People tend to think about healthcare as a necessity when a serious illness arises. There are however times when having it can prevent something minor becoming serious. This not only eliminates pain, discomfort, or something debilitating, but it also cuts the cost that arise from having treatment or surgery. I had an experience last year that illustrates this point.
I started having mild back pain after the birth of my second child. I chalked it up to carrying and lifting an infant, plus a 2 year old. Loads of laundry and bags of groceries reinforced this in my mind as the probable cause. 5 years later, the pain grew to an intensity that was no longer tolerable. I couldn’t sit for long periods of time, I had trouble getting in and out of the car, and getting comfortable enough to sleep was impossible. I reached the end of my rope when I couldn’t walk without feeling intense pain. I waited until the Christmas holidays were over and went to the doctor.
I was sent for and X-ray which revealed something but they couldn’t tell exactly what. To get a clearer picture, I needed an MRI. By now my head was swimming with thoughts of the worst. With all my past medical issues, I never experienced pain. I prepared myself to hear the bad news. It turned out I had a herniated disc. What? Me? I never in a million years ever thought I would have a problem with my back. The physical therapist informed me that disks start to compress after the age of 30. Throw in the fact that I had late pregnancies, and the fact that this occurred was not surprising. The good news was that it was likely treatable. If not, surgery would be an option.
The insurance company approved 5 therapy sessions to start. I still had pain after the 5 appointments, so the therapist applied for 5 more. I was a bit skeptical that the therapy was working, but after 6 treatments I started to notice a difference. By number 10, not only was I pain-free, but I was definitely more flexible. The therapist was wonderful and I did what was required at home. It has been over a year now and I still have no pain. I recognized some of the exercises as being similar to yoga poses, so I have continue to do these moves as a method of maintenance. I also don’t lift loads that are too heavy, and bend more at the knees rather than the waist.
There is no question in my mind that had I not gone to the doctor and sought treatment, I would be in worse shape today. Had I waited any longer I probably would have had surgery and a longer stint of rehabilitation. This is what having health insurance can do for people. In ten weeks I was cured. A year later, I still feel good. Isn’t worth it? Imagine all the people walking around with situations that would not exist if only they were covered.