My Health

My blog posts have been sparse because I’ve been distracted by health issues. On the 6th of March (last month) I came down with a case of Uvulaitis. It made it difficult to breath, and when I swallowed, I would choke on my Uvula. I was out of town at the time, and so not knowing of any doctors where I was, I went to the ER of the local hospital. I was given a prescription for antibiotics. Recently, I was put on disability, and with that I was also assigned to Medicaid. In Tennessee, Medicaid is called Tenncare. Although I was from out of state, the hospital accepted the Tenncare insurance (a contractual obligation), so I didn’t have to pay for the ER visit out of pocket. A couple days later I came back to Nashville. A couple weeks past and I started to feel an obvious swelling in my throat. It wasn’t painful, I didn’t feel like I was dying, so I thought I’d just ride it out and see if my own immune system could take care of it. The thing is, after taking the antibiotics for the Uvulaitis, I shouldn’t have gotten sick. People said that I may have developed a “super infection” where the original infection mutates into a stronger germ, they strongly suggested I go see a doctor. I told them I would, but I just put it off. Several more days passed and the tightness didn’t go away. I talked to a friend over facebook who recently contracted Esophagus Cancer. When I read up on the symptoms of Esophagus Cancer, it was exactly what I was experiencing. I became very concerned, and as I am susceptible to anxiety, I became more than a bit worried. A few days later I talked to another friend, someone who is a cancer survivor, and she thought that my condition was more related to allergies, Spring now being upon us. That did have me calmed down some, and I started looking for other potential causes of this tightened feeling in my throat. Then I learned something kinda disheartening. No doctor in the area would accept the insurance provider I was set up with. I believe there are two companies who provide Tenncare insurance, and I was assigned to the provider that no doctor would accept. I then put off looking for a doctor until I could find out more information about the insurance. Hopefully I could switch providers. I have sleep apnea which affects my throat, my breathing tube collapses when I sleep, causing me to stop breathing for a couple seconds, this happens off and on through the night. And I snore very loudly because of it. I’ve had sleep apnea for a very long time, so much that it also causes me to have acid reflux while I sleep. And I’ve had acid reflux for a very long time as well. I read that doctors suspect that continual acid reflux can cause Esophagus cancer. Still, this type of cancer is rare. I have read that there are some things I can do to help relieve this tightening in my throat, most of which has to do with reducing the acid reflux by way of significantly adjusting my diet. And I have done that for the past couple days, and the tightening in the throat seems to be calming down a bit (I did have a bad stretch of acid reflux last night as I tried to sleep. When the acid in my stomach starts to come up the esophagus it burns and wakes me up. Disgusting, I know. Recently I received a letter stating that I would have to wait until May before I could change insurance coverage. So, I’ll have to wait until then before I can see a doctor who can determine the cause of my health issue. In the mean time I’ll keep to this new diet and see what it does to improve things.


About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless

One comment

  1. Hope you are feeling better. My health suffered from being homeless. I recently had to fight with my doctor to get an antibiotic to clear a chest infection. The effort now is to house the homeless, so I hope you are benefiting from that push and have found a place. People don't realize what a struggle it is to be homeless, that is why I write my blog. Check it out some time. 🙂


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