Friday, January 14, 2011

A Vent.......fffllllbbbbttttttttt

You know what.......


As I sit here on a Friday night, in my pj's, feeling bloated, exhausted and somewhat angry (Ok, not just angry.....pissed!),  I'm trying to figure out how to even talk about what I'm feeling.

And it does NOT help that Say Yes to the Dress is playing and totally distracting me.  But that's totally beside the point.

Anyway, I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but then again, maybe I didn't.  But, one Sunday I had to take Maggie to the Take Care Clinic at Walgreens because it was open and she had been crying about her ear for 3 days.  So, I sucked it up and took her in.  It cost me $79 freaking bucks plus another 20 for the prescription.  That sucked.  It was 99 dollars I definitely didn't have.  But, what am I s'posed to do.

You see, we don't have insurance.  Nothing.  It's terrifying and horrible. 

Anytime the kids get sniffles or complain, I just hope and pray it'll go away.  Or we do every home remedy we can think of and wait it out.  Don't even think about one of US getting sick.  It's not allowed.  Though we DID have to finally break down a couple months ago and send Jer to the Dr. after he'd been sick almost a week and not getting better.  Surprise....HORRIBLE strep throat.  Another 100 bucks we didn't have.

So, a couple days ago Maggie randomly started saying her right ear hurt.  She would say something, but usually only at night.  So, I'd load her up on tylenol and ear drops and she'd get through the night and NEVER say a thing all day long.  Then, last night she woke up around 10:30 and was miserable.  Her other ear was hurting and really she ended up being awake or restless most of the night.  But this morning, she woke up fine and played all morning as if nothing was wrong.  And you have to understand.  When you have NO money and NO insurance, you live in a world of constant denial.  "Oh, she's playing and happy, maybe she's fine.  yeah, she's probably fine."

I got my lazy self out the door at NOON today to run to Kohl's and Target.  That's all I wanted to do, go to a couple of stores, get some lunch, call it a day.  However, literally the MOMENT we walked into Kohl's Maggie started crying and would not stop.  Her ear was hurting. I held her and tried to comfort her while we were in the return line.  She laid her head on my shoulder and kept her hand over her ear and saying over and over "stupid ear, my stupid, stupid ear." That wasn't awkward or anything.  I returned my stuff and we headed to the car.  She was miserable in a whole new way.  Her eyes were starting to glaze, with that sick look.  So now I didn't know what to do.  It was 1:00, I tried calling the Dr., they were closed until 1:15.  I was almost at the Doctors and i didn't want to drive CLEAR home if I was gonna take her in.  So, I dragged the kids over to Chik Fil-A for a retarded expensive lunch.  Maggie stopped crying and ate her food, and just clung to me.  We finally finished up there and headed to my sisters to wait out some time.  The Dr. could get me in at 4:00.  Until we got some Advil in her, she would/could NOT stop crying, moaning, eyes rolling back in her head, screaming as if someone was shoving ice picks in her ears.  It was AWFUL!

4:00, we get to the Doctor.  My kids have this insane and unhealthy hatred for the doctors office.  But today, things seemed to be under control.  Brooklyn held Maggies hand all the way in and down the hall, and was adorable.  All was well until the Dr. showed up.  Maggie instantly started screaming and crying.  Poor Dr. just trying to look in her ears was impossible.  She was literally screaming  "I don't like being here. I don't like YOU.  I don't want to be here." 

Verdict:  DOUBLE ear infection.  DUH!

Well, No shit Sherlock. I had to pay $72, SEVENTY TWO dollars for you to look in her ears and tell me what we already knew?  It just pisses me off SO MUCH that they charge that much for literally 4 minutes of their time and doing nothing more than looking in their ears.  There should be a sliding scale of fees.  Check the ears.....$20.00, have to give a shot $25.00, diagnose cancer $alot more.  But this obscene 72 bucks for just walking in the door.  SPARE ME!  And then, THEN, I had to pay SEVENTY NINE dollars for a prescription of Augmenton.  That is 151 dollars MORE.  Whatever, just add it to the credit card debt.  I mean, WHAT am i s'posed to do.  My child is sick, she has to be taken care of.

So, I'm just done.  DONE!  Frustrated with the system.  Here's the deal, EVEN IF we HAD money to pay for private insurance, we would not be able to get it.  NoONE will carry us because we've had gastric, and we're overweight.  So, there is that.  And Jere is a full time student, and if he covered us on student insurance, it would be something like 5 grand for the semester, which HELLO, we don't have.  So, our only option is government, which is actually great, IF you can deal with the hell and crap you have to to get it.  I am just SO SICK of the grind.  I'm exhausted and frustrated and a little/lotta freaking out.

And frankly, it so didn't help that I got home with the medicine, pulled it out of the bag, and those douches hadn't even mixed it.  They'd sent me home with a couple of bottles of powder.  SO, I had to turn around and go back to the freaking pharmacy so they could mix it.  It's a damn good thing I'm overly nice and somewhat of a pushover in things like this.  'Cause that pharmacist felt soooooooo stupid.  If I was meaner, I woulda thrown a fit and demanded they give me something for the inconvenience of it all.  But no, I just half smirked and told him it was NOT my favorite moment of the day.


