My unemployed hand

August 4th, 2006

I didn’t expect to get any e-mail asking about my hand – but I’ve gotten more e-mail on that post than any other blog post I’ve put up!

I’ve had people chime in on the issue – which is, what does an unemployed chump like me do when faced with a potential medical emergency?  Definition of emergency to me now is anything that drains a few hundred dollars out of the bank account.

Here are some things I’ve learned from the feedback:

1.  Lot’s of people don’t have insurance – that is “just the way it is.”  One writer starts a new job and Monday and is super excited to get health insurance — after about a year without!

2.  I already knew this, but I forgot (it has been about 6 months since I had to think about it): COBRA is a joke.  Before I was laid off I always knew about this “safety net” called COBRA.  What I didn’t know is that it would require that I pay out the nose (more than before, I think it was what I already paid PLUS what my employer had paid) for the same crappy coverage I got when I was employed.  There are many other options available – in fact, knowing what I know now, I should have dumped my company health insurance long ago and gone with a local broker.  I know these local brokers are all over the place – be wise, prudent and make sure you find a good one, but I would have saved about $100 – $200 a month and had much better coverage if I would have found a broker before.

Also, my wife was a few months pregnant when we lost our job (actually, we are supposed to go in and have a baby girl on Monday… just 3 days from today!)  I learned that NO ONE would insure her.  In fact, even if I got a new job, she would not be eligible for insurance until after the baby was born!  How’s that for being between a rock and a hard spot!  I’d like to advice anyone to not get laid off when there is a pregnancy but… well, I guess that advice is a little impracticle 😉

And, since everyone is asking, here is an update on my hand.  I had been putting on lots of neosporin (the generic brand of course – when you don’t have money coming in everything is generic).  I looked up “cut & superglue” on google and found that, in general, it is common practice.  I applied it and found out that IT STINGS!!

But each application only lasts for about 3 – 6 hours.  You see, the cut is right in a seam so anytime I moved my hand wrong it would come apart a little.  Sometimes it was covered really nice, but sometimes I would see the wound exposed.

Yesterday morning it was tender and I thought it started to get infected – so I pulled out a check and hiked to my family doctor.  I’ve never been the patient but he knows me from when I took my son in a few months ago.  I sheepishly told him I used superglue, ready to get lectured – but he said that is an EXCELLENT solution.  He said “no infection, looks great, should heal just fine in 2 – 3 days”.  And he sent me on his way – no charge.

I did not ask for any special favors.  I didn’t even talk about not being employed (he brought it up half way through – he must have remembered from a few months ago, or read it on my paper I had to fill out).  Thank you “Doctor P.”  I’ve been amazed at how kind and generous people have been when they find out I’m out of work.  I certainly don’t solicit it, but people just find out and want to help.  I vow to not be as stingy as I was before I lost my job – thanks to the great examples that we’ve received from others.

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One response to “My unemployed hand”

  1. […] It’s good to know there other people out there in the same situation I’m in although the problems afflicting the American unemployed are far more ponderous than mine thanks to the wonderful welfare state and my generous parents. […]