Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I’m Sick About This. Sick, I Tell You. Sick!

I don’t tend to get sick very often, but when I do it’s usually something really dramatic. Like the time back in April when my wife and kids were out of town and what seemed like a run-of-the-mill cold deteriorated to the point that I found myself lying in bed and unable to move for four hours. Seeing as how it was the weekend and my doctor was out playing golf or screwing his secretary or something, I decided the only legitimate course of action was to drag my ass to the emergency room.

The ER is a very disturbing, very unsavory place to be, especially when you feel like dogshit. The one they show on NBC doesn’t even tell half of the story because they never show frail old ladies on death’s doorstep who smell like piss or stupid people getting 88 stitches in the next room because they nearly severed their own fingers opening a can of cling peaches in their own juice or doctors who are more concerned with giving some flunky candy-striper their Burger King order than with ACTUALLY DELIVERING HEALTH CARE TO THE SICK DUDE IN ER BED 4! And trust me, I was feeling all kinds of fucked up that day.

After a two hour wait, the ER doctor finished her Whopper with cheese and came to see if I was still alive. I was. Barely. She took a throat culture (which is kind of like trying to swallow a golf club), ran some tests, ruled out a case of mono, wrote me a prescription for antibiotics and sent me home to convalesce so she could go back and finish her fries.

Fast forward to late last week when my mailbox frowned on me with an envelope from the hospital. I opened the envelope to find a bill for $609.17, which they claim is my portion of the bill for the services rendered that day.

I don’t understand this. I turned the bill over to look at the itemized charges:

$362.34 for “clinical lab.” What’s that?
$51.87 for something called “lab call back.” If that’s as meaningless as it sounds – and it sounds like someone picked up the Batphone to the lab and said, “Hey, Phil, any word on the Evans kid’s syphilis test yet?” – I’m going to shit a brick.
$42.99 for “pharmacy oral solid,” which I don’t believe is related in any way to the anal solid I spawned when I saw this bill.
And so on.

Believe you me, I’m about to get on the horn with my insurance company – which also happens to be my employer – and cruse up a blue streak about how I’m being unjustly billed here and they’d better get this ship turned around stat before I call my contact over there at the KCAL Evening News (“Live! Local! Late Breaking!”) and tell them they don’t like Jews at a certain hospital or at a certain insurance company.

I can see it now: a picket line of rabbis and yentas and orthodox Jews out in front of the hospital, carrying signs that say, “I’ve got your pharmacy oral solid right here, you Jew-hating bastards!” Then Barbara Streisand will get up on the stage and scream into the microphone: “We will not rest until Daniel Evans’ bill is expunged and the old lady piss is cleaned up and this hospital starts treating Jews with respect!”

Oh yes, my friends. A reckoning is coming.


At 12:52 PM, Blogger Lola said...

All kinds of fucked up. Was the REAL "all kinds of fucked up" or whiny pussy men "all kinds of fucked up"? There is a difference you know.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger honestyrain said...

brother, come to Canada. you know what it says on the bill for my last hospital visit with The Boy Child. nothing. nothing because i didn't get one. i didn't get one because it's free. F>R>E>E. all of it. the popsicle they gave him, the books in the waiting room, the xray, the friendly nurse. sure we pay for it with our taxes. you have space shuttles and a kickass army, we have universal health care. i'd rather be able to go to the doctor than watch some guy go up in space, thanks. and as for the army, ours may not be kick ass but then, it doesn't need to be, does it? we're not fighting with anyone.

universal health care rocks. and get this - everyone gets the same elvel of care. can you imagine? everyone! you can drive up in a benz or roll off the bus and you'll see the same doctor. the guy in the benz might not like the company but dammit, this country is fair. you gotta give us that.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Shiz said...

I'm with honeystrain: went to the ER when I sliced open my finger and it was FREE! In Canada!

And yes, I think Barbara would come all the way from IRAQ for your cause. She is just that selfless.

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Shira said...

Health care is only free for Canadian citizens tho, and even then it takes FOREVER to get an appointment. I signed up for my annual physical last August, and it's in July. Course, I live in Quebec where I'm lucky to have a doctor who speaks English, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask.

But yes, my GP sees me for free, even tho I'm Jewish. So Canada rules.

At 2:52 AM, Blogger Kelly Hanson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:49 AM, Blogger honestyrain said...

Shira, things are much faster where i live. i made an appointment for a physical the other day and it's on january 5th. and if i need to see my GP i can always geet in same day. sorry you're having to wait so long.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Daniel Evans said...

That settles it. I'm moving to Canada and taking up curling.

At 10:42 AM, Blogger drawdawn said...

I don't wait long to get in to my free health care either. usually a week. but the er is just as stinky, and you wait just as long there. (but hey, again, FREE!)

And curling isn't really SO bad! lol


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