Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My husband has had several chronic illnesses during the past 20 years. He takes 15 different prescription medications a day and has frequent doctor visits and testing. Our medical bills are through the roof. When credit card interest rates went up, we were unable to meet our monthly bills. We have cut out all extras, but we are still having major difficulties. Both of us have full-time jobs, and I work as much overtime as possible, but we are sinking. Bankruptcy is not an option because it won’t leave us enough money to buy my husband’s medicines, and we earn too much to qualify for government assistance.
Last Christmas, we were unable to buy our teenage son a gift, but still made sure to get something for my husband’s nieces and nephews because he refuses to tell his family of our problems. His parents are well off, and I have suggested to my husband that he ask them for some help, but he won’t hear of it. I even recommended he borrow the money and pay them back with interest, but he doesn’t want them involved. My parents are deceased, and my siblings have similar money problems.
I know his parents read your column. Maybe they will see this and offer some help without questions because my husband is too prideful to ask. I am at my wits’ end. — Sinking Fast
Dear Sinking: Most parents would feel terrible if they were kept in the dark about a problem they could alleviate. In the meantime, your husband should check with his doctor’s office to see if they can offer assistance, and you can call the Information and Referral Service at 2-1-1 and explain the problem.
It is also often possible to find free or reduced rates for medication directly through the drug manufacturers. Check their websites. Here are a few other suggestions: Needy Meds (needymeds.com); Partnership for Prescription Assistance (pparx.org); RxAssist and Rx Outreach Patient Assistance Programs (rxassist.org); Rx Hope (rxhope.com); and Together Rx Access (togetherrxaccess.com).
Dear Annie: Our family has been invited to a reception celebrating the civil union of one of our cousins and her same-sex partner. My mother showed me the wedding card that she purchased for the occasion, which pictured the hands of a man and a woman. I questioned her about the card, and she said that the clerk in the store where she bought it told her it was appropriate. The clerk said that where two women formed a partnership, one of them would take on the role of “the man.”
I am sure that our cousin’s partner is not a transsexual, and both would be offended if we called one of them a man. Am I wrong, or should my mother find another wedding card? — Straight in Canada
Dear Canada: Many gay couples might find this card insensitive. Since you believe your cousin and her partner would be unhappy with it, please suggest that Mom save this one for a different wedding and find another card that is specifically for gay couples or is gender neutral. It shouldn’t be difficult.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Theresa in Florida,” whose husband is apprehensive about receiving a lung transplant.
I received a lifesaving liver transplant 11 years ago and have been in excellent health since. Her husband can contact LifeLink Foundation for Western Florida in Tampa and Transplant Foundation of Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. I have volunteered for both. They offer meetings for pre-transplant patients and will help answer any questions her husband has. He can also meet others who have already undergone this transplant.
I have met lung transplant recipients, and I am sure they would tell him to have the surgery without hesitation. — Craig in Sarasota
Dear Craig: Our thanks to you and all who wrote with words of encouragement. We hope Theresa and her husband will look into your recommendations.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 9.6.11