This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A scary weekend

Saturday night the kids went to Grandma's as usual (LOVE THAT!!), and Hubby and I had date night. Again as usual, this mostly consisted of watching movies and crashing. The kids wanted us to preview a PG-13 movie for them to watch on Halloween. (Under the Mountain - horrible, waaay too scary, and I think I'll still have nightmares for months.) Not exactly the best way to start a "date" with my husband.

After the movie we curled up under the covers and watched an action movie (Macgruder - which I mostly slept through so have no idea what it was about. Hubby said I wouldn't like it.) Then we talked. (Yes, I know. We're such party animals. Don't hate!). Late nights are good for confessions and talking about feelings, so Hubby talked about something that's been bothering him a lot.

He thinks he's going to die soon. Not in the melodramatic way the kids say it, but in the scary, "my dad died in his 50s" way (Hubby is 45). Hubby has been experiencing great leg pain when he tries to exercise (just like his dad who died of a heart attack before the cancer could kill him). Hubby has looked up his symptoms on line and is pretty sure he has peripheral artery disease, like his dad. PAD is supposed to be pretty treatable, but Hubby is very depressed about it.

Our horrible insurance is finally expiring at the end of the year (5 visits a year... for the WHOLE family and a $500 cap on medication... for the WHOLE family - luckily we were able to keep Bear and Kitty on Medicaid to pay for their visits and meds and the rest of us are pretty healthy (once I stopped taking meds for my mild bipolar symptoms and didn't have to see my doctor regularly any more). Still not sure what we're going to do, but it'll be cheaper and more effective than what we have.

So the question is, do I encourage him to see the doctor and chance that it will be seen as a "preexisting" or "disqualifying" condition or wait until January when he gets new individual insurance from an independent rep?

The main problem is Hubby has decided that since he is under so much stress, he doesn't have time to take care of himself. He can't really exercise (because of the whole - "collapsing from the pain after a minute on the treadmill" thing), and he eats horribly when he's not home because he can't seem to stop himself. Food at home is pretty healthy, but he eats a lot and goes back for cheese sandwiches and hotdogs. My step-dad has/had PAD and he took Niacin, which we have as one of Bear's supplements, so I encouraged Hubby to take it, but he HATES taking meds (which is kind of ironic since he pops Rolaids/Tums type things like candy), so I have a feeling it isn't going to happen.

Anyway, Hubby has been talking about what's going to happen to us when he dies!! (Like within the next two years!) He worries about our debts and our failing company. The fact that I don't have a job. What would happen if I quit working at our company and took a "real job." What will happen with our house and its mortgages (since we refinanced, he's pretty sure we no longer have death insurance - where they pay for the house if he dies - which he used to). All the credit card debt (we took on a lot when we bought the company). Etc.

All of this is added to the already huge stress he has on his shoulders from working full-time, helping out with our company, a lawsuit we're destined to lose, teaching scuba... and of course the kids and me.

He's been dealing with the stress of his health for awhile, and even mentioned it once before, but he went into more detail this weekend, and wanted to talk about plans for what would happen if he died soon. He said that was why he was trying to do more with the kids, especially Bear (who got to do a lot of stuff this weekend with the school team he is on - like go to another kid's house for pizza after the homecoming game and not getting home until after midnight - Hubby went with him).

So much stress, and it hasn't helped him that I'm mildly depressed and sitting home most days instead of trying to drum up business for our company.

Bless his heart.

(No really, not just a Southern saying... will you please pray for his heart?)

While you're at it, if you're the praying "type" will you please pray for my friend Caty? She has a bleeding disorder and was in a minor car accident last weekend. She seemed fine, but the pain wouldn't stop. They did CAT scans and MRIs and didn't see any bleeding, but she's still in pain, and that's not good. She went to the ER a couple of days ago and we don't know much else.


schnitzelbank said...

