Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Card and A Confession

Since I've started working outside the home, my cardmaking has become more simplistic in nature because I just want to get some cards done to sell. Gone are the days my cards are over-the-top beautiful, which is typical when you work on design teams. You should see some of the cards I've made lately (hopefully someday you will since I spent some time this morning taking pictures of them all)...whew, are they boring. I think it's just this stage of life I'm job/no time, major stresses, know the score. I'm not finding alot of joy in it anymore...which bums me out! I hope that changes soon, because for a very long time, creating has been central to who I am.

I do have lots on my mind lately. This is a pivotal week for us as a family. At midnight on Wednesday (3/31), we lose our health insurance, and it makes me sick to think about it. We have been trying to find coverage elsewhere, but so far, no luck. One of the policies we were looking at denied the boys coverage this week, and I am anticipating they will be denying Doug and I as well soon. You see, we all have existing conditions, and insurance companies don't want to take you on with existing conditions. It made me so sad to read the letter telling us the boys were being denied coverage this week. I've never shared this before on my blog, but both my boys have ADHD. And since they take medication to help them in school, the insurance companies don't want anything to do with them. I know there is a cesspool of public opinion on medicating your children for ADHD. But I could careless. It actually was one of the best decision we ever made for our boys, because it has allowed them to learn and succeed in school just like any other kid. We use it responsibly, and they have reaped the rewards. We have never allowed them to use their ADHD as an excuse for not achieving their dreams. To think that now it's possible my boys won't be able to take medication to help them just pisses me off. Sure, we can pay out-of-pocket for the meds, but have any of you priced ADHD medication lately? It's upwards of $500 for a 30 day supply. And they both take it. So we are left with the decision to A.) go into serious debt to buy the meds ourselves, or B.) stop giving it to them. I want to cry my eyes out when I think we might be forced to do the latter.

For now, we've got a 90 day supply of medication left for the boys. That's 3 months. We are hoping and praying Doug's part-time job turns into full time within these upcoming three months. Otherwise, I don't know what we'll do. We plan on buying some student insurance through the school to cover them should anything happen to them in sports, but that won't solve our meds issue. So if I'm absent from my blog here and there over the next few months, you'll know why. I'm either too bummed out to blog, or I'll be out searching for a new full time job to get my family medical insurance. It's not something I want to do, but I feel at this juncture I have no choice.

Sorry to have dumped all this depressing news on you, but I just felt the need to get it off my chest. I've been holding it in so long it hurts. Your continued prayers would be greatly appreciated.



  1. AMy: I can totally sympathize with where you are in your life right now. My husband and daughter both have a rare genetic disease. (Think: orphan drug medication) Health insurance is always a nightmare and we too have had to look for new insurance options this spring. I will be praying that God opens the door you need for your insurance and job situations.

  2. Oh, Amy! {{{{{{{{Amy}}}}}}}}

    My heart hurts for you over this. This absolutely ROTS. I don't care what public opinion is on the meds for ADHD, either. I only know that I would do whatever it takes to keep them healthy and safe. Please know I will be thinking of you and your family and wishing you a positive outcome. Mondo hugs from across the miles, Julie

  3. What a terrible position to be put in. I'll be thinking of you and hoping that you find a solution.

  4. I'm praying for you right now and praying for His peace to surround you. I can understand the fear...the anxiety over it and I'm praying that you'll just feel His strength and peace through this.

  5. I can relate with the going back to work and having the creativity suffering -- I too have had to join the work force within the past year and have seen the results! I will be praying for your situation, this doesn't help, on top of everything else. And your sharing it with us just helps us know how to pray more specifically! So thanks!!
    P.S. I love your cards, now and before work!

  6. ohhh Amy! I'm so sorry you're faced with yet another extremely difficult situation. When my husband was denied medical insurance because he is a cancer survivor, a friend told me that the state (Texas in our case) has a special insurance pool for those who are denied medical insurance through other traditional ways. I don't know if Minnesota has such a thing, but it may be worth looking into. Regardless, your situation just confirms my opinion about insurance companies and I'm sorry you're having to experience this.

  7. I am so sorry that you are going through this! As an educator, I want you to know that making the decision for your boys was a personal one, that can't be evaluated by anyone except you and your family who lived with the difficulties. If you saw success with medication, then you made the right decision!!!! I get so frustrated with parents in denial of helping their children by saying "I'm not going to medicate" to which I translate as "I don't mind seeing my kid you deal with it teacher." God be with you as you go face these BIG challenges!

  8. You are definitely in my prayers Amy. I got cuaght in lay-off back in '93. I took a $30K/year salary cut just to stay off Unemployment but my biggest concern was how to buy my brain tumor meds. I ended up purchasing the EAXCT same medication in Mexico for pennies on the dollar. I bought 6-months worth of meds at a time, and kept looking for a better job the whole time. It worked! I was hired by a large aerospace contractor who to this day fully covers my brain tumor meds and now my diabetes meds too. Hang in there and persevere. On my end, I'll keep praying for you.

