Let Down by the System


The time all this happened was in mid-December 2009. In May of that year, we’d moved my mother in to live with us due to her failing health.

Christmas was dawning near, but I had to cancel our normal family Christmas gathering. Also, I had turned in my notice of retirement at work two months prior to Ron’s initial illness. Our family doctor was making arrangements for hubby to see a specialist.

While we waited hubby began to lose weight and he was always chilled. I’d never seen him with a beard before, but he just didn’t feel like shaving. Bathing was also an issue with the attached catheter. Good thing I had lots of experience with bathing children over the years! We had remodeled our bathroom prior to Mom coming to live with us. No bathtub…instead a shower with built in seats on either side and a pull down shower head. This helped tremendously. Hubby could sit while I scrubbed him. Once he looked up at me and said, “This is true love.” Yeah, I teared up.

(We received a notice for a specialist appointment in mid-January! So much time to spend with a catheter strapped to his leg. Hubby was still on meds and continuing to lose weight. Mom was worried about him. I think she was having some issues with her failing heart, but she didn’t tell us because of her concern for him.

I was still working every day, worrying about both of them and looking forward to the day I could retire. I went to the Social Security office to tell them of my plans and sign up for Part B Medicare. I took hubbies papers as well. That’s when I received the biggest shock. Hubby couldn’t get Part B. Reason: I had always carried him on my work policies over the years. However, when I lost a job due to cut-backs in 2001, we were on COBRA insurance for nearly 18 months until my insurance kicked in at my new job. That disqualified him since he had turned 65 prior to that date which meant he would have to pay a huge fee for all the years since he had turned 65 plus we would have to pay double for the Part B. Additionally, he wouldn’t qualify to apply until July of 2010.

“I didn’t plan to be a caregiver, but God had a different plan for me. I accept it with a happy heart, thankful that my love and I are still together.”


Let Down by the System — 2 Comments

  1. Carol Ann, my mom & dad were self employed (dad was a carpenter/mom his bookkeeper etc) there were so many things either medicare or the VA wouldn’t/didn’t cover for both of them. Sad to say I think all the stress of how to take care of each other is what made them both give up. I broke my heart to watch two very independent people suffer this way. We did what we could at the time but we were living on a beginning truckers pay with two small children at the time. I know in my heart we did our best but wish we could have gotten them more care than they had. Hang in there.

    • Paulette, I’m sorry to hear your parents went through so much stress in getting health care. It is very sad situation that so many US Citizens are in need and are overlooked by our government, while so many receive benefits though they never paid into the system at all. I know you did your best. Sometimes the brick walls are so thick no one can bust them down. Hugs, dear friend.

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