My story began three years ago when I switched to Fidelis as my insurance carrier; it is a well-known insurance company popular in Rockland County and Orange County. Fidelis is known for its superb coverage and wide array of in-network doctors. But there is one caveat—members must pay their premiums on time or suffer the consequences. Paying even one day after the deadline can result in coverage being denied retroactively.
I am the young mother of five children, including a set of very active two-year-old twins, and I work part time in an accounting firm, with increased hours during tax season. All of that would be enough to keep me on the move all day long, but I am also the primary caretaker for my mother, who has vascular dementia, a condition in which reduced blood flow to the brain damages or even kills brain cells.
And if that’s not enough, for 14 long years, I have suffered from a serious form of Crohn’s disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Until a few years ago, whenever the disease flared up, I had to be hospitalized to receive blood transfusions.
So you see, my plate is especially full. From the moment I open my eyes in the morning until I drop into bed at night, I have scarcely a moment to breathe.
I mention all of this as background to the events of this past summer. I was in such a state then that I was unable to deal with anything but the most pressing emergencies. Forget about going away for a few days or even just relaxing on a beach chair for the weekend. When I wasn’t busy juggling my mother’s complex needs, accompanying her to the hospital and remaining at her side until she was discharged, I was trying to put in my hours at work, entertain my active twins, and keep my household running.
I also tried to cook, bake and freeze meals for the busy Yom Tov season ahead. I was doing the work of three or four people, and I was slowly falling apart. Though my husband and teenage daughter did their best to pitch in, it was much more than I could handle.