It’s always something

October 17, 2010 at 12:37 am (Healthcare, Time Off Together)

Josh and I were able to have a one-and-a-half-week vacation together.  We didn’t plan lots.  We just wanted really, really needed time off together.  The biggest excitement was camping with friends.  They plan a big camping do twice yearly and we try to go whenever our location and time off status allows.  It was great fun and we had fabulous weather.  Josh and I arrived a day early and stayed a day late so we were able to gear up for and wind down from all of the commotion.  We enjoy camping alone together as well as with friends.

On our last weekend together, well, we weren’t together.  I went to a northern suburb of Chicago to babysit the girls I nannied through college and beyond.  I first started when the oldest was 15 months and the middle was soon to be born.  Now they are 13 and 11 and the youngest is 6.  I just can’t believe where time goes.  When we moved to Scotland I had been with them 7 years and I felt as though I had raised my own beautiful girls.  I hadn’t seen them in 2 years and they were all shy when I arrived, but we quickly got comfortable and had a blast.  I brought one of my rabbits, Tattie, and they were enamored with her.  The youngest girl held on to my leg as I talked with their mom when I was about to leave.  When I gave hugs she wouldn’t let go.  It was great to see their personalities mature into what I had envisioned them to be before I left for Scotland.  *sigh*

I arrived home from that weekend late at night to find my husband sitting on the sofa nursing a wound to his abdomen.  He had been working on something for our kitchen on the table saw.  As he cut his last board the saw grabbed the edge of it and spun it back at him with such force that he fell to his knees.  At first I felt pity for him and began to play nurse getting him ice and such.  Then he brought up a concern about internal bleeding.  He thought the force of the blow could have been THAT hard.  His wound look nasty, but it wasn’t swelling or anything.  We don’t have insurance and did not want to go to the ER if it was nothing, yet we didn’t want to assume it was nothing.  When we dropped our insurance we became members of an urgent care facility but they are only open 12 hours during the day (why do these things ALWAYS happen late into the night?!)  I got online and began to look up symptoms of internal bleeding.  Weakness, nausea, vomiting, drop in blood pressure.  Josh normally has an elevated blood pressure and I thought this would be easy to monitor.  We took his BP and it was normal for him.  After much deliberation we decided that we would sleep, but set an alarm every hour to monitor his BP.  Throughout the night it was normal, but at 7am his BP plummeted to low for any person and he felt nauseous and weak.  I remembered that nausea and weakness was very typical for me when I was working midnights so I figured that could just be fatigue, but my BP never dropped, but always spiked.  I told Josh to get ready because we were going to urgent care.

On the drive over I began to think of how horrible it would be if we thought we were doing what we should and it went all wrong.  I regretted not getting ice for Josh on that last hour that was so difficult for us both to wake up for.  I was sure that if he did have some bleeding that the ice had slowed it down.

The LPN took one quick look at Josh’s wound and said, “You’re fine, but if you want some peace of mind we can price an x-ray for you.”  We she went to find out the price I told Josh that even though he is fine, if the x-ray cost a couple hundred that we should get it anyways.  So we did and the x-ray showed no bleeding.

It was also coming time for my once-yearly doctors appointment that I really dread.  Before I made the appointment with the doctor I had been to last year I asked for some prices for self-pay.  I was told it would be $75 for the office visit and the lab work would be anywhere from $100 to $300.  When it came time to check out and pay, I was given a $130 price.  When I questioned it she said, “Oh, that’s just for the regular office visit.  You had an annual.”  Huh?  Then after I paid that she said, “Oh, I forgot!  Since you don’t have insurance there is an additional $75 charge.”  Yes, my mind exploded.  And I said, “This is all on top of the lab work?”  Yes.   It stinks not to be able to afford insurance.  I told her that.  She shuffled some papers around and didn’t look me in the eye again.  Told me to have a nice day.  Hmph!

It stinks, but even with these medical bills, it would have cost us more money to have insurance.  And I don’t mean just the premiums.  If Josh had gone to the ER we would have been set back much, much further with the copays.



  1. Erin said,

    There’s a charge because you don’t have insurance??? How does THAT make sense?

  2. Kacie said,

    I feel for you, and I hate the system, and it’s completely ridiculous and makes me angry. And I never know how much they could change it if they really felt sorry for you… and how much is an absolute.

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