Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Until recently, I never really paid much attention to those Health insurance Co. statements. I would usually just scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says, "Total amount you owe."
After swearing just enough to make me feel like, I told them, I would write a check, and move on.
But a couple of days ago, the need for reform smacked me right in the face.
I got a bill yesterday from my medical insurer, and I almost had a stroke. ( and then I would have received another bill for caring for the stroke)
I had to go to the local emergency room a few weeks ago. I'm alright, thanks for your concern.
Here's what happened.
The night before I was due to fly back to the boat, I was sitting in my family room, relaxing, when a wrestling match erupted in my kitchen. I looked over and noticed my wife, knife in hand, going at it with a squash, and the squash had the upper hand. This wasn't just any old squash, this was one of those big long nasty looking squashes, you know the ones that look prehistoric.
I said, "Honey, let me get that, I don't want you to cut yourself."
I work with my hands on a daily basis, on the boat every seaman carries a knife at all times. It's second nature to me to work with a knife.
I moved in for the kill, figuring I'd have this baby carved up in just a few minutes.
I think it was my 3rd attempt to cut through that space age hardened exterior, when I yelled, "Ouch."
Oh boy, this was not good.
Unfortunately for me, I take deep pride in keeping our kitchen knives sharp as razors. It was just a small slice of the index finger, but 20 minutes later, I just couldn't get that thing to stop bleeding.
I had a flight to catch in a few hours, and my finger looked like a stand in on an episode of DEXTER.
With my tail tucked between my legs and totally embarrassed, I headed for the emergency room.
In a nut shell, here's how my visit went. It was a slow night for injuries, so I walked right up to check in. The flu was rampant in our area, and the emergency room was busy dealing with flue patients. The lady looks at me with a bored look and asks, "Flu?" Holding up my finger I replied, "Boo-Boo." I filled at a couple papers that took maybe 3 minutes.
I moved to the waiting room, settling in for a long wait. I didn't finish one page of the book I brought with me, when I was whisked into the back. I sat, got my blood pressure taken, and moved to another room.
Almost immediately a doctor walked in. This was unbelievable. This was going way to smoothly.
The doctor talked to me for at most 3 minutes. We discussed the options between stitches or glue. ( yeah, they actually glue skin together.) He recommended stitches, I chose glue. I'm a baby.
He walked me to the sink and asked, "how are you with pain?" I replied, "I'm not a big fan."
He scrubbed my finger and poured some goo on it.
As I blinked back tears, he glued my finger like it was an art project.
2 minutes later I'm walking out the door.
Yesterday I got 2 bills from my evening visit to the E.R.
The first one was a $290 for "wound repair."
Wound repair? He washed my finger and put super glue on it. $290.00.
As the symptoms of stroke began, I opened the 2nd envelope and found a bill for $1245.
This was the hospital bill, not to be confused with the wound repair bill.
The hospital provided the doctor, the wound repair guy. What else did they provide?
No free food, no dancing girls, no nothing.
I walked in their building, used a couple of their chairs for a few minutes, and they sent me a bill for 1245 bucks.
Nah, no reform needed here.
The insurance Co picked up a lot of the cost, but I'll be paying for it down the road.


Frau said...

Shut up!! How is that even possible? Next time take a trip to Ace hardware and get crazy glue! That is totally messed up, I wonder what the cost would have been it you pick door number 2 -stitches?

Alison said...

Ouch is right! On several levels. I can feel the pain!

beth said...

okay you big time let that independent wife of yours cut up the squash...and you can change the light bulbs....

my daughter had an emergency appendectomy this summer...12 hours emergency room, cat scans, finally the surgery, bill, just under 20,000 dollars....our cost 100.01.....

wow...right ?

and my son had that glue treatment after a little fight with some firecrackers and it worked pretty well....

and today I'm sending out happy thanksgiving hugs to all my blog loves....I hope yours is extra special this year !!

slommler said...

Yeow!! That is highway robbery for sure. Should have used duct tape. Isn't that good for everything? LOL! Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

dcpeg said...

Sorry to hear about that. Embarrassment and pain all in one -- not fun.

Uh, take it from an idiot -- do NOT try Super Glue on a wound - it hurts! You can buy Liquid Bandage by Johnson & Johnson that won't sting.

God forbid there's another time, but if it happens, put pressure on the wound and hold it up above your heart for a while. Should stop the bleeding so you can bandage it.

Anonymous said...

Good grief... If I ever visit the USA, remind me never to experience an injury ;-) That was one expensive slip of the knife.

Marilyn Miller said...

Sorry you cut yourself, but yes we definitely need reform in the health care. That is ridiculus!