I do not want to get in a heated debate or angry tirade about the status of healthcare in America. It was and is ....broken. When its citizens can't afford to get basic care or have access to obtain such, its a real issue.

I am one of those middle-class citizens that made too much for any gov't funded healthcare and made too little to afford to pay for it myself. So those such as me simply pray we don't get sick...hope we don't break something. And make excuses when evidence shows us that is no way to live. Its a harsh gamble that may cost one to lose a part of why its wonderful to be alive....

To be happy
To be loved
To be healthy and well

They all play into each other. Regardless of gender, race or income. But healthcare has truly become a "those who have and those who have not".

Say what you will about Universal healthcare, Obamacare, Medicaid or Medicare....I don't even pretend to support or disapprove any of them. Call me a lazy american...or just one that is sick and tired of the debate of it all. Something HAD TO BE done. Only time will tell if it helped. But people must MUST realize how precious their health is...and have a way to keep it that way.

All I do know is this: All humans have the right to be healthy. To have access to medical care. To not have to decide whether to feed their family or go have that symptom checked out. To risk not getting an annual checkup because their car broke down and they feel just fine.


To now feel like a long ticking time bomb and never knowing the fuse had been lit silently for so long. And...wondering if its now its too late to defuse.

For thats how I feel. I can state without a single doubt that if I had access to healthcare to monitor and maintain...I would have taken whatever steps I needed to do so. And perhaps Bob wouldnt have new buddies and I wouldnt have this gnawing, gut-wrenching fear that its too late and my excuses won.

Again...Im not giving in. Nor am I giving up. I'm fully aware that these new "residents" may be harmless and no cause for concern.

But I am fairly intelligent and therefore while I may view this in a fighting mentality with my mental fists raised to spar...I also know the opponent may be bigger and badder than we know at this point. And I allowed it to be so. With excuses...

I just wish I had known to suit up for the fight sooner.

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