Monday, March 31, 2008


Last summer, right after I began my vacation, I needed to go in for a round of X-rays and CT scans.  It was rather nerve-wracking and angst provoking and not really a pleasant way to pass the time.  But, I muddled through and all was well in the end.'s not one of those life experiences I would like to repeat.

But, I was afforded that opportunity several times courtesy of the hospital's billing department and what appears to be their on again/off again relationship with my insurance company.  I happen to have very, very good insurance.  I am fortunate.  So when the bills for these afternoons of fun with the rays came in, they were of the little variety.  Ten dollars here...twenty dollars there.  Nothing major.  But they certainly did seem to keep coming.  And what lovely reminders of that special time they were!

But, still they kept coming.  In fact, I began to notice a pattern with these bills and suspected that I was paying some of them multiple times.  Of course the whole thing has been a Killing The Sheep A Nickel At A Time sort of mess and one that has resulted in some of the bills going to collections while I tried to figure out just who on earth was sending their kid to an ivy league school on my repeated ten dollar donations.  

You know it's the end of civilization when the people at the collections company are nicer than the ones in the hospital's billing department.  We became quite close for a while there.  I'm probably invited to several christenings and the office holiday party at this point.

Time passed.  The bills became less frequent and I finally seemed to have come to the end of the letters with the hospital's logo embossed upon them.  Or at least that is what I thought.  There was another one waiting for me in the mailbox today.  To say that I ranted a bit would be an understatement.  I am still searching for the top of my head in the snowbanks around the mailbox, so forcefully did it blow off my noggin.

But, victory is mine, it seems.  Nestled within that envelope was not another bill.  Oh no, my friends.  It was a check!  A check made out to Sheepie!  A little restitution for my months of teeth gnashing and garment rending!  Sometimes, the little guy does win!

We are going to ignore the fact that the check is for eighteen dollars and thirty seven cents and that the hospital checked the box which states that I am being refunded this money because the insurance company forked over this princely sum, instead of admitting that they billed me repeatedly and with great gusto.  It is a check and it is in my name and it is from the hospital.  That doesn't happen very often in my world.  

I am going to celebrate with the purchasing of some gum.  Maybe a trashy magazine to go with.

I am also wondering if this might just be a little warning from the Karma Patrol.  Things have a way of balancing out in the universe and only so much good can come a person's way before a little of the bad creeps in to remind us that we are all mortal.  It's best to be cautious at this point.

To that end, I determined that it was in my best interest to take the advice of the Lifeline Advocacy and pop one of those bad boys in the Invisibility Shawl without delay.  Better safe than sorry.

Eighteen bucks and some new gum ain't gonna fix ten rows of bad knitting, now is it?



Donna Lee said...

"we don't need no stinkin' lifeline"!!! Ok, maybe if I'd used one, I wouldn't have had to rip out the lace shawl so many times and start over....The Invisibility Shawl looks pretty. My daughter has been eyeing that pattern in the book so we may have one sooner or later.

trek said...

$18.37?! Riches untold!

Photocopy it as evidence that such things do, in fact, occasionally happen.

Add a Mountain Dew and a couple of Black & White cookies at the checkout and enjoy, 'kay?

Kath said...

Why does "Lifeline Advocacy" sound to me like one of those organizations that calls for help when you've fallen down and can't get up?

Beth said...

Congratulations! I hate, hate, hate dealing with medical billing issues. I avoid it as much as I can.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you can make connections in your writing. From an insurance, er, hospital refund to a lifeline in your shawl -- pure genius.

I will admit, however, to being dumbfounded that the $18.37 did not result in a fiber/yarn purchase of some sort. Gum and black & white cookies are fine and dandy, but really, Sheepie, where are your priorities? Hie thee to your LYS and acquire some knittable/spinnable stuff!

Army_Wifey08 said...

We got the "widdle" stuff! thank you so much! i would send you an email, but I don't have it and I'm to tired and just plain lazy to search for it.
The Widdle stuff looks amazing and the socks actually fit him. But We will have to wait for the other widdle stuff to fit, because the great nephew lamb is widdler then the widdle stuff. Thank you again so much!

Oh and the Pacifier holder was a god send. We were always losing his pacifiers and finding them days later. Now we just attach them to his little cloths and there it is a pacifier!

Mia said...

Good idea there girly :)

And hey, a free check is a free check! Go buy yourself a cookie :)

Anne said...

Take it where you can get it. I won't even begin to start my insurance company rant here - but suffice it to say, it is ugly and lengthy.

Karen said...

My mother just went through the same thing after her outpatient treatment in the fall. She kept asking them if the $35.00 bill she got 3 times was the same bill or for different things. In the end, after paying all three bills, she got a refund of $20.47. Something weird is going on.

The Kelly Green Rogue said...

hmm how about a knitting book? or magazine? you certainly deserve it!

Yarnhog said...

I can totally relate. Actually, who can't? At this point, I just don't pay the bills if I don't think they're correct, and eventually the hospital gives up. I don't recommend this in all situations, but it seems to be working for me!

Cursing Mama said...

so - what magazine did you choose? I'm dying to know....Fiber Follies....Naked Yarn...Beyond Sheep... or a nice safe copy of Interweave Knits

Jeanne said...

My bad habit is to wait until I receive disconnection warnings because I can't recall if I paid the last bill or not, and, being somewhat conservative, I don't want to risk paying and having a credit on my account... I know. Bad me.

But how awesome is it that the Universe is Abundant and sent some of it your way? Bravo! Tell me, did you feel just the slightest bit silly about the snowbank-head search when you saw the check? (I know I always do.)

Geraldine said...

Cheques/checks are always a good thing Sheepie, even if they are for a small sum at times. Bills bad, cheques good!!!

Why do the Canucks and the Americans have this cheque/check thing going on? It's waaaay more puzzling than our love affair up North, with the letter U!!! LOL

Huggs, G