Category Archives: Stories

Deb

Deb – Colorado Springs, CO

DebCS_SquareDeb, of El Paso County, spent years experiencing pain. She worked unsuccessfully with medical staff who were unable to discover the root of her illness. And as she experienced, they failed to take the right measures to support her.

“There was another clinic that I went to that they would literally give you 15 minutes and you could only talk about one symptom or one thing that was wrong that day.  You couldn’t say, “I have a migraine and I have back muscle spasms.”  You would have to make another appointment and they would literally cut you off at 15 minutes.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

Denali

Denali – Denver, CO

denalijohnsonDenali, of Denver, shares her story of a serious ski accident and the subsequent search for quality care while covered under her family’s military health plan.  Although she was able to access the military system, her care lacked consistency and coordination.

“I kept having these spasms and nobody really knew what was going on.  I had no consistent medical records and there was just no conversation between any of these providers that I had been seeing…”

 

Also posted in By Location, Health Care Systems Issues, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 20 - Denver County | Leave a comment

Irene

Irene – Fort Morgan, CO

Irene - , CO

Irene, of Fort Morgan, works full time but her job is unable to offer health insurance. She shares her story of enrolling in CICP and the difficulty finding a provider who accepted it.

“When I hurt my knee, I was trying to figure out where to see a doctor, how much it would cost me, and it was overwhelming. So I just tried to ignore the pain thinking it would go away… As time progressed, it did not get better.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 1 - Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Morgan, Washington & Yuma Counties | Leave a comment

Clint

Clint – Fort Collins, CO

Clint - Fort Collins, CO

Clint, a City of Fort Collins employee, shares his journey to a healthier lifestyle after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol in his twenties.

“Because, with me, you couldn’t have forced me to do it until I was ready…and for me it was really being scared.  It was like, I can’t believe in my 20s, I’m on blood pressure medication, and they’re saying stroke and heart attack in my 30s.  It scared me.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Health & Wellness, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 2 - Larimer County | 1 Response

Karen

Karen – Fort Collins, CO

Karen - Fort Collins, CO

Karen, a public health nurse in Larimer County, does home visits for new moms and babies on Medicaid.  She recalls the story of how she helped a family recover after the loss of their baby.

“I struggled with why this outcome was the way it was, if I felt like I got there in time, but I think I saved this family a lot of grief with child protection.  If this baby would have died at home, I think they would not have been able to forgive themselves; that there was something they had done.”

Also posted in Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 2 - Larimer County | Leave a comment

Sarah

Sarah – Colorado Springs, CO

Sarah - Colorado SpringsSarah, a registered nurse in Colorado Springs, shares her story of giving birth to her first child. She experienced unfortunate and unpredictable circumstances during and after her medically induced delivery.

“The moment we got home, my husband called 9-1-1 because I was having seizures.”

 

Also posted in Health Care Systems Issues, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

Scott and Diane

Scott and Diane – Thorton, CO

Scott and Diane are married and have two teenage girls. Their private small company employers recently decided to stop offering health insurance options to employees. Suddenly faced with new health issues, the couple has experienced great difficulty locating an affordable health insurance option that would give Scott access to the prescription he needs.

“We were finally able to get insurance for our two children but for our entire family the health care that we’ve been aware of pretty much would be the difference of whether or not we pay for our mortgage or our health insurance.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Care Systems Issues, Health Insurance Coverage, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 14 - Adams County | Leave a comment

Chris

Chris – Colorado Springs, CO

Chris - Colorado Springs, CO

Chris is a Vietnam veteran with multiple serious health conditions including hearing loss.  He moved to Colorado Springs and immediately found himself needing medical assistance. He shares his experience navigating various health care settings in order to become healthy and work again.

“When I came to Colorado I had had a stroke, quad bypass, and I had lost my hearing and I had lost my job because of all of it, so I was in pretty bad shape.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

Michelle

Michelle – Colorado Springs, CO

Michelle - Colorado Springs, CO

Michelle is a Physician Assistant at a clinic in Colorado Springs who discusses her commitment to “whole person” care. She shares a particular story about treating a woman from this holistic perspective, the impact it had on her patient’s life.

“It was nice to see that a lot of different aspects could come together and really make a person feel whole in themselves.”

Also posted in Health Care Systems Issues, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

Brittany

Brittany – Colorado Springs, CO

Brittany - Colorado Springs, CO

Brittany, a single mother in Colorado Springs, shares her story of receiving treatment for free through the aid of a local organization. After giving birth five years ago, Brittany developed a painful hernia that she was unable to have treated. The necessary medical procedure was too expensive for her to afford, but Brittany’s clinic helped her get the operation so she could continue to provide for her family.

“I would always worry what if something happens to me, what’s going to happen with my kids…  Life is a lot more peaceful.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Patient Populations, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

John

John – Durango, CO

John - Durango, CO

John, a medical student in Denver, CO who did his rural rotation in Durango, shares his story about how developed a passion for medicine. He talks about his time volunteering in the Chiapas region in Mexico, and the similar struggles of chronic disease and poor access to care amongst citizens in the United States.

“There’s a big discussion about safety net clinics and safety net health care systems and the people who are making decisions are so detached from the reality on the ground, in terms of health care, that they’re more likely to do away with them.”

Also posted in Health Care Systems Issues, Health Disparities, Patient / Provider Relationship, Patient Populations, Region 20 - Denver County, Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, Social Determinants of Health, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daniel

Daniel – Denver. CO

Daniel, of Denver, CO, shares his and his wife’s health story. At five months pregnant, they were struck by devastating news. Daniel tells their emotional journey of extreme sadness and incredible strength.

