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Harriette Cole: What if I’m dying? I can’t afford that.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have had a pain in my neck — literally — for several months now. I think it’s because of the way I have been sleeping, but I’m not sure.

I do not have insurance, so I haven’t gone to the doctor. Plus, I have a friend who had a pain in her stomach for a long time. When she finally went to the doctor, it was terminal cancer. I’m afraid something like that might happen to me.

My best friend says I’m stupid for not checking it out. What if the worst is true, and I am sick? I can’t afford to deal with that. How can I get out of this fear? It’s got me doing absolutely nothing.

Face You Fear

DEAR FACE YOUR FEAR: Your friend is right. You should go to the doctor to see about your pain. There is no way for you to know definitively what it is without evaluation, especially since it’s chronic.

Do your research. Find a teaching hospital. Sometimes they will offer care to patients without insurance. Research other health facilities in your area. Most cities have health care establishments that will treat you even if you are uninsured.

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