Thursday, October 07, 2010

Enid – The Sequel…


Warning – if you don’t like or get illish when reading about medical shit or conditions related to a woman’s “lady parts”, you probably want to ship this post.

Okay?

Cool.

My uterine fibroids are back.   

Years ago I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids…they are benign yet HUGE tumors inside and outside of my uterus. 

I named them as one – Enid.

My war with Enid wasn’t Rumsfeldian…she aggressed first and, since that involved making me feel like shit and heavy periods that lasted up to 14 days, I decided to kick that heifer’s ass.  When hormonal therapy failed to shrink Enid, I had surgery and Enid was removed.

I knew that the odds were that Enid would return. 

I knew that the symptoms I’ve been having for the last year all pointed to an Enid sequel.

And yesterday my gynecologist confirmed Enid’s return.

Damn it all if the diagnosis wasn’t jarring as hell.

Sigh.

I’m sharing all this because this is the part of reproductive health care that gets lost in the mix…hell, this is the part of health care that gets lost too.

See, I’m damn lucky and I know it. 

I’m preparing for surgery in the next few months...and I’m fucking lucky to be doing so.

I have health insurance and short-term disability…and uterine fibroids that pose health risks that mean they can’t just be left alone or ignored or treated by a change in diet.

Without health care coverage I’d be shit out of luck…facing monumental debt or a delay in treatment that could eliminate a lot of treatment options or increase the health risks associated with fibroids.

I’m lucky to have health care insurance through my employer…because Enid is a pre-existing condition that would have made it hard if not impossible for me to get health insurance on my own.

I’m lucky that Enid is benign.

I'm lucky that I live in St. Louis Missouri, where we have outstanding medical centers and fantabulous doctors.

And you know what?

Treating uterine fibroids shouldn’t be about luck.

Bankruptcy in exchange for health is unacceptable.

Increased health risks due to a delay in treatment based on lack of coverage is not about individual responsibility.

Health care is a fucking right.

Yet, as I prepare for surgery…for the blood tests, scans, more appointments and surgery…I know that there are women out there who are unable to do the same.

That’s what health care reform is about.

And no, health care reform isn’t done…what passed Congress wasn’t perfect or even close to perfect, but it sure as shit will improve the lives of millions of Americans who are waking up today feeling unlucky as hell.

So when some asshole running for Senate or whatever tells you that he’d repeal health care reform because Americans don’t want or need it…ask that man if he means that Americans don’t want to wake up lucky, if he means that the millions of uninsured Americans out there prefer going bankrupt, if he means that women prefer not being able to treat conditions that are treatable and prefer facing long-term illness and pain to having the ability to see a fucking doctor.

Push back at that bullshit, because it’s fixin’ to smother reform to death just because people aren't thinking this shit through. 

I’m lucky.

I know it.

But luck shouldn’t have a damn thing to do with this.

That's what health care reform is about.

I'll keep y'all posted on Enid - The Sequel...

17 comments:

j0lt said...

Best wishes for a smooth procedure and a speedy recovery, and no Enid III in future.

Jim said...

Good luck with everything and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

Loved the blog. As someone who's dealt with a pre-existing condition (asthma) and been denied health care over and over, (thankfully I have some now with my employer)I 100% support health care reform. However I work in an office full of people who don't. Even the man who's wife slipped two disks and had to have surgery without insurance. He opted to not buy into the company policy due to the cost. He's now faced with a $35k surgery with no inusrance. Bankruptcy isn't an option for him since he just filed and lost his home to forclosure. And he still doesn't get it. How to convince people like him is beyond me. What is it that they are so afraid of?

Sowilo said...

I feel your pain. I had my Enid removed in '02, and mine is also back. I'm medicating the @$^%#! out of it right now, but I see surgery in my future as well.

Good that you're doing it during hockey season so that you'll have lots of stuff to watch while you're recovering.

Rachael said...

