“We’re not rich. We get by – all the necessities and some extras. My younger son is autistic. With that diagnosis came some extra financial stress. It was a little tough, but we managed. Then, at the beginning of 2018, he got sick. Real sick. It culminated in a month-long hospital stay, time in the ICU, and hospital bills north of $500,000.
His medication alone is about $30,000 per month, and he needs to take it for the rest of his life.
Between the medical costs, work my husband missed, and freelance I was unable to do, we fell behind and couldn’t catch up. Friends and family helped, but I was constantly trying to juggle buying groceries and keeping the lights on. I couldn’t work because my son needs constant care, multiple doctor visits, and unpredictable hospitalizations.
The kids never knew. It was enough for them to deal with the five-year-old being in and out of the hospital. My husband and I skipped meals. We ate a lot of cheap pasta. Christmas wasn’t dollar store items only because of friends/family & charity. I have no idea how we made it.
I’ll probably discuss it with them – or at least our older boy – down the line, so they have an understanding of different financial situations. But for now, they’re only five and seven; they don’t need to worry about that.”