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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Why I haven't posted in so long

Not long after I started the Ryokan, I began having a lot of health problems. They kept treating me for asthma, but I knew it wasn't that. Finally, last July 11th, I had my husband take me to the emergency room in a hospital in western Maine. They performed an emergency tracheostomy, and transferred me to Portland by ambulance. I was in the hospital all summer and fall, being treated for cancer. I'm still not out of the woods yet. I need a biopsy and some other things, and have been waiting for an opening to get it done for about a month now. I don't have any of my craft supplies at home now, so can't work on the dollhouse. Keeping my fingers crossed that things will get straightened out soon. Health care is in such a mess.

We never qualified for Obama care, and don't qualify more Maine care either, but the IRS thought it was fine to charge us thousands of dollars because we couldn't afford health care. I had to give up a few months worth of doctor's appointments last spring, just to pay the IRS the fines. My husband got laid off last summer, because he missed too much work, and still can't get a job, because he can't be there. Now, with almost a million dollars in hospital bills, we are going to have to choose between paying the IRS fines for no insurance in the spring, or paying hospital bills. With only $1,700 per month social security coming in, it will take months to get enough money to pay the IRS. I am terribly bitter about that, and can't stop myself from posting it here, because I am so sick of people trying to tell me that we have affordable healthcare in this country. Luckily, I turned 65 in December, so now I can get medicare. I have part B, but the bills are still adding up. Anyway, sorry for the rant about the lack of health care for those of us who were living paycheck to paycheck, but yes, it makes me mad. It also makes me mad that it wasn't considered a life changing event for me to be treated with cancer, and have to stay in a hospital four hours from my home, and having to use a feeding tube to eat, all the while my husband also was laid off and we were left with nothing but social security, and almost a million dollars in hospital bills. Nope, the government says that's not life changing, we still didn't deserve Obama Care.

Yeah, we will survive, (or at least my husband will), but it still sux.


  1. I am shocked and so very sorry at the tremendously difficult times you have had to go through and are still going through. What a tragic situation for you and your husband. I have missed your dollhouse posts and never thought this was why you were unable to work on your beloved project. Feel free to vent and rage against the injustice of your situation! We have never met but I am thinking of you and your husband and praying for your health to return so your hands can be busy again at your beautiful craft. Xo Elizabeth

  2. Thanks so much Elizabeth. It always seemed almost inevitable that sooner of later at least one of us would get it. His mother and father, and my father and several aunts died of it, and there is so much of it on the island where I live. (It always made me nervous to live on an island made of a pile of granite, because of the radium). I'm luckier than a close friend of mine, she was diagnosed on the same day as I was, and gone in less than a month, and she was only in her 50's. At least, so far, I have made it to 65.

  3. Kathi it is so good just to hear from you, I have thought about you so often and hoped the reasons you were away so long were good ones. I am so sad that you have gone through such a tremendously horrible illness, and the health care and financial issues are so disheartening. We think if we work hard and do the right things in life that we will be okay in the years when we need to begin drawing on that. I feel outraged for you, and am sending prayers for healing, better medical care and financial relief.
    I hope you are able to find the strength to continue making your beautiful cards. That may be a way that you can generate donations for your expenses. I don't know how Go Fund Me or Patron work, but I am sure there is something like that out there where folks can be made aware and help. I know you used to lose your wifi in the winters, so let me know if there is anything I can do to help you research.
    Giant hugs from the other coast.

  4. Thank you so much Jodi. Yeah, that's what makes me so mad about the whole thing. We did everything right our whole lives. Worked, paid taxes paid for our child's education, took care of our elderly parents, etc, and now this. It's not just us, it's so many other people who work hard and live paycheck to paycheck, who are in the same boat.
    I did a go fund me, and got about $300, which helped with my husband traveling back and forth, and having to spend the night away from home, but now we owe so much money that go fund me or anything else is hopeless. I just wish the government wouldn't punish us because we can't afford insurance. Private insurance would actually have been less expensive for us than Obama Care, and who can afford that??? I am dreading April, when I will have to figure out how to pay the IRS, so they can take the money that we should be able to use to help pay the hospital bills.
    I don't even want to talk about what happened to most of my craft supplies while I was in the hospital, that's another long story, but right now, I am knitting Scandinavian style mittens, using wool from small New England and New Brunswick companies. Hopefully, I will be able to get a good price for those!

  5. Oh Kathi! I hope you are still on line and can read this message. I apologise for not having checked in for so long but have been dealing with some issues myself - nothing as heart wrenching as yours. I am so sorry to hear about your illness. And even more frustrating that a decent health care system is still unavailble to people who work and contribute all their lives to society only to be punished later. I do not know how ACA works and have heard so many different stories - good and bad. All I know is that where I live health care for me worked and yes, it is a social welfare healthcare system. But I am still walking living and working thanks to it. We pay massive taxes in each of our pay checks to cover it but at least if something catastrophic happens like your illness we are covered. I so hope you find a solution and that April did not break you. Again, I apologise for not checking in sooner.