How The AHCA Will Affect Those With Preexisting Conditions

The Congressional Budget Office just released its report on the impact of the AHCA in regards to the economic repercussions of the bill. The startling statistic that 23 million Americans will lose their health insurance should be enough to convince both government officials and citizens alike that this “healthcare” act is dangerous and deadly to the most vulnerable Americans. Unfortunately, the projected reduction of the federal deficit by $119 billion is more than enough for some to take on the mind set “if it doesn’t impact me, it doesn’t matter” attitude, cheering on the success of the AHCA.

But how does this bill affect those who are chronically ill specifically? There’s 3 essential parts that warrant your attention.

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Why I Hate Telling People I Can’t Eat

It’s been over four years since I became ill with a severe case of gastroparesis. Gastroparesis means “paralyzed stomach” and is most often associated with the classic symptoms of nausea, vomiting, bloating, early satiety, abdominal pain, malnutrition, weight fluctuation, and of course, the inability to eat. Every person with gastroparesis experiences it differently and the severity of the illness is like a scale. Some patients just need to slightly modify their diet, while others depend on tube feedings or TPN for survival. If you ask any gastroenterologist, that’s probably the number one reason why gastroparesis is such a hard illness to treat. No two patients are exactly the same and everyone’s symptoms vary.

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To My Parents Who Take Care of Me as an Adult With Chronic Illness

Imagine your healthy, almost 21-year-old daughter is off living her dreams in a big city, going to college with a bright future ahead of her. It’s everything you’ve ever wished your child would have. The picture of her life you saw when you held that baby in your arms and envisioned her future is reality. Now imagine all that changing overnight. Your daughter calls you crying, inconsolable and inconceivably sick needing to move back home. Her good health is gone, her dreams are shattered and that bright future began to flicker until the flame burnt out. You panic. No parenting book prepared you for this moment. Because quite frankly, this isn’t normal; it’s not how life usually plays out. It’s like you just won the unlucky lottery you didn’t even know existed and now Struggle shows up at your doorstep with its suitcases, prepared to make itself at home.

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To the Woman Who Loves Me and My Chronic Illness

When we met I was newly diagnosed and spent the better part of my days between hospital beds and my couch. Just a few months prior, my whole world had been turned upside down. I was forced to withdraw from college, forfeit my dream internship, and move home to my parent’s house. Not only was I battling this new illness I had never heard of prior to my diagnosis, I was also grieving. Everything I knew changed and every plan I had for myself was ripped from my finger tips. I began to resign myself to the fact I would never find someone to love me. It was bad enough watching my family get swept into the mad chaos and uncertainty of chronic illness, how could I ever ask someone to willingly step into that mess with me?

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To the Doctors and Nurses I Wish Would Treat Me Like Their Daughter

I show up to the emergency room in jeans, a nice blouse, my hair and makeup done. Maybe because I don’t appear to be ill, you roll your eyes when I attempt to tell you my symptoms. I try to explain I’ve had an infection for a month now, and four rounds of different antibiotics haven’t helped. I try to explain the last medicine I took, I barely kept down due to a chronic illness called gastroparesis.

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