If you remember my article about my recovery from sepsis, Fournier’s Gangrene and osteomyelitis, you may remember I had to have a colostomy put in in order to help keep an ongoing pressure ulcer clean. What you don’t know is that prior to that, in 2008, I had a urostomy created to drain urine. This was put in in the middle of my body, after an initial placement on the right side of my body kinked off and I had my second bout with sepsis. This would present a challenge when it came to my colostomy.
You see, my urostomy’s location is such that it’s in a fold of my abdomen. That means that ostomy pouches don’t stick very well because as I move around in my daily life, they come loose. In fact, most of the time I don’t even try to wear that pouch, and only use my colostomy pouch because that one is absolutely a necessity. (I use Depends for incontinence, so I can change every few hours as needed. Ironically, what I’m talking about currently doesn’t apply to incontinence supplies like adult protective underwear.)
So, here I have the issue. You see, insurance being what it is, they have limits on how many supplies they’ll pay for in a month. In my case, the Department of Veterans Affairs Spina Bifida Program which pays for my care will allow my home health provider to send 20 ostomy pouches a month. (My Spina Bifida was connected to my dad’s Vietnam service in the 1970’s.) With my unique situation, that’s not nearly enough for me to get through a month! Not even remotely close. I have to jury-rig a solution for the next few weeks or until I can get another delivery, and that’s unacceptable to me.
And this is why I am writing this, after running out of ostomy pouches for about the 5th month in a row (or, ever since my most recent hospitalization). I hate insurance. I hate their arbitrary limits. I hate how they require authorization. I hate the waiting in limbo to get more of the supplies I need, or finding a supply delivery on my doorstep only to realize that something I badly need, isn’t in that delivery. I’m so mad right now, as I write this on a Sunday morning, I can’t see straight. Particularly in this time of a global pandemic, whether it is private insurance companies or the government, nobody should be limiting the amount of supplies provided to their beneficiaries.
I realize this is an expensive proposition. But, we’re in unique times. This calls for thinking outside the normal box. This calls for significant changes. Let’s stop forcing people like me to adapt to their policies, and let’s start adapting the policies to the people.
#Sepsis #Colostomy #HealthInsurance