My Hysterectomy at 28, My Choice

As I went through months and months of various symptoms, including excessive and abnormal bleeding and pain, I always half jokingly said that I wish I could just have my uterus removed.  Well today, that became my reality when I had a hysterectomy. I started my period when I was 11 years old.  When something…

Survival or Debt: The Plight of the Chronically Ill and Underinsured

Fighting for your life or crippling debt.   Millions of Americans face this choice, even with health insurance coverage.  A staggering amount of those people battling chronic illness are facing both. The uninsured populations are more widely known and discussed, but what about those who are underinsured?   Being underinsured describes an individual having some…

(re)Building Into Brilliance

To quote one of my favorite guilty pleasure TV shows, “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely.  And we’re left only with the choice of what to do next.  We can choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling, not moving, assuming the worst can happen.  Or we can step forward into the…

How I Went From a $60,000 Career to Needing Emergency Food Stamps

My career is in public health, where I spend my time advocating for people in order for a reduction in health disparities.  The clients we serve are typically low income, with insurance difficulties, health problems or risks, and competing needs in obtaining the necessary resources to survive.  I have worked to get people access to…

Aetna Would Rather Have Me Risk My Life Than Approve My Treatment

One of my biggest fears is fainting and falling onto the train platform of the city’s public transportation system while running errands or on the way to work.  Lately, this fear is becoming closer and closer to reality as symptoms of my chronic health conditions have gotten worse and my insurance carrier, Aetna, is partly…

The Coldest Winter…

Usually in the winter, the symptoms stemming from my Sjogrens, POTS and other conditions tend to flare up. I was prepared for a flare but I didn’t expect the nightmare that subsequently happened. I went on a brief trip to LA to escape the cold, but when I returned my quality of life seemed to go downhill.  It…