Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Panic Attack Sort of Morning

This is cracking up to be one of those weeks.  When I'm not blogging I have all these ideas bouncing around in my head for posts that are about things other than whining... but after the last twenty four hours they're all pretty much gone.

Yesterday a bright white envelope arrived in our mail box, promising doom and gloom before I even opened it.  After the $10,000 plus in medical bills last year I can spot a medical billing note a mile off.  This one let us know that our insurance had denied Patrick's ER visit as non-necessary, even though every single person said "it's such a good thing you brought him in, what with it being Sunday night and him being 16 days old and dropped on his head."  Let's not get into how that happened.

Despite the fact that he was rushed in for a cat scan that night it apparently wasn't serious enough to be covered as an ER visit.  The thing was we're incredibly grateful that it wasn't that serious, but as every doctor and nurse we talked to that night said, you don't play games with something like that and you have to make sure...  Which also makes me think that they won't think that they're  going to refuse to cover the whole "hair tourniquet" thing because who really needs a middle toe anyways, even though, you know, they had to to a little surgery on his toe to remove it on that weekend night when we rushed in a second time.  And I feel like an idiot for following the doctors verbal and written instructions when his toe was still purple the next morning and I rushed back to the hospital because he'd said it would look normal by morning and to bring him straight back if it didn't.

And why does this sort of thing always happen on a weekend night when no place else is open and the ER is the only option?

So the first bill arrived, for the doctor, at right around $500, with a note that said there would be other bills coming, for the hospital and radiologist I'm guessing, and I took a deep breath and tried not to panic.  Paul's going to call and argue whether or not it was an "emergency" so that hopefully it will be covered.  But I'm not holding my breath.  And if that doesn't work... payment plan here we come.  If my worst-case-scenario thinking is right and they don't cover the save-Patrick's-baby-toe visit I'm guessing we're looking at three to four thousand dollars.  Right around six months rent.

And of course tomorrow the car has to go in and get fixed, since the seal on the windshield broke, and water started pouring into the car when it was being washed... and you can't have a car that's not water tight during the winter (or spring, or summer, or fall) in Michigan.  If it's an easy fix it will be $40.  If they have to remove the windshield to fix it, it will be $110.  And if the windshield shatters, which, I've been told, it is more likely to do since the car is from Florida and the windshield was subject to extreme heat or the past 13 years, it will be $210. Deep breath.

Can you tell I'm having a panic attack sort of morning?  And why does everything always seem to happen at the same time?

It doesn't help that today is February 7th... which is the day when I wish I could just pull the covers up over my head and not get up.  Moms don't get that luxury though.  No calling in sick because I'm missing a baby that should have been one today.  At least today is one of Paul's shorter days.  He won't be out until 1 or 2 in the morning studying today.

Anyways... It's been a tearful morning.  And I'm hoping I'll be better at putting my actual useful thoughts into words in the near future, instead of experiencing the stress/ sorrow induced writer's block of the last couple of weeks, which seems kind of silly as I write it because I really have been happy 90% of the time. It's just those moments when this looming date hits me with it's proximity and I think of how Sadie and Mae were at one and of their birthday parties, and I find myself thinking quite suddenly of holding him in my hand and pleading for water for a conditional baptism and then arguing with the nurses over whether or not they would return the body to us for baptism, and for a moment it's hard to be happy that we have a little saint in heaven when I really just wish I could have kept him here with me on earth.

But that's February 7th for you... at least tomorrow it will have passed for one more year.  And it has to get easier, doesn't it?  As each year passes?

I'm going to try to spend the rest of the day remembering how blessed we truly are and being grateful for our little saint that's praying for our family from heaven.  Prayers are appreciated!


  1. Hugs and prayers for all your sadness and worry.

    I think that it's a good thing Paul, the law student, is arguing your case with the insurance company; they will try and deny, hoping you will just give up. Just idiocy not to cover an ER visit in the situation you describe. (The toe situation, too.)

