Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Troubling Time

The bills have started coming in from my back surgery as I knew they would. I was certainly not prepared for what I got however! I decided to have the surgery when things got so bad that I could no longer drive (due to working the clutch), or walk more than a short distance without assistance of some kind. We were told that the neurosurgeon was "out of network", but there were no neurosurgeons that had surgical privileges in my area. All the referrals that I got from my insurance company did not pan out. The one they gave me for my county turned out to be in his eighties and was no longer practicing surgery. The pain was getting worse fast, so at the urging of my husband, I decided to go ahead with it.

Had I known the cost however, I think I would have tried to get by with a cane, crutches, whatever. We have been presented with crushing six figure bills! This is truly life changing. My husband and I are within a few years of retiring, and have no idea how we can recover from this.

With a keystroke these insurance companies can change your life forever. We were told that we might have been better off if we had no insurance. We are people who have always paid our bills, but this! I have no idea what we will do. We are truly reeling from all of this! Has anyone out there had any experience with this sort of thing? Could use some advice.

During all this I have been plodding along with And they Sinned. Normally I find stitching to help with the stresses of daily life, but somehow this piece seems to be all wrapped up with the bad feelings of everything that is going on. I think it is worse because it is so huge. I am struggling to stick with it because I am afraid that if I leave it, I won't go back to it. I also worry that if I finish it, I will remember all this trouble everytime I look at it.

Has anyone else ever had this happen with a stitching piece? Did you finish it?

I finished up the tree, and a very weird tree it is! There are three different kinds of fruit growing on it, as well as acorns dropping out of it for the squirrel! I finished the peacocks. I like them! Now I am working on the alphabet. I am hoping I make quick progress here, so I will be encouraged to finish it.

This is what I have so far:

Today is the new moon, so time for the TUSAL. Here is my ever-growing little jar.
I hope all of you out there have nothing but good thoughts to associate with your stitching!


riona said...

I would contact the State Corporation Commission about the insurance issues ... I would also ask for the assistance of your representatives to Congress, and State Senate and Assembly. You'd be surprised how accomodating insurance corporations can become when you start shining a light on their inadequacies. Remember they are counting on you not to contest their rulings even whenm you may be in the right. Have your doctors substantiate your case re the necessity of the surgery and question the out of network ruling. In the final resort, I might consider a lawyer who specializes in negotiating reduction of debt. Some surgeons actually have two fee schedules: one for insurance companies and one for people paying out of pocket. A racket, to be sure, but that's the way things are.

Margaret said...

You're the second person who is associating bad times with her stitching. Not a good thing. I so hear you though -- one does remember what was going on when one looks at a piece one stitched. I'm so sorry to hear your troubles with insurance. How awful! I hope you find a solution -- this just isn't right! Hugs to you and prayers for you too. Your ATS is just beautiful. I hope that some good memories get woven into this piece soon.

doris said...

I don't have any good insurance advice for you, but I surely send you my very best wellness thoughts and hope for a full and speedy recovery. Your ATS is so beautiful, and I know from experience how wonderful I felt when I finished that one. When you look at it later, maybe you could be proud of your perseverance through a difficult time.

Shelleen said...

I hope that you can get the help and financial relief that you need. This is ridiculous.

Brigitte said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you find some effective help.
Your ATS looks wonderful and although it's a difficult time you are going through right now I do hope that the beauty of this piece might soothe your sorrows a little bit.

Dani - tkdchick said...

I'm sorry I have no advice for you. We lived in the States for a few years and we witnessed our neighbours loose their home over a very sick little boy (imagine both parents being Engineers, they made good money). I remember my big toe cost my parents $500.00 because I got an ingrown toenail!

I know the US government has tried to bring in health care like we have here in Canada. Yes, you pay for it via your taxes and sometimes you have to wait awhile. But never ever would you have been faced with a SIX FIGURE bill! When I had breast reduction surgery (and I needed it) I never, ever got a bill from the hospital, the provicnce, na-da.

My Mum just spent 4 weeks in the hospital and I know my parents will not be faced with a massive bill they can never pay.

I constantly give thanks for our healthcare system! We may put it down but no one goes broke because you're sick, no one should have to decide to go through life in sever pain because you can't afford health care.

I'm so sorry to hear this.