Medical Encumbrance

19 01 2010

I always knew they called it Medical Aid for a reason. Because even though, many times, your medical scheme might not pay out for prescriptions, or not cover all your costs, or even frustrate you to hell and gone when you have to wait for ages to get approval for things – while you’re pay quite a substantial sum of money, too! – if you don’t have it, you’re a bit screwed.

As I have been a student for the last four years, I was lucky enough to stay on my father’s medical aid. They paid for the braces that came on in 11th Grade (2004) and came off in my 2nd year at university (2007); they paid for my glasses at the end of my 2nd year, as well as at the end of my 4th year (2009); and of course, they mostly paid for the prescriptions I received after a visit to the doctor’s office. They also paid for my gynaecologist visit last December… although, technically, if you think about it, my dad is actually paying for it, as medical aid doesn’t come free or cheap.

Now, you may remember that I went to the gynae, and that I have to go for a laparoscopy to determine whether or not I have endometriosis (which the gynae thinks is a given); also, my ovaries are polycystic, so the sooner they can determine what’s what with my reproductive organs, the sooner they can combat the ‘bad stuff’ in me, to help prevent nasty problems such as cancer and infertility (and here I am being Little Miss Worst-Case-Scenario… again…) I wrote a long letter to my father’s medical aid scheme, outlining why I went to the gynae and why I need the op. Luckily, my father hadn’t passed it on yet, something he would have done yesterday morning. He told me over the phone that he had a feeling that he should wait… and there you go: that afternoon in the post, he received a letter (dated 5 January) informing him that as of the end of December – basically meaning 1 January 2010 – I was no longer going to be aided medically; put simply, I had finished my studies, so I got scrapped from the scheme.

And my operation was supposed to be next Tuesday!

Needless to say, I had to phone the gynaecologist’s office this morning to cancel my operation. Not one of the most fun activities I have ever partaken in, but luckily it was short, and the receptionist was friendly. Somehow, that made it worse for me. I’ve been stressing myself into a coronary, or a conniption, or something of the like – worrying about the operation, recovery, all that happy crappy. Although I am relieved by the prospect of not having to endure pain likened to sword-stabbing in my shoulder or other excruciating feelings of unease around my abdominal area, now I have something else to worry about: when will I be able to live a more ‘normal’ life?

My Significant Other is currently busy setting up his medical aid; signed the papers last night, in fact. But even if it goes through immediately, and it becomes active at the beginning of February, I might have to wait three months before I can go for the operation. Who knows what could happen in three months’ time??!

So, at the moment, I need a para-medic. Not a paramedic, where ‘para’ means ‘resembling’ or ‘similar to’ and ‘medic’ a doctor. In my sense, the medic part still refers to a doctor, and yet I would rather employ another meaning for ‘para’, like the ‘para’ in ‘paranormal’, meaning ‘beyond’. I need someone who is beyond a doctor (if there is such a person), someone who can help me out of this depression and defeatist slur that prickles my skin like (a) the first icy drops from the showerhead when turned on, or (b) that pins-and-needles sensation you get when you’ve been sitting a certain way for too long (even though, each time, you tell yourself you’ll never do it again), and the itch scratches through the numbness. By the way this year is going, my prospects don’t look too great (understatement); I don’t see any rainbows or butterflies or happy little bunnies bouncing along on the rosy garden path to have a picnic with their forest friends. No sir – I see those bunnies being eaten, perhaps slowly simmered in a stench of gruel-like stew.

Still, things could be worse. Things can always be worse, as people love telling us… Just as long as the ‘para’ doesn’t have another one of its meanings in para-medic: incorrect or abnormal. Coz then I’d really be in hot water.

[Am I the only one who feels like I’ve been rambling pathetically today…?]




2 responses

19 01 2010

I would say “isn’t there some kind of ‘bridge’ setup for your dad’s medical aid, but the way things go, even if there was it would probably not come into play before your SO’s medical aid kicked in. Nice that he can add you, that’s HUGE.

22 01 2010

It’s good that the Significant Other can add you. But it totally sucks that you’ll have to wait. Hopefully nothing big will happen between now and then.

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