Friday, October 10, 2008

Michael was Right and I was Wrong (Again)

Michael thinks I worry too much about too many things. Mostly, I don’t think of it as worrying, so much as preventive anticipation: if I think of all the things that could go wrong, maybe I can prevent them. Of course, he’s right, I do worry too much. And, in the specific case of the California trip, he was right and I was wrong. I told him so, but it never hurts to repeat it. None of the things I worried could go wrong on this trip (so far, let us not tempt fate too much) have gone wrong. The travel was smooth, the hosts exceedingly understanding about altering the schedule so I could rest in between events, the hotel quiet and lovely, etc. The schedule at the university changed a good deal due to some unforeseen events here, and in a way that was probably more suited to my energy levels. Everything worked out for the best. As it does more often than not.

Meanwhile, Michael says the bills are coming in. It looks like my little medical adventure is going to cost somewhere north of $70,000—at the discounted for insurance companies price—by the time we’re done. That includes $45,000 worth of hospital stay and $20,000 of surgery. We maxed on our out-of-pocket, as I mentioned, on the radiology and emergency room visit at the very beginning, which again raises the issue of the deep injustice for all those who do not have access to health care insurance. Our system is really broken.

The weather here is glorious. I sat in the sun some yesterday as I waited for the next event, and it was a truly lovely interlude.

I’m off now for one more engagement, then to meet Michael and Shea and head off for our weekend of seeing family and friends. Oh yes, the weekly papers did arrive, so I have those with me to grade in quiet moments.

Thank you for all the good wishes for this trip of mine. So far, so good. A wonderful Friday to all.

1 comment:

  1. When dear husband, P, got sick in Japan, he was in the hospital for two weeks with multiple organ failure.

    The hospitals required a "cosigner" to admit him since he didn't have Japanese health insurance. Our Japanese friends were legally on the hook for the bills, which were due upon P's release from the hospital.

    I was terribly worried the whole time that, in the middle of all this chaos and stress, we would have to come up with a huge amount of cash to pay tour friends back while we fought with our insurance company. What would the bill be -- $75K, 100K? Everything is so expensive there.

    The day before we left, we had a big powwow over the bills in the hospital cafeteria. They brought me copies of them with English translations. Total cost for weeks of care: about $5000.

    I laughed.

    And it was the only bill that we have had paid unchallenged. Blue Cross knew a great bargain when they saw it.

    On the other hand, unless you are in the infectious disease isolation ward in Japan, you have to bring your own hand soap with you. And chopsticks.

    K B