Yes, I’m finally updating this saga, and started to do it in the wee hours of the morning — at least for most of my readers. But if you haven’t been following along, the first part is here. And if you don’t want to follow along, no worries. Come back when I return to the regularly scheduled snark.
SO and I followed the doctor’s instructions and began the odyssey into the world of kidney disease. But just as we were getting started, the insurance company we had been paying for years decided to cancel our health insurance. They gave us a few months notice, and this was after they had been paid an average of around $2,000 a month for almost 10 years. Yeah, do the math on that. You may ask why that much. SO is type 1 diabetic and we are self-employed, which meant the bill was for a hellacious amount of coverage (and with a high deductible), but then when we needed it most, gone. Even now I want to call those that run the insurance company some foul names, but I believe it’s wrong to hold a grudge. It also steals my energy to do so.
Nevertheless, the insurance company took advantage, and we should have known we weren’t insuring against catastrophe. On some level as business people and realists, we knew insurance companies are gamblers and gamblers have the ability to call the game if it’s not going their way. But we got comfortable in what we were doing. We loved concentrating on the town and its people and not worrying about something coming to bite us on the backside. At one point before this happened, we had talked about self-insuring because we had the means, but we thought it was too risky. I could cry about that now; I just see no point. We have learned a hard lesson and now we try to apply what we’ve learned and move on. But make no mistake we’re aware of others who do not have the means and are still paying for what insurance companies and the healthcare industry in general did to them. I don’t know what I’m going to do about that, but I’m going to do something — government intervention or no government intervention (no, I don’t want to get political). This experience has made a reformer of me, but mostly, as a Christian, I cannot simply let this lie.
But I didn’t always feel that way. When this first happened, I wanted to become terrified and roll into a ball. I knew that although SO made an income and we had savings, it was potentially not enough to handle the coming debt of kidney disease. And since no one would hire SO and give him insurance benefits, I needed to find employment or we might eventually be left destitute. What I hadn’t considered was age discrimination. I wasn’t a stranger to discrimination as I had received some when I was younger and working in a “man’s profession,” but it was still not in my nature to look for it. I have to be hit over the head with it before I realize it’s happening. It began to hit me over the head repeatedly as I went to look for a job. No matter where I went or how well I did in interviews, no matter the power clothes or hip hairstyle I wore, or how much people liked me, or how well I passed any tests I was given, or how much I was willing to relocate, no one wanted to hire me. Along the way I kept re-educating myself about the process of getting a job, and I learned a lot more than I had known. I had certainly let most of my network dry up, and eventually I had to accept that maybe there was an issue with my being 50 years old. Ouch.
I’m not sure I can fully describe the pain of fighting the notion people are looking at you like you’re a non-entity, something to be dismissed. It took over a year for the reality to sink in. When it did, I was way past terrified and a big part of me wanted to say, “F*ck it” and be depressed. Can I think that and say that as a Christian? Can I have that attitude as someone who believes in Christ, the Redeemer of all? I sure can, but that’s not what the Lord wanted and had prepared me to do. Plus, He reminded me I know about depression and how it can suck you down in a pit and keep you there. I had learned that from growing up in an extended family where depression became so prevalent the running joke is the family crest is three men in straightjackets. I also learned it from my own life threatening bouts with it. Frankly, I could write a book about its debilitating effects, and in fact, I am. But I digress.
The unscalable wall of no job and no benefits, and therefore no way to easily deal with SO becoming sicker, was not moving. Something had to be done. But what? An employer was not on the horizon, and I could not see starting another business. Not a successful one anyway. I know how hard that is. It’s like being pregnant, giving birth and then rearing the child, which takes a lot of time and heart, and if you don’t attend to it as such, it will wither and die. The thought of taking that on while soldiering through what SO was dealing with and would eventually be dealing with could short circuit my brain. But the thought kept coming back. And of course I felt guilty at times about this place. Here we are in a major life crisis, and I’m blogging about some obscure British actor (a good looking, obscure British actor), but some bloke I didn’t know, and I was painting myself as a goofball in the process? What?!!
And just to be clear, SO is not a eunuch, was definitely skeptical of this place, and said to me rather pointedly on one occasion, “What are you doing? What wonderful energy are you expending? Is it worth it? You decide, but I want to ask you another question.” I arched a brow at him but said nothing, and then he went on, “How would you feel if I started blogging all the time about some good looking actress?” I looked him right in the eye and said, “I wouldn’t like it.” I almost quit blogging, but at that point, it was not about Richard Armitage, and really, it never was.
This post was supposed to be more about SO and turned out to be more about me. These posts were originally in two parts, but I’ve been thinking, and now I’m not sure how long this will run. This has happened a few times, and I’m well aware it has created some loose ends lying around here. I’ll get to them before I’m done. My anal nature will ensure that! But with this series, I’m going to keep going until I’m satisfied. Sort of like this blog — which was supposed to last two months. :D