At the time I was without medical insurance. That was because I'm a temporary employee and I was not eligible. So when I was having an episode of extreme pain that would become unbearable, I was forced to go to the emergency room. The doctors there would halfheartedly listen to my symptoms, drug me up, write a prescription and release me.
It wasn't until my trip to the ER on December 7th 2012 that I came across a doctor that knew what was wrong with me. After conducting a few tests and keeping me overnight to monitor the pain, the doctor informed me that I have PCS and that I would need surgery.
I didn't realize how serious my condition was until later.
Now, you may be wondering what is PCS? Here's the best way it was described to me:
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is a condition in which the veins that normally surrounds the uterus and ovaries become stretched, swollen, and tender. These pelvic varicose veins can cause severe pressure on the female pelvic organs. In the case of varicose veins of the pelvis, the valves in the vein that control blood flow are not working properly. The blood flows away from the heart and pools in the veins around the ovaries, the uterus and other pelvic structures, causing severe pressure and pain.
So now I had a diagnosis. I knew I needed to find a doctor to hopefully start a treatment. However, I was still without medical insurance. So I applied to every low income/government assistance program we have in Phoenix. I didn't qualify for any of them because I'm single with no dependents.
Now if I had kids or I was younger and going to school or if I was older and disabled I would qualify. I honestly started to lose hope until a coworker suggested a sliding scale program. It would allow me to seek the medical attention I needed but at a costly copay. At this point I didn't care.
COPA, the sliding scale state "insurance" program I signed up for, may or may not have been the help I was looking for. They, like most "insurance" companies, have a process. You have to see a primary doctor before you can be referred to an OBGYN, which can then refer you to a specialist, which could possibly refer you to a surgeon. I saw a number of doctors in this loop of madness. Keep in mind each visit to each of these doctors was $100 cash.
I finally got to meet the right specialist. He's actually one of a handful of surgeons in the valley that can perform my surgery. He told me that normally this condition, as painful as it is, is not life threatening. Unfortunately in my case of PCS my veins are not only swollen but they're starting to twist and bend from the pressure. He's concerned that there may be blood clots forming in the twisted veins as well as my body starting to shut down from the immense pressure building in my abdomen. Because of this concern he advised me to get my surgery within the next six months. That deadline started on February 7th 2013.
I've received a quote for the surgery and it is beyond my means. I'm also going to need 4 medications after the surgery that are specially made and would cost $200 a pill. I've come to a point that I need to reach out for help. I'm asking for help to get a surgery that will replace the nonworking valves in my uterus as well as significantly reduce the pain I endure every day and potentially save my life.
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