The Quicksand Story

Our story through the quicksand of our own financial crisis

Archive for the tag “scars”

Health Insurance??

We had a bit of a scare last week.  My 10 year old son got bitten by a bug and it got infected.  It is bothering him but he waits a week to tell me.  It is high on the back of his leg and he is embarrassed, I can understand.  BUT…… we ended up with an issue.  By the time I saw it, it was a yucky blob of infection so I took him to the doctor.  I am thankful that we have health insurance but I know many families out there do not.

We got him on antibiotics because the the infection was a little too aggressive and the following day we ended up with 1/4 inch bleeding hole where the bug bite had been the day before.  It is almost gone now a week later but we found out over the weekend that it was a MRSA infection.  MRSA is an antibiotic resistant strain of staph.  It can be really bad and scary.  I have known people to be seriously disfigured from MRSA infections.

After this experience I began to think about what I would have done without health insurance.  How many times do kids get bumps and scrapes where we as parents shrug it off as just a kid thing?  We are lucky to have health insurance, but more so we are lucky to budget $500 per child for emergencies.  When we lived without health insurance, I used to live in fear that something would happen.  I relate to the tons of Americans out there who do not have it.  If you are one of the people out there who do not have it I would recommend you set aside approx. $500 per child for emergencies.  Stash it in your house if you need to.  Start small, but grow it, because how valuable is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can afford to take your child to the doctor if you need to.

I do not want to think about what could have happened if we did not get treatment for my son when we did.

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Choices and Changes

When our choices impact our family’s future we are forced to look within ourselves and find a way out of our own mess. Society doesn’t let upward mobility happen easily. I had fallen from millionaire to pauper. Try renting a house when you have a bankruptcy, foreclosures, repossessions, tax liens and evictions on your credit report. The reality is that it doesn’t matter if you can pay the rent today and tomorrow. You are the number not a person and that culture needs to change.Bad things happen to good people and good people make bad choices.

My mistake during the years of financial meltdown was that I didn’t change fast enough. I made poor financial decisions because I couldn’t or didn’t want to see we were out of money. In 2002 Karen and I spent a month on vacation to the tune of $20,000. When we returned we had trouble paying the bill and it was then that I should have recognized something was different. I’m not sure it was denial at first, but rather the inability to recognize what was changing.

If I had recognized change I would have made different decisions for my family. We would never have sold the house in Milford or bought and leased new cars. I spend a lot of time thinking about how if I had buckled down at that time how different our lives would be today. There were a lot of opportunities that I couldn’t see while we were in the middle of it. I chose not to see opportunity to change and instead unwittingly chose to live in denial.

Love & Marriage

Karen and I met at the University of Bridgeport pool. (Thank goodness I wasn’t wearing a Speedo!)  I noticed her eyes first, the almond shape and the peculiar color. She was (and is) strong and self-confident.  We were there certifying lifeguards and she was re-certifying.  Honestly she knew more about lifeguarding than me and my certification partner put together, but the long and the short was she needed her certification.

The second thing I noticed was the scar peeking out of her bathing suit. I wondered to myself how she got such a scar. Anyway she was pretty impressive. There was this old guy who was trying to re-certify, he had heart and was in pretty good shape but just not quite at the level physically that all the others were in the class.  My partner assigned Karen to work one-on-one with him.  So we deputized Karen and she was working one-on-one with this guy.

Training for rescuing people who are in trouble in the water is a hands-on task. Karen’s ‘student’ was all over her and she handled it gracefully. Well as gracefully as a girl in her late 20’s can handle it when a guy in his 70’s is feeling her up!  What we didn’t know at the time was that he had tried to get her fired because she was eating in the pool area on an 8 hour shift.  It was one of the things that attracted me to Karen.

She is a very strong woman. Sometimes too strong.

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