While the US Government is Held Hostage by the GOP, Think Broke Arm
On this very day, October 4th, 2007, I fell of my front porch while hanging Halloween decorations and broke my left arm.
Since I was currently employed full time at a four star restaurant waiting on tables, the immediate knowledge that my arm was not working was and it was the busiest weekend, Columbus Day, in the Hudson Valley, I was concerned. Like millions of other Americans, wedid not have health insurance, so I knew the hospital and doctor bills would be an issue. I also knew that the inability to work would also impact my family monetarily for what, I had assumed while still sitting on my walkway, cradling my busted lib, the time for a 6 week cast.
It was not 6 weeks. Because I did not have health insurance, I lived with a broken arm for 2 years.
May I repeat that so you get the full impact:
TWO YEARS WITH A COMPLETELY BROKEN ARM
My Uninsured Life with a Broken Arm
I broke my arm on October, 4th, 2007. I managed to blog about how step stools and skull heads equaled disaster on the 7th.
On October 10, 2007, we went to the doctor with my now ER “post-reduction” fractured humerus and the conversation went like this:
- DOC: This is a bad break. you really need surgery for this. You need a rod in there..otherwise you will have less range of motion, your shoulder will freeze up.
- ME: Yeah, well we are part of the growing group of millions of American’s who have no health insurance.
- DOC: oh.
I had a huge hard cast on my entire arm and shoulder until December 2007. I could not work, but was still employed. I could only wear tube tops and ponchos. I could not put on my own bra or my socks or close my belt. I had to sleep propped up. See where the bone is on the top? Yeah, that part used to pop out of my arm when I tried to move it too much. Like the bone wanted to bust through the skin. I basically had a third elbow.
We were not eligible for any public assistance at all though I could not work We had no healthcare offered at my job since it was a small business. My husband was self employed and we could not afford it. Together we made 60 dollars over the eligible limits for Healthy New York. The next self pay group for a family was over 600 a month. Sixty dollars over does not mean we could afford to pay out an extra 500, so none of the people in my family had health insurance. We were self pay and the only thing we could have done was sell our house and live in our car so I could have surgery. We didn’t do that. We followed what the doctor said.
After they said that a break like this needed surgery, they readjusted when they knew we could pay for it. They said “You will be fine.”
They said I should move into a brace by December of 2007. The brace cost $400. It was before Christmas. We had two children. So I bought a brace off Amazon for $40.00 and we fitted it in my kitchen.
By January of 2008, I found a new job where I could work with a broken arm. That was good as I learned SEO and internet marketing. With one hand. Literally.
I spent three more months in the brace. The doctors told me in February of 2008 that I should start using my arm. I had to point out to the doctor that I still could not lift my arm above my waist without the bone sticking out. He said, “Oh, then don’t use it. Keep the brace on. It’s not healing like it should” No doh.
By March of 2008, I saw the head of the practice since my arm was still complexly broken. He told me that if I was a crack head, I would have had the surgery already. Then he back peddled and said that they would have treated me the same no matter what. He then recommend that we “electronically stimulated” my bones to convince them to grow together. He did go out of his way to get us a the $1000.00 machine for free from the rep, so I could spend the next 120 nights getting “electronically stimulated”, it didn’t work.
Meanwhile, because we weren’t going in to the office every month to get checked, I hadn’t given them any payments. So they sent my account to collection and when I had nerve pain, they refused to see me anymore.
At that point I gave up. When the weather got hot, I took off the stupid sticky brace and just lived with a broken arm. I was 40 years old and resigned myself to living with four bones in my left arm for the rest of my life. The bones clicked together when I wiped down the kitchen counter or when I brushed my hair, but I would work, do laundry, vacuum, go food shopping, even ride a bike.. with a completely broken arm bone.
It hurt. It grossed people out, yet many folks didn’t even KNOW I had a broken arm.. until they asked me do something like hold open a door! I lived that way for ALL of 2008 and most of 2009.
Universal Health Care Reform is Needed!
We had to wait for over a year, but luckily the economy got so bad here that construction jobs for my husband dried up and with no income from him, we were finally able to fall under the NY definition of poor enough. I got NYS health insurance, but it still took months for it to work and for my arm to be fixed.
By May of 2009, I was still trying to get medical coverage to work due to the lack of nationalized healthcare for all US citizens. Yet still, the GOP opposition to Obamacare was claiming things like “Most American’s do not want the federal government to take over the health care industry.”
On June 1st, 2009: I received the much coveted plastic card that says I was deemed insurable and worthy of healthcare. Yet, the US HealthCare system was still very broken.
My surgery was on August 19, 2009. Because it had been so long, I required much more than just “pinning” my bones back together. I required a plate with 6 screws to repair my broken humerus and also a bone graft from my hip. Above is what my arms insides looks like now.
It took me a while to recover as it was major surgery, but a month later, I had pictures of my nasty scar up.
The refusal of Republican governors to accept the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare leaves 8 million poor people without health care coverage. I was once one of them.
I am outraged that these complete morons that are elected officials dare to shut down the government and hold us all hostage because they didn’t get their way. ObamaCare was passed by Congress. It was ruled constitutional by the SCOTUS. It has not been repelled the what-40-odd times that they have tried to get it repelled. Meanwhile, THEY keep getting paid. And then they dare to blame the other side?
Give it up you freaking worthless slime balls. And if you happened to have voted for any of these goons? Then, seriously, shame on you. What the hell were you thinking?
I broke my arm 6 years ago today. It still hurts. They broke our government. That hurts too.
By the way, we lost that insurance, but I am insured again.. thanks to Obama Care.