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Author Topic: Need a little medical advice, please...  (Read 899 times)

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Offline Zhu QueTopic starter

Need a little medical advice, please...
« on: November 18, 2010, 05:44:24 AM »
  Hello, let me start off by say, I was not sure where this should go and this looked like the best place.

  Hi, I'm Zhu Que, and I am in a bit of a predicament. I have a medical issue, and no way to get it taken care of really. I first found out about it maybe two years ago, but the doctor only said Hyperthyroidism, but a strange case because my pituitary gland is not releasing the hormones throughout my body.

  I lost my medicaid after that, and I was doing alright on my own. At the end of September I went to the ER twice in the same week, the first on my own volition, the other because work called an ambulance cause I was having an anxiety attack from an excited heart rate.

  The past couple days my throat has been swelling more, as I am typing this, I have found the hard way that eating is near impossible. Even drinking anything hurts. Swallowing in general, and taking deep breaths, sneezing, and coughing hurts. I have already almost lost my voice completely. We think it may be Grave's Disease or even Thyroid Cancer.

  I have called places that are supposed to do discounts for people with no insurance and low income, but they all say they can't lower the price enough for me to be able to afford the tests and the possible surgery. I really need to find something that I can work with to get this taken care of, before the swelling worsen.

  I am just looking for some help and advice. I need to find a place that will work with me on the pay, or information of some insurance that helps people in my position. I was told by one of my sisters who has financial problems that if I am sick enough, I can apply for 'disability from working', but I don't know if I qualify and if it would really help me anyway.

  I don't like the idea of putting my problems out there, but I do know when to admit I need help. So any help or advice would be much appreciated. I just need something about any type of insurance, or any thing I can do about the cost of if I get the surgery.

  Thank you so much,

      The Phoenix

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Need a little medical advice, please...
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2010, 10:02:01 AM »
The first thing that springs to mind is: Don't try to self diagnose. It's fine to have ideas, but don't get locked into an autoimmune or cancer theory and let it depress you. It is possible that this is something significantly less bad, and the only way to find out is to get the tests run.

The way I would suggest going about that is free clinics. If you have a low enough income, and no insurance, there are usually charitable institutes about designed to take care of you. This isn't true in all areas, but it is something you should definitely check into. Notably, they would not be able to do surgery if it is necessary, but you may be able to get a diagnosis and discuss possible methods of treatment.

I wish you luck.

Offline Oniya

Re: Need a little medical advice, please...
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2010, 10:11:09 AM »
If it is difficult to breathe or swallow, get to the ER, and make sure you get to talk to a social worker.  Impress upon them the severity of your financial and medical situation - being unable to breathe and eat are life-threatening conditions.  In a worst-case scenario, if they have to do emergency surgery and you have no other recourse, you may have to file bankruptcy.  This will impact your credit score for a few years (I think seven?), but it will get you out from under the financial burden while you recover.

Offline Zhu QueTopic starter

Re: Need a little medical advice, please...
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2010, 02:38:51 PM »
  Thank you both. I appreciate the advice. ^_^

  I do want to say that the reason we have come to those diagnoses is the symptoms. My mother is a home-care nurse who used to work in a hospital and she told me the most likely ones. I do hate the idea of having one of the two, but Graves Disease can usually be treated with radiation, and Thyroid cancer can be fixed by the thyroid being removed.

  I will look up stuff about free clinics in my area, but as things seem, I may go to the ER tonight. I am not really worried about it if I have to do bankruptcy but I would prefer not going to the ER at all, heh.

  Again, thank you guys, I hadn't even thought of free clinics or bankruptcy. ^_^

Offline Oniya

Re: Need a little medical advice, please...
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2010, 02:44:11 PM »
The important thing is to keep breathing :-)  As long as you're doing that, things have a chance of getting better.

Offline Zhu QueTopic starter

Re: Need a little medical advice, please...
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2010, 02:23:45 AM »
  Well... I went to the ER tonight, just got back from there. Aren't doctors the best?! They do a test for something that it is obviously not, and then when you tell them you can't breath or swallow without pain... and that talking hurts like a bitch, they tell you that since its not what they thought, they can't do anything for you.

  I just needed to know that I was fucking right about not having strep, so there, they did their damn job. Now I can go on with the rest of my day, still having the same problems, or even worse, as long as I know its not strep throat. Goddess, my life is perfect now that a doctor told me I was right, and then gave up without so much as another thought to possibly curing the problem.

  Now that that is out of my system. I hate to do this, but is their any ideas of how to go about dealing financial help for going to a doctor. If I could get back on medicaid or something like that, I could go to the last doctor I had, because he was good at his job, he actually cares about the people he sees. He would figure out what is wrong with me and fix it quickly, well, as quickly as possible for whatever the problem is.

Offline Oniya

Re: Need a little medical advice, please...
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2010, 02:34:09 AM »

This looks like a good starting point.  You mentioned your mother - she will probably need to help out with this if you live together (you might enlist her help anyways, just because she may have more experience in the financial department: mortgages, rents, utility bills, etc.) 

On a strategic/psychological level:  Do not let them just brush you off.  Get the names of everyone you talk to, and keep notes on how they treat you.  If they are helpful, but have to transfer your problem upwards, pass the compliment up the food chain.  If they are unhelpful/rude, pass that up as well.  My late father-in-law used this technique while dealing with his lung transplant, and you would be amazed at the results he got.

Offline Serephino

Re: Need a little medical advice, please...
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2010, 07:49:47 PM »
Oh yes, ER doctors are extremely helpful! (not)  I had the same thing happen to me not that long ago.  They tested for a kidney infection, found that wasn't it, but I did have a high white cell count.  They sent me home with that new knowledge.  I went to my family doctor and found out what the problem was.

Try looking into other programs besides Medical Assistance.  Here they have something called Spend Down.  I'm $315 over the Medicaid limit, so if I have a bill that's more than that they pay the difference.  Combined with my local hospital's financial assistance, which I do qualify for, I usually get hospital bills taken care of.  Private practice doctors are more tricky.  You have to get them to bill you rather than paying at your visit.