10.08.2013

It Was a Day

Yesterday I sat in line at the local pharmacy, waiting to pick up 5 prescriptions, with tears streaming down my face.  "Hey Kate.  Umm.. Have you ever gotten this prescription filled for Jack before?  It's showing you are going to have to pay $600 out of pocket for this."  My friend continued on with the price of all of the other prescriptions until he reached a grand total.  It was close to $1000 dollars.  I just cried.

For a moment I was in the position of making some really, really hard decision.  Jack was sick and needed the $600 medicine.  Asthma is something you just don't play around with.  What was I going to do?  All I could think to do was lash out to the pharmacist about how stupid health care was and that cancer had done this to our family.  Struggling to find an insurance carrier to cover us with a premium we could try to afford.  Much less what those premiums are doing to our small family business.

I was angry, embarrassed and scared.  Then, just as quickly, I was humbled and ashamed that I ever took for granted the medical care we are able to provide our family.  All I could think about was being "that" mother who would have to make unconscionable decisions.  What kind of country do we live in where we allow families to be put in such positions.  The hard working families who put in their 40+ hours, pay their premiums and then bam!  Get treated like the plague when tragedy hits your family?

Listen, this is not a political commentary or a public bashing of any political party.  I'm just putting into words how I felt yesterday.  It truly was one of the most vulnerable moments I have ever lived through.  Luckily for me there was a happy ending.  There was a glitch in the system and my co payments will be lowered.  However, this whole event has been a huge wake up call for me.

When people say that cancer affects the whole family, this is what they are talking about.  The other 4 of us have been generally healthy our whole lives.  What happened to Lucy--the unimaginable--put us in a position to fight for insurance possibly for years and years to come.  What were we to do?  Deny her the treatments that have thus far saved her life?  That would have been murder.

Where are the laws in place to protect the families?  What are lawmakers doing to make sure that families aren't thrown into bankruptcy when they utilize the medical care available to save a family member's life?  Should a Dad lose his job when he has been a dedicated, hard working employee just because the company can't afford to keep him employed?

I have a hard time getting my head around this whole issue.  Friends of ours that we've met along the way have continued at jobs to provide for their families, all the while missing what could be the last days of their dying child's life and for what?  To be laid off by their company a few months later when their insurance renewal comes along?

I'm struggling tonight.  I'm struggling with anger, sadness, sympathy and pride.  Lord Jesus, bless our country.

***All political comments will be promptly deleted.  That is not what this post or blog is about. Please be understanding of where I have been and what I have lived through the past few years.***

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32 comments:

  1. Oh, my friend. I cannot even imagine what you must be feeling. This is a wonderful opportunity to obey God's word, and to pray for our leaders. I haven't been doing enough of that lately, but this is yet one more reminder for me. Thank you for being so open and transparent. As I read your post, I prayed for you and your precious family.

    God bless you all,
    Jennifer

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  2. Hey Kate! I just wanzend to thankf you for being such an amazing Mom to your kids. God totally knew what he was doing when he trusted you with Ella, Lucy and Jack. I admire you so much.

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  3. The system clearly stinks! Praying you will make ends meet and Father supplies what your family needs and what your business needs to keep it going.
    Praying!

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  4. You're right that it sucks. And it's not fair, for anyone. Prayers for you and our broken medical system - and prayers that Jack is better, so very soon!

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  5. I'm retired and fortunate enough to have wonderful medical coverage. But I always wonder about the people who can't afford insurance and go without medication or only take half of what they're prescribed or take meds only a couple times a week instead of daily. It's a sad, sad situation. I hope it's not so broken that it's beyond repair.

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  6. I've never commented, but I've been following for a while. I am so sorry that you had to deal with that yesterday. Praying for your family and that these types of issues with insurance are soon a thing of the past.

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  7. Been there done that. We pay $6000 out of pocket before our insurance paya dime. Plus our $1400 in premiums. praise God long ago he Lord provide and zach got Medicaid due to his cancer diagnois. It is not always a given and we may love it this yr. ( it pays us back our premiums and part of our $6000). But we have prepared for this and know God will provide a way again.

    I have no magic fix and no good awns ER but to have faith and trust. Know your father has a plan and a way. I am learning daily to re trust anew every day. He cares for the tiny sparrow so I know He will care for me and mine.

