We are THAT family.

Craig came home one night last week and broke some hard news to me.

He said he hesitated in telling me because he didn’t want me to worry…on top of all the regular worry I deal with on a daily basis.

His company had filed from bankruptcy a few months ago and was finally in the stages of being purchased.  That part I knew…but we always assumed that the company that would buy them would just allow for “business as usual.”

But, the higher ups sent a company wide email letting them of the two highest bidders. One of the bidders…the one that was currently in the lead…has a history of buying out companies and then outsourcing the work.

He calmly said to me, “If this happens, there is a chance I could be laid off at the beginning of the year.”

It turns out…that company won the bidding war.  And now…we are THAT family.

The family that is wondering what is going to happen a few months from now.

When I first found out, my first reaction was, “Oh no….what’s going to happen to Evan?  We need insurance for him.  And Iz needs it too… we’ll deal with not having insurance for me and Craig…but our kids…they NEED it.”

We won’t know the repercussions of the auction of Craig’s company for another few weeks.

But as good parents, parents to two young children, one being a child who will need medical care for the rest of his life – open heart surgery and many craniofacial surgeries, doctor appointments, therapies, we are trying to problem solve now.

Not in a few months.

Not in a few weeks.

Not after the election.

Now…because we don’t know what else to do…besides to try to find solutions and pray so hard that it all works out.

I went into problem solving mode.  We diligently saved for Evan’s medical expenses when he was born and we continue to do so.

We are financially smart…we do have emergency savings in case he does get laid off and can’t find work for a few months.

Our biggest expense to date for our family is…yup…medical expenses.

All these things….sound like great things, right?  All things considered…I guess it is.

But, because of all these things…we won’t be able to get any kind of support from the government.  Our children won’t qualify for Medicaid…even if Craig loses his job and COBRA isn’t an option.

I called my sister who is a social worker and works quite a bit with getting her clients Medicaid and Medicare.  I told her we’d be willing to transfer titles of our cars to our parents, move around money to our parents and “drain” our accounts so that we could get benefits for Iz and Evan.  I didn’t know….but it turns out there is 3 year look back and paper trail…so my “tricks” to try and scam the government into giving us something we may need and deserve…well…would be all for not.

We also discussed finding someone – maybe our parents or my sister –  to add Iz and Evan onto their insurance plan.  And I told Craig we needed to do something fast…really fast…because if Romney wins…he may dismantle Obama-care…then Evan wouldn’t qualify for any kind of insurance. EVER.

I jokingly said, “Maybe you should divorce me so I can be a “single mom” so that we’d for sure get benefits for Evan and Iz.” Desperate, much?

My Evan.  Who needs surgery next year for his palate. Who visits a specialist at least once a month to make sure his heart is still working.  Who racked up over $1 million dollars in 8 months of life of hospital expenses.  Who will always be tagged as “high risk” and “pre-existing.”  Who will drive up premiums of any and all insurance companies he’s a client of. He takes 4 medications a day still – 3 of those are prescription.  He still uses medical supplies like feeding pumps and feeding supplies.

I don’t expect a free lunch…figuratively speaking. I come from a long line of Conservatives. I am one.  I think programs that are government led and run are extremely abused and run poorly.  I do believe that we enable too much of this nation….too many people who are able to work..don’t.  Too many people who truly need the help…don’t get any.

When I say “able”, let’s make this clear.  I am perfectly “able” to work. I even told Craig that I could go back to school for a nursing degree if need be and finish quickly since I have so many of the basics and could finish in less than 2 years if I could line up clinicals quickly.  But, he looked at me and said, “No.  You need to take care of Evan. I’ll find whatever I can to provide for us…if it comes down to it.”

You see, friends, my job is a multi-million dollar one.  It is.  Forget the title of “Heart Mom” – let’s substitute – “Mom of medically needy or special needs mom” here.

Our sick kids require attention all day long.  Not necessarily medical attention – I don’t sit around and take vitals all day – but I have my mom/nurse/doctor/therapist hat on all day long.  We work all day long.  I push Evan so hard when we are given “homework” from therapy because I want to be free from therapy some day.  But, we need therapy because he’s not reaching milestones. And, it’s not because he can’t…he is able to…but he never learned how to do things – like turn his head, turn his body, reach for toys, roll over, take a bottle- when we were hospitalized.  So, we go to therapy to learn ways to do these things – safely without straining his heart – so I can work with him – all day long.

I look at my caring for Evan as taking care of the biggest…and most expensive…investment ever…all of us parents of medically needy/special needs children should look at it like that. We give so much time, energy, effort, and money to keep our children alive….to  help them thrive…

My intention for writing this posts is because so many people – in person and online – have been quick to judge “those” families.

The families who rely on mandates like Obama-care – so we want to vote for the Left – even though all our lives we’ve voted – Right.

We are THAT family.

I’m that mom that stays up late at night researching ways to get my children insurance coverage if we suddenly lose ours.

I’m that wife that holds onto hope that her husband will be able to continue to support them…and feels awful that I put that burden on him.

I’m the daughter of the physician that prays that Obamacare won’t hurt my mom’s medical practice – the one she built from the ground up – the one where I didn’t have a mom for many years because she was in residency in another state – in order to finish her medical degree so she could provide for our family.

I’m the person who became a Naturalized citizen over 6 years ago – claiming that day as one of the proudest in my life  – and wonder – “Will this nation that I pledged my allegiance, one nation, under God….help one of their own when we may need it the most?”

Please friends, before you name call and point fingers, to those who may have an opposite opinion of yours – I don’t care what it is – Left or Right, I ask you to remember that suddenly you know someone who is making a conscious choice to vote a certain way…because our children need it.

The family you’ve been praying for.

The boy that you are rooting for to win his battle against his very special heart.

The boy that smiles and melts your heart.

We are now that family.

It’s us.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Jessica (Sharpley) Kilgore says:

    You probably don’t remember me from high school, but I am one of the tons of old duncanville people rooting for you and your family daily. I just wanted to mention the Texas Health Insurance Pool. It is specifically for high risk patients like Evan. Check it out now because there is no prexisting condition if you don’t let your insurance lapse. My mom got on it after getting fired from her job for not being able to work because of her stage 4 breast cancer treatments and her cobra ran out. It is more expensive than most companies premiums but it pennies compared to what her chemo, surgery, and radiation would be costing.