Do You Identify as a Woman? Welcome to Your Pre-Existing Conditions

Here is a listing I found of pre-existing conditions:

  • AIDS
  • Alcoholism/Alcohol Abuse (within 7 years)
  • Angioplasty
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease
  • Ascites (within 5 years)
  • Bi-Polar Disorder
  • Boecks Sarcoidosis
  • By-pass surgery
  • Cancer (other than skin cancer)/Malignant Melanoma²
  • Cerebral Vascular Accident
  • Cerebral Vascular Disease
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (if currently smoking)
  • Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Chronic Renal Failure
  • Cirrhosis of Liver
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes (managed with any type of medication)
  • Drug Addiction/Abuse (within 5 years)
  • Fatty Liver (hepatic steatosis) (fully recovered with normal lab results for minimum of 6 months)
  • Grand Mal Epilepsy (within 5 years)
  • Heart Attack
  • Height and Weight (see chart)
  • Hemodialysis/Peritoneal Dialysis
  • Hemophilia
  • HIV
  • Hodgkins Disease
  • Huntington’s Chorea
  • Immune Deficiency Syndrome
  • Leukemia (within 7 years)
  • Liver Atrophy
  • Lupus Erythematosus (Systemic)
  • Multiple Neurofibromatosis (within 7 years)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Nephrosclerosis
  • Organic Brain Disorder
  • Pacemaker
  • Paget’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Pending surgery of any kind
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Polycystic Kidney
  • Pregnancy (current)
  • Psychotic Disorder
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Systemic Scleroderma
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (within 5 years)
  • Organ Transplants
  • Valve Replacement

Look at all the pain in those words up there.  Then think about a door slamming in your face.

Let’s see what I can check off just going off this preliminary list – alcoholism, I’ve been treated for Bi-polar/anxiety/depression, at various times in my life my weight is above the healthy designated weight, I am an ex-smoker, but I’ve been a smoker, oh and I’ve been pregnant.


According to this article in Mic – please take a second to read it:

Other conditions like postpartum depression, being a survivor of domestic violence or having gotten a C-section could also be considered pre-existing conditions.

“Most of the people who have C-sections identify as women, so that’s a shorthand for a gender discriminatory policy,” Physicians for Reproductive Health advocacy fellow Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper told Elle.

Hey, I’ve had a c-section! I think that gives me BINGO!  I know a hell of a lot of women who suffer from/have suffered from PPD and I know I had it to some degree with my babies, because WE NEED ALL THE CARE AND SUPPORT WE CAN GET PRE-PREGNACY, MID-PREGNANCY AND POSTPARTUM.


Do you identify as a woman?  Welcome to your pre-existing condition.  Guess who is making changes in all these laws?  It’s not the women.  It’s not the poor or even the middle class and it’s not people of color.

I am a walking Pre-existing condition and I’ll be you are too.  Or someone you love is, right?

What about all our friends and family with sick kids.  With sick babies.  You want to tell me they had anything to do with making their kids sick?  RAGE RESPONSE.

As an identifying woman, chances are good that you’ve had experience with domestic violence or sexual abuse or even rape.  I love you.  I don’t want to make this more hurtful for you, but I understand exactly why it is so.  Almost all of us have experience with these things and we could be further punished and harmed for it.

My rage, my anger is heightened by the views on this thing I walk around carrying every single day.  My alcoholism.  This thing that deems me an undesirable, even though I know it to be false, it gets my dander and insecurity up when I hear that myself and some of the very best, yet most damaged, now healing folks I know are thought less than.

The majority of folks believe that alcoholism/addiction:

  1. isn’t a disease, or
  2. that it’s self-inflicted and therefore shouldn’t be treated the same as other diseases.

Of course WE (my friends and people who understand how this all works) know better, but it’s a stigma that is changing too slowly or now moving backwards.

We’ve got people out here saying if you live your life well and make good choices then others shouldn’t be held accountable for their tax dollars helping you to heal.  Yes, I took the drinks.  But then the drinks took me. Of course the underlying problems were emotional and mental and spiritual and HUMAN.  But the substances (LEGAL AND HIGHLY PUSHED SUBSTANCES) were available and encouraged to deal with my problems at the time (MOMMY JUICE ANYONE?) and we wonder why we have such a huge problem with alcoholism and addiction in this country.  

