Without putting too much of our situation out there, I will say that my husband had an emergency hospitalization on the day of his check-in at our new duty station this summer. Following that hospitalization was a series of extensive medical procedures. Those procedures led up to a major abdominal surgery last month.
As the bills for the not one, but two surgeons have started rolling in, I have to take a moment to apologize to the Coast Guard for every time I've ever pitched a temper tantrum as a result of a delayed deployment, or a duty schedule that didn't agree with my holiday plans, or a "c" school that interferes with a family vacation, etc, etc. It has all been worth it. I don't think I can fully express the feeling of knowing that we (and other Coast Guard families) have been able to focus on the illness and the treatment and not have to worry about the financial issues.
After looking at these medical bills, I was shocked to see that if we had to pay out of pocket for this care, these bills actually equal more than my husband's annual income. I can truly see how families can lose everything when the head of the household all of a sudden gets ill. Not only do we have the blessing of not being stressed about the bills that are climbing daily (we have another appointment to follow up with the surgeon tomorrow). We have the additional blessing of still pulling in a paycheck while my husband is recovering. Not only have we been seeing our wonderful twice-monthly direct deposits that our family needs since my husband at this time is our sole source of income, but we've been repeatedly contacted by various supervisors checking in on us. During times like these when I read about job layoffs and downsizing, I can't help but wonder what kinds of stressors our family would have right now if we didn't have the job stability that the Coast Guard provides for us. Again, I am so thankful.
So let me say a hearty thank you to our Coast Guard family for taking care of us in our time of need.