    God bless!

  2. Oh I'm really sympathizing. I am fortunate that I don't remember dates well, so I don't get the same painful days about my losses.

    It is so frustrating that visits to the ER end up as multiple bills and that the insurance goes and refuses to pay. I'll say a prayer that your husband will succeed in getting them to pay up.

    Be gentle with yourself. Time heals but it is a slow thing. Set aside what you can and add that time to snuggling and watching your three at home. Maybe write a little letter to your angel in heaven telling him about his sisters and little brother.

    My prayers for your comfort today.

  3. Cam,
    Many prayers for you today.

    Re: the medical insurance refusal - the ER doc probably used an ICD-9 code (diagnosis code) that is always flagged as "non-covered". Often this must be done in writing, but when you contest the bill, be sure to ask what diagnosis was used. There should have been a E-code attached which would have indicated the "dropped on head" portion of the history of injury. These are often left off because it is a pain to use them. When you are contesting the bill, the insurance company should request notes from the visit, and you will not be liable for any charges until their investigation is complete (including interest). Medical billing/coding is what I do, so if you have any questions, let me know.

    Take care.

  4. Praying for you today. We have lost eight babies and the dates are hard to deal with. I will pray for you today.

  5. Oh dear, prayers certainly coming your way. What a lot to deal with. I hope the panic fades soon, Cam. In His Strength, though, right?

  6. Thinking of you and remembering Christian today.

    I dont think it gets easier: I think time helps you to become more at peace with God's plan for us and our little saints. On the 1st, Nick would have turned 5; on the 16th, his twin sister, Sophie, would be 5. 5 years since they were born and died... 4 and a half since our son Alex joined them... Time hasnt made it "easier" but these days I can breathe a bit easier, knowing they have supreme peace and joy, and that they are so busy doing God's work that, by the time I get there, they wont have even known I was gone. :)

    Wishing you peace and God's mercy this time of year. Februarys can really suck :(

  7. What to even say? Words feel so silly on such a sad day because what could anyone say? Well I am thinking of your sweet family and praying for you all especially today. I hope tomorrow is kinder.

  8. Prayers for you! May is the 2nd anniversary of our Saint going to heaven. Little things make me think of them more than others. But Mother's Day weekend is always hard now. As is Nov 17th, the day they should have joined our family here. When it hurts too bad I go snuggle my Eli, who was conceived the day our little Saint should have been born. Boss's ways are mysterious. Prayers for healing and comfort and peace.

  9. It's interesting you should mentioned that because I went into labor nine months to the day after my due date. I didn't realize it until later though!

  10. It is painful when these anniversaries come around. I lost two babies to miscarriage in the last few years, with each loss quickly preceding a healthy pregnancy. I have found myself counting my little flock and becoming confused about where the missing chicks are, then realizing they were never born. It is heartbreaking every time I remember. Rest in God's love for you and your babies, Cam. He has a beautiful plan for all of you, on earth and in heaven, and one day you will be reunited forever and your tears will become tears of joy.

  11. Sending prayers. We just lost what would have been our fourth child here on earth in November. We lost her early but Megan is still a part of our family whom we love. She would have been due in June. And we remember Jordan and Nicholas (our first two babies) every year around their due dates, sometimes those times are just a little sad, sometimes they crush us with the weight of knowing. ((HUGS))

  12. Oh Cam I am so sorry. Unfortunately all I can do is pray for you, but hang in there.

    And yes, I would totally call them up, argue the matter and demand to know when a dropped newborn isn't an emergency! I hope Paul hits a home run on that one.

    Honestly, medical bills are just ridiculous. For Brigid's birth I was in the hospital all of 32 hours and had a completely natural birth… the pre-insurance charge? $7K ($600 of that was just for Brigid to spend the night!) It is nuts. I hope you win this one! Maybe a prayer to little Christian will help. :)


I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!