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.***