Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Good News/Bad News

I saw the doctor yesterday and he had told me at the previous appointment to expect a wrist cast after he removed the big green one. I arrived, had it removed & had x-rays. The doctor studied them rather intently, examined me and declared with a big smile, 'Looks like you don't need the next cast. Sling only.' WOOHOO! Still no driving allowed but no cast was a really terrific surprise. He gave me a few very basic motions he wants me to work on for 2 weeks and then I start physical/occupational therapy.

The day before I saw him I was also able to go without any painkillers and he was pretty pleased with that too. I've needed a couple since then because of all the handling, but that's to be expected. Then again, I was so excited to get home and give my arm a good washing I promptly rammed it into the doorjamb on the way to the bathroom. If you heard a bloodcurdling shriek ay 3:30pm EDT that was me after I wailed my hand and dropped to my knees. (This is a test of the emergency lime alert system) I am such a spaz it's ridiculous. I iced it afterwards and I don't think I did any damage.

This week the various bills have been coming in as well. If you're reading this you're sitting down which is a good thing. If you've got drugs or booze nearby now would be a good time to take a hit. Let me share...

surgical fees: $8,475

med-evac helicopter: $14,907.20

3 day hospital stay: $50,204.46

having an arm that works: an arm and a leg

We haven't even considered what PT/OT will cost. I noticed in the hospital PT & OT each charged $400 for evaluation. This consisted of them watching me put on socks and pj pants. Funny, I thought I got to charge people for watching me like that. Oh wait, the one girl picked the leaves out of my hair that no one had bothered to clean out for 2 days. In the ER they did cut up my favorite tie dye shirt and a bra. Maybe I can bill them for the destroyed items and the peepshow. I think there were about 6 guys swarming me. Hehehe.

Fortunately, the insurance has already taken care of the surgical fees and the hospital stay. The helicopter is under review for its medical necessity. Hhhmm, they thought I had 3 major fractures. I was allergic to every drug the regular ambulance had on board. I was in shock and the local hospital told the paramedics they'd transfer me anyway. Yeah, I only wanted the thrill of a helicopter ride. Sheesh.

I am deeply grateful for all the folks who put me back together again. I feel I was well cared for by almost everyone. I am seriously relieved that most of the bill is paid for. Healing from something like this is actually rather priceless. I just really wonder about folks who have crappy insurance or no insurance in a system like this. I can't help thinking about some poor person that needs to find $73K to fix a mangled arm. My first house didn't cost that much money. What's wrong with that picture? My gratitude is mixed with sadness for someone less fortunate.

29 comments:

James Goodman said...

Wow! Getting well would be impossible without insurance. Congrats again on the arm and the meds.

Doorjambs are evil...

Sheri said...

I'm having a hard time typing because I had to do a few shots while reading the about the cost of your injury. Mother of God and all that's holy - wow. I had no idea. Thank God you have insurance and it is sobering to think what the hell does someone do that doesn't have any? I can't even wrap my mind around that. When my husband had a heart attack 10 years ago and spent a week in intensive care and having an angioplasty procedure, our insurance covered every single dime of it EXCEPT $812 of 'over and above' charges (I have no idea what that was) The total bill was something like $108,000 and the insurance covered it. The hospital came after us for the $812 and I told them to shove it. Write it off. Be glad we even had insurance to pay the bill or you'd be coming after me for $108K. Take the 107,188 the insurance company paid you and call it good. They did after a couple years.


Yeah for you on only needing a sling now!

keda said...

hurray for you! so glad you aer healing - bar the door jam incident!

but holy codflaps. thats outrageous. how on earth do people survive?? dreadful.

AlRo said...

Yikes !!! That's nuts...

Well.. I posted my Capcoms competition at my blog - that may bring a smile to yer face -- at the very least it'll make you forget about all the expenses LOL

lecram sinun said...

Yeah, medical costs are crazy. Glad you and Janita are doing well though.

Jodes said...

holy crap!!

barefoot_mistress said...

LOL Lime yes do charge em for the peep show, the cut up bra and imported from Trini tie dye...

When I had foot surgery I asked for a box of tissues......$14.95!!!I just wanted ONE TISSUE to blow my nose. THey wouldn't even give me one. Next time I will wipe my nose on the sheets!

Hannahs emergency c-section delivery and she in neonatal for almost a month....over $100,000.00!!! I swear to god! We have insurance!

However, Garys emergency appendectomy when we were in our 20's...no insurance...ask him to show you the 18 inch scar running vertically right down the middle of his stomach some day......

Oh, Lime, bless you for thinking of others..XX You are the best....

Tommy Gunn said...

***whhhhhhhhhhhht .... cough, cough*** here hit this. Congrats girl on the good news. If you need to make some quick cash on the side, I'm sure we could work out an arrangement. Get Susie in on it and we could probably have the whole thing paid in a week or so. just saying, now pass that thing back. Have a great day.
TG

lime said...

james, thx. they are evil and malicious indeed. thing jumped out and bit me i tell you..

sheri, good lord!!! i was wondering what it wiould cost to restart my heart after all that. now i know. glad to hear you stood your ground! glad gary is well too

keda, thanks. it is unfathomable isn't it?

al, thanks for the guffaws
'
lecram, janita's gonna have to learn jimmy's whipslap move!

jodes, indeed

susie, help me come up withh a billing schedule?

tommy, whhhhht...cough, thnx dude. let's put our heads (or whatever anatomy, lol) together and work this arrangement. hehehe

snavy said...

