Re: forest for trees
There are some medical conditions that permanently affect math ability, and the ability to equate numbers on paper with the meaning of currency. One of these is having been lead poisoned as a child, another is being a diabetic, and a third is having ever been a brain injury patient, yet another is having been someone with a lung/breathing problem.
As for medical bills, if you are of modest means, you might apply to the hospital and affiliates not only for a payment plan, but also forgiveness either in part or in whole.
As for the charges on the credit cards, consider a pre-paid card with a limit, that can be re-charged each pay period with his agreed-upon spending allowance. You can also use a credit service to put a stop alert on any new credit applications.
Take his name off of the other cards and accounts, and get a power of attorney signed that allows you specifically to take care of any and all bills in his name.
Finally, go a step further and set up a joint account with someone you trust to take care of your family's finances should you become unable to do so. Create a contingent power of attorney for this person. The last thing you need to worry about if you should go 'down' is finances.
If you have children, you might also think about setting up a trust with a trustee to manage funds so that they can be provided for and secure as you would do if you were around and able.
It is worth the effort. Murphy's Law applies.
I applied for relief for my ER visit that still had 4K on the account, it was for my allergic anaphylaxis, they gave me a CT scan, pregnancy test, psych eval, an EKG, checked my blood for electrolytes and thyroid etc. and finally tested me for street drugs, before discharging me with no clue what was wrong with me other than I must just be histrionic. I gathered together all the paperwork and asked for a decision for financial aid, and within a week, voila, 4K less in debt and feeling better about the misdiagnosis. Medical bills are horrible, especially when you are struggling already on account of finances, and then when someone in your family is obviously ill.
You don't say what your husband's medical condition was/is but honestly, some medical conditions and there are more than what I mentioned, can really affect your ability to 'connect' with numbers, or time. I put off balancing my checkbook for three months, because of lingering effects from oxygen deprivation I had two years ago. Just the thought of dealing with numbers made the front part of my brain jump up and down and made me nauseous and confused. It's embarassing, because I used to be a statistician. Now I keep my register on big 8.5 x 11 paper and make sure I don't let it go. I also keep track of expenses and will force myself at the end of the month to tally up categories and make sure I am not running into trouble. I have other coping mechanisms for time management as computing time is difficult, I figure out how long I can do an activity before I need to start the next thing. Sometimes I miss an hour in the morning altogether and have to scramble. lol. I would bet that your husband's issues are partly due to a medical condition. I never used to be like I am now. I have to struggle to make sure I don't mess up. For me there is nobody to take up the slack if I do.
His lack of impulse control could also be a by-product of whatever his illness was. Trust me, there are drugs that can deal with what is known as 'lability' and 'impulsivity'. I have a fair amount of impulsivity now which I enjoy. It is within normal limits. Trust me, before I had a brain injury I stuck to my rules, I was an unfun person. :-) But too much is not okay, it can ruin a life. If he has had any kind of illness that would have possibly affected rational thought and follow through, he might want to talk to a care provider about it and get some treatment. Anything that would have caused lack of oxygen to the brain or too much adrenaline to the brain or any kind of brain chemistry change could be the culprit. Diabetes is really a big one when it comes to math and time and impulse control. That is, *uncontrolled* diabetes, not to cast a shadow on diabetics who manage their condition to keep their blood sugar in normal limits.
Last edited by Homemaker_Numero_Uno; 05-21-2012 at 08:51 PM.