Monday, November 17, 2008

Bananas and medical bills..

today, in the mail, my 15 month old daughter, Lauren, received a survey to fill out. Since she was recently in the ER at our local hospital and clearly proved to them how very capable she is, they are following up on the services they provided to her and, because I just happened to be there, me.

Was the receptionist courteous, was the wait time reasonable, how comfortable was the waiting area???

Lauren seemed very irritated by these questions and decided to take the 5th. In response she stuffed a veggie stick in her mouth and feign indifference.

But, what is it with hospitals and doctor's offices and the billing departments?

How many people do you know who have been hit with extraordinary costs associated with a hospital 'visit'? Thank God for insurance right? Not always.

For reasons I cannot explain, I have held onto a statement we received from Toledo Hospital. This is where our son, Gaven, was taken after he stopped breathing at daycare. Months and months and months after I bathed and dressed his little body one last time and we had buried him, a bill came to us in the amount of $161,000. We thought we had moved past this part of things because Thank God, we were able to qualify him for insurance due to not working for the 2 weeks Gaven was on life-support.

But, there it was. I returned home from work, full of that heaviness that came with grief. The mail had long since ceased delivering the sympathy cards that somehow, in some small way, reminded me that people remembered our dear son and were thinking about us, and the many hours and days it had been since he had passed.

Even seeing his name on something stopped my heart just a little bit (it still does) and I eagerly opened the envelope. It listed the various services he had received while in the PICU and the cost of each. The cost was staggering (though very little compared to some).

The next day I called the billing department about the bill. As soon as they had entered the account number, the woman said something like, "oh, yeah, you can disregard that - computer error". Well, bust my buttons Dorothy, but that is a really crappy error.

On to the BANANAS!!!!!!

This is my son Gabe:

he is 5 and a 1st grader at Meadow Montessori school. Today and for the next 4 days he is responsible for snacks for his classroom. There are 16 kids total and last night we picked out bananas and vanilla wafers. Tonight, being Gabe, he thought we better write the name of each classmate on a banana. Sixteen bananas, 16 names. That is just so funny to me.
Much funnier than the hospital bill. Fo Sho.


Tonya said...

Oh, those hospital bills!

I do remember you losing your little boy Gaven. I feel such sympathy for you and your family! It was devestating news when it came.

I still haven't taken the courage to tally Knoah's bills. I am afraid to really now how much we may owe. I know little by little the isurance is catching up but still.

How are you writing names on banana's? I am assuming their not peeled?? ;)

The Lehnick Family said...

I did not know you have lost a little have me all teared up...I can not imagine what you have been through? You are one tough woman...God only has special plans for very special people and you are one of them...your little boy Gabe is adorable..and the bananas story gave me a cute! P.S. we are never ending with the bills coming through...I just finally paid off my co-pay for my $23,000 delivery...emergency c-section...that's another story that I should blog about...have a good night.

Wyatt's Grandma said...

That must have been very hard to open the envelope. I am sorry for your lost.

My little guy was in the PICU for 6 1/2 weeks and we received bills totaling 1.1 million dollars. Thank God for health insurance. We only had to pay $20.00.

Cathy said...

Hi Signe! It's amazing what you learn on about people on these blogs. I've been reading your posts on BBC for months, but learned more about you in one post on your blog.

I'm sorry to learn of the loss of your dear son.

Lily's open heart surgery was 8 weeks ago. My husband has very good insurance but I still dread going to the mailbox every day. We got a letter similar to the one you got about Lily's stay at the hospital.

On a lighter note...before I became a stay-at-home mom, I taught kindergarteners. I can sooooo see one of them bringing in bananas with names written on them. Thanks for the laugh! I sometimes miss my little students and that reminded me why.

Jessica said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your losing your son.

LOL on the bananas :) they are definantly funnier than medical bills. Pretty much anything is funnier than medical bills - in my opinion anyway.

Gabe, Curtis and Dav

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