Wow!! When I got the estimated list from the insurance company after I had the twins, my jaw dropped. Two times everything except my room and meds. I could not believe how much it would have cost if we did not have insurance. But, I am in shock that they would bill someone for a med-evac helicopter!!!

MyUtopia said...

Ouch! I did that with my broken ankle once and it thought I would die! Be careful! Glad to hear that you get to skip the cast, that is awesome.

AndyT13 said...

Holy freakin' hand grenade Batman!!!! $73K???? $14K for a helicopter ride??? I have to point this out: A one hour helicopter tour over New York costs around $150. That's just ridiculous. Glad you're feeling better though. No More Door Jambs! No more zip lines either. Sheesh!

Phaedrous said...

Lime,

Glad to hear you are healing ahead of schedule, but be careful to avoid SIMS (Self Inflicted Medical Setbacks) that lead to MBM (Medical Bill Madness) and PEIIO (Postal Episodes in Insurance Offices) syndrom.

As you may guess, we are far too intimate with the medical/insurance system. Every time we set foot in the clinic, it is $4K roughly and we visit anywhere from 2 to 6 times a week. Then there are the hospital stays, the chemo, and the transplants. You don't even want to think about going there.

It would be far cheaper to hand the new patient a cheap Saturday night special and show them the door to the special room with the floor drains.

Heal quick and live long.

P.

The Village Idiot said...

No Cast!!! Woohooo, thats good news lime, must mean you are healing well. As far as the spaz part, try to avoide immovable objects from here on out

ttfootball said...

Wow u'll be back on the zipline in no time! lol. Medical expenses here are ridiculous! I've been thinking to blog about this since I had surgery recently myself. That Med-evac cost is crazy! Dis one call fuh a cold coconut water

lime said...

snavy, twins oughta be a buy one get one special!

myut, sorry about the ankle. i am delirious about being castless

andy, yes, i thought about that! crazy huh?

phaedrous, i can't even begin to comprehend the expenses you've faced in addition to all the other deeply emotional issues. the money seems like insult to injury for you. thanks for the advice in SIMS, hehe.

idiot, may i should redecorate the house in padded walls

tt, sorry to hear you've had to become acquainted with our system that way. gyal fuget de coconut water, i passing yuh de vat 19!

steve said...

OMG!!!!! that's crazy what an expensive helicopter ride!

The good news is GREAT news though:-}

miss_lissa said...

Holy shit!!!!
I don't mean this in any rude way but, thats why I'm so thankful I'm Canadian & live in BC.
Wow!! Your medical system is sooo different than ours.


I winced- ok, actually I put my hand over my mouth and said Oh my god! when you wrote about whacking your elbow. That sounded extremely painful.
But no cast--wooohooo!!!
You're on your way girl!

David said...

I just have one question. How are you typing your blog post?

BTExpress said...

I'm so happy about this good news! I was afraid you'd be able to milk this for months, but now it looks like you'll be back on that swing in no time. ;-)

lime said...

steve, it is great news. thanks!:)

lissa, i didn't find it rude at all. at least every canadian can get decent medical care whether rich or poor.

david, one-handed typing ;)

bt, hey, i'm gonna milk it for all it's worth. now be a dear and bring me some chocolate. can you unwrap it? feed me? hehehehe

AlwaysArousedGirl said...

Amen to your last paragraph, Michelle. It's so hard to think that someone could have their life destroyed by an accident like that, if he or she didn't have good insurance.

Best of luck and avoid those doorjambs

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Glad that you're doing so well. Sorry about the doorjamb thing!

Yep. Working folks who can't afford insurance go bankrupt over health costs more often than any other reason. I have a nephew who is the single father of three kids. He is their sole caretaker. He works, but can't afford decent insurance. Anything medical is a tragic event at his house. (He lives in TN, which is not a generous state for the working poor.)

Bridget Jones said...

*BANG* jaw hits ground good heavens how do most people do it? Retirees? Single parents? This is nuts.

The med system is one of the major reasons we stayed in Ontario. Seriously. It has a lot of problems but....comparatively speaking....yikes. This isn't right. When my paternal grandpa died in Philly, the estate was billed for meds that he 'got' hours after he died (like asprin yah right and you would not believe what they charged). I think it was paid, because of the belief that it helped out others. But HOLY CRAP.

So relieved that you're getting better Limey. Sorry about the doorjamb tho yikes......here's some hugs to get better...carefully placed ((((((getbetterhugs)))))))

Breazy said...

YAY! No cast ! That is great news . I am soooo glad you have insurance . Doctors , hospitals , medical anything makes me sick because of the prices . They know people get sick therefore they bend us over and drive on in without the lube ! Have a good day!

Blueprincesa said...

It's absolutely sick that it should cost that much. I'm really glad to hear that it was covered. Getting sick or injured is bad enough; financial ruin on top of that is too horrible for words.

Moosekahl said...

Amazing...I'm so glad you are doing well. I see people like you every day but not everyone has the wonderful attitude you have. YOU are the type of patient I love to take care of. And I hear ya on all those that don't have medical insurance, it's devastating. Glad you are doing well all around!

Logophile said...

I was just talking earlier today about the suitable movie quote for this situation.
"Have this removed."
(the doorframe)
Medical bills are insane, glad you are healing so well though, sweetie.

Chickadee said...

HOLY CRAP! Wow, that's quite a bill. It is unfortunate that healthcare is so expensive. That can wipe out a savings account in a heartbeat.