Friday, March 29, 2013

But What If?

It has been a hectic few weeks in my life.

T and I bought a house! It's a glorious feeling to achieve something we have both been working hard at and something we both want. We close the house on June 4 and after that it will be months op a few updates and renos that need to be done. I am so excited to put in hard work to my own home. Todd and I excitedly chatted last night about colors, places to put things what colour laminate floor etc.

It's been great.

What wasn't great was meeting with our mortgage professional. Not that he isn't a really nice, thorough and educational person. It came down to choosing to put life and disability insurance on our mortgage. $26 a month can do a lot for us should something happen to myself or Todd and ensure that the payments are being made.

Stacey looked at me and said "now, you probably won't qualify for life and disability, but you should apply and answer the questions they may have for you truthfully and see what happens. Diabetes is one of the most common reasons people get denied for this insurance. I am trying to be truthful here."

I knew this. It's part of the territory. But the words sting. I looked at Todd, he seemed completely unconcerned with the words he was hearing, he was cautiously optimistic. Maybe it's because I don't make a big deal of what COULD happen with diabetes, I make a big deal that I am doing a really good job of taking care of myself. Maybe that calms his fears that I may, some day end up with heart disease, loss of vision, limbs, the need to dialysis among many, many other things.

My throat got a little tight and my eyes were stinging with tears. Is this stupid disease something that might leave Todd financially crippled if something does happen to me in the future? I didn't ask for it. I am doing everything I can to live like it isn't something that CAN happen to me. But what if?

But what if? What if I hit the wall again and go deep into another burnout? As I gazed at the man I have chosen to spend my life with, in that moment I knew that I had more responsibility now to never let that happen again. I knew in that moment that if I started to feel like I had to let something go it would never, ever again be my health or my self-care. I knew that I had to lean on others for emotional support at some point, and never to let my mental health get fuzzed again.

I carefully read every word of the questionnaire. I only checked one box yes. The most general box of them all:

"Are you affected by or have you been diagnosed with: diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol,  gastric-intestinal issues, crones, colitis, muscular issues, dementia, mental illness, scoliosis, diseases of the bone or blood, HIV, Aids etc etc etc etc." The list went on. I put my pen on the yes box and slowly checked it. I was so mad. I was so mad that the insurance industry was lumping me with everyone else. I was so mad there wasn't a clause that said "but if you are trying your best, and are healthy by a doctor's standard, you can check no."

I didn't have the option to explain that this can be hard but I am doing everything I can to make sure I never NEED life and disability insurance on my mortgage, but I am human and humans break down eventually, isn't that was this is for? It is guaranteed that ALL humans will go through some sort of illness in their life, just because I have been handed my card early in life, does this mean I am any less worthy of having the stability it may lend to my partner in the future?

It was the first time in a long time I felt mad that I was diabetic rather than empowered. It was the first time that I couldn't turn back and educate someone on how life with diabetes just really isn't that bad. It was the first time that I wasn't really sure that I felt that way about diabetes. In that moment I was mad and hurt. In that moment the checked off yes box laughed in my face.

I still await my call from the insurance underwriter. I will be honest with them in how well I manage and I hope they can see that my hard work deserve my peace of mind in the future.

But what if?


  1. Frustrating and unfair. When I applied for a mortgage in 2009, I disclosed that I had cancer in 1999. They denied me. My temper went and I contacted them. So their reason was indeed the cancer. I asked that if doctors had declared me cured 5 years before, what did insurance companies know that oncologists didn't? They approved medical coverage but not death coverage. I told them they were ridiculous.

    1. Wow! Good for you. I will fight with everything I have if I do get denied, that will be certain.

  2. I know the feeling. I thought about mortgage insurance too when I bought my house a little over two years ago. My wife and I decided against it, and I got a regular (but more expensive) life insurance policy instead, so I could ensure my kids are taken care of too. They could always sell the house, but can't get rid of the financial responsibilities for taking care of the children.

    In fact, the first child (which came before the first house) is what convinced me to start using an insulin pump and to take better care of myself. Suddenly, somebody needed me who couldn't take care of himself. It's a strange feeling.

    Congratulations on the house!! Can't forget about the good-news part of the story!

    1. Thanks!

      And overall I am genuinely thrilled and feeling really positive about the whole experience! I just thought I would put out there how I felt in that moment. The moment has subsided for now, especially now that I have written about it. Writing here can be so cathartic.

  3. Ok 'take two' for my attempt at commenting.

    your statement "but if you are trying your best, and are healthy by a doctor's standard, you can check no." is very powerful. Diabetes is a decease that can be controlled and should be viewed as such. Diabetes should not be lumped in with other health conditions that are not as 'easily' controlled. NOT that diabetes is easy to control but some illness can't be controlled at all.

    also - while I recognize insurance companies are in it to make money and thus try to limit their risks I still think its cruddy. The companies could not stay in business or would have to charge much higher premiums if they didn't limit their clients. Still so sad and very unfair to those that work hard to stay healthy.

    Next - while the emotional toll of having to check the box is enough to upset all of us - know that buying a home in general is a stressful process even when all things are positive and the process goes smoothly - there is positive stress and negative stress but often our bodies don't recognize the difference. Stress is stress. Try to take some deep breaths, go for a walk and relax because while chatting about paint color, furniture placement and flooring is very exciting it is still emotionally draining and stress inducing.

    Mostly congratulations on this new adventure for your and your hubby. I hope you post pictures in June.

    Lastly - If you ever feel yourself falling into burnout or becoming overwhelmed know that you have a partner and an entire community that will jump in the hole with you because many of us have been there before and we know the way out.

    (The whole hole thing is not mine - it is from a West Wing episode where Josh is dealing with PTSD and Leo is helping him - honestly I need a poster that says "Everything I need to know I learned form the West Wing)

    Hugs always - chances are this second attempt at posting a comment is not nearly as eloquent as my first attempt because my kids are now up, Ive had an entire pot of coffee and my brain is more cloudy with distractions.

  4. Congratulations on the house! That's fantastic news!

    I totally feel your anger about the insurance stuff.