Friday, November 2, 2012

More Than A Dream

Ever since I was little, I've had dreams where people that have passed away would come back to talk to me.  Growing up, I was taught not to talk about these dreams.  I was told they make me look crazy, and even had one relative tell me that they would lock me up in the crazy hospital if I talked about them.

It wasn't until I was an adult that I really started telling people about them.  I know everyone has their own beliefs and not everyone believes in things like this.  So you may think I'm crazy.

Last night I had a very vivid dream about Tin Man. 

I was in bed, and he kept poking me to wake me up (which was something he always did and thought was hilarious). Once I woke up he he instantly started asking about monster trucks, and certain people. He then popped out with a wallet full of pictures. (His wallet was always bursting at the seams because it was so full. He had cards, even old and expired ones. Tons of business cards. But very few pictures. In the dream his wallet was bursting at the seams with pictures.) Pictures of family and friends that have passed away. 

There was a picture of him with his dad.  Him and his grandfather.  Even one with him and Sugar Pea's twin sister.   There was also pictures of my grandma, my aunt, and my uncle together.  my dad with his parents, and a picture of my grandparents, my dad, and all my uncles.  So many pictures of all the people I have loved and lost. 

The pictures brought lots of tears, but also a sense of peace.

Then he started reminding me about different conversations we'd had in the past. Things that he wanted to do but never got the chance.  The list of things he wanted to do after he got his transplant.  Some things he's never been able to do because of his heart.

One conversation he reminded me of was a big one we talked about just before Christmas.  I had totally forgot it until now. 

The dream was so vivid that when I woke up I was looking around for him.  Then reality came rushing back and punched me in the gut.  I laid in bed and cried for an hour.

After the crying subsided, I started to really think about the dream and what he had to tell me.

When Tin Man got really sick back in 2009, we instantly had a huge eye opener on a lot of things.  Insurance.  Like most people, we assumed we were good to go since we had insurance. 

Yeah right.

So many things the insurance didn't cover.  So many things they questioned and refused to authorize.  We had a $1500 per person deductible.  $30 copay on office visits, and any procedures.  $15 copay on prescriptions.  We were paying almost $400 a month for just his medicine and clinic visits. 

We couldn't even try to get more than a month supply at once because they were constantly changing his doses, adding a new one, or taking him off one.

Since his medicines and clinic visits weren't negotiable, other bills started to suffer.  We'd have to pick and choose what we were going to pay this month, and very little got paid 2 months in a row.   Some companies were very understanding and worked with us, and others just didn't care. 

I was babysitting when I could, cleaned houses, and office for some friends.  I tried to get a real job, but it was hard because of how often I had to take off to take him to the doctor, emergency hospital stays, and the unknown.  We didn't know when the transplant was going to come.  All we did know was once we got that one phone call, I was going to be gone for 3 months without prior notice.

I didn't blame people for not wanting to hire me.  I wouldn't have hired me either.

We ended up having to swallow our pride and admit just how much we were struggling and ask for help.  We both felt like we were failing as parents because we couldn't always give our kids what they wanted.  Tin Man asked his mom and brother for help more times than I knew about. 

We had friends help us, but it was hard for us to accept the help from them.  Even though they were and have been great through all this, it was a huge blow to our egos.  We would have liked to struggle in silence. 

Cal Giant saw one of the first newspaper articles about Tin Man and decided to adopt our family.  They bought the kids things for Christmas, and birthdays.  They gave our kids things we couldn't and I will always be thankful for these amazing people.

Through all this we found out that there are a lot of programs out there that will help families with sick children, but not many that help families with sick parents.

Just before Christmas Tin Man and I talked about this and about how we were so thankful for everything people did for us, that we wanted to pay it forward.  We talked about after transplant that we wanted to be able to help families that were in our shoes.  To be able to help a family with a utility bill, or gas money to a clinic appointment.

I had forgotten about this conversation until now.  I feel like the dream was Tin Man's way of reminding me of it and letting me know he still wants it done, even though he's not here.

The kids and I have so many things we want to do to bring awareness to the need for organ donation and CHD awareness and research, but this will be a great way to honor him and help others in need.

I can't even begin to imagine what would have happened to us had we not had people step up and help us out when we really needed it.

Now the fun begins on figuring out how to put this into reality and where to start.

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