“…they ended up doing an MRI and I remember her coming out and saying the baby had been kicking her the whole time. Her OB came into the waiting room … and was weeping, she said the cancer was everywhere.”

 

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Region 20 - Denver County | Leave a comment

Theresia

Theresia – Colorado Springs, CO

Theresia, previously gainfully employed, shares her story about losing her job and the affect it had on managing her chronic health issues. She describes needing assistance and the impact of a safety net clinic.

“I’ve just kind of learned to be honest, say that there was a need and hold my head up high because I didn’t do anything to cause this to happen and it’s been a very humbling experience.  I’m used to giving, not receiving.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health Insurance Coverage, Patient Populations, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

Marjorie

Marjorie – Colorado Springs, CO

Marjorie is a mother living in Colorado Springs who describes her experience navigating the independent health insurance system to ensure her preventative procedures were covered.

“I could have called in [to the grievance panel review] but I think sometimes it’s a lot harder to say no…to someone to their face.”

Also posted in Engaged Patient, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

Kiri

Kiri – Fort Collins, CO

Kiri tells her story of being diagnosed with breast cancer and her choice to use alternative treatment options. She illustrates the importance of being an engaged patient.

“In 2010, I felt a lump in my breast, the same story many women have. Then you get swept into a process that very quickly did not feel like my path, and I just had to pull back the reigns and say, ‘hey, wait a minute, I’m going to do this the way I feel right about doing this.’”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Engaged Patient, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 2 - Larimer County | Leave a comment

Michael

Michael – El Paso County

Michael, a resident of El Paso county, speaks about seeking and receiving treatment for his escalating poor mental health condition.

“The majority of the time you don’t want to ask for help, you don’t want them to know what’s going on.  You’re scared to ask for help.  But that’s the first step; you have to ask for help.”

Also posted in Behavioral Health, Complex Health Conditions, Patient / Provider Relationship, Patient Populations, Region 4 - El Paso County | Tagged | Leave a comment

Colton

Colton – Fort Collins, CO

Colton shares his and his father’s health story of chronic Lyme disease and holistic approaches to health. Both he and his father struggled to get their insurance company to pay for alternative treatment methods. His experience has led him to pursue a career path in medicine.

“This experience for me has … inspired me to go into medicine. I want to get to a place where I can be treating people … who went to every doctor in the world and no one could tell them anything.”

 

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Engaged Patient, Health Care Systems Issues, Region 2 - Larimer County | Leave a comment

Dr. Larry

Larry – Fort Collins, CO

Dr. Larry Kieft, an OB/GYN in Fort Collins, shares a story about learning how to handle adverse birth outcomes. He explains how forming a strong doctor-patient relationship can be done even in tragic circumstances, and these relationships can help both the doctor and the patient heal and move forward together.

“… out of that experience came a relationship, doctor-patient, that was very unique. A friendship that was very unique, and that’s not always based on excellent outcomes.”

Also posted in Featured, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 2 - Larimer County | Leave a comment

Rafael

Rafael – Colorado Springs, CO

Rafael, a Colorado Springs resident and Army veteran, was shot while he was in his home and ended up receiving quality emergency care while he was uninsured.

“I think health care should work for the people.  Not for the organizations or the companies.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 4 - El Paso County | Tagged | Leave a comment

John

John – Colorado Springs, CO

John, a resident of Colorado Springs for nearly a decade, shares his experience overcoming a traumatic personal experience and mental health issues with the support of a counselor at a local clinic.

“Overnight it was all different.  Every area [the clinic] has taken care of.  You know, I’ve had several dental problems and they’ve gotten me in and taken care of it.  My depression and anxiety problems, you know, they just keep solid with me, they don’t give up or whatever.”

Also posted in Oral Health, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 4 - El Paso County | Tagged | Leave a comment

Joan

Joan – Colorado Springs, CO

Joan, of Colorado Springs, CO, volunteers at a dental clinic and shares her experience supporting individuals with and without dental insurance. She also describes how invaluable dental care is, particularly for people looking for employment.

“The dental needs that I see here in this city are humongous and there’s no good answer, there’s no real solutions for it…”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Care Systems Issues, Health Insurance Coverage, Oral Health, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

Jill

Jill – Colorado Springs, CO

Jill moved to Colorado Springs from New Jersey in order to restart her life and access proper medical support. With expensive prescription medication for her chronic disease, she needed help.

“People should be able to have a physical and not worry about paying for the doctor.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

Mary

Mary – Colorado Springs, CO

Mary, a parent and grandmother living in Colorado Springs, discusses her struggle to live with the tragic loss of her daughter and debilitating depression.

“Once you start going into the counseling everything turns around…people may think you’re crazy ‘cuz you go to a psychiatrist or to a counselor but I say that all you are doing is trying to help yourself be a better person.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

Elizabeth

Elizabeth – Colorado Springs, CO

Elizabeth, a student in Colorado Springs, shares her story about struggling with a chronic disease and affording the care and medication needed to live.

“All of these bills every three months are just piling up and so my parents actually had to go bankrupt over medical stuff.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health Care Systems Issues, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment

Dan

Dan – Colorado Springs, CO

Dan, of Colorado Springs, CO discusses his personal struggle dealing with a serious health condition while having no insurance, living on limited financial means, and having difficulty locating a health care provider that could accommodate him.

“People need to get a lot more education in health care and realize this stuff is important.  They’re telling you the truth and you better pay attention because luckily I had a second chance but some people don’t get that luxury.”

Also posted in Prevention, Region 4 - El Paso County | Leave a comment