Friday, October 31, 2008

Life is Good Again

Well, life is still crazy but it is good again. We are out of danger and I can stop and smell the diapers again. MMMM smells good in here!!

I sent everyone an email update but I have not had time to post an update because the girls have been playing sick for the last two weeks. All five have had a fever and they have been taking turns at it. One would be sick for 2 or 3 days and then the next one would take their turn. With five of them that means about two weeks worth of fevers. It is over and now we just have runny noses!!

Well, we have been paying off the medical debt and we are finally out of danger. The nursing firm is payed off and even some of the smaller medical bills. We bought Kelly a bumbo baby feeding chair and I am going to order her a creepster crawler today. So, thanks to you guys, life is good here again. Thank you all for your prayers and for your donations. This was a terrible time in our lives and now it is over. I received so many wonderful, heartfelt donations of all sizes. Each one was special and appreciated. Very, very much. I hope now that I can get our lives back on track and start living like a normal family.

We are thinking about starting an online business of some sort. Maybe selling smaller special needs equipment here in Germany. There are many items from America that would be a benefit to the special needs kids here. It is amazing just what we do NOT have here in Germany. We also need to find a way to earn more money so that we can assure that Kelly receives all the therapy that she needs. We have to face the fact that insurance companies are just out there to make money (I quote my brother Jerry here) and they are not going to pay for everything. There will be more surgeries and things they do not completely cover. Michael and I want to find a way to get ahead of the game so that we can provide all the children with what they need and never be in the situation where we are afraid of losing the house.

But, at the moment, Life is Good again. We are still wearing cloth diapers. I am still counting my pennies carefully. BUT we are actually able to stop and enjoy and smell those diapers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cloth Diapers Rule

Well, here is the update I promised on our great cloth diaper experiment. I have learn so much over the last weeks.
First, you need a bunch of diapers with this many bottoms. We go through 25-30 a day!! That is a lot of tee tee!! Remember, my goal is to be able to wash them but hang them up to dry so that we can save money. In order to do that I had to find used diapers enough for two days worth of use. Then, I wash a load at night, hang them up, use the second batch on the kiddos during the day and allow the previous days diapers to dry hanging. In the winter, when the cellar is really cold, we will have to use the heating room or lay them on the heaters in the house. Germany, at least most of Germany, does not have central heating. We have these heaters that are up against the wall. The oil heats up water down in the celler which then runs up through the pipes and heats the rooms. The price of oil really kicks our bottomss too. We may have to have 3 sets of diapers to be able to do it without using the dryer.
Second, there are so many varities of cloth diapers on the market. There are some really cool brands out there. Most are way to expensive for what we are trying to do here. We are using a brand called popolini. They are really easy to use and one size fits all the bottoms. That is a major plus for me. What I really wish I could afford are the ones called Bum Genius or Fuzzi Bunz. They are a complete diaper with the liner inserted into the diaper and the cover is waterproof. These are very much like disposable diapers. You do not need the plastic cover with them and one size fits all again. They have adjusters. Unfortunately, they are super expensive. I bought our popolini on an ebay auction and got enough for one child. That is 18 diapers, absorbent liners, flushable paper liners that you use to catch the poop, 2 plastic covers. These parents are selling them on ebay as a complete set. I am hoping to resell mine when we are done.
Third, not everyone in the family is as excited about this experiment as I am. Michael is clueless about how to put the diapers on. The rest of the crew is being patient with my experiement, even though it can be kind of yucky when they get really wet and then also have a nice big poop. That is why those paper liners are great. With Samantha, 15 years ago, we did not have those and then we had to swish the diaper in the toliet. No need for that now!! I am greatful that all the people who help us out during the day are participating in the great diaper experiment and not complaining. I think everyone understands I am just trying to save money and save the house.
Well, baby Sarah looks a bit wet. I better get on it and change that diaper. I do miss the absorbency of a good old pair of Pampers!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thank you and an Update

The last two weeks have been very stressful in our home. We have come forward with this situation and I want to take time to thank you all for helping us so far. I want to address a few questions you have asked about our situation. I also want to tell you how far we have come and what we are still trying to do. So, bear with me and read on to find out what has happened to the Meyers.

· We have received many great donations from people all over the US, including people I have never met. This has lifted my spirits up so much and given me hope. I received donations from strangers, my uncle, my aunt and her mother, my cousin, old friends, an old boss, old students from LCU, another mom from the CP website, and many other people who just heard about our situation from the website. I am trying to email everyone individually but it will take me a few days. I am currently sharing the computer with my teenage daughter and with the other four girls around, there is not much time.

· I received one email asking why we are asking for our donations to be sent to an American address and account. That is because I still do my banking in America and it would be easier for us to get the money from my debit card here than have American friends trying to send things to Germany.

· Another friend asked if it was too late to send donations. NO, it is not too late.

· We have approached the firm that provided the nursing services last year and given them what we have collected so far. We still do not have the complete amount to pay off the bill but I am hoping this will buy us a few weeks time.

· People have asked me why we do not just get a lawyer and sue the insurance company. There are several reasons we are looking at.
1. The company found a nice little loophole and said they do not have to provide the type of care we received while I was pregnant. There are different words for different kinds of care given to sick people in the German insurance language. They told us that what we received was not what they covered in the insurance. Then they pointed to the city and told us to contact them. The city said the insurance should pay for it and we needed to work on their interpretation of the wording. This game of pointing fingers went on during the whole pregnancy.
2. We cannot bite the hand that provides for Kelly. We just checked with a social worker familiar with the law and they think that it would be very difficult to sue the insurance company. The other problem would be that if we attack the insurance company, and we later need them to approve something for Kelly, then we have bitten the hand that feeds us and may be denied for something important.
3. So, we would have to sue the city of Barsinghausen. We could do that and still may but if we do not pay this bill ASAP, it will not matter because we will lose everything anyway.

· I know many, many families in the US with children who suffer from CP or other medical conditions who have the same problems. Medical bills that the insurance will not pay. Insurance companies are evil. The difference is that the families in the US can ignore their bills for years and no one comes and takes their house or job away. I live in a foreign country where things are different. In America the other parents with CP children have had fundraisers done for them in their hometowns to raise money for bills, or new therapy or equipment that the insurance will not pay. People give them money and participate in the fundraiser and never once tell the people that they should just get a lawyer.

· So why not do a fundraiser here in Germany? Those are not common at all here. People give once a year around Christmas to big charity foundations. The social worker we are speaking with is trying to get us funding through one of these foundations. We will apply for something next week.

Please believe me that we are trying everything we possibly can to take care of this situation. I have thought about doing some type of craft and selling it on the internet. It is all a matter of timing and funding. At the moment we have done what we can for the short term and it is a matter of waiting and seeing what happens. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Janette and the Meyer Family