Pick an Adage, Idiom, Axiom Whatever

I've been as busy as a mosquito in a nudist colony, busier than a one-legged man in a butt kickin' contest.

I've felt like my elevator doesn't go up to the top floor and that I'm about as sharp as a marble.

It's been so hot, I was sweating like a whore in church.

Am I depressed? Does Pinocchio have wooden balls?

It's been a rough week, hell, a rough couple of weeks. As I wrote just a few short posts ago, the hubs was in the hospital. Just a few weeks before that, I was in the hospital. I'm still all stressed about my hubs. He's worried and he rarely worries so that worries me. He is stressed himself and now doubly stressed because he knows his stress is causing me stress(did you get that?)

There's not much we can do on that front except count up the healthy days as we put some time between us and the embolism. It may happen again, it may not. We're doing everything we're supposed to in order to minimize that so I just have to stop obsessing.

The most beautiful thing after a couple of days in the hospital is coming home. The worst thing after a few days in the hospital is getting the bill. Not wanting to be broadsided, we called to get estimates on the hospital costs(mine and his) and our portion looks like it's going to be between $12,000-$20,000. Yes, no lie, and we have insurance. Oh, don't get me started on our healthcare system or I'll probably just start crying, again but let me just state in no uncertain terms that the system is fucking broken and if you're going to vote Republican, please don't tell me or I might be forced to hurl invectives or something heavy your direction.

So, that's depressing no? It won't put us in major jeopardy, thankfully hubs and I are good little savers but after we pay everything, there won't be quite the safety net that there should be. I'm big on saving because if my hub lost his job, it might take a while for him to find another at his level. He'd find one(he's an engineer) but the process could take several months. I own a spa, which, when people get in a crunch or the economy slides south, facials, massages and yes, even brazilian waxes are some of the first luxuries to go.

So no more eating out which we didn't do much of anyhow but now nada. And Sunday I went to the nearby Grocery Outlet, that's the actual name, and I got a schload of groceries for sixty bucks, about half of our usual trip. The stuff wasn't total crap either, still, not all my favorite stuff like at Trader Joe's but I figure if I can replace two grocery trips a month with a cheaper store, I can probably shave off about $175/month. No more heirloom tomatoes, good butter and artisanal cheese for this girl. Boo hoo right?

That's my other problem, I can't even feel sorry for us because we are so much better off than a lot of people. My worst day is probably better than a good 2/3 of the world's populations best day right? I will never be hungry, I will never not have a roof over my head, my house hasn't been destroyed by the whims of weather, my husband and I are young, able-bodied, resourceful hard-workers, our children our healthy, we have access to medical treatment even if it comes at an exorbitant cost and we have a large safety net in the form of family. However, when you have a mortgage that nears $3000 a month and a family of five to feed, writing a check for upwards of $15,000 for unforeseen medical expenses when you are already paying $500 each month for said insurance is a bit painful.

So needless to say, my writing muse is busying herself in the corner, rocking back and forth trying to stave off a panic attack, adding up bills, fretting about her husband's health, the state of the economy, blah, blah, blah. The good thing is the dust generally settles and I return to my formerlyfun self, until then, bear with the blathering me.

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Spatula said... October 6, 2008 at 10:43 AM  

Health care is one of the biggest reasons my family moved to Canada and not USA.

Sorry you had such a nasty shock, both emotionally and financially. I can't believe you had to fork out that much after paying steep insurance premiums every month. That's just savage.

~Mountain Lover~ said... October 6, 2008 at 10:52 AM  

I'm happy to hear your hubs is doing better. And I know it's hard not to worry, but now you know signs and symptoms, and I bet the chances of it happening again are pretty slim.

I'm sorry about the cost despite having health insurance. I'll totally junk-punch the next Republican I see for you.

Anonymous said... October 6, 2008 at 11:52 AM  

Out of pocket medical expenses always suck when they are in addition to the already ridiculously high monthly premiums! One suggestion, alot of times hospitals will cut deals with you if you offer to pay off in one lump sum.

Give it a try, see if you can cut them a check for 60% of the balance and have them call it even.. Worst that can happen is they can say no, right?

derfina said... October 6, 2008 at 11:56 AM  

If you are prepared to pay off your medical bill all at once instead of spreading out payments over time, you need to call the facility and negotiate yourself a cheaper payoff. Especially if it is close to the end of the month-they have financial goals to meet, and they will almost invariably knock 20% or more off if you pay it off before their deadline. I know this from both personal experience and from working in the industry. Just call them and say "How much will you knock off if I pay this in full?" It is not that much of a savings, but it's something. Good luck!

