As much as I hate this disease, as much as I want to kick it to the curb, as much as it has destroyed and will keep destroying my body, and testing my sanity, it could be much worse.
On top of the unbearable pain, the stiffness, the change in quality of life, the planning months in advance for something so natural, the fear of what my future holds, the worry about what I am getting my partner into, there is one thing that has never been a worry:
I could also be in financial ruin like so many others with my disease. Or unable to access medications to manage my ra.
Some medications can cost up to (and maybe even beyond) $25,000 a year. Seriously.
And, I have it all covered. All of it. My medications, travel to see specialists (where I live, I have to fly at least 1 1/2 hours to get to a rheumatologist/orthopedic surgeon), everything.
I am a member of an Aboriginal group that has self-governance and provides amazing non-insured health benefits. No co-pay, no claims, if my doctor is recommending it, it is most often covered entirely. If the medication is deemed okay by Health Canada, then it is a go. My mother has traveled with me for up to a week to help me post-surgery. Plane tickets, accommodations, food, both of us covered.
I had always planned to come back to Labrador after school (which was also fully covered: travel, tuition, books, living expenses. Seriously.) and give back to the communities. And I have. This is my home, and it has given so much to me.
I may have a crazy, crappy disease, but I am so, so lucky. And, I am so, so thankful.