  9. Dear sweet Amy, my heart hurts for you and everything you and your family has dealt with already and the new trials you are facing now. Poopoo on the negative opinions out there about ADHD meds. For kids who truly need them, those medications can be life-changing. I would hate to see your boys lose out on those benefits! I'm praying that the Lord provides. Sending big hugs your way!

    Now, about the card - it's gorgeous! It doesn't look in the least bit simplistic or boring!! I hope the joy of creating returns soon, Amy!

  10. I am so srry Amy, I to have achid that is adhd, and he takes medicine for it everyday. He is also Autistic but hihg functioning. here is an option Does your state have a Medicaid program? My son is on medicaid and pays for all his medicine as I have no insurance due to preexisting issues. By the way I love your cards. Susan

  11. Another thought...send a copy of your post to your State and Federal congressman and senator, send it to the drug companies that manufacturer the medicines your boys are on, and send a copy to Wal-Mart 's headquarters (if you have a Wal-Mart in your area). You've written a cogent message here, now send it to the folks that can help you like the aforementioned. Find out if you are eligible for Medicaid. Leave no stone unturned. And if you know anyone in the U.S. living near the Mexican border, perhaps they can help you obtain the same meds across the border.

  12. Amy...I, for one, needed to read your post today. You see, I don't believe in coincidence. I believe that God has a purpose for each of us AND all we do. I have been 'sitting on the fence' about putting my son on ADHD meds. I've tried changing our diet, cutting out dyes and additives...all to no avail. My appt. with the Dr. is this Tuesday. Because of your post, I feel much more at ease and I feel that I AM making the right decision for my child. Believe it or not, you are an answer to my prayers and God will reward you for it. Trust in Him! I will pray that the Lord answer your prayers as well (He will in His time). Thank you and God bless, Leslee

  13. Amy - sorry to hear you are suffering again. Here we have the NHS which gets a lot of stick but at least we can get treatment. I am not sure though your kids would get the drugs you describe - that sort of thing is very hit and miss. Maybe you could see if there is anything else that would help them at all that was less expensive. Take care and we will all be praying for you all.

  14. So very sorry to hear of your insurance woes. So many folks are facing what you are facing these days and I think it is deplorable! No one should ever have to make these kinds of decisions! Hang in there! Hugs and prayers coming your way. ~chris

  15. ((((((HUGS!!))))) I am so sorry you are going through totally SUCKS!!! My son also has ADHD and takes meds. It has also helped him succeed in school. Even he sees a difference when he is on his meds. Hang in there my friend......: ) Sending my thoughts and prayers your way!

  16. Amy,

    I wonder... I've heard Walmart advertise that they sell many commonly used prescriptions for $4 for a 30 day supply. Have you looked into that? I suppose you have, but just in case... Also, I know NOTHING about ADHD beyond what it stands for so this is not meant to be judgemental just, again, wondering... Does anyone know if the condition improves with age? I mean, is there any chance that your boys might have "outgrown" it?

    I will be praying for your family.


  17. This is a fabulous card! I will pray for you guys...we have been there. You might check and see if the manufacturer has a drug program...we used to get 90 day supplies for $5 from Phizer...worth a shot! This is what we used:

    Good luck, girl! It will all work out.

    For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future.

  18. I really love this card, Amy. It is so "you." Bright, cheery and inviting. Lovely.
    I was just telling a good friend of mine that my favorite sketches these days are those that are clean, simple, and easy to make. I can do those! The other cards are pretty, but not practical for me or my customers. :)

    You are in my prayers, Amy. You and all of your men. Let us know how this situation goes, ok?

    bless you all,

  19. Oh, Amy - first off... this card IS over-the-top beautiful! It's beautiful colors and whimsical feel totally drew me in. Next... HUGE hugs!!! I'll be praying that God provides and that your boys will be able to continue with their meds!

  20. Try Mn MA or Mn Health. The cost is based on your family's income and the number of dependants in the home. Check on the Shriner Hospital. I don't know if your son's qualify for help through them or not.
    My nephews response when first taking meds for ADHD was, "Thank you Mom. I can finally think." Currently, he is doing well in college.
    Things will improve, Amy.

  21. My heart aches for you. THere is nothing I can do though except pray and prayer works. God Bless

  22. Hi Amy,

    I just happened onto your blog today. I barely have time to surf, but do enjoy reading your blog!

    I have ADD, so I know exactly what you and your family is going through. Once I was put on meds, it made a world of difference! After I have all of my kids, I hope to go back on it, as I sometimes feel off track, and I know the meds would help tremendously. My heart goes out to you with your financial and insurance situation. Times like these really suck! Do you have CHIP in your state? My friend who is on unemployment has her daughters on CHIP, so that they have medical coverage. I don't know if that's just a PA thing, or if it's nationwide. But I would look into something like that, to at least get your kids on some sort of coverage. And I don't think it costs a whole lot of money either.

