Control Issues.

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When you’re aging or on disability, the last thing you need is more paperwork.  It’s already confusing enough.

Following my adventure in disability coverage, however, I finally had an appointment with an elder-focused / disability-focused operation to have someone double-check my options and make sure that I wasn’t overlooking anything.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t.  I’m not eligible for any better options.  With a disability income of $2,416 per month, I exceed the County’s low-income threshold of $1,2xx.

Then, this afternoon, I opened up the endocrinologist’s bill to find that the appointment didn’t cost me $110 to $180 out of pocket as originally quoted, but actually will cost me $669 !

$669 that I just don’t have.  At least, not now and not in the foreseeable future.

If there’s one thing I have, it’s “control issues”.  Major control issues when it comes to finances.

So, I’ve been looking at the businesses around me and trying to figure out what I can do to make a buck so that I can cover my anticipated expenses.

Nobody sets out to be a deadbeat.  But, especially someone with control issues.  We like paying our bills and knowing that we can take care of ourselves.  In fact, we insist on taking care of ourselves.

A chronic illness like COPD / Asthma, though, is the great equalizer.  In order to protect your health, you stop working because you’re clearly qualified for benefits based on your years of work and paying into the program, as well as the failure of your body to keep up as you age.

It’s not easy to redefine your self-identity to accept the fact that you can’t work your highly paid job any longer.  It’s not easy to live on 20% of what you used to earn, but you prepare for the worst when dealing with birth defects, and you hope that you’ll die before the worst-case day happens and you find you have to go on disability.

It’s especially problematical to be a control freak when you know that there is money out there with your name on it – $147,xxx so far – and it’s being withheld as a legal strategy.

benefit-money-withheld-31dec16-and-2015

LOA Non Paid = Leave of Absence, promised matching salary benefits put into a special holding account vs. being paid out to me.

I tell you all of that, though, to tell you why I believe in euthanasia.  Financial stress is one of the deadliest diseases in the USA.

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When I tell you I have breathing issues (Asthma / COPD), which often leads to high blood pressure challenges due to the breathing medicine, and which leads to diabetes issues as the medication meant to keep me enjoying a good quality of life comes with their own side effects, then you get the idea that it’s a vicious circle.

If I didn’t have to take the medicine I take to survive, then maybe I wouldn’t be suffering the complications I’m experiencing.

However, if I don’t take the medications that help me control my breathing exacerbations, then the risk to my heart and lungs increases as they work harder to keep up with their defects and the affects of stress on my body.

Not to be melodramatic (and, no, I’m NOT suicidal), if we won’t pay to enable folks to be able to purchase their medicines to survive, then we need to make the path to euthanasia much easier to surmount as we age.

I had “documenting my plan for euthanasia” on my list of things to do this year, and mentally budgeted $3,000 to $5,000 to get the paperwork done.  (Because there is no escaping the paperwork).

Then, as I was juggling the budget to afford heat and food and medicines,  I started adding up all my “to do” list budget items, and realized that if they won’t cover any portion of my medication until I reach the deductible of $1,300 for medications – $1,300 that I don’t have in my monthly budget – I won’t need to spend the money to document my wishes as the stress will kill me first.

Yes, I’m a control freak.  But, part of recognizing you have a problem is to admit that you have a problem that you can’t control, and see what develops from there.

In my case:  “Hi, I’m Joanne, and I’m a control freak.  I’d rather die on schedule than live with the stress of not being able to control my life, living comfortably in a warm home, with plenty of food.  Homelessness scares me.  Running out of money to stay healthy scares me.  Death?  Not so much.”

2 thoughts on “Control Issues.

  1. Wow. And the people with YOUR money are still stringing you along, I take it? I hope you gain control before the stress takes you, because what would we do, out here in cyber land, without our “I’m not a professional but I play on the computer” saavy of your wisdom?? The world has gone mad. I wanted to die before it got to this point, but fate/karma/whatever you call it has dictated otherwise. All we can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep ‘swimming, swimming, swimming’ ala Dory. Does that endocrinologist’s office have a payment plan? They often offer such things to people in straitened circumstances and while it’s not your usual ‘pay it ALL off now’ and have it done scenario, it’s a way to know it’s being paid and avoid all the collections and nasty letters that arrive when one ignores one’s bills (I’m speaking from my experience now, I’m pretty sure you’ve never had that kind of ugliness in your life). Best wishes. Wish I could help!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, no, I’m average. I’ve had credit issues.

    When I was laid off (perfect timing for a horrible situation), it was when my Mom was in the hospital and dying with COPD. She had an unexpected rally after I brought her home to die in the comfort of her own home, so I ended up moving back to MA for a year to care for her during her last year of life. I ended up $30k in debt by the time I moved back to CA, and I went to ACCC (America Consumer Credit Counseling) to get the madness under control.

    I paid off all of my debt in 3 years or so, and I have been 90% cash-only since 2006, when I realized that my paying off 20k in a year wasn’t working, and that I needed professionals to step in. (But, that credit card is maxed out from home repairs prior to Winter (thank heavens I had that work done!), so that little bit of emergency room is gone at present, too.

    Rest assured, I will send a letter with a payment and a payment plan when I get paid on February 22nd, but I *HATE* being sandbagged with no recourse to solve the problem beyond paying this outrageous bill. That loss of extra $ each month is very aggravating as I’m already triaging medical services to make sure I’m not running up bills I can’t pay if I don’t win my case.

    Like

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