Walking Time Bomb

I haven’t been feeling well for some time now.  Without health insurance a visit to the doctor is a luxury reserved for serious illness or accidents and anyway I just put it down to stress, age or the winter blues. But each time I hauled three or four gallons of water up the hill to the barn I kept thinking, “I’m doing this twice a day, why isn’t it getting easier?”  I was beginning to think farming just wasn’t for me!

Then last weekend my youngest daughter developed a deep red, growing rash on the side of her face and, with thoughts of staph infections and flesh eating bacteria running through my mind I found a doctor – one not only affordable, but in his office on a Sunday – and took her in.  As it turned out she had a severe allergic reaction to something – not life threatening and it should clear up in a few days with the various prescriptions we were given.

I don’t usually try to get two appointments out of one but this doctor was so approachable that I asked if there was a chance he could write a refill for my blood pressure medication.  I had stockpiled enough of the drugs to last quite a while after leaving California but I was down to my last four pills and I had no refills.  He said he would – after he took my blood pressure.  I assured him it would be fine as I was taking medication to control it but he insisted and the results were shocking, or as he said “obscene”!  Even with the medication my blood pressure was 171 over 115 – Stage 2 Hypertension.  I was, he said, a walking time bomb, ripe for a stroke at any time.

I left with refills for my current medication and a third prescription and an admonition to call in a week if my blood pressure isn’t close to normal so that he can tweak the medication until we get good results.  It’s been a wake-up call! I certainly never thought I’d be grateful for one of my children’s illnesses (and I generally especially hate ones that appear on weekends) but the timing of the mystery rash turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Luckily hypertension is one of those easily controlled conditions – as long as you get to the doctor occasionally!

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8 Responses to Walking Time Bomb

  1. Lynn says:

    I am horrified that your BP was that high WITH medication and equally horrified that Medicaid rules as you report them have lost all reason. When I worked for MediCal years ago, when the program was new, you and your children would have been considered your own “household ” , even then income levels would have been higher and for people whose income exceeded the eligibility level for public assistance, they would just have a co-pay (called a spend-down) of the difference; they’d still get medical help. This is insane, sad, and illogical. The mom has a stroke and if she survives, the state then pays for lifetime care for her, PLUS care for all four children? I don’t exactly see the savings to taxpayers there, nor the humanity.

    Rune, just to give you and idea of our health insurance rates, we pay about $2000 a month for a family of four. Even so, we have deductibles in the thousands before insurance pays anything, and numerous medications are not covered at all. For the AMericans, that’s Blue Shield on a group plan for retired county employees, and I am talking about ONLY the amounts we pay. Since the blogger mom is not employed, her costs would be even higher for a private plan, i.e., impossible.

  2. OneFamily says:

    Thank goodness you had it checked out! I would think that based on your income you and you kids would certainly qualify for some state assistance/free medical. I know it’s offered in the state I live in. Please don’t neglect your health for the sake of money or pride – your wonderful kids need you healthy!

    • boxcarkids says:

      Here, and in most states probably, eligibility for medical insurance or other assistance is based on the household income, not the individual’s income. So unless the entire household is willing to divulge their financial and other personal information with the state you can’t be considered. When we move into our own house I will be able to apply for some assistance in medical issues. In the meantime I’m thrilled that we found an affordable doctor ($35 per visit). He just turned 82 years old however so I don’t know that we’ll be able to keep him for long!

      • Kay says:

        I really hope you are certain of theses rules……I live in Massachusetts so things may be very different here as this state has a history of being more progressive and forward thinking. Just a thought though because I know in your situation around here all of your kids would be covered no problem and you would probably have a reduced rate due to such low/no income. The safety net in this country is pretty thin but I feel like you are at least qualified for a small part of it as you work your way through this economic mess.
        Just a thought

      • Kim B says:

        It goes by household income here, too – and believe it or not, a household income of over $700 for three people makes you too “high income” for any assistance for the adults. I was told point blank that if there is any income at all for myself or my spouse, that I would not be eligible for any medical coverage, although we are lucky enough to have Medicaid for the kids.

  3. Grace says:

    Well, you notice I’m not the one asking why you don’t have insurance! We may live in the greatest country in the world, but that doesn’t mean our healthcare system is the greatest, or even adequate for unemployed adults. While you are hanging in there until 2014 when the coverage portions of Obamacare kick in, I am so glad you found this doctor. (But are you sure he’s for real–I mean, a doctor voluntarily working on a SUNDAY?? And on the cheap? Can’t they take away one’s medical license for that??)

  4. Nancy says:

    Why don’t you have medicaid? You need care, and so do your kids.

  5. Rune Bjugan says:

    Oh. I hope these meds will take care of your blood pressure! And what a great man, this doctor :)) But why don’t you have insurance..?
    I know it’s a different matter here in Norway, where almost everything is free when it comes to doctor’s appointments, getting hostpitalized and such.
    Is it because the insurance is expensive..?

    I am “glad” your daughter had this rash, I hope your blood pressure gets better during this week.

    Regards, Rune Bjugan, a dad from Oslo, Norway 🙂

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