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  8. Lose it not love it! Lol

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  9. I have never commented before, but I read, follow and pray for your family all the time (Massachusetts). I too have asthma, and me myself, have had to decide whether to forego the medicine and pray nothing happened because I really couldn't afford it, or to try to scrap it together so I didn't have to have major anxiety over the "what if". It's hard, and scary and that's for me as an adult. I can't imagine all the feelings and emotions over it being a child. I am so very sorry you had to go through that, and you and your family are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing, and know that you have prayer warriors all over that think about you and your family day and night. God's Blessings, Teralyn

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  10. Kate, So sorry, what an awful position to have to be put in! There are days when I think it takes all we have in us as a human to cope with the struggles that we get sent our way, and YOU have had your share. You have all the right to vent, cry, scream, complain or whatever you please. This is your blog and if there are readers who don't like what you are feeling on any given day have never been in your shoes! I truley hurt for you even though I do not know you personally and probably will never have the HONOR to meet you, BUT I am so honored to read your blog because as I read it I always know that it is your true feelings, good, bad, sad or even mad! Thank you Kate and I am praying tomorrow will be better! Best Tammie

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  11. It is hard. Having a special needs son I really don't know where I stand on this whole political-insurance debate. I know where I would have stood 6 years ago but now I hate that I just feel confused and powerless. I know knowledge is power but this feels so overwhelming.

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  12. I understand what you are going through with medications. I've had some of those hefty bills with my husbands medications. I'm a nurse and I usually refer people to something that has worked for me in the past. The website is called needymeds.org. Maybe you've already heard of it. Your family's story is very inspiring and your in my thoughts and prayers

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  13. I understand exactly where you are coming from...it is a place I wish upon no one. My thoughts and prayers remain for your family!

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  14. This is not a political comment but it is an endorsement for why insurance should be available for everyone for exactly the reasons that you state.

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  15. I understand. Praying for us all!

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  16. Well said Kate. I can understand why you have these feelings. We had a deductible of $6k before our insurance would pay a dime. I kept getting passed over for raises at work and then after the 4th year of being passed over our accountant said you have been passed over because your husband's medical bills ran our insurance premiums up. I had been with this company much longer than any one there and was never told this. His illnesses were nothing like what your family has been through so I can only imagine what your premiums must be. Not sure where are health care or our country is going but we definitely need to be praying for our leaders. You and your sweet family are in my prayers.

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  17. I'm not really sure what to say except I'm so sorry. My heart literally hurt for you and your beautiful family while reading your post. I wish there was something I could do. Do you have a place to donate money, I will go check your blog....
    God bless, Kelley

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  18. We currently have $6,000 plus dollars to pay out of pocket for our son's broken arm. I can't even IMAGINE how families with chronic conditions afford year after year of treatment costs! I too do not know what the answer is, but our country can't operate like this forever! I wish the politicians in Washington truly knew what it is like to pay $1000 for medication, to owe $6,000 for a simple arm fracture, to split pills or go without, to miss the last days on earth with a child in order to be at a job providing the soon to be dropped medical insurance. Soph M from Austrailia quoted below that, "The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members"...I think we are in trouble! Praying for you, Kate, and Lucy as always!
    Love from Ohio..

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  19. Oh Kate -- this is a really hard situation. I'm praying for you.

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  20. I used to work for a law firm that represented several health insurance companies. The lengths they would go to to deny claims was unbelievable. I'm sorry for all you're going through.

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  21. desperateforavacationOctober 9, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Oh how I relate! I bought asthma medication for years. I was a single mom. I do encourage you to ask for samples...they can get them. Now with a medication my husband takes I found an online coupon from the pharmaceutical company and Praise The Lord the copay was $18.

    Back in our asthma days medicine won out over groceries. Then God would show out, and I would come home to groceries on the porch.

    We have a $5,000 deductible to pay from surgery I had earlier this year and have no clue how we are gonna tackle that!

    My nephew age 32 recently began chemo and the family is learning fast how it changes and affects everyone. He can't work. He lost his truck, and moved back with my sister. He is feeling so bad today.

    And just yesterday I bought diapers for my mom...in my head I was doing the math for a month and hating Alzheimer's. I was crying so hard in Walmart!

