Hello everyone.  Thought I’d write an update.  For those of you who don’t already know, I was re-admitted to the hospital on May 7th.  Physically I’m doing okay.  They upped my o2 to the high flow, and now it’s on 8 liters.  At rest my saturation is in the high 90s and my heart rate has come down from the extra oxygen.  My echo-cardiogram came out fine, which is great news.  The last thing I need is for the other organ to go bunk.

Right now they’re in the process of listing me for yet another pair of lungs, but we’ve been coming across all kinds of hurdles.  My lifetime maximum on my health insurance is pretty much up, so there isn’t enough to pay for another transplant and post-recovery.  The next step was to contact my HR to switch my coverage to an HMO (Kaiser) because they have no lifetime maximums.  Unfortunately we were told that open enrollment isn’t until January and my condition is not a ‘qualifying event’ to swtich early.  So that leads me to Medi-Cal.

Carol spent the morning there and found out that I do not qualify because my assets are over $2,000.  In order to be approved I need to liquidate all my savings and retirement funds and spend them on living expenses.  I can liquidate my 403b from the school district and my STRS retirement account from the state – all with penalties and taxes of course – but the catch is that I can’t liquidate my retirement from my current job unless I quit.

My work and my boss has been terrific in all this.  She’s following up with HR to make sure that there really isn’t away to switch to Kaiser before January.  She said it depends on if the denial is following policy or law – smart lady!  If I really can’t switch, I’ll have to quit my job and get on Medi-Cal to pay for the re-transplant and recovery.  If they’re able to switch me I could stay in SF and go back to work once I’m recovered, but I gotta say I’m seriously considering moving to southern California to be with my family.  If my reality is being a patient who can potentially get really sick at any time, I can’t keep doing it alone.

Who would have ever imagined me saying out loud that I would ever consider leaving SF?

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