Wednesday, May 14, 2008

On a trampoline

Things just go up and down with us. As soon as one problem is resolved and we are feeling up, another one crops up and we are down again. I guess the most important part is that we are able to keep bouncing back eventually.

For the movie buffs, another movie with an aviation inaccuracy- Catch Me If You Can. When Leonardo DiCaprio looks out the window of an airplane and says "oh, runway 44". There is no runway 44, there can't be when there are only 360 degrees in a circle.

I can't believe we are STILL waiting to find out what is going on with the Long Term Disability. I can't imagine that A will be denied, there is no question that he has cancer, but it would be nice to have some communication on that front. The good news we received though, was that A can work at another job and receive income without jeopardizing his LTD status. So that means that we won't be completely broke- just mostly.

We also found out, without anyone telling us, that A had been switched to Medical Leave retroactively. He's been active with the company, just dropping all of his trips for the last few months. Then one day, he showed up as on leave. The problem with this is that unless you are on FMLA (which we had never applied for, since dropping trips seemed to do the trick) medical insurance is not covered beyond the month in which the leave is started. In essence, we found out in mid May that our insurance should have run out at the end of April due to the status change. Of course, there's always COBRA or FMLA options to get medical insurance up and running again, but mid treatment, at $1300/day for radiation, is not the time to find out that our insurance is up. It's not like we can just cover the costs until the insurance is worked out. Especially if we are billed retroactively. Some quick calling and pleading and A is now approved for FMLA starting mid-May. We are praying that the insurance will continue uninterrupted. There are so many complications and considerations of having a major illness that no one ever sees. Incidentally, a few days ago, we happened to watch Michael Moore's film Sicko and reflected how much easier OUR lives would be to not have to worry about health insurance.

I think the biggest concern facing us soon is the potential buyout of the company. Offers have been made, meetings have been attended, theories and opinions have been posted online... It's hard to follow everything and separate fact from fiction at this point. I figure we'll just have to take it one day at a time and deal with it when it comes up. Right now, word is that there will be a furlough or loss of 700 pilots, which would include A. We don't know yet what that means for us- would his LTD be discontinued, will he be out on his ass with nothing? It's one thing to be facing this with the option of going to another airline, but facing it when you have low time and no medical for a while makes it even worse. By the time A is cleared to fly again, he may not have the total time needed to get on with an airline. And he may lose the ALPA benefit of having the aeromedical committee's help of getting his medical back. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. And luckily, A is still well regarded at his previous flight school.

Another bit of good news did come our way. We received paperwork from the ALPA aeromedical office for A to share with his doctor. The paperwork reiterated that if the tumor had metastasized then he would have to wait for a year after the conclusion of treatment to reapply for a medical. The doctor said that the tumor HAD NOT metastasized beyond the original site (I guess it was just stretching out it's tentacles) and that meant that A should qualify to fly again in just 6 months after treatment. Good news! But it makes me kind of sad because even though I bitch and moan about him being around the house all day, I also love it and will miss having him there.

1 comment:

partnerofapilot said...

Fingers crossed that what you've heard is just speculation and gossip.