The Billing Lady

I spent much of the morning doing laundry, washing dishes, and paying bills so we don’t have to bother with any of it right after my surgery. As directed, I called the surgical center early this afternoon to learn the time my surgery is scheduled for.  I was told that I need to arrive at the surgical center at 9:45 am. The surgery will begin an hour later. Yes, it’s outpatient surgery. It seems as if every surgery is these days.

JJ had offered to take me tomorrow but the time of the surgery conflicts with his class. I believed he would have skipped class except he said that tomorrow is a presentation day and he will lose 15% of his final grade if he misses it. So I texted EJ at work and he was able to get the day off to take me. Whew! 

JJ did well taking me to the specialist yesterday and he will take me to followup appointments in the coming weeks, but I am relieved that EJ will be with me for the surgery. He is my rock who makes me feel secure and he will be able to handle any problems or decisions that may arise.

I was even more relieved that EJ will be with me after the woman called from the billing department at the surgery center to discuss payment. Our medical insurance deductible has not yet been met  for the year so we will need to pay for just about everything out-of-pocket. They want half paid tomorrow and the remainder paid within a year. And we will have medical bills from the emergency visit and who knows who else–it feels as if every doctor, appointment, test, and procedure is an additional separate expense. Of course, after the bill from the surgical center, the deductible will have been reached so the insurance company will pay 80% of future bills but the surgical center payment will be difficult in itself without anything extra added on. We are frugal, but medical bills have sucked us dry over the last few years. We had really good insurance when JJ had cancer, which paid for most of his treatment, but we still had to pay thousands in medical bills. We sold our RV and EJ sold some of his prize collections to help pay the bills.We were just getting to a place where we had a little extra money to pay down some other debt and maybe build up a little savings and now here we are again with more medical bills to pay.

I actually felt quite upbeat today until the billing lady called. She really sucked away my calm. I felt like telling her, “My arm is all messed up. I am in pain, I haven’t slept well, surgery is stressful…and you think that I need to worry about finances now on top of all that???” I realize that they do have to discuss payment but this doesn’t help me feel less stressed.

We will probably be ok. I just wish we could have some time to breathe without worries. I really, really, really wish I hadn’t fallen on the stupid ice. Sigh.

One Comment on “The Billing Lady

  1. Scary that so many people are falling on the ice as you said yesterday – such horrible aftermath from taking a little tumbe. The weather here is atrocious, almost 4 inches of snow and 4-8 inches more on Thursday night into Friday and snow and ice on Saturday into Sunday. The ice doesn’t please me, never does, and more so after hearing about your ordeal. You’ll likely get walloped as well – at least you’ll be back home with this surgery under your belt, and on the way to recovery. Good luck TJ.

    Liked by 1 person

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