My name is Teresa. I am a 47 year old Registered Nurse living in Southern Illinois. In December 2009, I started a new job. I was unable to afford COBRA insurance to tide me over until my new insurance came into effect 2-1-10. On January 31,2010 I was sitting in a resteraunt with 2 friends, both nurses. We were sitting there waiting for our food to be served when i felt very warm, nauseated, and a sharp severe pain occured in my RLQ,radiating across my abdomen and up to my right flank. My friends asked me if I was ok because they said I turned a pale ashy color. I told them what was going on and they asked if I wanted to go to the ER. I told them no, my insurance hasn’t taken effect. I promised them I would go to ER if the pain continues or gets worse.
I left the resteraunt and went home. Once I got home, I still was feeling nauseated and in pain. I still had 6 hours before my insurance took effect. I had 2 large emesis and went to bed. At 1:30am, I woke up in pain and feeling nauseated. I had 2 more large emesis and my pain became progressively worse. At 4:00am I finally drove myself to the local ER. A CAT scan showed that I had a 9cm x 10cm mass on my right ovary. Eventually I was transferred to another facility where I had surgery. I ended up having a total hysterectomy. When they did the surgery, they found that I had 1 liter of blood laying on my stomach, a small cyst on my left ovary and my right ovary had twisted 4 times, was dead, and had been seeping the blood into my abdomen. How I wasn’t septic or had pain before then I don’t know.
I am recovering at home now, but have had complications. I started having drainage from my incision and when they removed my staples my incision dehisced. Add to that I found out I don’t have short term disability at work. They said I didn’t sign up for it when I signed up for my benefits. Why would I sign up for long term disability and not short term disability? I know I signed up for it. Anyway, I also don’t have any sick time saved up because you don’t start accumulating sick time until you have been there 90 days. My day 90 I was in the hospital. I also do not qualify for FMLA leave because I have not been therer 1 year.
The only thing I qualify for is a 4 week leave of abscence and if I don’t return in 4 weeks they can post my job. My nurse manager swears she won’t post it, but I am not sure I believe her. So here I sit with a 11cm x 4cm x 4cm deep opening in my abdomen and no income until the end of March or first of April. I know I only had to wait a few hours for my insurance took effect so I could go to the ER, but what if it had been days or weeks??? Or what if I had no health insurance? I don’t even want to think what could have happened.
All Americans deserve quality affordable healthcare. Look what happened to me and I am a nurse. Healthcare reform must pass.
Heathcare Status: Employer Insured