Cali, who just turned 53 on Sunday, has struggled with fibromyalgia for the last 16 years. When she first started experiencing what she now knows as “fibro fog” (difficulty concentrating, confusion and memory issues), she suspected it might’ve been fibromyalgia since several of her cousins had it. Sure enough, she was diagnosed shortly afterwards.
For a while, Cali was a full-time paralegal at a title company, helping to make sure the loan or mortgage history of a property was legitimate. In her free time, to get her creative juices flowing, she also wrote for different news publications. But because Cali’s condition was causing too much pain to continue doing either job, she stopped working altogether in 2014. She says, “I was exhausted. I felt so awful and missed so much work that I decided it wasn’t worth it.”
Thankfully, nowadays Cali can manage her symptoms with a combination of different medication and non-medication therapies. The problem is, without any sort of health insurance, it can cost a fortune. Her regular doctor visits alone cost $145 per visit. GoodRx helps cut the price of her medications by 50%, but she has a hard time reconciling going from having her prescriptions completely covered by insurance to having to pay $60-$70 a month for them. Her routine works as well as it can though, so she sticks with it. “I have good days, and I have bad days. With my treatment, I can be good for a few months, but even a good day still feels like I have the flu. But at least I can get out of bed and do the laundry.”
Since her early “retirement” in 2014, Cali has been filing for disability benefits without any success. The disability case has been a huge source of stress and agony, which can trigger fibromyalgia flare-ups. The extra income from disability could help with her medical expenses, which would give her one thing less to worry about. Two weeks ago, Cali actually found out that, after four years, she won her appeal—but she still doesn’t qualify for Medicaid.
This means Cali will be relying on GoodRx to get her medications for the foreseeable future. And she’s very grateful for it. “The [GoodRx] commercial is so true—I never knew you could shop around for medication prices,” she says, “And before I started using GoodRx, I thought smartphone apps were useless, but I was so wrong!”
Even though she still has her flu-like days, Cali is happy with how things are going. She spends time with her granddaughter whenever she can, and she’s immensely proud of her daughter, who is working on her master’s degree and getting married soon. She’s been with her partner, Tom, for 10 years now, and they enjoy going out for dinner with his parents and having friends over. And of course, she still likes to read and write in a journal whenever she can.
“I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, and I don’t feel jilted because of my fibromyalgia. As long as I can keep everything under control, I’m living my life.”
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