Shark-Fu, sweetheart, I'm so sorry.

You are tremendously courageous, I love your courage, and it comes through with every letter you write.

You are in my thoughts. I'll send you grace with my every morning's meditation.

Miss Trudy said...

Hey Shark Fu, sorry to hear that but glad all is benign and taken care of. As I wrote myself, in my blog, here in Guatemala---a third world country, where I currently reside--they have "socialized" health care which, granted, has a lot to be desired, but at least means that poor women can get such things taken care of either free or at a very low price. A lot of the equipment is donated by USAID and the medical personnel also trained by the US. So the US donates equipment that enables needy women to get their health care needs take care of abroad ... which is good, don't get me wrong ... but what is going on in the US? Aren't we the richest nationin the world, supposedly? Amazing. As usual, love your blog.

Mrs. E said...

Sorry to hear about your battle with uterine fibroids & I hope all goes well with your surgery. Stay strong.

Laughingrat said...

Best of luck, ma'am. May Enid's removal be permanent this time.

(Me, I have three benign ovarian cysts I named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, but that's really neither here nor there.)

Steve said...

Oh, no - I'm so sorry you have to deal with Enid. Even if it is 'benign,' anything with the word "tumor" attached can be frightening and awful. My best wishes for you and the surgery; may you make it through with flying colors.

I must admit the health care topic is close to my heart. I just graduated college and, as a result, my insurance provider just dropped my coverage. In January I'll be re-covered by my Dad's insurance because of the new law, but until then, I can't get great coverage (unless of course I snag a full-time job with benefits).

Again - best of luck cutting Enid out of your life!

Anonymous said...

I had fibroids myself so I feel your pain. My periods got to be so heavy that I became anemic. Ended up having a hysterectomy when I was 36. Good luck; we're sending prayers and warm wishes for a speedy recovery your way.

radrean said...

Good luck with your break from Enid. I tried going on the pill recently to control my fibroids and at the age of 39 developed blood clots in my lungs (4 of them - one in each lobe). As I sift through the medical bills I am so happy to be insured because the portion I have to pay out of pocket - albeit more than I was hoping for - is managable. I can't imagine what I would have done without insureance.

Shark-fu said...

Thanks y'all!

I'm slated for a hysterectomy this time - no date set yet, just a ton of tests. I'll let y'all know once we line things up at the hospital.

Thank you for sharing and for the well wishes - you all are the best!

Becks said...

Good luck with your latest fight.

And you're right about this crap. Healthcare in this country is for shit. It shouldn't be about luck.

The current number of American's without health insurance is 51 MILLION.

51,000,000.

FIFTY ONE MILLION.

If that shit doesn't make you want to push back, I don't know what will.

Melody said...

Enid is a jerk and she won't leave this bitch alone either. I had her removed in '04 and now she's back, I'm gonna have to kick her ass again. I wish you well Shark-fu and I (literally) feel your pain. And I can only get this taken care of because our single income poor household shells out $1000/month for health insurance. Surgery is my best option because we can't buy prescription coverage, it isn't available to people who buy their own HI in my system.

Ravan Asteris said...

I had fibriods. It was hell. I could have had the ablation, etc. But they could come back. Did not want. I also didn't want to reproduce.

I had a hysterectomy in 2005, and it was the best thing I ever did. No more periods, no more pregnancy worries, no more being just another womb.

I was lucky - I had a job and good insurance at the time. The thing was the size of a 17 week fetus. Freakin' huge.

I'm uninsured now. $1500 a month for insurance is more than my rent. That's why I wanted, and still want SinglePayer, for health care to be considered a basic service that we all pay for, like roads, courts, and police.

Anonymous said...

I hope you kick Enid's butt!!!! I'm totally behind your views on health care, and I do believe it is a universal humyn right that must be fought for and expanded upon.

rice said...

"But luck shouldn’t have a damn thing to do with this."

I really like how that sums it up so nicely.