I am blessed that in all the place in the United States to get involved in a catastrophic wreck, that it was in Michigan. I am blessed because the NO FAULT INSURANCE available to me has allowed me care and rehabilitation that I never would have been privy to without it. My case has been complicated since the moment of the accident. I don't remember the accident still, however have pieced enough information together from pictures, reports, and a multitude of healthcare providers, and continually having it in my face due to my injuries to have a somewhat scripted knowledge of my injuries and what has happened since the wreck - which seems to come to me in the course of conversation as easily as "hi, how are you today?". If you get into too many details I have to refer to my notes as my short term memories are touch and go with me since the wreck. I have developed and been taught all kinds of strategies, which by the way, I still forget to use most days...I want to appear like I have it together, like I am knowledgeable, like I am smart, like I am worth fighting for and believing in, that I am more than just a number or a statistic.
I pull from my long term memories and educational background, from the Caren that died at the wreck on January 4, 2014. I say that died, because though there is no medical proof I died, I am NOT that same person. I look in the mirror and it is me, but not the me I am now in my head. I am different. I am not even able to tell you how entirely. Aside from my physical injuries which we are still trying to deal with and resolve, there is much more to this recovery process than is visible on the outside.
It takes a village to raise a child reminds me of my care. I am relatively a newborn in the trauma I have faced as is everyone who faces such traumas. It takes a village to me, in this concept means the whole care team, which includes healthcare providers (whether effective or ineffective), family members, friends (what's left of them), and the NO FAULT INSURANCE here in MI which will pay for my necessary medical care (not including preexisting conditions obviously) until I can return to work, or some form of quality level of life. This also includes the Insurance Companies, to some degree who write the checks that I could never afford, not even with private medical insurance. We have already surpassed the maximum coverage my private insurance would have covered. I did that with one provider alone.
I am truly FEELING overwhelmed and yet still HOPEFUL....how messed up is that?.
Got MRI testing back and trying to process all this is a lot. I literally have been having panic attacks and anxiety all over the place - which is NOT like the Caren that died, but more like the new normal Caren and now we have to worry about losing my medical coverage of my "village" that have been helping me get better and learn what my new normal entails and we keep defying those lines every day. Why am I worried about my NO FAULT, because of some State political crap going on regarding no fault insurance reform attempts which would basically take any care I am slotted to receive away.
It would seemingly limit who I could see how many times, who could provide for me and how much, and a man at a desk, who has never experienced trauma, has no medical knowledge, has no concept of what it means to be able to take a full breath each day without thinking about it - doesn't get it....they get to make a decision about what my worth is, even though my taxes pay for his ability to be in his position. Isn't that messed up?
My vote is DON'T REFORM MI NO FAULT....why? BECAUSE I CHOOSE LIFE! Not the quality of life that the Insurance company or State decides I can have. Not a paltry existence, if I would be allowed to exist at all....were it not for the care I receive and have received I wouldn't be here. I am totally certain of that. I can imagine this may seem dramatic, and you would be right. It is VERY DRAMATIC to almost die. it is dramatic to not remember months at a time of a portion of your life that sounds like you are hearing about a stranger. It is dramatic to be ignored by so called specialists, only to find out that things were much worse than yourself thought possible, let alone the specialists, who never even bother to apologize. It is dramatic to have someone believe you and take you seriously and order the appropriate tests because of research you, yourself, or your family has done. It is dramatic to have to fight to have the insurance company cover medications prescribed by your medical professionals only to be denied as "too expensive or unneccesary" - I'm sorry, how many years of medical school did you go through to make that decision? How many years of experience do you have in research and medical technology to decide my fate and course of treatment? In fact, who are you to decide whether I get to live or die? What about the person wheeled in, to the Emergency room today tonight tomorrow involved in a wreck...Is their life worth more or less because of what State they are in or what social class they are in, or how much money they have to give or not give at that very moment? The NO FAULT in MI, as it sits now, is unprecedented, and should be a model to follow across the nation. It provides HOPE for patients and job security for healthcare professionals who have busted their asses to get where they are in their careers - which by the way they pay taxes for too.
What price freedom? I am still not back to driving yet. I am unsure when I will be able to return to work. I still have broken bones and a host of other factors we are hurdling over....it's almost too much to deal with emotionally, let along physically sometimes - so am trying to be proactive about it. So if I read, if I learn, if I advocate for what's right for me, for what the truth is for me, maybe I can make a difference for you. Maybe I can continue to get the onslaught of necessary procedures necessary for me to live a productive life with my children, my husband, and my family.
I don't want to die, that is not even a thought I allow myself to entertain. I don't want to be worse though either....why wasn't MRI done from the beginning....I have so many questions. The flattened spinal cord is my most concern at this point....the chronic pain and ongoing headache is my new normal for God knows how long .....and so in a way I have just come to accept this as the way it will now always be, me working to get better, to get accurate care, that is documented accurately, to get the medications or services prescribed to me without trying to fight with an entity that doesn't know me or my tenacity for survival.
Where do we go from here? What treatment options am I looking at? What questions should I be asking? What questions should I NOT be asking? The Orthopedic Surgeon who did my ribs and scapula surgery in October referred me to a different Orthopedic surgeon (out of State) and said I need a Neurosurgeon's consultation, just this past Thursday. What do I do with that. More waiting. Now I risk losing the ability to continue my care based on a vote I don't even get to be a part of. I am NOT the only one here....though sometimes I FEEL completely alone in this journey.
Someone told me recently that "just because we have the technology doesn't mean we have to utilize it". This was in regards to me not receiving a specific procedure that was part of the facilities protocol. This seems to be the virus that affects our whole system. We have technology, and in this case with the NO FAULT, the funding sources, to utilize, it will help people, it has been shown to prevent wasting time, money/resources, and energy by utilizing this system in place to help our fellow man live, but we are going to take it away, alter it to another programs advantage, or not use it all together....Have the Insurance Companies and its political constituents put themselves in a position of medical capital punishers now? They decide who lives and dies and how?
I don't know about YOU.....I would love to hear your story so I could be a support to you and vice versa.... - but I CHOOSE LIFE. I choose HOPE = HELP ONE PERSON EXCEL.
If NO FAULT saves ONE LIFE isn't that value immeasurable?
Should healthcare providers be accountable for their choices or lack thereof to their patients, their families and the system at large....absolutely!!! Should the Legislators and House and Senate hold the Insurance Companies accountable for absolute transparency on where the monies are going? Yes, this shouldn't be hard as they write the checks that pay the providers so what is there to hide?. Should the Insurance Companies or government agencies, and its subsidiaries dictate who I can see, when, where, and for how long in regards to my medical treatment and quality of life as a FREE PERSON in the FREE WORLD? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! Do you know who they regulate care for? Prisoners. I refuse to be treated like a prisoner. I have done no crime. I deserve every opportunity to enjoy my life to its fullest.....even if that fullest is different than how it looked, even to me, before the wreck....