Even though you have a good job and have some savings, nobody gets exempted from ailments. Sickness hurts family finances and sets the budget back depending on the medical care needed. Here’s a story of a Bacolod mom who’s struggling to make ends meet because of recurring health concerns in her family.
Different Income Streams
Daphne has been married for 10 years now. She has found a lifetime partner and best friend in her husband Ian. Ian has a job while Daphne earns from freelance online work. She sells stuff online, too.
Additionally, she had a small commercial space that she rents out. She gets paid monthly for it.
Meanwhile, husband Ian has a stable job in a call center where he was worked for the last seven (7) years. He has also served as a Brgy. Kagawad here in Bacolod City so he gets to enjoy a monthly stipend. While they may not be considered wealthy in material belongings, they have more than enough for their needs.
But things took a rather downward turn when they lost their commercial space. That’s one source of income down. Additionally, Ian ended his stint in the barangay after two terms. Two income streams were removed from their family budget in a short period of time.
Of Birth Defects and Learning Disabilities
Their youngest son, Gio, was born with a cleft lip and palate. The condition is such that several surgeries are needed to fix his lip, nose, and palate. He also needs speech therapy, another maintenance that the family needs to provide in order for him to communicate well.
But fate seems to have other plans. At three years old, Gio was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay (GDD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) . So aside from the speech therapy, he also needed to see a behavioral therapist and specialized education. The family’s monthly maintenance expenses have skyrocketed.
When Sickness Hurts Family Finances
What really shakes their family budget is the seemingly constant afflictions. In a year, the kids get hospitalized several times. Since Gio has a cleft palate, he can easily get down with respiratory infections. His older sister Gianna would also get infected in the process.
While Ian has HMO coverage for the family from his employer, hospitalization still means added expenses for day to day needs and some medicines. Daphne also loses potential income because she has to skip work.
August is Ghosting Month?
Prior to this interview, their family experienced a really turbulent and draining month of August. Their house helper had kidney stones. While it was naturally flushed out, they had to keep going back to the hospital and also spend for the medicines.
To make matters worse, Gio got sick. They thought it was dengue but it turned out to be pneumonia and they spent 10 days in the hospital. Due to exhaustion from all the happenings, Daphne and Ian also eventually got sick.
During this interview, Daphne could only sigh because she just got a respite from dealing with sickness and medicines. It was a cool night so we got to walk along the quiet road beside the Provincial Capitol Lagoon.
However, as I am writing this, I got word that Gianna had fever again. She also been complaining that her PE shoes don’t fit anymore.
Loans and Emotional Toll
Daphne says that Ian’s salary is just enough for their monthly expenses. These include Gianna’s monthly private school fees, Gio’s therapies, house rental, and utilities. They can afford decent meals and clean clothes.
However, family outings, vacations, restaurant visits, and toys are already luxuries. They just live within their means.
So when these extraneous unforeseen events happen, the couple ends up with loans. As of the moment, they have already exhausted possible loan avenues — SSS, Pag-IBIG, and Ian’s salary loan.
Daphne shares that her depression is getting worse these unfortunate family events. Her only avenue to vent is to share her thoughts on Facebook. She posts messages that sort of say #PlsSaveMe — from the trials her family is enduring at the moment.
The trials may be making her stronger, but she acknowledges that her physical, emotional, and mental capacities are already stretched too thin. She can only endure so much.
Despite all that, Daphne and Ian remain in their faith in God. They trust that their hardships are not beyond God’s eyes and heart. Their hope is in him.
If there’s one thing they are praying for now, it’s Ian’s long overdue promotion. He keeps getting bypassed. Daphne thinks that with the salary increase that comes with promotion, their belts will be loosened a bit.
Each day, they get up and go out with the knowledge that God is with them. They also know that they have two young children looking up to them so they just cannot give up the fight.
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