Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blogging For Human Rights~ Eating Disorders And Health Insurance


This is something that I wrote a few days before I was admitted to Renfrew Center, which is an in-patient eating disorder treatment facility. It was also the night that I almost committed suicide due to the stress of insurance and health care issues.

Today I am just trying to take each moment as it comes, but still, the emotion overwhelms me. I went this morning to have my lab work done. I have spoken with my supervisors at work, and now we are just dealing with the money and insurance issues. It is very hard not to feel like I'm a burden. This is going to wipe us out financially. I feel hopeful and hopeless all at the same time, which is very strange and frightening. I also feel such pressure from myself. My therapist says that there is no way that I can fail, but it is very hard from where I am sitting to see it that way. I do think about just ending all of this. I have never been in the place where I either want recovery so much, or I just want to give up. I don't have an in between place anymore. The middle is purgatory. I'm so tired... My heart is skipping... I need for it all to stop...

That night I was seconds away from taking a handful of pills when my oldest son happened to walk down the stairs just to tell me that he loved me. I felt such horrible guilt over our financial situation. I didn't want to be a burden. For so long I had been slowly starving myself to death and was finally able to reach out for help, only to be told that I wasn't sick enough.

Insurance would only cover a 21 day stay even though I was medically unstable and it was recommended that I stay for 60 days of treatment. Throughout my stay at Renfrew, it was a daily occurrence for young girls and women to be sent home against medical advice. Eating disorders are considered a mental illness, and of course, this country is not going to help the mentally disabled. How many people do we see living on the street who could live happy and productive lives if just given medical treatment?

For more information on eating disorders and medical treatment, go to
Caringonline or Renfrew Center .

no health care needed You shouldn't have to fix it all by yourself.


Beautifuldreamer said...

Good post, Angela, and painful to read. I know all about purgatory--I live there much of the time.

It's just shameful how the government won't help the mentally ill. What a sad commentary on our society and the times in which we live.

Take care--

Jackie said...

Good post. I agree, governments worldwide have not come far over the years with accepting mental health problems, basically what you can't see can't be that bad.

Plus of course the fact that many over busy doctors don't have time to get to the route of the problem and just hand out drugs as it is easier.

Hang in there :)

Laura said...

Hello Angela - a bit off your topic, but wanted to say you have a truly beautiful and heart-rending blog!

I do agree - either you're NOT sick enough, or you're the WRONG diagnosis or something else. Until we have a single-payor system, we'll have these issues. And even that's not a perfect solution.

You may remember some years back that people could get coverage for 30-60, sometimes even 90 days of in-patient treatment for ED's and substance/alcohol abuse. I suspect that this just became so expensive that insurance carriers really put the brakes on this. However, as your situation proves - ED's are tricky and need intensive physical and emotional treatment and 21 days is probably not ever enough.

I'll stick around and read more - hope you're doing better!

(zental floss)

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