What Doesn’t Kill You (1)

Subtitled ‘A Life with Chronic Illness – Lessons from a Body in Revolt’ the book offers an insight into what a friend may be going through but also gets into a bit of insurance and doctor bashing that makes it perversely entertaining to one who is still mostly an outsider and not yet a casualty of this country’s health care system.

A quick note on the language in this book: Chronically ill technically means any illness lasting longer than three months, but the discussion in this book means illness that does not go away – it can be managed but not cured. (page XIII)

Most businesses [in a rural Illinois community] have had to install video gambling to stay afloat. (page 8)

There are two kinds of IBD: Crohn’s disease, which affects the entire digestive system from mouth to anus, and ulcerative colitis (UC), which is contained to the large intestine (also called the colon). (page 11)

You know the chest-burster scene in Alien? That was written by a guy with Crohn’s. He died from complications of the disease. (page 13)

I always say that for every ten bad doctors in the United States there’s one good one, and for patients I’ve spoken to in rural areas, this very nonscientific statistic becomes even more dismal. (page 24)

My state’s health insurance marketplace is abundant compared to most, and I can’t be kicked off my plan for a preexisting condition or because my health needs are too expensive (thanks, Obama). (page 25)

Good health care allows me and people like me to live more independent, sustained lives- and in my country, in my lifetime at least, insurance has been required to access that care. Sometimes I fantasize about what it would be like to be free of the fear of losing my health insurance; how much of my brain space – of this country’s collective thinking power – would be uninhibited to focus on other things? (page 26)

What’s clear is that the private health insurance system is failing. The few people it’s working for are those who profit from its lucrative costs and those who can wield it for exploitation – an insurance holder in an abusive marriage or the bad boss who leverages it against employees. (page 29)

Five years ago, the every-six-weeks drug infusions I take to manage IBD were billed to my insurance at $15,000 – now they’re billed anywhere between $70,000 and $90,000 and then my infusion center and my insurance provider do some sort of backdoor negotiating over the price insurance will actually pay (all the while making me, the consumer, believe I’m costing the insurance company a whole heck of a lot more than I am). (page 30)

Doctors’ offices often have savings cards that reduce the cost of prescription drugs, sometimes down to as little as $5, even for expensive medications. It’s always worth asking your doctor if they have financial assistance available. (page 51)

21 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by NJ2AZ on April 19, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    i often wonder what proportion of sky rocketing medical costs are attributable to treating people (but not curing them) for things that up until fairly recently just killed them on the cheap instead? i have mentioned before: when my great grandfather got cancer in the 60s, he got a twice a week drop off of morphine to hold him over til he eventually went. A few bucks vs how many millions would have been spent on him today?

    and i’m not saying just let everyone kick it when they get a scratch, only that people are quick to blame the government or insurers or whatever other boogeyman when reality is: staving off the reaper has a cost


    • Posted by NJ2AZ on April 19, 2021 at 3:52 pm

      or rather: i’m sure if we went back to the standards when medical care was cheap, it would still be pretty cheap


      • Posted by MJF on April 19, 2021 at 4:27 pm

        Any country that won’t provide health care for it’s citizens is a third world Sh*thole. and USA ranks 1 in the field. Hands down no debate.


        • Posted by NJ2AZ on April 19, 2021 at 4:31 pm

          no country can provide all of what its citizens believe to be their health care ‘needs’. the only question is how you navigate who gets the short end.


          • Posted by MJF on April 19, 2021 at 5:02 pm

            Yup. You are 5″8, 300 lbs and have a sore back. Go the f’ home and have a nice day. It’s kind of the same as education, You want a degree in marketing that is worth 3k per year but it costs 60K then FU. You need to rationalize these things,


          • Posted by Tough Love on April 19, 2021 at 5:17 pm

            “Marketing” can be a lucrative field, unlike some ridiculous liberal arts degrees.


          • Posted by E on April 19, 2021 at 6:49 pm

            Are you kidding???? Lol. Gender studies is the new marketing.
            My buddy is in marketing. He has been unemployed for years and his linked in profile has so many short stints. His wife makes big coin (and wears the pants in the family). Penn state alum. 🤷‍♂️
            Tough guy to work with, for etc. see how important the interview is


          • Posted by Tough Love on April 19, 2021 at 8:06 pm

            ANY major with “studies” at the end of it is has little in the way of potential for financial success.


          • Posted by E on April 19, 2021 at 8:24 pm

            Sarcasm dear. 😉


          • Posted by E on April 19, 2021 at 8:27 pm

            And BTW, he is a nice guy but if I was his wife I would’ve picked his lazy ass outta there years ago. She makes really good coin. He is more like a house husband now. And the kids are all in college and high schools. Bro, go work in Home Depot rather than just sit on your ass all day. 🤷‍♂️


          • You want a degree in marketing that is worth 3k per year but it costs 60K then FU. You need to rationalize these things,
            I may be wrong, but isn’t ANY degree in business a solid choice, including marketing? I have never heard that marketing is a weak choice, given it is a subset of the business degree.


          • He is more like a house husband now.

            So what you’re saying is that he is leading the El Feo and Dougieeee lifestyle 🤣


  2. … Body in Revolt …
    My body has been in revolt for the last decade, it is revolting against keeping lean muscle mass while depositing large amounts of adipose tissue in it’s place 🤬🤬🤬


  3. Posted by MJF on April 20, 2021 at 8:57 am

    E you are funny. Plz take care.


  4. Posted by MJF on April 20, 2021 at 9:10 am

    I need to punch out on a medical but thank you all for the uplifting conversation. Even Rex you old Dawg.


  5. https://www.nj.com/middlesex/2021/04/perth-amboy-cops-seized-bikes-from-unlicensed-black-and-latino-teens-and-a-social-media-backlash-is-raging.html

    What were you saying about these bicyclists? Not Bergen but….still an issue where law enforcement is not getting the support from the media etc due to “wokeness” etc.


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