Monday, March 1, 2010

How To Keep A Husband Alive On A Tight Budget With No Health Care

Finally, a day off. I'm exhausted, my legs are killing me, and I have a house full of work to catch up on. I just want to pause today and stop running because I'm so tired I'm at at the breaking point. Since I'm so worn I can't dream up anything new and exciting to talk about so I will venture into the past to tell you how to find health care of sorts when you can't afford it.

My husband has asthma that requires medical care on occasion. He has learned a lot about asthma from doctors and reading on his own. He knows how his body feels and what affects his breathing. He has learned which medications help the most and what irritants to avoid. He used to see a doctor more often at least once or twice a year and has always paid cash for these visits.

Medication is costly. Everyone knows this. Not all Americans can afford needed medication and many do without. This is a terrible fact in our country that some do not realize. Each time my husband went to the doctor the visits became further apart because we had to save up enough cash for the office visit and some medication. The costs rose every time. Emergency inhalers which use to cost $25 now cost at least $65. Since he hasn't seen the doctor in over three years they are probably even higher now. He was given the purple disc of Advair one year as a sample along with a prescription. We never filled the prescription because we could not afford the $300 price tag.

Several years ago a dear friend helped us out. She had a family member who vacationed in Mexico each year. She bought her own medications across the border and said she would pick up some extras for us if we told her what we needed and sent some money in time. It was amazing what she came back with. We received several emergency inhalers for seven dollars each. Those purple discs were only thirty six dollars there so we bought some for the first time. The medications were the exact same thing we had here. They were new, in date, and worked well. The only difference was the labels were in Spanish. The exact same drug company names were on the labels. They keep warning us not to buy from Mexico but it is their product being sold there at an alarmingly better rate. Why are the poor in America treated this way? Are we that expendable to our nation?

I'm glad we had the help when we did. It was such a tremendous help that came at a moment when we really needed it. Now my husband is running low on his medication and I worry when we will be able to afford it again. My friends family member no longer travels and I can't afford a trip. At this low point financially we can't afford a doctor either.

Wouldn't it be a sight if all of the poor Americans with no health care banded together and went to Washington this spring? We could camp out until we were noticed. Would anyone listen or would we be arrested?


  1. WP: Are you near any college campuses? Sometimes you can find student heading to Mexico for spring break who might be able and willing to get your prescriptions filled. Many colleges have online "bulletin boards" and that might be an avenue in.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog today. I always like hearing from you!

  2. Fellow asthma sufferer here. If the purple disks are Advair, they are cortico-steroid maintenance inhalers, NOT emergency relief. I don't know what the implications are of using them as emergency relief instead of something like Provair, but I'd suggest looking into it. Apparently they can make the situation worse rather than better if not used correctly.

    Good luck to you.

  3. Hi Anon,
    Thank you for commenting.
    He never used Advair as emergency inhalers. This was just one of the maintenance medications suggested by the doctor. I don't have his medicine in front of me but I think it is something like albuterol? Luckily he has had very few asthma attacks in recent years. I hope your asthma situation is under control.
    Best of health to you.

  4. Oh good, I'm glad to hear that he uses Advair as maintenance. I thought I read that he was using it on an emergency basis. Albuterol is a great rescue inhaler. I think the propellant is no longer legal in the US, so I now use Provair.

    Yep, my asthma is controlled. Glad your husband's is as well.