This post was originally written 8or 9 years ago. It was a story about a life saved. Insurance saves lives. It is that simple. As Insure Tennessee moves to its next chapter remember. When you read the story of life saved remember the lives that could be saved. Lives can be saved. Speak for those lives. Speak today for what we want tomorrow to be. It is time. Insure Tennessee.
Do you know anyone who died?
I was standing in a line at a fast food restaurant the other day. I started talking with the lady in front of me. The conversation ended up being about health care of all things (I’m not quite sure how that happened). I remarked something about people dying because they didnt have the insurance to seek treatment. The man in front of us got really angry. He turned and snarled at me. “Do you know anyone who died?” I told him I did. He muttered under his breath. “Well most of them dont.”
I was astounded by the whole incident. I wished I had said more. I didnt really know what to say. But I think I know now. I would have told him about a life saved by insurance: that of my wife.
A little over a year ago it looked very much like she was going to lose her TennCare (Tennessee Medicaid). I was unemployed and we didnt know what we were going to do. Our story was no different than thousands of others and not nearly as bad as many. I was invited to go to the Tennessee State Legislature and testify about TennCare. I had no figures, no statistics nothing like that. I just wanted them to meet my wife. My testimony is reprinted below. Through the grace of God she kept her insurance. Too many have not.
My name is Larry Drain. My wife’s name is Linda. It appears she is one of those getting ready to lose their TennCare. I want to tell you our story.
7 years ago a good day for Linda was 10-15 grand mal seizures. There were not too many good days. She finally got hurt real bad in a seizure. She fell down a flight of stairs, hit her head on the banister and broke her face. Literally broke her face. She looked like I had beaten her half to death with a baseball bat.
They told her what we already knew. No medicine was going to work. They wanted her to have brain surgery and after a lot of prayer we finally agreed. They took her hippocampus and amygdala out. She came out of the surgery with a whole host of disabilities that she never had before, most of which she still deals with to this day. Her memory is shot. She has never seen a rerun. She many times can’t concentrate and because of that sometimes it is hard for her to learn things. She loves to read, but sometimes can’t comprehend the words in front of her. Many times it is hard for her to get the words out that she wants to say. She could get lost going from one room to the other. That was just the tip of the iceberg.
After a year the seizures came back and they came back with a vengeance. 4 years ago she was in Vanderbilt Hospital having a hundred seizures a day. In the last 7 years I have had to quit work 3 times because it was too dangerous for me to be away from home. The last time was about 3 years ago and I was out of work for about 9 months. Linda started having what we were told were visual seizures. Because of this she fell down the same flight of stairs 5 times in a 3 week period. We survived simply through God’s grace.
The last close call was this past July when she had 16 seizures in a1.5 day period. Ended up in the hospital, was also looking at extremely serious stomach surgery, plus dealing with an emotional crisis.
TennCare has been a lifeline in our life. Because of a tremendous amount of medical care and medication Linda is in the best health of her life right now. In the last 7 years she has been in the hospital 17 times and went through 5 surgeries. But she has only had one seizure in the last 4 months…
We have lived in hell, but have finally left. Without TennCare it wouldn’t have been possible. The miracle of Linda’s health is not a done deal. It must be redone each and every day. We can go back to where we came. We have much to be thankful for. So many others are in much worse shape. For the first time maybe ever hope is more than wishful thinking. I thank God for he has allowed TennCare to do in our life and I pray each day for his protection in what seems destined to follow.
We have one sword hanging over our head. Several years ago a neurosurgeon told Linda that she had another spot on the other side of her brain. He told her that with succeeding seizures it would get bigger and in time she would no longer be able to care for herself. He said that more brain surgery was a necessity. A neurologist told her she had already had so much brain tissue taken out that with another surgery she risked coming out a vegetable. Without TennCare that sword gets closer and closer to our head.
I will also pray for each of you tonight, for I would not trade my shoes for your shoes for anything.