    I say all this ... To ask others to pray for our family.

    I also say this because our God is bigger than any of this. He is mightier than those in leather chairs hashing it out.

    He provides. He heals. The battle was won on The Cross.

    I am praying for you and your family. I do so regularly. I pray for others as I read this. Thank you Kate for your heart and for your testimony. You are loved.

    Becky in Brighton

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  22. I have so much empathy for you, Kate. I recently heard myself think "What is this going to cost?" while my daughter with congenital heart defects was receiving life saving medical treatment. It was immediately followed by disgust and anger that I would have to waste even a split second of those precious moments worried about that. But, truth be told, we've been through bankruptcy/foreclosure already because of medical debt. Although we have been steadily building our way back onto solid ground, we are weary. It is a slippery slope and it is a huge burden for the "average middle class" family that doesn't qualify for any help and lives a modest lifestyle trying to make basic ends meet every week. I pray for your family and mine.

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  23. I have severe asthma and my 5 year old daughter has moderate asthma. We're still paying the hospital bill for my last baby and I'm expecting again in March. Right now, we owe almost $5000 in medical bills and there have been many times when I've put off refilling my own prescriptions (without which I could actually die because of the severity of my asthma) because I had to decide between my medication or my daughters, or between medication or groceries. Every time I walk into the pharmacy or doctors' office, I just want to cry. I can't even imagine having something as big as cancer to pay for as well.

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  24. Being from the UK where drs etc is all free, and Rx's are one standard fee (around $15 for each Rx) and diabetics and children get it all free....I have a really hard time getting used to the incredible prices we have to pay over here healthcare. I had to get some cream for eczema the other day....with our amazing insurance it was over $1200 for 1 tube of cream! (thankfully I had a coupon that brought it down). Without insurance it would have cost almost $2000! Something is not right with that in my opinion.

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  25. Our son had leukemia 8 YRS ago but we live in Canada so we didn't have to pay(we have universal healthcare paid for thru our taxes), otherwise he would have died because there's no way we ever would have been able to afford the hundreds of thousands the treatment over the 2 1/2 YRS would have cost. I shudder at the thought of people dying,even kids, elsewhere, because they don't have the $$$$ to pay for medical care, to see a doctor, to go to the hospital, to have surgery, etc.It breaks my heart.

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  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  28. I disagree that doing anything in life opens you up yo judgment and questions from anyone. No need yo explain your first response I understood it the first time. Life is messy and I can not begin to place myself through what this family has gone through.... I am happy that they have had time to get away. That has nothing to do with the fact that you can be sad that a medicine costs a fortune. I thank you Kate for being honest about life. So many people only post the highlights of life, but there is reality of the everyday as well. I know there are many people who can relate to the highs and lows.

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  29. Do you really think that you're not being judgemental, "UpTheCreek" (Even your title choice breeds negativity)? Do you really thing that $1000 for (only) FIVE routine prescription medicines, for chronic conditions such as asthma, would be okay even if this family slept in their own roof 365 days a year? You seem very judgemental and, quite honestly, very bitter. That's truly very sad. If you are shooting for full disclosure, then perhaps you should practice what you preach. And, I really do mean this, I truly do hope that you can find some more joy in your life.

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  30. Kate - I am so sorry that one particular commenter on here feels the need to judge you. No one can ever fully understand. Only you and Eric. You are the parents of beautiful Lucy, Ella and Jack. Your decisions for your family are yours. You have every right to write whatever you want and to feel any emotion you are feeling. For negative commenters to think they have a right to come on YOUR blog and spout off.....oh....I am so angry thinking about it even. Anyway, I have empathy for what you went through in that pharmacy and realize you were also expressing empathy for parents all through the US who are going through prescription sky high co-pays and no insurance or high deductibles. I continue to pray for you and your family. I just want to send you a thousand hugs and hope you feel encouraged by your readers.

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  32. You are a terrible person. Since you comment on the internet, I am free to make that snap judgement.
    This family has been through hell. And a family vacation is hardly extravagant. She did not type this while sitting in a spa at Vail. She did it after a day of caring for her chronically ill children. You really need to look up the term empathy and try to absorb its meaning.

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