So thanks for letting me get that out.

And if this is too heavy and lame...feel free to go back a post and watch cute/hilarious Maggie singing videos.

I promise to get back soon with funny kid stories and snarky comments.  I've still got plenty of that.  Trust me...PLENTY of that.  And I have a new friend, he's fab.

Overpriced and underfunded,



Hello! I'm Kate. said...

Oh Allyson! I'm so sorry to hear about this!

We fortunately have insurance, but I saw on a bill that we got it cost us $85 for the kid to go in for a wellness check up. We paid our co-pay, which I think is expensive, then we got a bill in the mail a few months later saying that the co-pay didn't cover everything.

Money is so tight for us it's unreal, I know EXACTLY how you feel in this! RANT AWAY!!! I wish I could rant on mine, but too many of my fam members w/lots of opinions read my blog & I just can't handle anything they have to say right now.

I hope that Maggie starts feeling better soon! Money sucks, but your family really is beautiful!!!

Emily Lauren said...

I'm so sorry Allyson :( That's so stressful. We took Beck to the ER once (it was 4th of July and we thought he was dehydrated. he wouldn't eat/drink,etc.). Anyway WITH insurance we paid over $150.00 to find out he was totally fine. SO FRUSTRATING!! :(

I SO agree with you w/ the dr thing- for 4 min of their time, it needs to be more like $10. If there was a Dr. who only saw ear infection(ed) children, it could go super fast and they would still make a butt-load per hour.

I also think you need to look in to/pursue the AHCCCS route. The headache of getting is set up would probably be worth the peace of mind and support it provided in the future.

Love you. Thinking and praying for you guys. I hope poor Maggie recovers quickly.

Kristina P. said...

Man, that sucks! My younger brother got ear infections all the time when he was little.

BTW, I am addicted to Say Yes to the Dress. Love.

Pini said...

BOO! I hear you! We have had medical bill nightmares in the past...I too think you should go the ahcccs route, it is a PAIN at first, but really worth it in the end.
At times like this, don't you wish you had an MD in the fam? That would be convienient!! Hope all get better at your place.

Mel said...

I SO hear you on this. I hate it. I'm sorry.

LiSa said...

I'm sooo sorry Allyson! I feel ya. Here in Massachusetts it's a law that you HAVE to have insurance... it sucked before I started my job because we had to have the state insurance and they're awful. Back in July, the state Dr I saw basically told me I was fine- it turned out I had pneumonia! Fortunately, when I started working for MGH, I got Blue Cross. But the downside is almost my entire paycheck goes towards insurance for David and I. yeah Life is tough, so feel free to rant :)

LiSa said...
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LanaBanana said...

UGH! SERIOUSLY. How do people with buttloads of kids survive? even with insurance, if kids all start getting and passing things like strep around--how does anyone cover all of that. or dentist visits or orthodontics or optometrists!? it's impossible. there's got to be a way for you to get AHCCCS. :(

DianD said...

Our system is broken! Some 46 years ago when I was working for doctors, BEFORE HMO's, much government intervention, etc., they charged soooo much less, spent more time checking your over, worked with patients on charges/fees and MOST people could afford and had insurance that helped. THEN Medicare came in, SOME doctors got greedy and drove prices up and out the ying/yang; then HMO's came in and did the same or worse and the doctors I'd worked for said, "This is going to destroy us all!" So true, so true. It was a vicious cycle of many peoples and organizations that was all fueled by GREED! and it is a disaster. Add to that the laws that say all illegals HAVE to be treated and their costs absorbed by the citizens and you have "WELCOME TO AMERICA" now! Sooooo sad. Wish we could turn the clock back 50 or 60 years and knowing what we know now say STOP before we ever started!

Poppy said...

Oh Allyson I hope she's feeling better now and I hope you are too. This is your space. VENT darling. I feel lucky that we are insured because if not I would have to sew Hank up with a needle and thread. Our copay was a budget stretch. I couldn't imagine having to cough up the bill and living with that constant fear. I know so many Americans are in this situation and it is just so wrong. In the meantime I'll keep on the look out for a redhead going bezerk on lazy pharmacists :)

✩Molly✩ said...

I feel ya. Scarlett has no healthcare either and I know full well the "denial" and "depression" you speak of. Love ya, hugs from here.

Brandon and Brittani Romney said...

Ugh Allyson, that is sooo frustrating!! We just came back for a two minute check on Sage's rash and have racked up $100 in just co-pays for well-checks and Dr. visit's for the girls this month. Didn't know we needed to budget that much in.

I don't know if it would help but when I went to Albertson's to fill a prescription for Addison's earache (it's always somethine)...they have an Albertson's plan where you pay $20 for the year and a big list of medications come at a very discounted price.

It was less expensive to do it that way (less than $10 for the Penicillin) than to bill insurance and pay our portion.

Hope that helps a little!