    Hugs to you and your family, and I'm sure things will turn around for you guys.
    And hugs to your boys for doing so well in school on their meds!!! Great decision on your part!!!! I applaud your parenting!!! :D
    Erin Smetak

  23. Dear Amy - First, BIG HUG to you. Life is difficult right now. I have always worked full-time, so I know it can be done and it's not a bad thing at all. I wish you luck on finding something full-time that has benefits, including insurance. Meds are nothing to be taken lightly. They are expensive, no matter how you look at it. Could it be because they pay such high honorariums to MDs who lecture for them? Hmmm... Keep your chin up. You have lots of us praying for you. Keep the faith.

  24. My heart is breaking for you and your family. I am SO terribly sorry to hear the pain and the depth of your frustrations. I wish I could help, but the one thing I know I can do is just continue to pray. I am sending you a gigantic hug and a listening ear, if you need one!! (((((((HUGS))))))))

  25. Oh Amy! I am sooooo sorry to hear what you are going through. The only comment other than {{{{hugs}}}} that I will make is that it AMAZES me that we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and we don't make sure that our people have healthcare. It sickens me to no end. Especially now, when the economy is tanking and people are losing their jobs -- which means their healthcare.
    OK, soapbox away.

    More {{{Hugs}}}}} for you and your family.
    I was in a similar situation once and it was, of course, when I got sick. I is not an easy place to be.
    Please know that my thoughts are with you as you go through this difficult time. Do you not have health insurance available through your new job?

    Hang in there.

  26. oh, amy! what i love about you is that you are transparent, and i'm glad you let go of this hurt your heart has been holding so that we can bear this burden with you.

    i agree that you should check into medicaid for the boys. here's another suggestion: apply at starbucks for work! for 22 hours/week, you can get full health benefits for your entire family, including dental and vision. it's the main reason why i make the java, girl!

    i don't know if starbucks is hiring in your area, but go in and apply in person, and ask for the manager's business card so that you can follow up. be sure to apply at corporate stores, though, not those in target, barnes & noble, etc. those are license partners and don't provide the same benefits.

    you will need to be persistent and apply at multiple stores in your area. partners come and go regularly for a variety of reasons, so give that option some thought.

    i have been struggling for months with loneliness and depression, so i know how hard it is to be positive sometimes. our only hope is in the Lord, even though some days that's a hard thing to grasp. take heart and wait for the Lord.

  27. Amy, I think that this card is over-the-top beautiful just the way it is! I love me a fancy and overdone card, but tend to make MORE things that are more fun and simple lately.

    As for the insurance, that stinks, rots, sucks, whatever you want to say. :( Ask your boy's doc to look into the drug company's program for reduced-rate (read: you pay little to nothing for the meds they need!) prescription meds. The other thing? CHIP. Email me. . . in my other life, I helped people with insurance and medical bills. :)

  28. Hi Amy!

    First I wanted you to know that you don't need to explain the cahnge in your cards, because they are all still fabulous. I follow your blog regulary because of the inspirational cards you make!

    Secondly as a mother of a child with ADHD on meds, I can totally empathize with you on your dilemma regarding obtaining medications for your sons. I will be praying that your insurance situation will work out.

    I remember how difficult it was for me to decide to start my son on meds, but I am sure it would be even harder to have to decide to stop medicating him. The meds really have made a difference for him with his school work. I hope you won't be faced with that decision but trust that God will provide a way for things to work out!

    Thanks for sharing not only your beautiful art with us, but also for sharing yourself with us!

    God Bless you and your family during this difficult time!

  29. {{{{{Amy}}}}}} I am glad that you shared this with us, it isn't good to keep everything all bottled up inside of you. I am so sorry to hear about the insurance, I just pray and hope that something comes through for you and your family soon. You are in my thoughts each day and my heart is aching for you. I will most definitely keep you in my prayers.

  30. First - I LOVE the card!

    Second - my son has also ADHD. I am lucky enough that his medicine is only $4+ with the insurance but would only be $10+ without it. Like you - people say I shouldn't medicate him, but like you - I use it responsibly for learning only. Many times I do not give it to him on the weekends.

    Good luck to you and thoughts are with you. I wish there was more that could be done.

  31. Amy - big {{{{hugs}}}} to you as I read your post today. I'm a long time reader but have never left a comment before today. I may be in the same boat as you in a few months and also know that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach about possibly loosing our health coverage. I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers and hope everything works out quickly. Keep smiling and keep creating - you have an amazing talent! Doris :)

  32. Oh Amy, I can't imagine making that decision! Hang in there and let's all pray together that something comes your way soon. Think of it this way - if you have a 90 day supply, your kids will make it to summer and then -- maybe they can take a break off the meds during summer vacation. That buys you time before fall and school starting again. I know how tough it must be. My son is on a low dose of ADHD medication and I nearly fainted when the pharmacist told me the price. But, I am with you - it works! I'll pray for you girlie. Keep holding your head high. Something will work out! I just know it will! HUGS!

  33. I can feel your pain on cost of meds - mine rune about 1500 per month - and that is with insurance - I would not know what I would do if I did not have it. but - try going to the manufacturer of the drug(s) - they usually have assistance programs that may pay all or most of the cost - It cannot hurt to at least look into it - and good luck and I will pray your husband's job goes full time.


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