People are sick and hurting all over the place.  That is the bottom line.  And we all deserve the care that you would want your own child to have.  People are dying every day from alcoholism and addiction.  By their own hand or by the substance overtaking their bodies, they are dying.  It may not look like other diseases, like cancer say, but I can tell you from watching too many people die, it is a sickness that I wouldn’t wish on any family.  

My parents got me the care I needed back when I was very sick and not working and had no insurance and I am forever grateful.  They are of the utmost character and good church going people (as some seem to think this is what stops horrible things from happening to families – WRONG) and their daughter became an alcoholic, as this monster carries no discrimination.  Over and over again, they tried to help me and when I was finally at my rock bottom, it helped.  A lot.  And now I do the work every single day to stay healthy.  But along the way, these 15 years of recovery, I’ve met hundreds of still suffering addicts and alcoholics who cannot get the help they so desperately need.  So we rely on 12-step programs and churches and groups of people sitting together trying to heal.  And it helps.  A lot.  But those in critical need of a hand, of medical aid, of a respite to get their act together for a short amount of time, well they should be able to have that.

I’ve got insurance through my work and I will be ok as long as I keep sober (and until something unimaginable happens to myself or my family), but of course, this isn’t just about me is it?  And THAT my friends, is the core problem with all this.  Those who have, well they really have, and the have nots get fucked over and fucked over hard.  Over and over and over again.

Never say never.  What if you lose your job?  What if your perfectly healthy child suddenly isn’t so healthy? What about that relative of yours that has a really complicated story needs medicaid desperately and it’s just running out?  You just never know what could happen.

Please please please look around at the people you love.  The people that will likely fall into one of these conditions in their lifetime if not several and if not yet.

My friend Samantha said this morning that life is a pre-existing condition” and damnitall if that isn’t true.  

My friend Terry said “It’s a convenience of logic. They want to appease the corporations more than they want to serve their constituents. All the while pretending to be ‘doing us a favor’ spare me. You know I have a lot more respect for someone who says ‘Hey, I’m going to eff you so- prepare yourself’. 

My friend Jeremy (Donna’s Dad as in husband to my friend Sheila aka Mary Tyler Mom) said:

Here are some of the things we worried about when our four-year-old daughter Donna had cancer, 2007-2009, just pre-ACA:

What if I lost my job?
What if my job got so terrible and I couldn’t quit?
What medical needs would Donna have if she survived this? What will it cost to fufill them?
What if we hit the lifetime $2M cap for her from my insurance?
What happens when the insurance company denies some kind of treatment? (which happened)
What happens if we need to buy insurance on the open market, and either have massive premiums or are denied altogether?

All of these problems are worse under AHCA. The cancer killed Donna, so today, these aren’t my problems.

but apparently nobody told me

because I’m just as anxious about them as I was then

and the fact that this is being done for a FUCKING TAX CUT makes me as angry as I’ve ever been in my life

It’s a damn shame when somebody has to be so directly impacted by something in order to feel some empathy.  But that is where we are it seems in terms of getting people to care.  I wouldn’t wish ill on anybody really, but a part of me wishes these lawmakers could feel that terror in the pit of your stomach about someone they love being sick and not being able to get them the best care they could because their insurance doesn’t cover it or they cannot afford that care.

This isn’t about party lines.  This is about human beings.  This is about all of us.  My family and yours.  I am fighting for you and your families.  Please call your representatives.  Please resist. Please don’t accept that there are those deserving of care and those that are not.  Please keep going and yet take a break when you need to because we need you.  Be careful what you hate so much for you may become that very thing.  Or someone you love may become that very thing.

None of this is or has ever been perfect and we have so much work to do but we must hold those in positions to make change accountable to us.  WE MUST.  

As you fight for your own families and those less fortunate than you, remember your c-section having, alcoholic, infertile, ex-smoker, at times overweight, anxiety and depression ridden friend here and count me as one of the undesirables. I am surely not the only one you know.  They are coming for all of us.  The only folks left untouched seem to be the ones with the power to make it worse for the rest of us.


Related: All kinds of posts about my sobriety and alcoholism

I am angry and tired and sad but I refuse to stop rising up


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