Great Medical Care for the Financially Deprived

October 17, 2013 sexyknees

Nikki 86 13037

As you know, my significant other and I just went through a 4-year ordeal with her decline into severe mental illness.  Her particular disorder – schizophrenia – is highly debilitating and may include the following signs and symptoms:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Appearing to lack emotion
  • Reduced ability to plan or carry out activities
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of motivation
  • Problems with making sense of information
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Memory problems

At first I was deeply concerned about her ability to survive.  Once she was involuntarily committed (which was the most difficult and traumatic experience of my life) my concern was completely focused on ensuring that her treatment was successful.  Due to a lack of insurance my s/o was left in the hands of the state which, at the time, was a scary prospect.  For almost a week she had to sit in the equivalent of a mental health prison cell while awaiting an available bed at one of the public facilities – the number of which was reduced by half due to budget cuts.

Fortunately and contrary to popular belief, state mental hospitals are not the terror-filler torture dens featured in movies such as “House on Haunted Hill,” or in TV shows like “Asylum.”  The facility to which my significant other was assigned was bright, the staff cheerful and competent, and the medical care incredibly thorough and effective.  I could not be happier and am certain that her treatment would not have been as successful at a private hospital (which would have cost us well over $1,200 a day).  I say this because private facilities seem to focus on making money rather than curing the illness (we saw this first hand during my s/o’s first commitment – she was kicked out after only 3 days even though her symptoms were highly visible).  So, for those of you who need medical care and are financially limited, I can honestly say that you are in good hands if you allow the state to help you.

After the release of my s/o two month later, my attention was turned towards the ugly prospect of not being able to afford her continued medical care (yes, I am poor).  This fear was unfounded.  We were directed to readily available programs offered by both the state and UNC medical system which enable those of us who are financially deprived the ability to enjoy dedicated medical care at a fraction of the cost.  Two examples are as follows:

Charity Care and Pharmacy Assistance – both of which may be found at the following site:  http://www.unchealthcare.org/site/healthpatientcare/patient/other/financial.htm

So please do not worry, my penniless brothers and sisters, the system works and is there to help you through troubled times.  Feel free to contact me for details as I am always happy to help!!!

PS:  I will be launching a campaign to pressure the government to put more funds into the mental health system.  It would be an honor to have you join me!

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. charles pirro  |  October 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I’m an attorney specializing in representing persons seeking Social Security benefits. I’ve represented dozens of people who were diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Nearly all were able to obtain Social Security benefits. If your SO worked for at least five years, there could be eligibility for Disability Benefits and after two years, Medicare. If not, there could be Supplemental Security Income. (SSI). If this has not already been done, your SO should go asap to a Social Security office and file Applications.

    Many of the medications prescribed for Schizophrenia have unpleasant side effects. If that happens, do not hesitate to ask the Treating Psychiatrist to change the primary medications.

    Many studies have found that a common problem of schizophrenic patients is that they tend to stop taking prescribed medications. It is not being sneaky, evil, or anything like that. Rather, it is just another symptom of the illness. The studies show it occurs commonly in about 60%, or more, of patients. You MUST watch closely and carefully to be sure that the medications are actually being taken.

    • 2. sexyknees  |  October 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you very much for the very informative and accurate comment, Charles! You are absolutely correct that patients who suffer from schizophrenia tend to stop taking their meds. The same applies to those who suffer from bipolar disorder and many other mental illnesses. Lets face it – the side effects of most psychiatric meds are unpleasant. It is up to us, the caretakers, to make sure that our loved ones stay on track with their prescriptions. They deserve a rich and wonderful life and quite often it is up to us to make sure they have one. I am glad that you mentioned social security benefits, by the way. We have submitted an application for SSI and will keep you posted on our progress. Thanks again for the information!


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