I have lurked in this thread for a few weeks now... Honestly, your username was the first thing that caught my attention as a Ham Radio Operator
It took me weeks to catch up, but holy cow: talk about a page turner! Having read this thread while on trains, planes, in hotels, at my desk in the office (now that my work travel schedule has calmed down), at home when I should have been doing stuff around the house
(shhhh), and a few other places I won't mention
, I am finally at a place where I feel comfortable humbly inserting a comment in your thread.
You, sir, are an inspiration and, I dare say, a force of nature. Honestly, I don't feel qualified to go further than that except to say, "Thank you" for taking the time to share your journey. Looking forward to the next installment!
As a "numbers guy" in my day-to-day life, I will also mention that the figures you showed are the tip of the proverbial iceberg, showing volume and direct costs with a few "indirect" costs thrown in. The secondary costs have yet to really be quantified: time off/wage costs for family caregivers, health costs for family caregivers (read: exhaustion leads to suppressed immune function which leads to illness which leads to more exhaustion, etc), indirect pass-through costs from time off of family caregivers (simplistic example: family caregiver has to miss work, someone has to work OT to maintain production levels which increases production costs which, on some level, gets passed along to the general consumer, etc)... The list goes on and the more you think about it, the more staggering the numbers become!
Best of luck in your journey, Mark, and again thanks for taking us along.