Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dankbar Donnerstag, aka: Thankful Thursday; Health Insurance.

Thankful Thursday is something that a few of the bloggers that I read do. It seems like a good idea to recount what blessings one has in one's life instead of always focusing on the negatives. There is something to looking at life's abundance to take one's mind off of life's lacks.

Health insurance may sound like a strange thing to be thankful for, but today, that's near the top for me, for several reasons. Today the reason I'm most thankful for health insurance is my mom.

Mom was born with a flap of tissue between her stomach and small intestine. No food was able to get through. She had two surgeries in her first ten days of life to try to correct the problem. They did the best they could, and she was alive, but apparently cried her first couple years of life and could not keep any food down. But, she grew up and life went on.

Fifty some odd years later, there started to be some problems with her stomach and digestion. She always drank tons of Diet Pepsi (I am talking 8 to 10 liters a day!) and food went through her quickly. But now she was having pain sometimes if she ate a heavy meal occasionally so severe she ended up in the emergency room. She went to her doctor and he recommended surgery to fix the problem. It sounded like it would be a pretty easy fix. She went in for surgery the Friday of Labor Day weekend last year. She sent me a message on Facebook before going in bemoaning not being able to play Farmville all weekend. (Oh, Mom.)

I won't bore you with all the details; I'll just give you the broad strokes. Surgery one, Labor Day weekend. It didn't take. Surgery two three weeks later. I showed up about a week after that and stayed for a month. Mom was moved to a different hospital, then discharged at the beginning of November with ongoing issues. Since November she's been in and out of the hospital several times; maybe a dozen. Right now she's at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and they have determined that she'll have another surgery within the next several weeks and hopefully the problem will be fixed.

This medical drama has been difficult, so say the least, but (!) that health insurance is a godsend. The medical bills total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars right now, and will continue to get higher. Thankfully though, Mom and Dad have not had to pay most of that. I'm pretty sure all they have paid is their deductible. Every time she goes back into the ER, I thank God that her insurance is there.

My dad went through his own medical drama a few years ago. His was heart surgery, also done at the Mayo Clinic. His bills also were in the hundreds of thousands, and he may have to go back for more surgery in the next few years.

For myself, I'm really thankful that with this fertility stuff we have health insurance. Tricare may not be the best system out there, but it is cheap and, if you jump through all of their hoops, they do provide decent care. They have covered everything so far in our process to get pregnant. The only thing they won't cover is "non-coital means of reproduction". This means that they won't cover the actual IUI or IVF procedure, but they will cover all the meds, U/S, and testing. Let me tell you, if we had to pay that out of pocket, we would be trying on our own a lot longer!

So, health insurance is what I'm thankful for today. It may not be the most obvious thing, but when you need it, it is so good to have.

CD 4

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