Friday, July 16, 2010

When the Pager is Off and the Overtime is No More

These past few weeks have been a roller coaster for this family. My husband has severe psoriasis. He has struggled with it since he was in middle school and has been on many medications to counteract this auto-immune disease. The past two years it went away with a new medicine called "Remicaid". It was amazing! But we found out two days ago that it is famous for the way it just stops working one day.

The past two and a half weeks, we noticed the psoriasis returning slowly. But what concerned us was his joint pain. When you have this disease as severely as Steve, you can get bad arthritis as well. It happened to him once before I met him in his early twenties. It sounded horrible. This week it came back like that. He could barely walk, couldn't drive, couldn't open a bottle, and many other things. It was very difficult to watch a vibrate man who loves to exercise every day, turn into an old man over night.

He has had to miss two shifts of work (so far) and we are now looking at short-term disability until he improves. We don't know when he will be able to go back to work, but trusting that God will heal him and that he will find the right medication to be on.

I noticed something the other day. The pager was off...Silent... Quiet...Weird. I am so used to going about my day and hearing the word, "Stacie, I'm going in." I respond with, "O.K." and go about my day. It's part of our routine. It just is.

So what do you do when you are used to a certain amount of overtime coming in every month? This is one of the biggest complaints that I receive from firewives, that their husbands are always gone due to overtime.

My advice is that it is so important to be out of debt. You just never know when something like this will happen. Being a firefighter is a very physical job. It doesn't take much for something to happen where your hubby can't work. Short term disability is good because it keeps you from wiping out all your sick time. The problem is, is when people are counting on the overtime to pay the bills. Since October of last year, we have been doing the Dave Ramsey budgeting system. My goal is to be able to pay the bills without ANY overtime. It is thin, but doable. God knew this was going to happen, so in His goodness, He has directed us to start this budget.

I would encourage anyone who is living off of the overtime, to go over to Dave Ramsey's website and check out his Zero Balance Budget. He will show you how to have financial freedom and it doesn't cost a dime.

Keep praying for us. We are also not used to spending so much time together. When someone is in acute pain, they tend to get irritable and impatient. You can't blame them, but it is a reality you have to deal with. Pray that I will be a good wife and mother and that I will serve my family with joy.

God will meet our needs, I know it. He already has. Our washing machine just went out. In faith, I bought another one using our emergency fund. I kept praying, "Lord, please let this money come from somewhere else." He answered my prayers when I got Steve's check and there was an extra $870 on it from a raise and back pay. I couldn't stop praising Him! The emergency fund remains untouched! Only the Lord!

We are praying that the new medication he is on will give him some relief from his pain. We don't even care about the psoriasis right now, it's the arthritis that is preventing him from working.


UPDATE as of July 18th, 2010

Your prayers are working! Steve is experiencing some relief from the acute pain! God moved fast on this one and I am so thankful. Thank you for being part of His plan by lifting us up in prayer. He is on his four days off right now and is hoping that he will recover enough so he can go back to work. Time will tell, but the medicine is working. He keeps telling me, "prayer made the medicine work." Love it!


Rachel said...

Praying for your husband. For complete healing. And for strength and encouragement for you.



Connie said...

Will be praying strength and wisdom for you and healing your husband. May you feel God's presence and guidance.

Camille said...

Dear Stacie ~ I will put you and your family in our "prayer basket" and you will be prayed for by us all. So sorry that you are going through this, but so thankful that you are looking to THE LORD in it all!! Hang in day at a time with HIM!!

Psalm 138:8

Angela said...

Praying for hubby, praying for your time together, praying for the love of God to just pour within and out of you as you spend time with hubby. Your SO right..when your in pain, it IS difficult,,and it IS difficult for those that are around you also.

My dad used to tell Randy and I..'don't live on your overtime pay, because one day you won't have the over time..just live with your regular pay check and the over time is just the bonus'..

I'm one of those that have to learn the harder way than listening to the wise Daddy!

Amy said...

Lots of prayers from the Morgan clan.

George has diabetic neuropathy. It is a constant pain, itching, tingling. So I understand completely where you are coming from. But with this, there is no meds. Nothings helps. So there are days that he is a bear.

