Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving :-(

Spence here,
So Chels, had seizure on Thanksgiving Eve...

She's been fighting a bit of a cough and cold so it must have got the best of her and allowed a seizure to creep in. Don't worry she is doing ok... She has a bit of a headache, sore muscles and extreme fatigue but with some good R&R she should be back on her feet in a few days. And with a little help from her sous-chef, she was able to make a few of her favorite Thanksgiving treats. (pics to be posted shortly)

Even though our Thanksgiving isn't going as planned I wanted to share with you how grateful Chels and I are for all of the support that we get from our friends and family. We couldn't do it without all of your prayers and encouragement.

I also wanted Chels to know how thankful I am for her and the role that she plays in my life. She is my home. She is what I live and breathe for. She is such an wonderful example a strength and faith. I love you so much Angel.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Okay, I've been debating on wether or not to write a post about health care reform because I don't want to sound like one of those crazies who think that a Obama's plan means the end of the world or anything. I just want to give you an overview from someone who pays A LOT (1/3 of our net income) for insurance and has a wife with a pre-existing condition.

Let me start out with a little inside scoop on what exactly Chelsi has been through, insurance wise, in the past couple years. First we'll start with the simple prescription. Chelsi takes a medication called Kepra to help control her seizures. Kepra is a drug that is new to the market and is the best (meaning the least amount of side-effects) on the market. Consequently it is quite expensive. Kepra, before insurance, costs $5.00 a pill and Chels takes three a day. Some quick math and you see that Kepra costs $450 a month and with our insurance we pay 30% of the cost. There IS a generic version that recently came out but the effectiveness decreases noticeably with the generic version... So it is worth it to pay the increased cost.

Kepra, however, isn't the “best” medication as it pertains to seizure control. For three years Chelsi went mostly seizure free on a medication called Tegratol. Tegratol has awful side-effects. It caused tremendous drowsiness and was so toxic that it tarnished every bit of metal jewelry she wore. All of her jewelry would turn BLACK after just a few days. Eventually Chelsi had to quit taking it because it was causing some liver damage. Tegratol isn't even the most effective drug used for controlling seizures. Depacote is probably the most effective if you want to sedate Chelsi to the point were she can't do anything... Seizure-Free—Activity-Free.

Lets move on to medical procedures. Over the past 3-4 years Chels has underwent extensive and expensive testing to see if brain surgery could be an option to correct her epilepsy She's had at least 3 MRIs, 5 EEGs, a Radioactive test (I don't seem to remember the name of) and almost 2 weeks of inpatient testing where she had to be hospitalized and observed 24/7 while hooked up to a brain wave (EEG) machine. Total cost... close to $30,000 dollars. Luckily we only had to pay our deductible $2,500. When all of the testing was said and done brain surgery wasn't an option we we're left with an experimental procedure called a Vegal Nerve Stimulator. A VNS doesn't work on everyone... in fact it over 1/3 of patients who have a VNS implanted see little to no change in their seizure activity.

Luckily Chelsi was part of the other 2/3 who has seen a difference and it has made SO MUCH OF AN IMPACT. Her seizures have gone down from 1 every 2 weeks to 1 every 4 months and decreasing day by day.

What is my point? No matter what Mr. Obama says about no national plan or public option this is what he aspires to

and he doesn't seem like the type to give up very easily.

If the government heavily regulates the market on health care, or develops a public option to “compete” with insurance companies, we can kiss all of these expensive options goodbye.

Imagine that you started a business. And in came a competitor with an unlimited source of revenue, who doesn't care about making a profit. Could you compete? If costs go up, the government doesn't go out of business!!! They just tax more. Pretty soon they'll push out every insurance company or at a minimum, force them to reduce costs which means... no more expensive drugs and no more experimental surgery.

The solution to lower health care costs are to eliminate interstate restrictions and open up the market for interstate purchasing of health care. For the unemployed and those who do not have/can't get health care, make medicare available for them...and for those who choose not to have health care... THAT IS THEIR CHOICE!!!

So the moral of the story is... USE YOUR BRAIN. When has GOVERNMENT ANYTHING worked... Social Security... Nope. Federal Stimulus...NOPE... THE POSTAL SYSTEM... NOPE!!! And once it's created... A government health care plan cannot be destroyed. Government only grows... it never shrinks.

If you are in favor of a government health care plan and you know Chelsi... I'd think about how it might effect the one's you love...and I'd re-think your position.