Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Last Mile (or two) Of The Way

I’m well on my way to becoming a statistic, part of the ever-increasing group of people that can’t afford their health care anymore. This week I found myself having to choose between getting my HIV meds refilled or paying my bills. I really had to think about it. Even with my prescription plan, my HIV meds are $63.00 a bottle. When you make $9.00 an hour, that’s a lot of money, folks.

Did you know that most HIV medicine retails for $1,000.00 to $2,000.00 a bottle in the USA ?

I went to bed that night thinking about all the money I could save if I just simply stopped taking my meds. I’d have the money to pay my bills for once and on time. No more calling the electric company and the cable company to beg for more time. No more paying reconnect fees to my cell phone provider because my phone got turned off. No more embarrassing lies to my friends.

Friend: “I’ve been calling and calling, Ken ! I just keep getting this automated message saying that you’re not available.”

Me: “I think we had one of those sunspots, you know how they can knock out cell phone service…”

Without meds, I might last a year or maybe not. I have to say that there’s not a whole lot keeping me here on the Earth and I’m ready to go. I miss my mamaw, my dad and my brother so bad at times.

I’m also in a battle with Barnes & Noble. I've worked for the company for 5 years, they know about my health issues, my doctor has written them several notes and they still don’t want to offer me proper bathroom privileges. Because of the constant, sudden diarrhea my meds cause, I have to have immediate access to a bathroom. Barnes & Noble insists on putting me in situations where I can’t readily go to the bathroom if the need arises. I’ve shit myself twice at work already because of this. I finally put my foot down the other day and said, enough/no more. I told them they could fire me if they wanted, but to be very careful because I’d contacted the ACLU already. I’m prepared to fight this. I’m sick of being stepped on by big corporations that don’t give a shit about me and treat me like number.

In case you wondered, I didn’t stop taking my meds. I’ll go on begging and pleading with my creditors (for now) until I win the lottery or snag a rich guy.

Ya’ll be good and hold a good thought for me. I love you all.


Anonymous said...

I stopped a year ago - I didn't have rx insurance so they were costing me $3400 a month. When I quit, my vl was undetectable and my tcells were over 800. Two weeks ago I had a very bad case of thrush so I'm sure my numbers have reversed. Only my doggies are giving me a reason to hang on but even that is fading.

Good luck to you.

Adventures In Gay Dating said...

And good luck to you, my friend. I can understand. With t-cells at only 90, I'm not sure how long I'd last without meds. Hold on a little while longer, okay. A day can make a world of difference sometimes.