We all have a health care story. What’s yours?

Tell your health care story!Joining the conversation about our community’s health is an essential step towards achieving transformative change in the health of our region.  A new medical school, teaching hospital, unique community clinics, increased behavioral and mental health services, and more research will provide great opportunities for the region, but we need input from everyone so we do it right.  Your personal story about how good, accessible health care or the challenge to find good, accessible care close to home impacted your life or the lives of loved ones will demonstrate the huge human stakes of this critical issue. Tell us your story and be entered to win unique prizes!

Video stories

Your stories

I have been very fortunate and the benefactor of excellent care, both times I have had cancer, which has enabled me to see my children grow-up and to be enjoying the joys of grandparenthood. Cancer has been a positive experience for me – magnifying the beauty and purpose of every day I have lived in the last 29 years (since my first diagnosis). It’s not fair if this isn’t the case for all those in Austin, our state and country.

I have a rare skin condition on the palms of my hands and bottoms, heels, and sides of my feet called Pustular Psoriasis. I have not been able to wear shoes and go outside my house since June 2009. I have seen 5 dermatologists and with no luck with any treatments, I cannot find one that will take AND keep me as a patient.

I volunteer for Hospice. I see compassion in staff, joy in families that their loved ones are respectfully taken care of, and the peace that patient find in their care. It makes me sad, that we don’t embrace a life well lived as well as a new life. Both have great value… Hospice is not dying, but living.. Just wish that there is an answer and you don’t have to be afraid or alone.

I had never accepted government assistance before but I soon found it necessary to turn to my government for help. I quickly learned that I was not poor enough for any government assistance, although I was barely scrimping by as it was. I was struck with fear and I was worried most about what would happen to my daughter if I passed away. I missed so much work from this condition that I was able to produce pay checks that allowed me to qualify for MAP, which is only offered in Travis County.

My story is that my Dad died from lung cancer, smoking for 50 years and my Mom has MS. Mine is one of disease prevention, (I have had 2 sick days in the last 13 years), healthy lifestyle choices, good eating and exercise habits, and terrific nutritional supplements.

I was finally listed for a transplant with Baylor Medical Dallas in 2010, and just received this miracle of new life just one month ago today. I can now proudly say that I am grateful for this lifelong journey, and I can now serve as a messenger of hope and perseverance for those around me. I have dedicated my new life to the service of my community; both in launching a new mission to increase organ donorship in Texas, and in helping others find their spiritual strength during the “dark night of the soul” that we all must go through eventually.

I turned 50 and was diagnosed “pre-everything” (pre-cancerous, pre-diabetic, early stages of heart disease, osteoporosis), plus I had osteo arthritis, fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression and digestive tract ailments. I knew I had been eating a nutrient-devoid diet for decades and the chicken-fried steaks had come home to roost. It was time to clean up my act.

My son was diagnosed with clinical depression. Finding a psychiatrist nearby, who accepts insurance, and who specializes in adolescent psychiatry was a nightmare! There is a severe shortage in this area, as there are in several other specialty areas. If Austin wants to attract jobs, we will have to find ways to provide health care for those workers and their families.

I am a 32 year old mother of a toddler, Ella. I have suffered on a daily basis, for the last 10 years. I have a brain disorder, Chiari Malformation, cervical spondylosis, severe degenerative disc disease, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and was in the process of getting an official diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, when my health insurance started rejecting claims. I don’t have the answers for this. All I know is, that I’m desperate to get the care I need, so I can be a better mother to my deserving child and so I can feel human again.

In 1996, I developed signs of internal bleeding. I was admitted to a local hospital. For 7 years, neither he nor any other doctor could not figure out what was causing the bleeding. In fall of 2006, Dr. Just called me to tell me that he found a procedure in Dallas called “double balloon endoscopy” that might find the problem. I went up to Dallas very soon after, where they did find what was causing it. Traveling up to Dallas was very hard on me because the procedures were causing me to bleed more. I was so relieved when I finally got to be there and get my issue taken care of.

I just spent the past year of my life undergoing treatment for Stage 2b Breast cancer. I have been cut, poisoned, and irradiated. It still has been a process of reinventing the wheel each time with more healthcare providers making decisions regarding my life. I wish I had had a patient care navigator to carry me through the entire process. I would hope that comprehensive cancer care would provide cohesive relational communication between everyone involved in the patient’s care.

I have been very fortunate in the 31 years I have lived here to have excellent health care. The research I have done with listening to friends and their experiences have led me to excellent doctors. When I found my current Primary Care Physician 20 years ago, I have since been able to follow his advice on specialists and he has certainly had my best interest in mind.

I am a cancer survivor. I have received excellent cancer care in Austin, but my cancer also required treatments that are not available in Austin.

For 12 years I was an administrator at Baylor College of Medicine, supporting senior faculty who were medical researchers as well as practicing physicians and educators. Next, I was a development officer (fundraiser)for the UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center for six years in a major capital campaign, interpreting the wonders of cancer research to donors. In both settings I learned that the greater the amount of medical knowledge there is in a community, the higher will be the standard of medicine practiced.

I was laid off in 2008 at which time I not only lost my income, but I lost my health insurance as well. I had a heart attack that same year and was really challenged to get the health care I needed and follow up.
I discovered CommUnityCare! They not only treated my heart condition, but other pre-existing conditions (diabetes, asthma and high cholesterol) as well. I also have access to specialty clinics and can get the help I need in a timely manner. I am also a 33 year cancer “thriver”! Although there is no cure for cancer, there are tests for early detection. I am continually monitored by the physicians at CommUnityCare.


Tell us your health care story!