My husband has Hep C, no insurance, symptoms getting bad WHAT DO I DO???

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krcolumna
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/18/2008 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I desperately need advice on how to get the resources to pay for my husband's medical care. My husband of 2 years has Hepatitis C, and it's suspected he's had it for quite some time. He was diagnosed in the mid nineties, and the suspected culprit is a blood transfusion that he received at age 14. He did get Interferon treatment for one year around the time of diagnosis, and a liver biopsy revealed mild to moderate necrosis of the liver. I'll try to explain things well in hopes someone can help me.

During the time I've been married to him, he has had some right upper quadrant pain every now and then during what he says is a "flare-up" and has light-colored stool and occasionally has dark urine. However, the symptoms come and go and haven't become severe until the last month or so. At first, I thought his severe flare-up that began last month was due to extreme stress because on Feb. 15, I was admitted to a hospital three hours away from home due to severe edema and HELLP syndrome (this is a pregnancy-related illness) and an emergency C-section was done on Feb. 22 to deliver our 28-week old twins. They will be in the NICU until at least May 12, enough to make anyone sick. He was coming back and forth to the Medical Center of Central Georgia to be with me and was still working as well. However, his constant, severe pain that radiated from his upper right side all the way into his back and EXTREME tiredness (he NEVER constantly needs to sleep as he has been. He is the type of guy who always sleeps less than nine hours a day, I'm the one always sleeping the most) and now, since last night, edema in the feet (I'd say about 2+), and a somewhat distended abdomen has gotten me worried so much I'm thinking about it constantly. I was released from the hospital on Febuary 28th, and things have calmed down a lot regarding stress factors. His symptoms have not. He takes herbal supplements that are supposed to support detoxification of the liver, takes no pain relivers except herbal GDU, absolutely no alcohol, cigarettes (since I've been married to him he has quit both), and had even started drinking Daniel Chapter One Endo 24 complete meal shakes, and along with it small healthy meals. One good thing currently is that his urine is a normal color, his side has quit constantly hurting, and he acts a little more energetic.

I want to know the current stage his liver had gotten to. I want to know if cancer has developed. I want him to go to a hepatologist so desperately, but we are struggling financially. We don't even have carseats, clothes, cribs, or anything for the twins, let alone money for a hepatologist. Neither of us qualify for Medicaid, because we don't qualify for disability. (and even if he did qualify for disabity, it would take so long for the process and it would be too late!) We live in Georgia, and I've tried to find on the Internet an insurance agency that does not require medical underwriting and covers pre-existing conditions. From what I can tell, you must pay for insurance for 12 consecutive months before someone with a pre-existing condition can be covered, and I'm extremely worried that he absolutely needs medical attention NOW to save his life, I don't think he can wait a year. I love him so much--I married him when I was twenty and I want to be able to spend many more years with the man I call my soul mate. He is one of the most wonderful, well-rounded people I have ever met, and deserves a chance.

He doesn't even know how worried I am, or that I am even trying so hard to figure out how to pay for the medical help that he so desperately needs. Could anyone please give me advice on what to do? Could anyone tell me if it sounds as if it is end-stage liver disease at this point? And if it is, could I possibly be a living donor? Money to pay for the insurance wouldn't be an issue, because I've already decided that if I can find some sort of insurance to help pay for my husband to see a doctor and get help, I will get a job again just to pay for that (my mother is willing to babysit). This is a long post, but I tried to be thorough about the situation hoping for advice that I can use, I am so desperate and can't stand to see my husband suffering like this. I don't want him to die--I love him and need him too much. And I want him to see the twins leave that hospital, have their first birthday, etc. Please pray for us.

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 3/18/2008 7:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Krcolumna. and welcome to HealingWell, about 4 posts down from this one is a post on the stages of liver disease by Shelly. Please read it . It may give you an idea of where your husband is in this disease. There is a lot of good information so just take an hour or so and read up on some of the older posts. Dansbrother has given you some good ideas. I am on the west coast so I have no idea what is available to you in Georgia. Good luck and stick around. We do have a very knowledgeable group of people on Liver diseases who have been there and done that. Thoughts and prayers.
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.


CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 3/19/2008 8:14 AM (GMT -7)   
A friend - who's husband has Hep C & no insurance went to work part time for the local school system helping tudor Mexican kids in English. She gets excellent benefits for both of them and he's been able to get great care as a result. I know schools are cutting back everywhere - but might worth a look into.

Also Medicaid is much easier to get than disability - especially if you have kids. You don't have to be disabled to get Medicaid.

krcolumna
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/20/2008 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
These were thoughtful answers and I will definately look into Medicaid. He makes $300 too much a month for a family of 4, but maybe we can get transistional medicaid since I was on pregnant medicaid.

krcolumna
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/20/2008 7:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your support. I will let you guys know how it goes.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 3/21/2008 3:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Krcolumna, first of all I want to welcome you to the forum!  Also, congratulations on your twins, and I pray they will be just fine.  I know that in itself must be stressful.
 
Do you live in Central GA?  I know that Shands Hospital and Clinics here in Jacksonville, FL accepts patients from S. GA.  Not sure about Central GA.  I believe that your husband should be able to get Medicaid, if the family income meets their guidelines.  You do not have to be disabled to receive Medicaid, as was mentioned.  My daughter has it because she has a child under age 18 living at home and she isn't working...so they are both covered.
 
Dansbrother also gave you good advice about contacting your Congressman/woman.  They have been known to work wonders.
 
If you have a teaching hospital near you, your hubby should be able to see a GI doc there, if not a hepatologist, either free of charge or at low cost.  Being single and only working P/T from '93 until I received SSD in 2005, I was seen at Shands Clinics and also had 3 surgeries at Shands (unrelated to my liver disease), and never received a bill.  I still go there for primary care and mammograms, etc.  I now have Medicare and only have to pay the difference, which is not much.  If I had a clinic card, I would pay even less.  However, I chose not to go through that hassle every 6 mos. and just pay up.  However, if you do have a teaching hospital near you, or your hubby can go to Shands Jax, he should get a clinic card and charges will be either free or low-cost, depending on his income.  I've forgotten what the cut-off monthly income is at Shands, but if he is making too much (taking dependents into consideration), it's possible he wouldn't qualify.  I'm sure each teaching hospital has different guidelines.  I don't think you should return to work...only as a last resort, if you HAVE to purchase insurance.  Otherwise, it will only put you so far over income for the family that your hubby will not qualify for anything.
 
Meanwhile, your husband should restrict salt intake for the fluid retention and elevate his legs whenever possible.  I have been through a lot of edema myself, prior to having liver surgery for cancer.  (Doesn't mean your husband has cancer...just retaining fluid.)  I would try to get him to an ER, as he could probably benefit from Lasix or another diuretic.  I am on Lasix and Aldactone.  The Aldactone helps balance potassium, as many diuretics cause loss of potassium, which can be dangerous to the heart.  Should he be admitted, do not worry about hospital bills.  All hospitals have charity funds they can draw on, as well as payment plans, etc.  Also, if you pay $1 a month on a bill, they cannot turn it over to a collection agency and your credit will not be ruined, as you are showing "intention to pay."  Lack of money or insurance should never be a deterrent to seeking medical care when needed.
 
Best of luck to you and your husband, and please do let us know how things are going and what you have been able to do.
 
Hugs,
Connie

stupid
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/4/2008 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
get in a trial program they are all over the country, i live in ny and have been treated with peg/interferon ribaviron and now my 3rd x with vetex (a new drug 80 percent cure rate . google hep c studies

good luck I a\have 4 weeks left of 48 and cannot wait to get offf i was neg at week 2

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 4/6/2008 5:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Stupid Smart Person!  ;)  Thanks for the info!  48 weeks is a very long time.  I sincerely hope that you will continue to test negative!

Hugs,

Connie

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