Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Moral objections, forced confessions, and Senator Blunt’s amendment from hell…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

Longtime readers know that I had a hysterectomy in November of 2010.  I had fibroids and endometriosis, both of which had been treated successfully for a decade.

What folks might not know is that I had surgery to remove round 1 of my fibroids in 2001.  After that surgery I had my first experience with a denial of coverage – my surgeon prescribed Lupron shots for 6 months post surgery so that I wouldn’t have a period while my uterus healed. Lupron is widely prescribed for infertility…my insurance plan did not cover infertility treatments…so each month I had the damn near indescribably drama of explaining to the insurance company that I had fibroids removed and my doctor prescribed Lupron for something other than trying to get pregnant.

Trust that the woman working customer service at my then insurer knew more about my reproductive plans than my family...oh, and her boss too ‘cause we always had to call the manager in…um, and the pharmacy that we looped in for those multi-person conference calls…and finally the fantabulous staffer at my doctor’s office who was used to this bullshit and was often looped in when I was just too exhausted and stressed out my the process (two things one would think an insurance company would want a person just out of surgery to avoid…ugh).

I went through that bullshit once a month every month for six months.

Then I went on the pill…yes, that one…to make sure that my fibroids didn’t grow as rapidly as they had before and to try to keep my endometriosis at bay.

And the pill did all of that for a decade, until 2010 when I had a hysterectomy.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

When I heard that a certain Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) introduced an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that would allow any employer to refuse to cover whatever service they claim a moral objection to…well, I thought about my previous experience with Lupron and why I ended up on the pill.

I thought about having to explain my bitness to my employer...about having to make some sort of case for meds that are legal and that I have no moral objection to.

And I keep circling back to what the pill did for me…and what would have happened if I hadn’t been able to take it to control the growth of fibroid tumors and endometriosis.

I would not have had choices or treatment options.

I would have had a hysterectomy eleven years ago…at 28.

Not because I wanted to or even needed to...

...but because that would have been all I was left with.

Which is exactly what happens to many women who face a lack of access to health care…a lack of options and choices that results from a lack of coverage.

This so-called birth control battle is about a lot more than is about not having to beg, negotiate, or endure a forced public confession to get access to services and medicine denied based on some employer’s morality glitch.

Senator Blunt’s amendment would turn some of the most common medical happenings into…well, into an absolute stress out like my Lupron drama.

And for the trolls currently contemplating a comment about how I could have paid for Lupron out of pocket – that shit cost $600 a shot back in 2001…multiply that by 6 months and then kiss my “liberty”.


Pencils said...

Exactly. I'm prescribed digestive enzymes called Creon because I have a fucked-up pancreas. Creon is made from pigs, so vegans and vegetarians (and some people who keep Kosher) have an objection to it. Without it, I get severe attacks of nausea and vomiting that last for days and sometimes leave me hospitalized. If my employers were militant vegetarians or vegans, I could be out of luck on this bill--and my Creon prescription runs just short of $1100 a month, so it's something I would have a hard time affording.

jenne2672 said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with such eloquence!

Rileysdtr said...

hahahahahahaha! *wipes tear*

Sorry - just had a vision of all the Fortune 500 Boards of Directors feverishly planning their religious conversions to Christian Science; instead of insurance cards you get a library card... talk about your Come to Jesus moments!

D. said...

Yeah, serious slippery slope going on here.

Linking to this.

Anonymous said...

I too have used birth control pills in the past to keep from developing "functioning cysts" on my ovaries every month. The problem went away over the years but now my daughter is on birth control pills for the same reason. If I had not/she does not take birth control pills, we would develop one of these EXCRUTIATING cysts every month.

I am disgusted that Viagra is prescribed and paid for by the insurance companies with no questions asked but birth control is debated to no end. Viagra costs ten times as much as birth control and THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO MEDICAL BENEFIT OTHER THAN A BONER. I don't think boners are a prerequsite to good health.

Anonymous said...

This is why we need single-payer health care in this country. Employers should have exactly zero say in what health care people get. And health care should never be dependent on employment status.

nurunr said...

Amen, Sister. Well said AND supported.

awhitestl said...

i just can't get over the sad mix of greed and religious fervor. And Santorum has a chance to be elected President. This motivates me even more to help Obama win a second term. And we need to help get more reasonable people elected to Jefferson City too. I am too old and infirm to qualify for Canadian citizenship. Save yourselves my friends if the November elections go the wrong way.

macnow said...

And did you see the montage of clips (I think on Rachel Maddow) of things Santorum said publicly in interviews, one of which was that he was fine... and in fact thought it was morally right, to arrest adults who used contraceptives while having sex.


Then he goes on to say "It was the states rights" to have such a law and he would support it 100%.

I thought this guy was crazy... but batshit...flying to and over the moon... Muther F-ning crazy, holy cheebus.

I mean seriously. I sat and watched it in my parents kitchen and my jaw dropped. My 68 year old mom just stood and stared at the TV and said "Did he just say..."

This type of crap needs to stop now, period.

Like I said here before, I am a proud decorated veteran from the first gulf war. As a male, I see this as none other than insecure males trying to oppress female rights...

...cause lets be brutally honest, 70 to 80 percent of males never bring up contraception when it comes "to" the time of getting down, it's women that bring it up!

And the rest of the males, are these bible thumping hypocrites that are the american version of the Taliban.

In my best Clint E voice:

"Fck you punk".

Tish said...

Thanks for sharing. As a citizen who has just lost her medical coverage, I am very discouraged with what's been tossed around in politics these days.

Adrianne Russell said...

This really hits home. I started using birth control when I was fifteen due to ovarian cysts. I was not sexually active. I needed them my entire adult life especially when the fibroids came. Like you, the pill prevented the fibroids from increasing.

Ultimately, I had a hysterectomy but that procedure was many years later as a result of preventive medicine. If the cysts continue, I will most likely need start taking them again.

People don't understand how exhausting, embarrassing and mortifying it is to have to go round after round with insurers and employers about something that is so personal and then be told that there's no help for you (can you believe hysterectomy is considered a "pre-existing condition" by some insurers?)

Lawmakers are really missing the point here and I'm fed up.

Anonymous said...

We need to bring more stories like yours to the news. I was on BCP for 6 months before my fertility tx. To think that was anyones business other than my DR and me, and I would have to get permission, makes me angry.
Obama 2012
White, and very bitchy, when it comes to old white men trying to control my uterus

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