$52,386.30 for surgery that didn't happen - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

$52,386.30 for surgery that didn’t happen

Depression Expression #12

Previous entry: The Cloying Hell of Antidepressant Commercials


I am aware that the above dollar total is unlikely to be the amount I am going to owe for my aborted lithotripsy. This is a statement of charges that the hospital put in and considering the speed my insurance is moving at, it's possible that I won't know exactly what I owe for a few months.

That said - how many problems with this situation did you spot in that breakdown where I'm trying to be optimistic?

First of all, the lithotripsy didn't happen. I got into the water and as they were scanning me with the x-ray they found out that the stone had traveled far enough to go behind my pelvic bone. Unless I planned on leaving the facility with shattered calcification that I actually need, as opposed to the calcification causing me all this trouble, the procedure needed to be called off. As it was, there's that line item which amounts to $45,370.00 of absolutely nothing.

Let's now saunter on over to the problem with getting an itemized list of things that didn't happen. This is professional gaslighting. I was awake the entire time I was in the facility waiting to get my lithotripsy going. The anesthetics were never pumped in to put me to sleep. Considering the level of self-doubt I already have about my ability to do much of anything, receiving this kind of list was enough to make me briefly consider what good my conscious awareness is if this billing system is giving me the heads up that one procedure is worth more than my life.

I'm not exaggerating with the latter bit. There's about $2,500 in my checking account at the moment with our credit card standing at roughly $550 available. Considering rent, insurance, standard monthly utility bills, interest, and other doctor costs are coming in my total financial situation is somewhere between borked and fubar. Even if I could snap my fingers and receive cash for every non-essential item in my residence it would barely come up to 20% of the total cost presented in this itemization. which - let's face it - is another optimistic view of how much my insurance may end up covering of the total costs.

Calling the provider of this itemization in an attempt to deduce why the lithotripsy even exists as a cost here was fruitless. There was no one to speak to, only an answering machine to leave a message, and not even an answering machine that let me know who I'd be leaving the message for. Even as a writer, someone used to sending out feelings through words into the abyss hoping for an echo, this was a cold reception.

An aside: this provider has unusually small recording times for their voicemail system.

All this comes back around to my health problems which, I'd like to reiterate, are ongoing. The stone in the left side of my body has broken into two, causing pain in separate parts of my already delicate filtration system. Then there's the matter of the unexploded bomb that is the stone hanging around the lower quadrant of my right kidney that isn't causing severe blockage but is cramping me up. The only reason this isn't making my depression flare up into a fit of dread is because of how existentially absurd this all is.

They've sent me a projection for a procedure I didn't have with my insurance still waiting to weigh in for an amount that costs more than I'm literally worth with only answering machines to talk to while I try and pass the stones because the only other surgical option I have isn't covered by my policy.

Maybe you'll get a dark chuckle out of that. I'm too tired and sore to laugh.

Next entry: The Myth of a Good Southern Man

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Posted by Andrew

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  1. 祝融峰下一回首,

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