i feel it’s important for me to once again have a discussion about the australian healthcare system. this is very simplified. anyone more familiar with the intricacies of it, i am happy for corrections.
we DO have public health care. and we do have private health care. i have private health cover through a company called Bupa. it means, when i get scans, i have to pay out of pocket, and i am reimbursed for what is the schedule fee (ie, the set, standard fee) by 100%. however, a lot of specialists and pathology and scan places who work privately charge above this fee – known as gap doctors. some doctors are no-gap – choosing to not charge their private patients any more than the amount their public and private health care covers, and some are gap doctors.
for example: my dad had open heart surgery – a five-way bypass -in 2010 (i think?). he was in intensive care for days, and had pneumonia. he went privately, and did not pay once cent for the whole thing. they were no-gap doctors
my mum, however, had some weird therapy for an ovarian cyst. her doctors – (anaesthetist, surgeon, etc) were gap doctors. she paid over $15000 for her surgery.
my process in this has essentially been – my GP got me into the private system, and then i stopped thinking. i did what each doctor told me. i paid the bills until i realised what was happening, and asked my parents for help. i became bamboozled, appointment to appointment, no-cancer to maybe-cancer, to full-of-cancer. the terror overwhelmed me. i got fed with benzos. i am disoriented and facing one of the main things that have kept me up at night my whole life (as well as sniper guns shooting me while i’m in bed. my anxiety is erratic and weird). i know there are public options, but right now, i have doctors i like and trust, and every piece of advice people based in the ACT have given me is to stay private – mostly doctors and nurses and other cancer patients. is this the right decision? am i bankrupting myself? does this make me a shit human being – complaining and getting freaked out about the costs, and someone kindly setting up a fund to help me with them – when i could be going public and having this for free? i am completely shuddering at these questions – each time i hear nothing but FRAUD, FRAUD, go PUBLIC, what are you DOING. no one means that. seriously i don’t think anyone means it at all. i am wracked with guilt over it all – over everything to do with it. i take everything right now as a ‘you are being selfish. you won’t need any of this if you weren’t being a little princess using the private system because you are a special snowflake.’ this is not what anyone means at all. people are kind, people are helpful, and it is always more complicated.
i am just extraordinarily anxious and overwhelmed right now, by generosity and kindness beyond my wildest expectations, by my headache, by … by pretty much everything, and i can’t process much very well. essentially, this is the decision my doctors made. i trust them. i am going with that. i can stop complaining or mentioning money if it would be less dumb, because i had more options, but i don’t have the energy to keep rethinking and doubting this decision. i also have ethical issues with using the public system when you have private cover – and my doctors do too, i think. this is part of the reason they insist. a lot of people need it far more than i do. people with no support, and no help, and no home, and no job. i don’t like the system, but i don’t want to make it worse.
i also puked on the way home from breakfast because i drank juice out of a carton, and then i smelled some onion cooking. so, that’s added to the extreme anxiety and severe tension headache and the oh my GOD guilt. i hope the onion thing is liver related. the smell of it is horrific – on people, in houses, down the street. same with fresh or ground coffee, garlic, cabbage. so, further weakness. feel dizzy and weak from the headache, and becoming more wildly convinced that the cancer is effecting me more and more with each hour. IRRATIONAL. i stupidly googled to find out what stages of cancer mean. i was wrong, and i don’t have stage 3 cancer. i have stage 4.
i want to write about how i feel about the donations i’ve received but i am not quite ready yet. i need to knit, and spend today and tonight thinking about it, and then i will have something to say about how i feel. right now i feel way too much to put it into any coherent words other than thank you.