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When the Stress of Our Finances Makes Our Illnesses Worse

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Being sick isn’t fun, but it can hurt worse financially. When my daughter was born, we had enough money (or so we thought) for her delivery. But when there were complications, things got a little more expensive.

When she didn’t take to nursing and was allergic to all over-the-counter formula, we had to purchase the most expensive formula on the market, which wasn’t covered by insurance. And we still had tons of visits with doctors, specialists and more.

The amount we paid out of pocket kept rising, and we just weren’t prepared for it. I know there are many financial planners who would say we should have known better. But when we had our daughter, we were paying off our debts and staying on budget. This situation set us back, and, at the same time, we didn’t know we qualified for any financial assistance. Since we didn’t qualify for the state’s assistance, we had no idea there were more options with the hospital and clinic. Things weren’t looking good, but then we got a couple of breaks and finally we could see the light.

Then I got sick, and my husband had to go by ambulance to the ER twice. We just weren’t prepared for it all.

The stress of our finances makes our illness worse. My husband blood sugar goes up when he’s stressed. For me, I get more pain, which just keeps me in bed longer.

Honestly, there have been days when we didn’t even know if we would have enough money for gas or groceries. But thankfully, we have had friends and family who have helped us. We couldn’t have done it without them.

For a long time, we were said nothing because we were embarrassed. We talked to financial counselors, and many of them said we weren’t that bad, which is understandable compared to other people. But we weren’t moving forward or getting better. I couldn’t forgive myself. I still blame myself for the mistakes and using credit cards to pay medical bills and groceries for all of the special allergies.

I honestly don’t feel like I deserve any help from anyone. I feel like I should be the one giving help because compared to most people of the world I am in much better shape. I’m grateful for the blessings we have. Still, in so many ways, I want less. I need less, but getting healthy is still so expensive. Why do I have to explain myself to everyone about why we made certain choices? Why can’t I just be OK with the fact the past is the past, and we made mistakes and are trying to be better.

It isn’t just an easy fix. I can’t just get a job and go back to work to solve the problem. I have to think of my health and our daughter, too. I know people around us are problem solvers and want to help us out. All I want is someone to forgive me for the mistakes and still love us no matter if we forget to send a letter or call.

I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what we did financially, physically and emotionally. So if our mistakes can help others not do what we did, then it’s all worth it. So many of us hide behind the difficulty because we were afraid. But all it did was get us deeper in debt and pain. We never knew how large of a family and friends we had until we opened up and shared our story.

Being honest has been the best decision for us. I pray that our story can help someone today!

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Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: December 21, 2016
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