Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Regular Old Wednesday and a miracle

So for the last 5 years (and three babies) we have been paying $491 a month for the shots that control my rheumatoid arthritis. This medicine has saved my life. Because of it I am not a cripple. Period.

But it has been a burden to pay almost $500 a month for my shots and know that I need them the rest of my life. I have exhausted every avenue in hopes that we could get the bill reduced. Like any phone number with patient assistance for copays, bugged my doctor, called the company to tell them I will do a commercial for them because I love the drug so much, but hey maybe a commercial would help pay for the dang stuff!

No luck. Frustration and anger but really just relief, because what price would you put on being able to function in your daily life? What price to be able to zipper your pants and put on your socks? To brush your teeth and put on makeup. To run up the stairs...to not cry when you wake up in the morning? Priceless, I know. So we pay it easily and don't think about the over $25,000 we have spent on this medicine and what we could have done with the money. We don't even look at the credit card bill anymore.

I stay at home with my kids. We live on one income. We have no debt. I only get a pedicure maybe twice a year (usually once). I don't shop at the mall unless a blue moon comes. We are conservative spenders and have had the miracle of buying our first home as the reward this year. That was a miracle. We are so lucky. Even if it had no air conditioning and a dirt yard. Lucky lucky us. Even if my medicine feels like a million dollars some months.

We have already had miracles surrounding my medicine, for the biggest miracle being when we were set to move to a bigger apartment (like Uhaul parked out front) the same day we learned that my meds would be so much and that we wouldn't be able to afford the new apartment, we got a phone call so that we could apartment manage. It was a direct miracle for our situation. So we stayed in boxes for two weeks until we got the job and then found someone to take our lease and were able to save money for two and half years.

It has been a miracle just being on the medicine so I could lead the life I wanted to. But every few months I would get mad when I hear how if we worked for a bigger company or had such and such insurance (we have been on three difference insurances during 5 years and all charged the same amount) my shots would only cost $20. Twenty bucks, I can't even imagine. So sometimes I would ask my doctor again and he would refer me to a number, the worst being this one where I would have to set my alarm for 5 a.m. and write on the calendar the first day of the month to wait on the phone for an hour only to miss out on the assistant program month after month. It has been discouraging and I have become jaded.

So when my Aetna insurance person where I get my monthly refills commented again with a gasp about how much my copay was (this happens every month) she gave me another number. And asked if had looked into a copay assistance program. Yes I had. Nothing has worked. "We usually don't qualify because of income" I said. "Even though I wish it was different since we live in California and I have four kids." Jenny at Aetna said, "Would you please call this number first and then place your order. Please." Of course, anything, but I warned her I've tried everything and am now jaded.

Well, less than thirty minutes later I am now enrolled in a program with Enbrel (THE medicine) where I pay $10. Ten dollars and I am bawling my eyes out. Like I had to take a nap because I cried so much and got a headache and my house is still a mess and my mother in law is coming but oh well) Ten dollars. No personal questions asked even though I was prepared to pour out my story. Just my address and if I was on government assistance.

So I had a miracle today. And I wasn't even looking for one. Ten bucks. We might actually be able to save some money. The program has been around since April so I'm trying not to focus on the $3000 I could have saved if someone would have told me sooner.

I feel so blessed. I want to kiss that Jenny from Aetna. She truly was my angel.

31 comments:

Amber said...

Brooke!!! That is THE MOST EXCITING NEWS EVER! I am SO SO happy for you. I can't even believe it. I'm crying myself. Congrats. And way to be persistent and not give up.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you blogged! Hurray - now I can keep up with your parenting skills because I need help! HA!

burtons/north said...

i am really so happy for you. miracles still do happen. isn't it wonderful to have things like that happen in our lives?

Brandi Bartee said...

Congratulations Brooke! I think Jenny from Aetna and you should do a commercial together. You would probably have a lot more people in tears.

Heather said...

How Wonderful!!!!

Becky said...

I can't tell you how happy I am. Tender mercies are real. I'll say a special thank you prayer. Totally amazing!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Lane and Hannah said...

That is so great! Happy happy wednesday!

Renee said...

I can't believe it! I am so happy for you!!!! I'm in tears too. Love you so much and so happy for you! Truly a miracle.

Than, Erica, Pacen, Camry & Claira said...

Seriously you have RA?!?!?? I HAVE RA!!!! Why have we not ever talked about this!?!?!?? I haven't had any flare ups since I started having kids until I had Claira and this year has been tough, but I haven't been to the doctor because we have no group plan and i am always denied health insurance because of a pre existing condition so I've just been toughing it out taking lots and lots of advil on really bad days. Seriously we need to chat. I can't believe that I didn't know you had RA. That is crazy. I'm so glad you have medicine that works and allows you to have kids. That's amazing. email me your number. we so have to talk now.

Than, Erica, Pacen, Camry & Claira said...

I just read that again. I'm still in shock that you have RA and I didn't even know it. I HATE waking up in the morning and not being able to bend my fingers for a few hours or not being able to open the apple juice or do camry's hair. Enbrel huh??? I've seen the commercials. very interesting.

Maria said...

YAY!!!!! You totally deserve every miracle!

Nathan and Emily said...

No one deserves it more than you Brooke! Let's go to Disneyland!

christy said...

So happy for you! You are being blessed fro your awesomeness and willingness to take the leap of faith more than once. That leap of faith always has us landing on two feet huh? We have Aetna too. I've liked them so far.

No Longer Newlyweds. said...

Awesome, Brooke. Glad your humpday was a little bit amazing!

Alicia said...

that's wonderful!

Adam Tait said...

AMAZING. So happy for you. Wahooooooo!!!!

Adam Tait said...

That was Beth

Jenn said...

That's amazing Brooke!! So so so happy for you!!

aedozier said...

That is AWESOME!!!! I would've cried like that too. Maybe you can sod your backyard now....hehehe! So excited for you!

alison said...

That is very exciting news!!! I'm so happy for you. You deserve it Brooke. Love you!

Amy said...

Brooke,

That is awesome! I love it when a miracle happens. It's so good of you to remind the rest of us that miracles to still happen. Thanks for sharing your good news!

Sara Jane said...

That is awesome Brooke! It's amazing how blessing seem to come when we least expect them. What a burden to have lifted off your shoulders.

Kira =] said...

YIPEEE!!! that is so AWESOME!!

and thank God for miracles. =]

Lindsey said...

I am still crying from reading that! Great story. So so glad.You have toughed it out for so long. At least you have amazing thrifty/spending skills now. That is really awesome! xoxo

Mrs. Anderson said...

I would still be crying - how incredible!

Amber said...

I am soo happy for you! I know what it's like to fork out big bucks for stuff that SHOULD be covered, so I know what relief you must feel. Happy for ya girl!

Carl said...

Congratulations! That's awesome news. I really like the post. It made me think about things.

So, now what are you going to do with an extra $500 a month? You could probably afford a home in Alabama for that much, vacation home in Dothan???

Tara said...

Wonderful news! I am so excited for you! Persistence pays off!

Claire said...

That's awesome! If you need someone to go get a pedicure with you to celebrate, I'm definitely in!

Erin said...

Oh, Brooke, I am so happy for this blessing in your life. You really showed long-term effort and determination. Sometimes the Lord wants to see how long we will continue down an unknown path. I really admire you. I'm so excited to come see you guys! I am so happy for you. It's a miracle.

Courtney said...

That is so awesome Brooke. I really cannot believe what a miracle that was. Congrats. I am so happy for you.