Now that the days of paying your insurance premiums and being confident that everything would be covered are over (were there ever those days? Maybe I'm just talking about when I lived with my parents and didn't have to think about costs.), insurance is something of a bet, a balancing act. On one hand, the chances that something bad will happen and you'll need to be well covered; on the other, the chances that nothing bad will happen and you'll basically be flushing your insurance premiums down the company execs' toilets.
N, my 17 year old, had surgery Wednesday to remove a cyst. While we were registering him, the nurse told me, "It shows here that you have a $2,500 deductible. Would you like to pay some money on that now?"
Now, I helped make the decision, but that was like 6 months ago. I vaguely remember the conversation going something like...Wow, this other plan got way more expensive...we don't typically have a ton of medical bills, we could hedge our bets, stick with the same cost but higher deductible, and then if something big happens, we'll have to deal with it. So this sucks. By January 4, we had $2,500 in medical bills, plus the percentage the insurance requires us to pay. On the otherhand, by January 4, N's deductible was taken care of.
Luckily, though, the hospital will let us make payments. Luckily, though, we have insurance that will cover the majority of the remainder of the costs. And they'll be considerable. After the surgery, they admitted him for the night for pain management, and I'm so glad they did, because he was in a lot of pain and it was a huge relief to know that he was in the hands of trained professionals. Trained professionals with good drugs.
N and I were at the hospital alone, and that was OK with me. It's hard to watch your kid go through medical stuff, though, even when your kid looks like he should be playing linebacker for some college team. The first hard part was watching the nurse fish around in his hand trying to get the IV through a valve; needles don't bother me, but the look on his face did. The second hard part was watching them wheel him away. The worst, though, was sitting with him in his hospital room in that time between anesthesia wearing off and pain medications being administered. Leaving him there for the night was no picnic, either.
It's largely thanks to his surgery that I have any chance of completing KDUB's 70.3 Birthday Challenge. I did my swim on Wednesday before we went to the hospital. 2100 yards (42 laps) in 56:49, over 5 minutes longer than it took me in October...which was the last time I swam. I could barely lift my arms when I got out of the pool. I did notice that swimming is starting to feel much more natural and comfortable than when I first started swimming laps. Maybe I could even be good at it if I spent more time in the pool, but I doubt that's going to happen on a regular basis.
I'm a little over halfway done on the bike, too. We've had amazingly nice days here; the temperature got into the low 60's yesterday (very not typical for a midwestern winter), but I wouldn't have felt comfortable leaving N for long. Exercise bike it was. I actually have a bike trainer now, which would've been a lot more fun to ride, but I need to get my bike adjusted before I put it up there. Instead, I endured 2:02 on the exercise bike to the tune of about 35 miles. I couldn't do it all at once, though, that thing was making me crazy. I'd ride 30 minutes, do something else, come back and ride another 30 minutes. Oddly for someone who started her "athletic journey" in love with the bike, I'm most looking forward to the run portion.