When I first saw this picture I didn’t understand. I looked more closely and then I saw the bridge. “Uh oh. That’s not going to be pretty.”
Then, I thought about me. I was cruising along, enjoying life, enjoying a life with a lower BP and much less stress and excited about new things, new directions and new adventures. I had recently told someone, “I feel more alive than I have in years.” I guess I didn’t know what was on the “truck” ahead of me while I enjoyed having the top down.
I feel pretty good. The strange thing is that I am getting cramps that keep me from sleep. These aren’t the normal calf-lock type of cramps. Those are bad enough. Take those and multiply them by 10. They literally make my toes curl under and my hands look like claws. Last night I snapped a picture. Ready? It’s ugly!
It doesn’t look much like a foot. It doesn’t feel like a foot either.
Good News and Bad News
Good news is that my chest xray shows the fluid in my lung is “clearing.” Also, my latest blood test showed that my INR (clotting) number went down a little which is a good thing. It did show my ALT at 65 and normal is 15-30 which is not good news. It also showed my platelet level at 90 and normal is 150-400. That’s not a good thing either. So … good news and bad news that I don’t understand much about. I’ve got two appointments next week that will maybe tell me more.
The Bill-collecting Phone Calls
I do know that the phone calls have started with Florida Hospital wanting $14,259 dollars and MMC wanting money plus doctors, prescriptions … ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching. I’m thankful for the insurance policy we took out when I couldn’t get Cobra or an extension on my last policy. That big deductible and the 60/40 thing for drugs has us staring at a pile of bills. It’s around 20 grand. I dug up the old coffee can and we’re about $19,999.52 short. I’m amazed that our insurance has already kicked in around another 20K.
I talked to my new friend Barbara at Florida Hospital today and they’re willing to take $4,259 off my bill if we pay $10,000 by June 27. That’s nice. Darn coffee can.
Ideas I’ve come up with to help
I’ve been trying to think of how to pay my bills before our credit rating is destroyed.
1) Thanks to a blog subscriber’s lead, I discovered ChipIn where people can contribute directly. http://ScottLinscott.ChipIn.com is where you can give securely online now. We are in the process of registering with NTA (http://www.ntafund.org/) for the liver transplant fundraising events and efforts but that will take a while and won’t apply to these initial treatments and expenses.
2) I don’t like the idea of begging for money. It makes me very uncomfortable. So, I am committed to working as much as I can to help. My web design business is getting going and I do have photography jobs coming up. If I can help you by working for you to provide your family portraits, senior pictures or design a website for your business, please let me know. Referrals are great too. My web design site is at http://www.linscottphoto.com/Marketing and my photography is on display at Linscott Photo.
3) I am offering one of my photos of Screw Auger Falls in a set of blank cards you can use to encourage others, write thank you notes or for notes. They are 5×7 and produced by my pro lab. The back side notes that cards have been purchased to support me as I wait for transplant. The photo is striking. They are available in sets of 25 for $39.00 (1.56 per card and envelope) and come in boutique packaging. They make great gifts too.
Postage will cost $4.95 per package sent by priority mail unless multiple boxes are purchased and can be boxed together. Or, if you want to pick them up, mail me a check and there will be no postage cost.
I have no idea how the Lord is planning to provide. I’m praying that this doesn’t wreck us financially and I’m praying for peace and rest in the midst of the stress of daily phone calls. I’m praying for photo work and web design work. I’d love to just go get a job but right now, these muscle cramps and the fatigue are keeping me from being reliable.
I’ve been told that some places require $50K down before proceeding with the transplant process. Holy cow.
I’d love to be able to send Barbara $10,000 by June 27 so they will forgive the remaining $4259. It’s overwhelming.
So many people have helped us keep food on the table. We are very, very blessed and feel so loved. It’s all totally humbling.
I’d rather not follow this truck anymore but what choice do I have? I’m tempted to put the top up and just go into hiding. But, really, how would that help anything?
Rom 12:8 if it (his gift) is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (NIV)
Bob sends me a “VFD” (verse for the day) every morning and I thought of you this morning when I read HEB 4:16.
I’m doing a little research into local medical billing advocates to see if there’s someone who might be able to work with you over the long term to negotiate lower bills (not just knocking $XX dollars off if you turn over your savings account in one week). Someone who can fight charges for $90 urine tests, $12 advils, $30 band-aids and that sort of thing. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Check out that site as well. Don’t know if it applies to you as well, but it might be worth a call?
I posted your ChipIn link on my FB page and also a separate link for this blog posting on my FB page. Have no idea if it will help but it’s out there. My prayers are with you. Please keep me in your prayers as well. My battle is pretty rough too. I’m here for you!