I'm sorry for all the troubles with health insurance. We have been down that same path. My husband is self-employed, and my employer doesn't offer benefits to part-timers. I was on COBRA for a long time (from an old full-time job), but it was running out. Since we had moved out of state, we did not qualify for COBRA extension (?!). So we were stuck.
The Obama plan is supposed to be phasing out the denials for pre-existing, but it's only for kids right now, and adults won't see it until 2014. After the run-around and denials for my (actually pretty run-of-the-mill) pre-existing conditions, we finally said screw it and formed our own corporation with his business. If the insurance companies are going to work hard to deny people for any little damn thing, then we have to work harder to catch them in their own loopholes.
By naming me a partner and and giving the corporation "two employees," you can qualify for a group plan. Group plans are great, in that no employee can be denied for pre-existing conditions, and you can cover dependents (if you need/want). Group plans can't be cancelled like individual plans. You have more rights. Voila. Problem solved. We got coverage within days. Start with a good underwriter that will walk you through this process of forming a group plan for a business partnership, or you can start by applying for your own business tax ID on the IRS website. We had to file in the country for the "new" business, open a separate bank account for the "new" partnership, and pay our insurance premiums out of that, but that's the extent of the extra work we had to do.
We had a lot of choices from our underwriter, HMO, PPO, etc. It just depends on what you're looking for, and how much you want to spend (btw, you know the premiums are tax-deductible, too...).
It's stupid that you have to jump through so many hoops, but you do what you gotta do to protect your family's health. I'm so glad we figured out this process. We had been losing sleep, so stressed out about this.
PLEASE send your hubby to the doc! His health is more important that any of this bureaucratic b.s.!

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is your husband is not a doctor. He doesn't have the training to self-diagnose (and you don't have the training to medicate him.) Perhaps if he tells the doctor to please not record the diagnosis, and explains why, the doctor might be willing to record a less-severe variation (should he actually have anything "severe".)

But from what you've said, he is working on killing himself right now by creating even more stress than there actually is -- if his leg doesn't get him, his heart will.

You know, men can show depression differently than women do. He may be depressed. He may be overly anxious (the Tums kinda speak to that).

But really, ask him which costs more. Going to the doctor -- even if you pay the full amount -- or being hospitalized for a while without insurance because he could have treated something sooner but didn't? said...

Oh, I can not even imagine what it would be like to not have healthcare, we complain about our system but something is better than nothing and I never, ever have to worry about it. Yes sometimes the lines are long and the waiting is a pain but if you really need treatment you are moved to the front of the line and it is all free, well not free because our taxes are higher but there is no out of pocket expense. I hope that whatever you decide that he begins feeling better and that you are able to get him the right treatment. said...
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Tara - SanitySrchr said...

Pre-existing conditions shouldn't apply if there is no lapse in coverage. I don't know that for sure since it's a private policy and not group health. You may want to double check on that.

I will never, ever discourage anyone from being prepared for the end of their life. No one ever knows when that may be, but it's never good to stress over the anticipation...just be prepared. Update your wills, life insurance, etc. and do it often (every couple of years, or more often depending on situational changes).


Miz Kizzle said...

Could your husband be suffering from the middle-aged blues? It seems to hit guys at about 45-55. Their is a real hormonal component to it, just like menopause in women, and it can make them feel pretty glum, as if all the good stuff is behind them and now it's a slow crawl to the grave.
Your husband needs to see a doctor if he's having leg pains. He needs a healthier diet and he might need medication for depression.
The treadmill probably isn't the best form of exercise for him. A doctor could recommend something more appropriate, like swimming or bicycling. My own hubby is a rabid cyclist. He's in several bike clubs and sometimes on the weekends he peddles over a hundred miles a day. The fresh air, the exercise, the companionship with other guys all make him happy.
I really think your hubby needs an outlet for the stress he's having right now. The talk about dying might be a form of wishing that all the problems would just STOP, not that he wants to die.