Garett R

When I was 10 years old (I was in the 5th grade), I contracted a medical condition called H-Pylori. It was never discovered how I contracted the condition, but my doctor told me and my Mother that it can originate from unclean ice machines, tainted foods, and mold found in buildings among other things. Initially when I began to feel ill I had stomach cramping with bouts of diahera and could not eat much because of these symptoms. I began to lose weight and my Mother took me to the Pediatrician. The Pediatrician ordered tests and prescribed medications that did not help the symptoms enough to satisfy the Pediatrician. Over the next few weeks the Pediatrician referred me to a Specialist that deals with Pediatric stomach issues. More tests were run to include performing an endoscope and the results of this test this confirmed the diagnosis and of H-Pylori. The Specialist informed me and my Mother that in time, the symptoms would go away through use of medications. Normally it takes up to one year for the symptoms to go awayis The physician told us that most children diagnosed with a severe case of H-Pylori aren’t able to attend school and do normal things because of the symptoms and being house bound due to the symptoms. We all informed the physician that this was not an option and normal was my focus. In the meantime I had prescribed medications for the stomach cramping (it was explained that what I was feeling was spasms in the stomach and colon when the symptoms accelerated), and for the diahera. I was encouraged to drink supplemental drinks such as Ensure to make sure I was getting vitamins and nutrients. As it turns out this was basically all I could eat/drink without having severe pain in my stomach. My Mother would make me home made foods, and gluten free foods which I could eat without causing significant pain verses preserved foods and foods at a restaurant. When I did eat at a restaurant, I would shortly thereafter have significant stomach pains and have to leave immediately due to the pain and other symptoms. I played travel baseball during this time and this became problematic due to my symptoms when on the field and lack of energy due to not being able to eat normally. I had been around 80 lbs. when this started and at its worse was at 58 lbs. In hind sight the best thing that came from all of this is that it helped me to build character, learn how to persevere with this obstacle and to continue to move forward. How is any of this related to insurance and why it is important to me? For one thing, because my mother had health insurance for our family through her work, I was able to get good care by qualified medical doctors. The insurance allowed me to see the Specialist needed to address this medical condition without hassle and to continue to treat as long as was needed until my symptoms subsided. It took close to two years before this did occur and I still have some stomach issues but now I know how to manage this through diet and fitness. Additionally, I was able to be approved to see a Psychologist that specialized in eating issues as my Mother did not want me to have an unhealthy connection with food as I was not able to eat like everyone else for two years. It was determined that I was fine and should adjust well, but it was great to be able to talk to someone about my fears and concerns as I had some anxiety every time I ate something because I did not know if I would feel well afterward and have terrible stomach pains. It also put my Mother’s mind at rest as this was a very stressful time for all of us. I cannot imagine what we would have done if we did not have medical coverage and insurance that helped us to pay for the majority of our treatment. The additional expenses were significant although my Mother does not talk about this I know it was stressful due to the deductibles, co-payment charges etc. Having the insurance gave us all piece of mind that I could get the medical care I needed and eventually would be able to recover from this condition. Having medical insurance coverage also showed me at a young age, the importance of making sure I am covered when I will be on my own and making decisions about my own health insurance.

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