Friday, March 22, 2013

On the Blessing of Health Insurance, and Changing Your Life

I feel better today than I have all week! Maybe it's the nutrients I've been getting from eating lots of kale... I bought several bunches and have been eating it almost daily. Maybe it's the Amazing Grass Green SuperFood that I added back into my diet when I found out that it can be an optional snack on Medifast. Maybe it's the extra D3.... or it could just be a combination, plus the extra sleep I got last night was wonderful. Regardless of the reason, I feel vitalized and happy today!

I wanted to write a bit about self-care and the ability to get the help one needs. There was a time in my life... a very long time, in fact... when I had no health insurance whatsoever. There were no regular check-ups, paps, or anything related to well (preventative) care at all for me. I always, *always* made sure my kids got those things, whether they had insurance or not... but for me, a doctor visit had become a luxury. I remember one time when I had a severe sinus infection and was still required to go to my minimum wage job every day. It was complete misery. Finally someone told me about a "free clinic" in another town that I could go to since my income was so low. I went after work. I sat in the waiting room packed with obviously sick, coughing, miserable people for 2 hours before I was seen. I was so, so thankful to see that doctor, get a free prescription, and finally get better. It was a true blessing, as was the free dental clinic I went to for any needed dental work. But there was always that long, long wait and that feeling of desperation and wanting to be able to do better for myself. And I did do better: my desperation drove me to go back to college and secure a much better, more lucrative, and more enjoyable career.

Now that I can afford to buy my own insurance, I see health care as such a blessing. I am so, so thankful that if I am sick, I can go right to the doctor of my choosing. If I am hurting, I can get a referral for PT or acupuncture or chiropractic. If I have special needs, I can see a specialist. I never, ever take this for granted, and I know that many people are living without health insurance or any health care at all right now. I remember what that feels like and have a lot of compassion for people who are struggling, as I used to be. And part of my taking charge of my health right now is actually using those insurance benefits to my advantage! And, I want to urge you: if you have health insurance... USE IT! Take advantage of the benefits if you need them! Don't suffer. There are so many professionals out there who can help us with our pain and our health. Check into yours and if you need physical therapy, or a dietitian, or any kind of support for your health, do it! It is a real blessing, and there's no reason to work on your health alone. After all, it's not *just* about weight loss... it *is* about health! It is about wellness.

And finally to those who *don't* yet have health insurance coverage, please don't feel discouraged. Struggling financially is very hard and very stressful, but I truly believe that we have the power to change our lives. If you dream of a different career, look into college or technical schools. You'd be surprised how many scholarships and grants there are to help pay for that. And there is financial aid for those who need it. It is SO worth it. going back to school was one of the *best* choices I ever made! Empower yourself... and if you can, if you want to, change your life!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great reminder. I have health insurance through my work but never think to use all the benefits. We even have a gym benefit and can go to yoga and meditation classes.

Amanda

Julie D said...

I, too, am thankful for my insurance coverage! I have been seeing my doctor during the journey, I'm seeing a nutritionist, and I even see a podatrist for my plantar fascitis.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately so many people have taken advantage of health insurance by not taking care of themselves and going for every single little symptom, that it's so outrageously expensive. We can expect our premiums to double in the next 12-24 months. And yes, I'm in the health insurance industry. I do know what I'm talking about!

Karen said...

As a single parent, obtaining and keeping my benefits is essential , both to my health and my wallet.

I hope you are able to see the counselor soon so that your weight loss can continue. It looks like you've found a way to maintain. Onward.

I always liked the Maslows hierarchy of needs when I tradition from one part of life to another. The pyramid makes a lot of sense to me. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs


Does insurance that you buy yourself cost a lot?

Lyn said...

Karen~

yep, it is pretty pricey. Wondering how the whole Obamacare thing will affect premiums...

Anonymous said...

The "Affordable" Care Act is going to have many unforeseen consequences.