Friday, August 9, 2013

Future Starts Slow

    When my husband and I made the decision to leave Missouri and come to North Carolina, it was made after careful reflection about our situation at that time and where our best chances for having a better future lay. St. Louis is home for me, (actually, a little town about sixty miles south of St. Louis is home for me, but no one knows where in the hell Festus, MO is, so) and it will never not be. I've now been in Charlotte long enough to know that while I may like and even grow to love other cities and states, my heart will always belong in the Midwest. Even knowing that, I have no intention of picking up and heading back across the Mississippi, unless it becomes necessary for my husband's treatment to be near Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which is home to a Marfan's clinic and his specialist/cardiologist.

     We left St. Louis on not-fantastic terms, because our life had taken a turn for the seriously worse, for reasons  both completely valid and completely confidential. Choices had to be made and none of them were quite what you'd call "good", but we picked the one that we thought was best and tried to make things work here in North Carolina. So far, we've had varying levels of success.

     There are some particularly nasty demons that we're trying to outrun, and putting a river, some farmland and a mountain range between us and them seemed like a good place to start. It's helped, but damned if we didn't start our life here making little to no forward progress. Hell, if anything, we backslid like crazy for awhile and if it hadn't been for the support of our family and friends, we would probably be free-falling still. I think though, and this is a very, VERY cautious think, that we're finally getting somewhere.

     My husband recently accepted a new job and it pays a little better than his previous gig. Not a whole lot, mind you, but we're happy just the same. The real prize in the Cracker Jack box, though, is his new health insurance - a $100 ANNUAL deductible?! Are you effing kidding me? That's unheard of. I mean, I work in the legal world and I deal with medical insurance quite a bit with what I do and I have NEVER heard of such a thing. When my husband was first going over his new benefits package with me and he read that, we both thought we couldn't possibly be understanding the plan correctly, in spite of the fact that both of us know waaaaay more about health insurance plans than any layman should. Turns out, seeing is believing in this case, because his HR department assured him that the $100 annual deductible was exactly what it looked like - a tiny miracle.

     As I type this, there is a large pile of medical bills next to my left hand, taunting me with their payment deadlines and their sheer abundance. They're all the result of the three-week healthcare circus that my husband and I just endured last month. He had heath insurance, yeah, but that particular plan required a 10% co-insurance payment from the subscriber. (Subscriber = industry-speak for the person who's covered under the health insurance policy in question.) ONE of my husband's many, many ER trips in the past month cost over $13,000 in total - you do the math and tell me how much of a dead weight these damned bills are/have been/will be.

    So this lovely new health insurance is a huge thing for us, as my husband tends to frequent the hospital like most people frequent the grocery store. The other godsend? ( Or something-send, because the "god" part of everything has come into serious question over the past several months.) I was offered a new job with a very significant raise in salary and I start said new job on Monday.

     It was actually a much harder decision that you'd think, figuring out whether to stay at my old firm or leave for the new one. I was very happy at the little firm I worked at; the people I worked with were great and I felt that I could learn new stuff at a comfortable pace. That's important to me, because I'm someone who generally picks things up quickly and I'll get bored easily if I'm not allowed to push myself to learn more, do more. When it came down to it, though, I made the choice I did because I felt that it was better for my family at this point in time and possibly down the road as well.

     Truthfully, my husband's disorder played into the weighing of the pros and cons, as it always seems to, in some way or another. We talked about what his/our future looked like, what we needed to do to get there as comfortably as possible and what would leave things in the best shape if it turns out that it's my future, not ours. (Yeah, we've had to have that convo and it sucked, but we both feel better for having it. No, I'm not getting into it right now. Maybe never.) At the end of the day, I had to leave my pretty little office and accept the new job; there was really no other logical option.

     It sucks how hesitant I am to believe that this is finally the new start that we were looking for when we left home, but anyone who isn't cautious after getting their teeth kicked in repeatedly is a damned idiot; I'm a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them. I'm not in the mood for overt negativity either, though, so we'll go with the belief that this is the start of a better future; we just had a slower start that I would've liked.