Over 260,000 Mainers count on MaineCare (Maine’s Medicaid program) for lifesaving care. Unfortunately, lawmakers in Congress are considering radical changes to the federal Medicaid program that could cut health care for thousands of Mainers. Hear more from Mainers who are affected by health care cuts:
“It should not be this hard when you can prove over and over again that you are sick and you need some help for a while. No one should have to fight as hard and as long as I did.” – Diane, Presque Isle
After completing her medical assistant program at a community college in Indiana, Diane moved to Presque Isle, Maine to be closer to her aging parents and her sister. Knowing that her parents may need help tending to their medical needs and maintaining their home in the future, Diane and her sister made a decision to remain close to their parents.
During her move from Indiana to Maine, she injured her foot. Diane noticed a small sore on her left foot that she treated herself at first. Having had past injuries, and treating them with success, she felt comfortable tending to her own medical needs. Not having health insurance solidified her decision to forego medical treatment.
About four days later she ended up in the hospital because she was so weak she couldn’t walk and couldn’t stand. Upon admittance, Diane was immediately rushed to the Intensive Care Unit and diagnosed with osteomyelitis, an infection of the bones that can spread to surrounding tissue if not treated properly. Diane had her toe amputated, but within two weeks of her initial surgery, her doctors discovered the infection had spread and required further treatment. They did another test and found that there was so much deterioration and so much poison that, to save my life, they would have to amputate her leg.
Her original recovery time should have been only a few months. It has taken Diane from December 2016 to July 2017 to be well enough to be fitted for a prosthetic leg. Throughout her recovery, Diane was working a seasonal job answering emails for a company. In May 2017, while awaiting a response from MaineCare, Diane suffered a transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini stroke.
The culmination of her medical needs were beginning to weigh on her spirit. Her spirits began to life when, in July 2017, Diane was approved for MaineCare. Because she had begun her application process in December, MaineCare helped cover her hospital bills. “It [MaineCare] helped to relieve a lot of stress,” said Diane. “There was no way that I could ever pay this back.”