Boobless in Seattle

I took my prescription for a prosthetic and 2 bras into Nordstrom today. (They are highly recommended for their Prosthesis Program.)  I got fitted for a prosthesis and bra. I chose to get the 2nd level prosthesis. My insurance only covers $250, which would leave $69. The lowest level prosthesis would be paid for, but it is heavy and hot. I would like the next level up because, while it’s still heavy, it has cooling gel where it touches the skin. My hot flashes since I started treatment are quite uncomfortable, so I wanted the more expensive one.

When I got the bill of what I had to pay, it was almost $300. It turns out the insurance only pays $32 per bra, and Nordstrom bras start at $58. I just got my $200 sick leave paycheck from job #2 (where I only work about 8 hours a week) and after paying to get my brakes fixed, it was the only money I had and I needed to grocery shop. I don’t get paid from job #1 until next Friday, and I have to get my car’s axle fixed, which will be about $400. The axle is breaking, but it’s not to the catastrophic fiery crash stage yet.

I have an Health Savings Account, that, thanks to my friends contributing to a GoFundMe, is fully funded. There’s plenty of money in that to pay for the bra and prosthesis, but they won’t allow the card to be used at Nordstrom because they only allow medical expenses. I could get reimbursed with the receipt that it’s an actual medical expense, but I need groceries today.

I left empty handed and sat in my car in the parking garage for 20 minutes sobbing. Then I pulled myself together and went shopping and then home to prepare for my daughter’s high school graduation tonight. I’ll save my pennies and go back in a month or two.

I know my conservative friends will sneer and say “First World Problems”. I know they’re happy with insurance being whittled away even more. I’ve rarely cried over my cancer diagnosis. I cried once in church the Sunday after the diagnosis. I cried when an elderly woman helped me lift groceries into my car from the cart when the chemo left me too weak to even walk far. And I cried for this.


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