Friday, October 15, 2010

Crazy Week

At the start of this week I had planned on reaching out to my blog readers and asking for your prayers. The power of prayer is an amazing thing and my faith is what keeps me going. I wanted to ask that you each take a minute or two and say a prayer for me and my family. During the last nine years of Mike's illness, I have never before been so overwhelmed: physically, emotionally or financially. I did not feel things could get worse and I was looki0ng for your help. It doesn't matter what religion you are, who you pray to or what you believe, I just needed to know that strong and powerful prayers were going out for me. As this week comes to an end, you will find out just how much I need them now.

On Tuesday, right after dinner, a pain, the likes of which I have NEVER experienced before, started in my back. I thought it was gas, so I took Tums. My brother was upstairs resting (he's had his own health issues) and Brandon was with me in the living room, but I had to leave to get Courtney from work (She commutes from Fordham in the Bronx out to Garden City 4x a week for her job at The Disney Store). Driving to get her was a complete blur - the pain was unbearable. I didn't know whether to cry or throw up. When I got to the mall I got out of the car and started pacing (which must have looked suspicious to Security), but I just couldn't sit for another minute. I was going to explain to Courtney that I couldn't wait with her at the train station, that I had to drop her off and run, but with one look at me she said, "mom I'm taking you to the hospital". Two things entered my mind, 1) what about Mike? The ER can take hours and if I'm stuck there for the night, who will prepare his food and meds in the am?; and 2) I have no Insurance. Yes, for the first time in my life, I have no health insurance. I was going to wait it out, but both Courtney and Brandon were convinced that I has appendicitis and was concerned it would rupture. The look on their faces made me cry even more. With all they had been through with Mike, to see their stronghold collapsing in front of them, crying out in pain, they were petrified. I went to the hospital for them. The two hours in the waiting room was the longest ever - I was pale, rocking back and forth and running into the bahroom to throw up. I wasn't saying a word and I felt bad for Courtney each time I went into the bathroom. I could see the look of relief on her face each time I came out - I could read her mind, "what will I do if she takes too long? Did something happen? What would I do?" I wished I could ease her mind, but at the time I couldn't even think straight. 2 1/2 hours later after a CT Scan and some of the worst pain I have EVER felt, it was confirmed that I had a kidney stone. I have a very high tolerance of pain - in fact I had Branfdon COMPLETELY natural, no drugs at all, but this pain was so bad, the morphine they gave me, only took the edge off.

We left the hospital at 1:30 in the morning. Courtney missed her one class on Wednesday. Brandon left school early. Brandon did an AMAZING job getting Mike into bed with my brother and I couldn't have been more thankful or proud of each of them. They really stepped up to the plate when I needed them the most.

On Wednesday the pain was still with me and I tried to figure out how I would know if it passed. I spent the next 2 days drinking 2-3 QUARTS of water and FINALLY last night I believe it passed. Then about 3 hours later the pain started again, and it felt like something else had passed. So far, no more pain. Of course, Mother Nature and/or God has a sense of humor because on Thursday I got my period. Seriously????

THANKFULLY Mike remained status quo throughout, I guess God thought, "enough is enough". Now that my pain is gone, I am left to worry about how I will be paying for the ER visit. The hospital gave me paperwork to fill out for "Charity Care", which I will no doubt send out when I get back to work.

Courtney and I still don't have health insurance and it weighs on my mind every minute. As I said, I have never not had insurance, my whole life. Social Security feels that I make too much money for coverage under Family Health Plus - and they actually sent me paperwork saying I can get coverage if I pay the $3,300/month premium. That would be added to the $1,200/month I'm supposed to pay for Mike's aide (which I haven't done in months). I wait every day for a call from the Agency telling me they have to pull Mike's aide because on non-payment. There's not much I can do because I just don't have the money.

And this is where I get frustrated and angry. I've worked since I was 16 and paid into social security. Now that I need assistance, hopefully only temporarily - I do not qualify for it.......Yet, there are other people out there that JUST came into the country and they qualify for everything. I hate feeling this way, but our government gives me no choice. I need their help, but they don't care.

THAT is why I asked for your prayers. Ironically, I planned my request even before my visit to the ER. The visit only made my request more urgent.

Please, if you read this blog, take a moment and say a quick prayer for me and my family. Pray for our strength and guidance as we travel this difficult road. The power of prayer is amazing!

Thank you and God Bless


Anonymous said...

I pray things will get better. The hospital should have given you a strainer to strain your urine so you catch the stone when as it passes. The stone should be kept and sent for analysis. Didn't the hospital do this?
A curious Nurse

Carl in NC said...

Praying for you and your family!


Anonymous said...

Sending you and your family my prays and love. I am fulltime caregiver for my mum who has alzheimer's and I know how it feels to be overwhelmed at times. I also believe it is the power of other's postive love that gets me through at times.

trish said...


I will be praying hard for you and your family today. Thank GOD you are alright. Try not to worry so much about the ER expense, I'm sure it will all work out.


Anonymous said...

Ms Henley,
Have you and your family looked at things like healthy ny?

or you could look into the AMG medical group.while they arent in nassau they have an office in kew gardens. they offer a $79 a month plan and a $119/month plan. The only catch is that one has to take a one year contract.

it offers unlimited visits,no co-pays and a lot of services.two of my friends are members and are very satisfied.

you and your family need some kind of medical plan. i thought you work for lawyers;dont they offer health insurance?

Anonymous said...

Sending you my prayers. I also agree about the health care system in our country. I will never understand how some people that are not citizens get help but people who live here their whole lives, worked and put in to the system get nothing. I have my own continous fight with the system on behalf of my son who has a mental illness. I loved it when I took him to the ER and they made me sign for my 25 year old son. How ridiculous!!!

Karen said...

To A Curious Nurse -
No, I was not given a strainer, although the doctor did mention that to me. I was in way too much pain to remind them before I left:(
Carl, Trish and Anonymous -
Thank you for your prayers. It's EXACTLY what I need.
Anonymous - I am now looking into Healthy NY. I never heard of AMG. That premium is very low, I may have to look into that. Thank you for your suggestion.
Thank you ALL for your words of support and prayers. There is no doubt they will help us. God BLess.

seth said...

Ms Henley,

I have posted here before.Im the fellow who offered you some pc accessories-im down the road at the other end of the town of hempstead.

I am the "anonymous." i got a new pc and its not fully hooked up yet.

I think that you and your family would be happy with AMG- I dont know about Healthy NY but its worth looking into.

I also dont understand-why cant your daughter get some kind of "student insurance" from fordham?

i'll head to temple friday nite and at the prayers for the ill and infirm ill add mike's name to the list.

stay strong and be well.