Anonymous said... October 6, 2008 at 12:25 PM  

Exactly. Meaning...in '95 I 35k in medical bills that ended up being 17k because I could pay that much immediately.
And..."I'm busier than a one armed paper hanger with the trots!"

Anonymous said... October 6, 2008 at 1:21 PM  

I hear ya. mounting bills, property taxes, rising prices for food and everything. Sometimes I don't know how I manage w/o crawling into a corner. Savings is dwindling due to wife not working for so long so my safety net consists of about 1.5months if I ever got unemployed. Sucks. All my stocks went to the tank. I hope things turn around. But you are correct, we still have a roof, and health, so the boo hoo's of the middle class are pretty much ignored by the lower class. As it all goes downhill. Wooo...grocery outlet?! where is this mythical place? I need to ask my wife to check it out. Some of the grocery bills from TJoes n such amount to like 100 or more a week! that's insane..
Tell the hubs if he needs to be less stressed, I'll line up some scantily clad models to take 'de stressing photos'...Purely for medical purposes of course. =)

Queen Mutha said... October 6, 2008 at 3:14 PM  

Hang in there. Give them twenty bucks a month, they can't sue you for it. And, they don't charge interest. I hope that things get a bit better soon.

Anonymous said... October 6, 2008 at 5:20 PM  

You blather away to your heart's content. I can say with certainty that sharing your load with others makes breathing a lot easier!!

Hugs & Strength XXOO

jean said... October 6, 2008 at 8:18 PM  

I'm glad you and your husband are doing better. It's scary isn't it?

Maybe he could come help you at the spa? Ha. Can you picture it? You would have some great posts just about that.

Anonymous said... October 6, 2008 at 10:20 PM  

I'm just saying, but there is a mining and defense boom going on here in South Australia. Depending on what kind of engineer your husband is, we got engineering jobs. And socialized medicine. And a booming economy. And you would be closer to your future son in law.


Hope it gets better.

Arizaphale said... October 7, 2008 at 5:21 AM  

I cannot believe that amount of money for a hospital stay. That would see Himself and I selling up and moving into rented accom I think :-(
I know we 'can't complain' but I for one can certainly join you on the 'stressing about it' front. Own business, huge debt, kids, bugger all super.........
Still, as long as we have our health right? Er...I mean...as long as we HAVE our health....(do we have our health?)

Sandi said... October 7, 2008 at 6:22 AM  

Everyone thinks socialized medicine is the answer, until you have to wait forever for an MRI. I never would have had the testing and the surgery that saved my life under a socialized or government-regulated system of medical insurance.

Bimbo Baggins said... October 7, 2008 at 11:19 AM  

I'm sorry sugar. Hang in there, it will get better.

Where is that store? What city? I want bad butter...

Anonymous said... October 7, 2008 at 12:30 PM  

Aaahh .. I'm sorry. :(

No use comparing yourself to others worse off at this stage, you are entitled to take a little time to feel stressed and sorry for yourself before you pick yourself up and shake yourself and carry on.

For you, it's a rough time. For you, the money is a chunk out of your savings and a little less cushion for the very uncertain future. Other people have other worries, tis true, but this is you, and your husband.

I hope he continues well.

Gypsy said... October 7, 2008 at 12:46 PM  

Christ, that's extortion. I'm getting panicky just thinking about it. {hugs} I hope the hubs stays healthy.

Not Afraid to Use It said... October 7, 2008 at 5:51 PM  

I'm here via A Free Man. I can't wait to read more. Don't get me started on the US health care system, either. After having lived in Sweden and having had surgeries there, the system here makes me crazy.

BTW--for great advice on fighting insurance claims, go see Buddha Girl at buddhagirlsworld.blogspot.com She is the QUEEN of fighting back and getting her money back.

formerly fun said... October 7, 2008 at 9:24 PM  

Thanks guys, really.

Laura said... October 7, 2008 at 11:42 PM  

Well, sounds like you really should switch houses with me-- Free Man was right on about Australia.

Luckily you had a nice size portion of I'm not the unluckiest most bad off person either... which is true.

I always try to remind myself of the people living in war torn countries or in poverty and remember we are very lucky no matter what are problems are.

Anonymous said... October 8, 2008 at 3:43 AM  

I am still reeling from the cost of your 'not exactly voluntary' hospital stays. I mean seriously, how can you be paying $500/month and still have to fork over more than $10K. I don't get it, I really don't and unfortunately I can't see health care in the US changing. I mean, even if Obama gets elected, the government isn't going to be able to afford to implement any type of health plan. It is a bloody crime that the US doesn't have socialised medicine, or that if you pay $6,000 a year for insurance you have to fork over more if you have an emergency hospital stay.

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