Medicare Gap Insulin and Surgery

4568603_1537320389167074_r.jpegUpdated January 12th:
I'm a disabled veteran, and my husband is a disabled diabetic on Medicare. 

We originally set up this fundraiser strictly for paying for insulin during the "Medicare gap" (when the co-pay for  his insulin goes up to over $500 dollars a month- closer to 600 really, not counting all his other medication.)
and then he needed surgery... and more surgery... and more surgery...
Here is where we are now:

First the Good News:
Wayne had his Bariatric Surgery in November (just before Thanksgiving) and has been recovering very well.  He is on minimal insulin, and his endocrinology team is quite happy.  he has lost almost 100 pounds from his highest weight, and his pain has decreased significantly.

His first cataract surgery went very well, and he is recovering very nicely from that(among other things marveling that so much of his color perception had been  off).

Now the Bad News: (although it could be much worse)
When Wayne had his Bariatric Surgery (which went very well) his doctor didn't like the look of his liver. he was sent to a liver specialist.  His fatty liver disease (which we had been told about) had led to "non-alcoholic Cirrhosis" aka scarring on his liver. He will need regular ultrasounds, and testing for liver failure for the rest of his life, EVEN after he loses the weight.
understandably we are stressed.

Because his liver is damaged, many of the medications he would normally be able to take are now not recomended.  this means the medications for his other  chronic illnesses are going to be more expensive. The  addition of bi yearly ultrasounds, exams, and etc all adds to the expenses (and of course our stress levels)

in addition:
The out of pocket costs of his cataract surgery were much higher than we anticipated.
and as a nuisance:
while his weight loss is a GOOD thing, he is having to buy new clothes. he is still in plus sizes, which means fewer options and more expense, but we are trying not to buy more than the bare minimum until his size stabilizes.

About me:
Although this is a fundraiser for HIS medical expenses, i am his primary caregiver and i had to cancel most of my sales and shows over this year to take care of him.  at the moment i am in line for a second mammogram (first one unclear) a colonoscopy, a comprehensive neurological exam (again), and I am appealing for a higher disability rating from the VA since they have not included my PTSd in my existing rating.
put bluntly i am drastically over extended and financial stress just adds to that.

I thank EVERYONE who shares this fundraiser, contributes, or offeres support in any way- you have no idea how much you have helped me to keep going.


November 28th update edited for brevity

Wayne is recovering well from Bariatric Surgery. 
Owing to my neglecting my business, only my Legging Army online shop is active right now. 

My etsy shop will be up after the next show i hope.

Thank you for sharing.

thank you for contributing.

and thank you for your prayers and support.


October Update edited for brevity:

Wayne's foot surgery went well, although he is not permitted to use the pool for several more weeks (bacteria risk)

His knee replacement... well as i expected the surgeon told him he CANNOT have knee replacement until he gets his BMI down to 40 or lower (about 100 pounds from now) since the artificial joint cannot handle his current weight.  we expect that to be next year, possibly June.

We are in the medicare gap, despite our best efforts (by  using donated and sample insulin) to stay out of it, and that means his insulin goes from a co pay of  about $300 a month, to a copay of about $1,000 a month.

yes its gone up since last year.

the Bariatric surgery will reduce his need for insulin, no matter what, but comes with its own expenses... and we do not YET know if he can get off insulin entirely. his doctors have warned us to expect a reduction, not  a complete elimination of insulin... but we can hope.


September update deleted for repeated information


Previous update
THIS is why they tell diabetics to watch their feet.

(photo shows husband's foot, red with infection, in the local Emergency Room, and does NOT show the bottom of his foot because that was just icky)

we were lucky. we caught it early and he only lost a little skin and tissue.  They think the oral antibiotics are beating it back (although these are some SCARY oral antibiotics)

initial X rays showed it hadn't progressed into the bone, and we have follow up x rays next week to be sure.  His podiatrist  did icky nasty things to his foot and pronounced it to be  a good job of home care, and is monitoring it (and at this point the red has visibly receded.)

may i say for the record that i am SO entirely OVER having medical crises?


The basic story:

I'm a disabled veteran, and my husband is a disabled diabetic on Medicare. 

We originally set up this fundraiser strictly for paying for insulin during the "Medicare gap" (when the co-pay for  his insulin goes up to over $500 dollars a month- closer to 600 really, not counting all his other medication.)

Wayne HAD emergency kidney stone surgery scheduled May 2nd   Once they had him in the OR the surgeon found some issues.  he had a stent put in, and was in a lot of pain as you might imagine.  (better than risking a puncture!)

Wayne had a second try at kidney stone surgery May 16th.  it was successful in that they removed a lot fo stones (three blocking his ureter) but he had to get a new stent, and is in a lot of post operative pain several days later.

 He was in  severe pain from May 16th through mid July- it only began to be controlled in July.   Three urologists, 30 days of levaquin,  and a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist later, (bless the woman) we finally have things a BIT better..

Then he got a foot infection. and was on first clindamycin  and then keflex before we beat it down. Then he had a recurrance.

Foot surgery September 28

Bariatric Surgery  November 19th

Cataract surgery January 9th

obviously the bills are now skyrocketing... have already skyrocketed really.

Unfortunately i have had to cancel almost all of my  sales events (like Maryland Sheep and Wool as well as local fairs and etc) to take care of him, so i don't have much chance to bring in any income other than my disability.

Friends did chip in to pay for my getting a Daith piercing in an attempt to  reduce my migraines (it seems to be helping).  Hopefully that will make  getting everything done  a bit easier!
NOTE:  the daith piercing is still helping markedly! not a cure, but certainly a help!
ADDED NOTE: the keto diet is helping my migraines as well as losing weight.

I know a lot of people are on shoestring budgets, and believe me we appreciate all the help.
I also remind everyone that SHARING a fundraiser really helps, even if you cannot donate.

Thank you all for your support and generosity.

Donations (0)

  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 6 mos
  • Jim & Rachel Trigg 
    • $200 
    • 6 mos
  • Jim & Rachel Trigg 
    • $200 
    • 8 mos
  • Jan Dumas 
    • $20 
    • 8 mos
  • Clark Clark 
    • $5 
    • 8 mos

Fundraising team (2) 

Kirsten Houseknecht 
Raised $500 from 5 donations
Philadelphia, PA
Wayne B. Houseknecht 
Team member
This team raised $6,640 from 113 other donations.
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