Despite all the hardship I am so thankful for many things. If I was going to have this retched disease, at least all the other puzzle pieces were in place:
I literally live down the street from UCSF – I think it’s about 2 miles – which is one of the top transplant hospitals in the nation. Some people fly from all over the country and the world to come to UCSF for their transplant. After a transplant for the next 8 weeks there are tons of hospital visits and follow ups and labs to go to. People have to rent a place temporarily if they live far away. I can’t imagine having to recover in a rented place or someone else’s house. Recovery is hard enough; not being home to recover adds insult to injury.
I have great health insurance through my work. My insurance approved everything without any delays. My co-pay is 10% for nearly everything and the maximum I would pay out of pocket per calendar year is $8,000 dollars plus the $250 deductible. $8,250 for everything I’ve been through is such a bargain compared to what was actually billed by the hospital. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like had I not had insurance or one with poor coverage.
My family has been fantastic. My sister took an unpaid family leave from work to be my primary care giver for the first phase of my recovery, my parents spent three weeks with me at the hospital and will be coming back regularly to visit. All my cousins who live on the east coast and 2 of my aunts flew out to be with me. All the other relatives who couldn’t make it have been calling religiously checking in and lending their support.
My job and co-workers have been so super supportive and kind and giving and self-less getting me a disability parking permit for work, offering rides, getting muni passes for my family members, bringing food, keeping me company at the hospital, sending cards, notes, and gifts. They also had a prayer service for me at work that my family attended.
The school I used to teach at has also been so supportive and kind and giving. Among many other things, they pooled resources and bought my sister and I a meal program. You go online to their website and you order meals that you want off their menu. They deliver it to your door and all you need to do is heat it up and throw away the container. Talk about convenient.
And of course my friends have really stood by me through all of it. I’ve been living in San Francisco since I was 17 so my friends are like my family. I can always rely on them for anything. You don’t realize just how great of a support system you have until you need it.
Oh, and if you’re going to go into cardiac arrest, the intensive cardiac care unit is the place to be. What if I had gone into arrest on Muni? Scary.