Statement given to the Tennessee State Legislature by Larry Drain
My name is Larry Drain. My wifeís name is Linda. It appears she is one of those
getting ready to lose their TennCare. I want to tell you our story.
7 years ago a good day for Linda was 10-15 grand mal seizures. There were not too many good
days. She finally got hurt real bad in a seizure. She fell down a flight of stairs,
hit her head on the banister and broke her face. Literally broke her face. She looked
like I had beaten her half to death with a baseball bat.
They told her what we already knew. No medicine was going to work. They wanted her to
have brain surgery and after a lot of prayer we finally agreed. They took her hippocampus
and amygdala out. She came out of the surgery with a whole host of disabilities that she
never had before, most of which she still deals with to this day. Her memory is shot.
She has never seen a rerun. She many times can't concentrate and because of that sometimes
it is hard for her to learn things. She loves to read, but sometimes can't comprehend the
words in front of her. Many times it is hard for her to get the words out that she wants to
say. She could get lost going from one room to the other. (Walmart Story) That
was just the tip of the iceberg.
After a year the seizures came back and they came back with a vengeance. 4 years ago she
was in Vanderbilt Hospital having a hundred seizures a day. In the last 7 years I have had
to quit work 3 times because it was too dangerous for me to be away from home. The last
time was about 3 years ago and I was out of work for about 9 months. Linda started having
what we were told were visual seizures. Because of this she fell down the same flight of
stairs 5 times in a 3 week period. We survived simply through God's grace.
The last close call was this past July when she had 16 seizures in a 1.5 day period. Ended
up in the hospital, was also looking at extremely serious stomach surgery, plus dealing with an
During that period after years of struggling with emotional stresses and mood swings Linda was
diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Perhaps it was a gift of the surgery. Maybe it was
there along and lost in a thousand other battles. We really donít know.
TennCare has been a lifeline in our life. Because of a tremendous amount of medical care
and medication Linda is in the best health of her life right now. In the last 7 years she
has been in the hospital 17 times and went through 5 surgeries. But she has only had one
seizure in the last 4 months and the bipolar with a lot of support is being managed
successfully. We have actually started a support group for people with bipolar disorder in
our area called "Hopeworks" that as of right now has over 30 people involved.
We have lived in hell, but have finally left. Without TennCare it wouldn't have been
possible. The miracle of Linda's health is not a done deal. It must be redone each
and every day. We can go back to where we came. We have much to be thankful
for. So many others are in much worse shape. For the first time maybe ever hope is
more than wishful thinking. I thank God for he has allowed TennCare to do in our life and I
pray each day for his protection in what seems destined to follow.
We have one sword hanging over our head. Several years ago a neurosurgeon told Linda that
she had another spot on the other side of her brain. He told her that with succeeding
seizures it would get bigger and in time she would no longer be able to care for herself.
He said that more brain surgery was a necessity. A neurologist told her she had already had
so much brain tissue taken out that with another surgery she risked coming out a vegetable.
Without TennCare that sword gets closer and closer to our head.
I will also pray for each of you tonight, for I would not trade my shoes for your shoes for
Linda is the kindest and best person I know. She is my best friend. I would like to
introduce my wife Linda Drain. Thank you for your time.