Living with a Disease Without a Cure

Our pals at LearnVest have a really nice piece by a woman diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and how the disease is bankrupting her family:

The thing you need to understand about MS is that there is no cure. There’s no getting better–there is only slowing down the progression of the disease. Statistically, my life expectancy is about average, but the last years of my life will look different from other people as my disease progresses. I’m lucky that I now have full mobility, with only the occasional muscle twinge–and I keep it that way with a daily self-injection.

As the years go by, the price goes up. Since I was diagnosed, the prescription for the injection has risen from $2,800 to $3,600 a month. If I didn’t have health insurance, which covers all but $250 a month, it would cost me $43,000 a year.

These numbers sound insane–but what would you pay to be able to see? Or walk? Or swallow? It’s all relative. I look at my syringe every day, hoping that the $120 dose is working.

She’s also prepared to get a divorce from her husband (but continue living with him) so her finances are no longer tied to his. It’s a very sad account.

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5 Comments / Post A Comment

josefinastrummer (#1,850)

Their $2,200 mortgage is insane but then I saw they live in California and stopped being surprised. What a mess. This is really depressing. Again, I have no idea why we don’t have universal healthcare and how anyone can read this story and not think we need it yesterday.

hopelessshade (#580)

@josefinastrummer My immediate family will bash Obama and Obamacare as much as they damn well please, my feelings regardless, because they would “take care of me.” Sure, by mortgaging houses and going into debt and making me see the doc less frequently than advised, yes, I’m sure you would, thank you.

josefinastrummer (#1,850)

@hopelessshade Then they have no idea how expensive being this sick really is.

hopelessshade (#580)

@josefinastrummer More like, they’re in denial because they’re rich motherfuckers and my father has wildly excellent health insurance. But oh, how interesting it will be when I turn 26 and lo and behold…

hopelessshade (#580)

I saw the headline and immediately, instinctively, hoped that it wasn’t going to be a miserable, all-too-true tale about MY incurable disease.

And then it was.

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