Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It’s not a hotel, it’s a hospital

When we got the mail last night, we were greeted with a bill from the hospital for over $450.  All in all, my stay was close to $20,000, so it’s not that bad.  (Thank you, Aetna!). We thought we would have a $100 copay for each night we were there, but Gary pointed out to me this morning that it’s not a hotel where you get charged per night, but a hospital where they charge you for the actual time that you were there.   It’s crazy to think that these fees would not have even registered with us had the bill come and we were at home playing with Allie, but when it came and our arms were empty, it stung a little bit.

That was the icky part of the day.  The better part was the permanent memorial I got to honor or daughter.  Gary got his a few weeks ago but we wanted to wait till I was in the clear before I got mine.  So now we have matching tattoos (more or less) and we are both so very proud.  Gary’s in on his left upper arm and mine is on my lower back, also on the left side.  The image is a modified Aleph (the letter "A" in the Hebrew alphabet) with a heart on one side and a curly cat tail on the other.  Allie will always be our Allie Cat.   Note:  it had been over 15 years since I got any permanent ink and OW!  Totally forgot the pain.  They say that it’s like childbirth and that you forget the pain right after, but that analogy is lost on me for obvious reasons!  Still, so worth it.  No doubt about it.

Today was more difficult getting up than the past two days were.  The novelty of being back at work had worn off a bit and I was really tired!  But I made it in and once again, was surprised by someone at work.  This time, a coworker came up to me and just told me how hard it was to come see me. She did not want to walk by like nothing happened but she just did not know what to say.  She started to tear up as she is a mother and could not imagine this tragedy happening her or to one of her children.  She reminded me that people who say the wrong thing at least mean to say the right thing and that is a good thing to remember.  She also reminded me that there might be people who do not say anything as it is just too hard for them to imagine and thus, they stay silent.  I have seen a lot of that in the last few days as well.   She called me after she left my desk to tell me another story and I know she felt better after seeing me and talking to me.  And I felt better after seeing her as well.

This afternoon, we finally got to see the doctor for the appointment that I was expecting to have last week.  I have been a little worried about my incision as it does not seem as healed as I would like it to be and we wanted the final lab results back.  

Upon walking into the office, we were told they were 30 minutes behind.  That turned out to be an hour, actually.  And sitting next to me in the waiting room?  One of the women from our Labor and Delivery class.  She looked like she was about to have her baby right then and there.  We said hello and then I avoided eye contact. Which is good as I did not want her to see me so upset. I could barely hold back the tears.  I felt like I was hit in the gut - the last time I saw her, I was that pregnant and that happy!  How is this fair?  How is any of it fair??  Then, to top it off, there was an infant in the office who was cute as could be.  I heard his coos and his cries and it broke my heart.  That surprised me.  I can (and do) see my nieces and not feel anything but love, but seeing this baby, there, in my OB's office, it ripped me apart.  I want my baby!

We finally get to see the doctor and guess what?  The test results are not back as the pathologist was on vacation and someone else was filling in.  My doctor will call us when she has any news, but she will be away the next 2 days at a conference and she is off on Monday's so it could be next week.  And my incision?  I am now on antibiotics for the next 10 days.  There is a slight infection and it's just on the surface, so nothing internal is wrong, but still!  Cut a girl a break!!  I have to be extra careful for the next 10 days and keep an eye on it.  It's a good thing I like my doctor or I might have screamed. 

So now I am home.  After I post this blog, I will pay that hospital bill.  And I will take my antibiotics.  And I will look at my tattoo, which will make me smile as it will remind me that Allie is with me, in some way or another, even if it's not in the way I want her to be.

Tomorrow I will get up and go to work again.   I will get done what I can and I will laugh when the opportunity arises.  Even in the moments when it hurts the most.

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