I found this forum(again) after searching for it and realized I already had an account from 2007 lol...I had forgotten all about this place, but looking at my old thread, some of you gave me really good support and I appreciate that. I don't think I expressed it(my appreciation) at the time because I was angry, upset and in denial.
I moved from Fl to TX and when I did my jobs(insurance) changed and I decided to try getting off of Enbrel. I did and the symptoms never really came back.
Well, about 5 years ago I started having severe chest pains and back pain on the opposite side of where my chest hurt. I did a bunch of testing at the family Dr. and they determined it was acid reflux.
I lost a lot of weight and adopted a healthier lifestyle, which kept it at bay for a few years until it came back. At that point I quit drinking alcohol, which helped for a few years.
Fast forward to about a month ago, the reflux came back with a vengeance along with all sorts of abdominal and intestinal pain. The pain in my back that I thought was associated with acid reflux turned into more of a burning pain. I'm also feeling very dizzy and lightheaded, shooting pains all over, ect...I actually went to the ER because I thought maybe I had internal bleeding. They found nothing and referred me to a GI doctor who I am scheduled to see next week.
Just a few days ago, my severe heel pain that I used to have came back. At that point it hit me. Could all this be my immune disorder coming back with a vengeance? I think the signs were clear, but I was just in denial about it coming out of remission. I had no idea it could cause chest pain, shortness of breath, or any of the upper body symptoms I was having. Perhaps the most damning evidence is my back pain where my shoulder meets the rib cage.
SO I think it's official, I need to get back on Enbrel.
Here's the problem;
I USED to have good insurance. Now I am a contractor and am using very bad public health insurance. In fact I haven't even paid my premium this month, because the coverage when I went to the ER was non-existent. I don't really see what it is I was paying for.(I have the rest of the month to reinstate if I decide)
Now I'm terrified because the symptoms are starting to effect my work and life and they are getting worse. I can't afford the 2400 a month for what Enbrel costs out of pocket. That's 2/3rds of what I make in a month.
I really have no experience with this because I always had great insurance when I lived in FL. Now I have no idea what to do and no one to turn to for experienced advice.
Can someone with experience please help me figure this out?
I need to find a low cost way to see a rheumatologist and get on some type of DMARD. I make just under 50k a year which is just enough not to qualify for most assistance...but how can I be expected to pay 2400 a month for Enbrel when I make 3000 a month after taxes?
Should I try upgrading to the higher level health insurance? I'm still not confident they will even cover enbrel and it's 700 dollars a month for premiums with a 1000 deductible and a 3000 out of pocket maximum, so it's going to cost me 10K a year minimum to treat this. Is that really my best option?