God is with you and yours.

Lots of love.

Anonymous said...

I thought of your Steve, the other day in the news was a story of a terrible car accident down in your area- I'd hoped that your Hubby didn't have to go to that one... I didn't know then he couldn't.

Try to enjoy the time that Steve is home, pray about putting out the negative reasons, but pray for his healing.

My Hubby does get overtime, he's salary, although he brings work home, last night he worked quite late, well past midnight - I don't know much about living on overtime pay; I do know that budgetting is difficult, even the regular things {like milk} seem expensive when bought so often for a growing family... Hang in there, stay on your knees!


Grandma Becky said...

Here I was sharing on my post how sick my hubby has been with a cold and now your hubby has something worse? Oh my! Hang in there, Stacie. I will be praying for all of you, especially for your hubby's arthritis. This too shall pass and God is there for you, in many ways. He loves his children so much. Hugs!

Rachel and Family said...

Stacie, we a praying hard for you. I wish I was there to help. If there is anything I can do from down here, just ask.

Catherine said...

My precious friend: I pray and ask God to give you grace, to give Steve relief from the burden of pain, for the kids who will live with this too because their Daddy is home and grumpy, possibly. May the Lord bless you, and may you receive the blessing.

OurLilFullFam said...

Oh Stacie, I will be praying for him (and you all) to feel better real soon!


Ellen said...

So very sorry to read of your husband having such difficulties.
My husband has lived with constant pain since a fall last year. He was an electrician so..a physical job indeed like your husband. Some days he can barely walk for the pain and gets frustrated because he feels as if he is letting us down.
We have exhausted our emergency fund and are relying on the Lord as the job that he has worked for 24 years is no more.
The Lord provides in ways we never considered...and we are thankful for His many blessings.
Will be in prayer for your family Stacy! ♥

Jessica said...

I'm so glad that you're preparing your heart for this season of a different kind of serving and time with your husband! And glad you're seeing all your needs met in this season. Praying for you all!

kathy said...

Oh Stacie that must be so hard for you all! Know that I'm praying for you :)

Regina @VestPocketFamilyFarm said...

Praying for your entire household.

Katrina said...

Oh wow, this post....God's timing, I swear by it. We, as a fire fighter family, are experiencing a paycut due to the sudden loss of overtimes. Our overtimes made up of half our income. Without the overtimes, we simply cannot keep the lifestyle that we have grown accustomed to. Thankfully, in addition to being a fire fighter/paramedic, my husband also has a painting business. So he just picks up jobs to make up for the loss of income due to not working overtimes. But I've often wondered...what if he got hurt? What if he was not physically able to paint houses? How would we do it if we had to live off of his disability pay or short term disability? The answer is simply we could not. So, lately we have been trying to get out of the debt that we have accumulated. But we need a budget to go by and have no idea how to do this, because we have honestly never been on a budget before. And I see this post. I will have to check out the website that you've recommended!

I am so sorry for your husband's disease. I am praying for his healing, and I pray that you are able to be a good wife (patience is one of my struggles, so I can only imagine having to care for my husband in addition to all my children, in the home all the time when I am so used to him being gone half the time...I'm afraid I would fail miserably for a while until I got used to it, and even then! Only with God's help could I do I will be praying for you!)

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Katrina, we have had to go twice without overtime. He has had to be on short term disablity twice and it was a rude awakening. That is when we decided to get out of debt. Living on a budget took seven more years to do. I wish I would have done it sooner. Dave Ramsey makes it simple and effective. We use cash now and put it in seperate envelopes. It makes it easier and once the cash is gone, you're done. No more. I hope that you guys can get to the same place. It is not an easy road, the but rewards are so worth it.

J said...

Reading this gave me chills. I am praying for both of you right now. Wow. Praying that God will, in His sovereignty, bring healing to Steve, and that He will use this time to knit your hearts together...that He will give you grace and an extra measure of patience and love for your husband and children. Also, rejoicing with you in His goodness and provision for the washing machine! LOVE it!!! And LOVE Steve's comment about WHY the medicine is working. Praying for you, sweet friend.

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