Don’t get me wrong, my diagnosis journey wasn’t exactly smooth sailing, and I have definitely had my fair share of frustrations with the system, but I am so grateful for the NHS.
The care and treatment we receive is all free, we don’t have to worry about being hit with a massive bill after a simple GP appointment or major surgery. There are so many posts on facebook support groups where women are agonizing over the financial implications of this disease, and so many have had to set up fundraising pages just to be able to pay for their treatment. Many woen have to decide if their pain or symptoms are bad enough to justify the cost of a hospital visit. I know that if I’d been paying for my visits to the doctors, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near as much while I was trying to get a diagnosis, and because of this I may not have even received a diagnosis yet.
In the first episode of Breaking Bad, Walter White passes out and is taken in an ambulance to the hospital. When he comes around in the ambulance, he realises the cost that this will have and begs to be dropped off on a corner rather than be taken to the hospital to get the care he needs. Upon learning he has cancer, he starts selling crystal meth to pay for his treatment. I recently re-watched the series, and it really hit home to me. I have never had to worry about not being able to afford the treatment I need. I’ve never had to consider the financial implications of visiting the doctor or added up the cost of all my appointments and realised that even though I don’t feel any better I can’t keep going to the doctors to find out what’s wrong. I have never had to make the choice between my health and my finances, and I think it’s something that in the UK we take for granted, because we have never known any different.
I will forever be grateful to the NHS for allowing me to get the treatment and care I’ve needed. We all complain about it (and yes it can be very slow at times), but ultimately it means that there has been one less financial implication from this disease for us. The support are care I have received from doctors and nurses has been so valuable to me, and really highlights how amazing the NHS really is.