5 days ago
Monday, January 18, 2016
I really could have planned better for my retirement. I had a really good paying job but my love for animals drained me financially. As my previous post about Ratty explained. my being unable to pass up a scrawny dog on the side of the road was very expensive but oh so rewarding. I don't regret one penny I spent on the over 200 stray dogs I rebuilt and found homes for during my prime earning years.
Had my health stayed excellent that extravagance would not be a topic for a post but a long bout with cancer and now heart problems have really made me realize I could have done a bit better providing for my golden years.
When my heart troubles were diagnosed last June I went in to a stunned silence as the hospital admission clerk stated how much my share of the pacemaker would be after Medicare paid. Understanding my lack of response, she kindly suggested I get some forms when I came in to see if I were eligible for hospital financial assistance. I had no idea what difference that would make but I did as she asked.
I had to fill out a long questionnaire plus provide my bank statements for the past 3 months and was told I had 10 days to get it back into the office. Then they took me in to surgery.
I was home for about 3 weeks when I got a letter saying I qualified for 100% assistance from the hospital and that it was good for a year. In other words, while I still had to pay for the various doctors, my hospital share was zero. I had only hoped for maybe 10% but I guess I am poorer than I thought. That was a bit of a shock but a strangely nice one.
Then recently I had to have the stent put in at the same hospital. Now that is an over night surgery also. I was Ok with that for this is a really nice hospital and they make you as comfortable as possible. The nurses are excellent.
After surgery when I became ungroggy, I realized I was in the recovery room as before. It was then I learned I was not going to a regular room after recovery but was going to stay in this bare bones room over night.
My young friend Julie who was waiting for me to gather my wits had a quizzical look on her face. Her dad had recently had a stent implanted and he had been sent to a private room afterwards like I had with my pacemaker.
Let me say here that Julie was invaluable during my illness. Having a friend who stands by you and takes care of the nagging details of hospital stays like transportation and pet care, makes even scary stuff not so bad. Thank you ever so much Julie.
The bed was narrower than a normal one, the controls only partially worked and the sheets could not be tucked in. They just lay on the bed to tangle up my feet. What food I got was ice cold and the only toilet was about 50 feet away on the other side of the nurse's area. My TV was an airplane model that swung out from the wall and the picture quality was un-watchable. Thank goodness for Kindle. I thank my sister Jan every time I use that delightful gadget.
My nursing care was splendid and it really was only for overnight. Hey, I was alive and cared for if not particularly comfortable. But as you know me--there is humor to be found everywhere.
It was in the middle of the night when I unplugged my monitors, grabbed my IV pole, pinched my peek a boo hospital gown securely to cover my bare bum and shuffled across the nurses area for a toilet visit. Half way across the room I got the giggles at the image I must have presented as it dawned on me, "Patti me girl, you are definitely not traveling first class." This wasn't even coach. Is there something lower than coach that is still inside the plane?:))
For those of you who resent the folks who do not pay the same as you do for hospital services, rest assured that the reduced cost ride is a bumpy, uncomfortable one. We do get what we pay for. Hope that helps.
However, also realize that hospitals will grant assistance if you don't have insurance out your kazoo and are barely above the poverty scale but you have to apply for it. Also know, you will get good medical care on the reduced rate but the fringe benefits and comforts are zilch. I was and am grateful for the medical treatment I recieved and the cost. Just hope I don't have any long stays in my future.
If you have a hospital stays coming up and are not a fiend for comfort--- ask. Hospitals will work with you. Better yet, stay healthy.
at 8:07 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti