By Mary J., Duval County
I am a very sick woman. At age 40 I woke up one morning to find that my colon had burst. I went straight to the hospital. They hospital staff were so lost they didn’t know what to do with me or how to treat my condition. I sat in the hospital for two days with no treatment which is how Gangrene set in. Thankfully, the surgeons at the hospital saved my life. It took me three months to recover from the Gangrene. Then I had other complications due to the hospital’s negligence.
Since then, I've had so many surgeries and diagnoses that I’ve lost count. When I first got sick, I had insurance through my husband’s job. After about 10 years of treatment and surgeries, he lost his job, and we were insured for two years. Those were the hardest years. We had a horrible time finding medical help. I went to my local health clinic and was treated pretty fairly. The service and care could have been a lot better.
I was finally able to get Medicaid and recently found out apply for Medicare, since I now qualify. No one told me that I qualified for Medicare or how to sign up. I had to figure it out on my own. One thing I can promise you is that you have to be your own self advocate when it comes to your health. You must take the initiative to call people and find places that will help you. You can’t take ‘no’ for an answer. There's always someone out there that has an answer for you. There are resources out there, even when you think there are none--especially when you don’t have insurance. That’s the state of the world. I’ve learned that I have to challenge the doctors and insurance companies. Most of all, I’ve learned that you have to pray, pray, pray.