Monday, June 12, 2017

Having a Complicated Life

I will be posting about the CF Walk, once we have all the photos, etc! I promise it will be soon.

However, I would like to talk to you about our job/insurance situation I will be calling my health insurance tomorrow to go over all of the issues, so I don't write this for sympathy or advice. I just feel I need to share exactly what Andrew & I have to consider on a daily basis and how much CF affects every aspect of our life.

You all know (I'm sure) that my husband is at a new job now. It has been bit of a crazy life for the last 2 years.

He worked at Culvers in the past & had moved up to the position of General Manager (2 years ago) when we lived near Chicago. He LOVED that job and would of been happy there forever, but since each Culvers are individual franchises, the owners don't have to provide benefits. Andrew's employer didn't offer benefits to spouses. That obviously would not work for us, since (we knew sometime in the near-ish future we would be married). I had worked up to 38 hours in the past (to stay on my dad's benefits), but my health always suffered when I work past 20 hours. So we knew he needed a full-time job that offered both of us benefits.

I felt horrible that Andrew had to quit Culvers. But he switched to Hy-Vee in October of 2014. He had enjoyed working for HyVee in the past. I knew he missed Culvers, but soon he loved his job at HyVee. He started as a part-time worker and worked his way to full-time 2nd assistant.  In August of 2015 he was asked to move to Peoria to be Assistant Meat Manager of the new HyVee in Peoria, IL. We were okay financially, but we wanted to save money to buy a house & save for our future
children. So Andrew took a second job working at....CULVERS! again. He started off working just part-time as a crew member. After being promoted to manager fairly quickly, he started working more & more hours. He LOVED being back at Culvers! Also, he was pretty much as high as he could go at HyVee and it wasn't ideal hours/financially. So when the Culvers owner mentioned to Andrew that he needed a General Manager, Andrew applied and got the job!

 Was it really that easy? NO. Andrew had to ask the boss before he even applied if they paid Health benefits to spouses. Luckily, his Boss understand I have CF & was super helpful when I was in the hospital last year. His boss sent him the insurance plans, contact information, and we checked into each one of my meds. We looked over plans. We made sure the our plan would cover every aspect. Plus, Andrew would make enough money, he would only need to work 1 job & would have better hours! HyVee always wanted Andrew to take a lot of his vacation by March of the year.
Which made it rough when I would get sick. We can now save vacation days for when I'm admitted. Yes, that's right we save our vacation days to spend them in a hospital. So someone will be with our kids when I'm admitted. Andrew's new boss was really understanding and we are lucky.

Then once I switch we will have to fight for all my meds all over again. The last 2 times I had to fight for Collistin it took over 3 month to get it filled. Switching jobs should be something we can do easily. But it isn't, we honestly have to think about how it will impact my health each time. I feel horrible knowing how much it affects those I love. Like my dad working the same (awful) maual labor job for 35+ years just to keep my coverage. Before the ACA (ObamaCare) if my dad switched jobs, any new company could make him wait up to a year to cover him/ his dependent. Waiting even months would be very harmful to my health. So he was never able to switch jobs (until I married in 2015). He lost feeling in his hands due to his job, got glass particles in his eyes often, etc. But he never complained. I never even knew he didn't like his job until I was an adult and I saw the toll it took on him. I'm so thankful he did that for me, but we shouldn't live in a world where he had to.

So switching jobs is very stressful and scary for me. I'm so glad we took the jump (which I was terrified to do), because I know Andrew is at a job he loves and has wanted for a long time! He really LOVES being the General Manager!

But stay tuned for how insurance works out...

Picture: Andrew's last day at HyVee


  1. Cheriz, your story is a familiar one, as I'm mom to an adult daughter with CF. May I share your story with my members of Congress here in Maine? (I visit/contact them regularly to advocate for keeping the ACA's protections of CF issues) Also, have you shared your insurance story with your Reps and Senators? Keep up the good work, and congrats to your husband and you on returning to a job he loves.

    1. Of course! You can always share anything I blog about. I do share my experiences & advocate for better insurance/healthcare. Being a voice for the CF Community in our local communities is SO important. Thank you!!!!