On August 28th, my wife lost her job. 24 hours later, I lost mine. This blog is a continuation of the day-by-day chronicling of our emotional journey back to employment. This is bound to be upsetting, hilarious and hopeful.
Wednesday – September 17, 2014
Erin’s body does not deal with stress well. When she was a kid, she was ill a lot, earning her the nickname Illy McIllerson (as of this very moment). Now that she’s an adult it’s not as bad, but her body is prone to waving the white flag now and again, and forcing her into bed. This is what happened this morning. So, once again, I had to take the single dad role. And, this time, the nurse role.
I’m not completely terrible at this. If there was money in being a substitute mom, I wouldn’t feel bad taking it. I managed to get the kids to all the places they needed to go, do some job applying, write, and even pick up a friend’s kid from school and set him up with some video games at our place (after he’d completed his homework, of course). That was the easy stuff. The hard stuff was helping Erin get better.
We’ve decided to elect COBRA to extend our health insurance coverage, but we haven’t actually paid the premiums yet (my foreign friends, you are so very lucky). Neither Erin nor I wanted to deal with doctors and try to explain our situation, but something had to be done because Erin only got worse as the day went on. Thankfully, the doctor was just fine with calling in a prescription without actually seeing Erin (this is how often she gets sinus infections–the drill is known).
I went to Target to pick up the medicine while Erin slept. Without COBRA, we’d have to pay full price for the prescription. Okay, whatever. Erin was tired of feeling crummy and I didn’t care how much it cost. I hate seeing her suffer. I looked it up and the most we’d pay would be $50 for her particular antibiotic. Not great, but doable.
The incredibly nice young woman at the pharmacy counter (I’ll call her Shirley because I know no one by that name–I’m not even sure it’s a real name, quite frankly) looked up our name and found another prescription for me to pick up–Cami’s anti-seizure meds. She helpfully rang it all up for me.
I didn’t say a word. Secretly, I was hoping our insurance had screwed up and we were still on the plan. It was a remote, illogical possibility, but it only took Shirley a moment to explore so I let it happen.
Shirley scanned Cami’s meds. $216. “Oh no,” she said. “That’s not right!”
“No, no,” I said. “That’s right. That’s what I expected.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, we lost our jobs a couple of weeks ago and COBRA hasn’t kicked in, so–”
“I HAVE A COUPON!”
Shirley ran away from me, over to some drawer I couldn’t see, and rifled through it. When she came back, she punched some numbers into the computer and announced that she’d gotten Cami’s meds down to $30 and Erin’s antibiotic down to $16. I barely knew how to react. The guy behind me in line said “That was awesome.” I nodded towards him as if to say “Yes, guy in line, that was awesome.”
“Thank you,” I said to Shirley. Over and over again.
“It’s my pleasure,” she said. “We get these coupons from the pharmaceutical companies to use when there’s a need. You’re one of our regulars, we gotta take care of you.”
This is going to sound weird, but if you’ve read this far I think you’re with me on this: I’m really grateful Erin is sick a lot.
* * *
We keep getting little (and big) blessings like this. A friend and former co-worker stopped by today with a gift card. He didn’t have to do that, but he did and it’s just more evidence to us that God is mindful of us. This is usually how God is mindful of all of us: through other people. I have to think, because of that, we’re not being set up for a fall here. He’s propping us up right now as signs that He is there and is guiding us towards what we need to overcome this particular trial.
Now, the reverse could be true. He could be showing up because He knows it’s only going to get worse from here on out and He doesn’t want us to be alone, but that’s a super depressing thought so I’m going with the other thing.