Sucks to your ass-mar!

With a little fancy footwork, I was able to get Medicaid through the state. I had to see a doctor through the Department of Social and Health Services, and they determined that I am disabled enough to get Medicaid. I had to swallow whatever residue my pride left behind in order to do this, but it has been a great relief to me so far. I was able to see a doctor at the low-income clinic about my chronic respiratory problems. On top of everything else, I have now been officially diagnosed with asthma. Grrrreat. The good news is that I was able to get a refill of my old inhaler plus a new steroid-based inhaler to use twice a day. It really is a miracle — I did not think that one little thing could make me feel so much better. It’s a relief to breathe again and to be able to fall asleep without listening to my chest snap-crackle-pop. I still have moderate wheezing from time to time, but my regular, “emergency” inhaler takes care of that. I had gone without that inhaler for several months because I couldn’t get in to see a doctor for a refill. I only got it last year after months of suffering.

I did not have to pay for either the visit or the medication, which I had not expected. My previous attempts to find free or cheap medical assistance had always been fruitless. The health center at my university gave me a list of low-income clinics to try, but I got absolutely nowhere with any of the places on the list. One woman who answered the phone told me that they couldn’t treat me until I proved my income. Unfortunately, this was during my ill-fated cash-advance abuse phase.

“I don’t have any income,” I told her.

“Then you’ll have to provide a letter from whoever’s paying your bills.”

“But no one’s paying my bills.”

“Well, you have to bring in a paystub, something.”

“I don’t have any paystubs.”

This exchange went on and on and on and ultimately resulted in me not having appropriate documentation for treatment. My unemployment claim had lapsed, I didn’t have a job, and I was getting very little in student loans. I didn’t have a “paystub” for my student loans, so that wasn’t good enough. Nothing was good enough. I was treated like that everywhere I went and everywhere I called. I had heard of the clinic I just went to, but I did not know that they provided services for people with no money in addition to those with just a little money. Or even a moderate amount of money.

Unfortunately, I really do need specialists, so I’m not sure how far cheap clinics will take me. My joint pain has gotten significantly worse, to the point that I believe X-rays are in order. I have resumed my thyroid medications, but my hands are still swollen and odd-looking.

I’m moving in with a friend so I will still be in Seattle for a while. My British passport application has been sent off, so I should hear back in 3-5 weeks. I’ve unloaded most of my belongings, but I still have lots of random little things that I don’t know how to deal with. Salvation Army pickup on Wednesday!

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Filed under fml, health, Home Life

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