Elizabeth B

The middle school experience should be a time filled with the confusion of a transforming body, the awkwardness of a social life, and the pressure of trying to fit in with the rest of the crowd. The sight of blemishes scattered on a middle schooler’s face should appear as normal. Yet, seeing someone with constant pimples on their eyelids is not. My experience as an early teenager was one filled with embarrassment and shame all due to a unique and unwanted inhabitant on face: chalazions.

Going through the hallways, I always felt like a celebrity not wanting to have their photo taken. I murked the halls with my face submerged in my hoodie and my head bowed down in a shameful manner. I never wanted to be seen. In fact, I spent my summers sporting a different pair of shades each day because I was too embarrassed to show my face (keep in mind, I had just become a teenager and had horrible self-esteem). These pimples on my eyelids, or chalazions, took over my life. These tiny eye monsters are characterized as a lump or raised area on the eyelid created due to an excess amount of oil production in the glands. The particularly nasty bumps tend to have the appearance of a pimple when they have harbord your eyelids for a long enough period of time and start to secrete pus. Fortunately, my Vision Insurance was there to spare me of my middle-school misery.

My ophthalmologist was a middle-aged man with a bespectacled face who wore holiday-themed ties on ordinary days. His name was Dr. Calderone. Regarding my condition, he had reassured me that I was not alone because there had been other cases just like this; however, I was his youngest patient ever to go through this. I was told I was needed to go under very costly surgery in order to remove my chalazions. Being raised by a single mother who did not have a sufficient enough salary, she did not have the money to afford this surgery that costed about $2,000. However, we were lucky enough that my Vision Insurance covered the cost. I did not fully understand the concept of insurance until my eye doctor had explained it to me. He described it as an arrangement in which a company or government agency provides compensation and coverage for a specified event. I understood that whenever I needed a check-up or a medical procedure, my mother did not have to pay out of her pockets because she was covered. In fact, my Vision Insurance came in very handy when I had to have nine more surgeries performed on my eyelids since my unwanted visitor kept making monthly guest appearances. After what seemed like millions of warm compresses and eye drops later, Dr. Calderone came up with a plan. His final solution was one in which I was to be put on prescription medication to prevent the chalazions from coming back. Of course, this meant another costly situation my mother was put in.

Luckily, my mother only had to pay a fraction of the cost because we were covered by the company. My prescription medicine and my insurance have been miraculously working together for six strong years now in diminishing my eye condition. Even though I am at high risk for Glaucoma and Dry Eye Syndrome in the future, my mom and I will be more able to focus on the problem itself rather than the cost. My insurance has and will always serve as a valuable asset to my health as well as my mother’s wallet.

I am positive my case was not the only one in which insurance has saved. This security has also helped the lives of others by assuring a peace of mind to the parties involved as they do not have to be constantly worrying about unexpected high medical costs. As a result of this, families are granted financial stability as long as the money is paid back in increments and on time. Through my experiences, I have learned that insurance is not an idealistic approach to high medical costs. Although the idea of the government giving away money for the common man and woman sounds excellent, the system does not work that way. My mother and I are only covered as long as the money generously borrowed from the government is paid back. For this reason, I have been given relatively free opportunities for regular doctor’s visits and “chalazion-scare” check-ups.

As one can see, my insurance has been very valuable to me throughout the years and I will continue to use it to my advantage. Because of the surgeries covered by my insurance plan, we were able to take preventative action towards my chalazions and make them into a story of the past. I was able to live the life of a normal middle school girl. I no longer had to walk the halls feeling ashamed of my eyes nor did I have to feel the need to hide my face when communicating with my classmates. I will forever be grateful for Dr. Calderone and my Vision Insurance.

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