End this hospital bill, STAT!

You may (or may not) remember my previous griping about the hopsital bill from hell.  I'm too lazy to find a link to the story so let's summarize.  I went to the hospital without insurance and racked up a hella big bill.  I've been paying it off for over two years now.  Well, I've been trying to pay it off but even though they have my banking information, the company that handles the bill needs to be screamed at reminded to draft out their payment.

Today I decided that I would be even more responsible and instead of spending what's left of my income tax money after the other bills on something fun for me, that I would see how much of a discount they would offer in a settlement.  Well, much to my surprise, they were willing to knock 35% off of the balance!  Sweet!  And DEAL!  They can draft that out next week.  Thank you and Good Riddance!

Here's the best part:

I called and asked for the lady that handles my account.  The lady that answered the phone asked for my name which is not unusual.  I'm on hold and then I get transferred to a voicemail of a person whom I do not know.  I hung up without leaving a message and called back.  I let the lady who answered know that I called for my lady but got someone else's voicemail.  She said that she knew and that was what she was told to do.  Grrr.

Since she didn't do anything wrong, I was nice to her.  I asked her to please tell my lady that I wasn't calling to complain (this time) so please take my call.  Three seconds later, I had her on the line.  After we worked out the settlement, she did apologize for not taking my call.  She said that she sent me directly to the head of accounting because she "just didn't know how to apologize again" for their screwups.

Unprofessional?  Uh, yes, I think so, but this whole ordeal has been.  But you know what?  It's over.  As of next week, I never have to deal with these people again.  HOORAY!! 

Read and post comments

Breaking the bank

This week has been rough on my bank accounts, not to mention my sanity.

Part I:

On Tuesday afternoon, Kiddo sent me a text message saying that her stomach hurt.  Because I'm that kind of mom, I asked her if she had to poop.  No go.  She wasn't at home yet so I instructed her to take two Pepto and have a few sips of Sprite when she got home.  I was really leaning towards gas.

I asked her where it hurt and she said that it was in the middle over her bellybutton.  Anywhere else?  Nope.  Okay then, we'll play doctor when I get home.

She was napping when I got there.  She awoke a short time later and we chatted.  The pain wasn't there as long as she, well, didn't move.  Not normal.  She did manage, however, to make it downstairs for dinner. (The girl doesn't miss meals and she's stick skinny!  Ah, to be 15 again.)

I'd say about 15 minutes after we finished dinner, she saw it again.  This is very bad.  I did a little research on the internet to see what might be the cause.  Of course, appendicitis was tops on the list.  They say that one of the symtoms is when you make a quick press and release on the stomach area, it hurts more than if you press and hold it.  Unfortunately, this is what was going on with her.  I wasn't 100% on what to do at this point.

<sidebar: At this point, we were catching feeder bands from Ike, meaning it was windy as all get out and rainy.>

So, for lack of a better option, I called the hospital to ask what they thought.  I mean, hell, they're medical professionals!  I explained the situation and they suggested that I bring her in.  And then the power went out.  Seriously, the dog farts and our power goes out.  Well, there you go.  Even the powers that be said I should take her.

We brave the wind and rain and hop in the car where immediately my dashboard lights start to flicker.  Hooray, one more thing to deal with.

Upon arrival to the ER, it is IMPOSSIBLE to find a place to park.  Thank goodness she wasn't dying.  Finally found parking and got her in and registered.

We got called in but then bumped because a lady was hysterical and complaining that she couldn't breathe.  Now.  I'm no doctor, but it would seem to me that if you can scream and cry, then you can breathe, but whatever.  We waited.

The triage nurse asks me "You're related to her how?"  I love looking young.

Back to the lobby to wait for the intake lady.  Intake lady asks me "And you are her….?"  I still love looking young.

Transferred over to the blood lab.  The phlebotomist says "This is your sister?" Hahaha, awesome, but now mildly annoying.

Finally into a room where the doctor will see her.  The nurse, Adam, comes in and asks some questions including "How are you related to her?"

At this point, it's after 11pm and I'm tired and I'm tired of asking the same question.  My response: "Oh, I don't know her.  I picked her up off the street.  I have a soft spot for homeless kids."  Kiddo laughed immediately so I couldn't pull the wool over his eyes.  (she doesn't so much look like me, at least I don't think so)

Another Brian gem included Kiddo threatening to leave if they stuck her with another needle.  Me telling her she couldn't because I have the car keys.  Her responding oh yeah and saying that she didn't know where she was.  Brian, shocked, asks "you don't know where you are?!?!"  Kiddo explains that she only means that she wouldn't know how to get home from the hospital.

The doctor finally came back with the verdict.  No appendicitis, only gastritis.  Gave her some IV fluids and meds along with some Maalox and a prescription for Prilosec.  Kiddo got YET ANOTHER warning to not have any more energy drinks with the promise that if found out, she will live in her room under her bed until the next school year.

I suppose a $75 co-pay is much better than the bill I racked up (and am still paying) from the same hospital where I went before I had insurance.

My poorness continues in Part 2.

Read and post comments

Can you be a hypochondriac for someone else?

My mom told me yesterday that on Tuesday, she's going to have a heart catheter.  Yes, I know it's supposed to be routine and all, but that doesn't really make me worry any less.  She's been overweight for YEARS even with the lipo and I just know she eats like crap.  She's tough though.  She's been through a lot.  Loss of her parents, loss of my dad, raising me and my brother, raising her second husband's kids, etc.

I'm flying up on Monday afternoon and flying back Tuesday night so I can be there.  I'll take my laptop so (maybe) I can write while I wait. (The doctor told her she'd be there for 6 hours.)

I guess my main point here is, if you happen to think about it on Tuesday at about 8:15am EST, send a thought, prayer, shout out, whatever for mom's speedy recovery.  Thanks.

Read and post comments