OK, so remember back when I wrote about why (from personal experience) you should have health insurance, how the doctor’s determined that I did not have leukemia, how the bills were starting to add up and how I was finally going to pay them all off? No? Well, it’s happening again…
Two weeks before we moved to New Mexico, my dermatologist removed a mole from the back of my leg. It was not all that strange looking, and if my GP had not said to have it checked out, it would have gone ignored for a very long time. So the dermatologist removed it and sent it out to be biopsied, and I sat patiently waiting for the results. The day before we left I called the office to find out if they had heard anything, but they hadn’t. Two days after we arrive here, the phone rings and it is the dermatologist – bad news, it is a melanoma, but we think we got it all. Just to be sure, can you come in so we can cut a margin around the spot?
Um, no…I just moved 1,000 miles away to a small town, I cannot make it back in.
The doctor went on to explain to me that it was a pretty shallow one and that at this point they don’t need to start drugs or any lymph node dissections, but I should have a 1cm mark cut out around where they removed the mole just in case any errant cancer cells were still there. Turns out that melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer, but with the one I had removed they say there is only about a 1% chance that it will metastasize into something that can kill me, and a 99% chance that I won’t have any further developments from this one spot. So anyway, I find a dermatologist here that can see me asap and do the surgery, my doctor in California faxes over the charts and info, and I got in to see him on Friday.
The hole they cut in my leg is huge and it friggin’ hurts. Bad. And it’s quite gross.
But supposedly all the cancer is gone. We will find out in a week or so when they get the biopsy back from the skin they cut off on Friday. So what was the point of this article? Get health insurance, now. I don’t care how you get it – work, private, HMO, PPO – whatever…just make sure you and yours has it. Up until October of last year, I was a perfectly fine, healthy, 35 year old male – and in the span of 10 months I have racked up medical bills for ailments that came out of the blue. And while my medical bills might be high (and would have been twice as high without insurance), at least I can A. get in to see a good doctor, B. get the tests I need, and C. get the diagnosis, surgery, and medicines that I might need.
Sure, health insurance is a rip off for 90% of the time you have it, no doubt about it. But going from seeing a doctor once a year at most to seeing several of them a few times a month for almost a year has taught me one thing – you never know what will pop up somewhere down the line, so be sure you are prepared for that type of surprise. Even if you get catastrophe coverage only, just get it. Today.