Going back in time with the AHCA
On May 4 as I watched the House of Representatives pass the AHCA, I felt like I had been transported back in time. In May of 1988, I was 6 months pregnant with my first child. An exciting time for my Husband and I, not to mention our families. On May 14, I started to experience the worst headache of my life. We went to our community hospital and I was severely hypertensive. The next day I was retaining 50 pound of extra fluid, by that evening, I was having seizures. When I woke up from that, they were preparing me to be life-flighted to one of the major hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. When I arrived there, I was immediately taken to surgery for a C-Section. My husband sitting next to me because they told him I only had a 50/50 chance of surviving. I woke up in the ICU. I had a special catheter monitoring my heart called a pulmonary artery catheter, the doctor told me I had Congestive heart failure and Kidney failure. Our daughter Ashley was in the NICU at 1 pound 8 oz 11 inches long.
I stayed in the ICU for 3 days and on the surgical floor 5 more. In that time, I had complications from the surgery and would require home care and frequent office visits. Ashley passed away within 3 days.
After being home about a week, I started having nightmares. I was diagnosed with PTSD and started seeing a Psychiatrist. With the support of my husband and our families, I physically and mentally recovered.
Then they came, the hospital bills. I didn’t think anything about it. I was covered through my husband’s insurance from his employer. Or was I? As it turned out, the insurance company denied everything. Pregnancy was a PRE-EXISTING CONDITION. This was devastating, financially as well as emotionally. We had to move in with my parents and file bankruptcy. I remember gathering up all the bills: doctor’s, anesthesiologist, hospital, life-flight, home care, psychiatrist, it was endless. With each bill, I relived my experience. I had no baby, only a scar to remember Ashley and a court date. Is this what we are going back too? A healthcare law that will devastate a grieving family in their most emotionally vulnerable time and devastate them financially also?
I’m hoping it doesn’t, some scars never heal.
Guest Blog by Darlene K