If it were only a matter of "living with the occasional bout of pain". The reason people with gallbladder symptoms and documented stones should have their gallbladders removed is not to do away with the symptoms but because they have a one in three chance of developing severe, potentially life threatening complications. The data is 30 years old but demonstrates a 100 fold increase in the mortality rate when we are forced to deal with patients in the face of one of these complications. So, simply put, your chance of living out your normal life expectancy is better if your gallbladder is removed than if you decide to take your chances. lets put this in perspective. The benefits are amortized over a lifetime. The same money would purchase a used car that would be worthless in 4 or five years.
My ER visit last year for the UTI exceeded $3,000. and I only recently paid off that debt. We don’t buy things, we don’t go anywhere, we don’t go out to eat, we don’t go to the movies, we don’t have electronic gizmos, (this is an old desktop computer hooked to the phone line) we cannot afford most things. I have an aerial antenna for nominal TV reception, burn wood (cut trees, gather wood, split wood, stack wood by ourselves) for heat, hang clothes to dry. We live from paycheck to paycheck, hoping not to have us land in the street. Now throw in the ‘simple’ cost of a diagnostic procedures and it becomes overwhelming. We are not looking for a hand-out of any kind. We do not receive food stamps or any assistance. When the ER bill came in last year we did explore what might be available and the best the hospital did was set up a payment plan. I was going to do that on my own anyway. Can’t get blood from a turnip, but sine we almost own our home, I feel it will be my health issues that will cause us to lose it. I know I am not alone in this, I also know lots of people have gone into bankruptcy and foreclosure due to health care costs, and that doesn’t make it any easier to commit to.
I am so sorry to whine. I do not truly discuss this with my hard-working husband. We are trying so hard to just keep our heads above water. I can’t stand to think of us sinking. Yes, IF we indebted ourselves over my health situation he’d be happy not to lose me, but really, in the long run where would we ultimately be. Thanks for listening. Thanks for the shoulder to lean on. Again, I realize I am not alone in the kind of decisions I need to make. I just wish it wasn’t about the health coverage. I read your posts and I wish I had some test results to discuss, treatments to ask about, rather than fear of bankruptcy being my primary thought.