Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The $10 item that cost $186 in medical bills.

I was looking through "my notes" on Facebook and found this story.  I thought it was funny and that I would share.

From August 2008.

The day started early, early, early.  I headed out to one of my favorite garage sales -- a community sale that is held indoors. It was packed. I could barely get through the crowd. There was a woman who kept shouting "Pay me on your way out. Shop often. Don't be afraid to shop a lot." (Imagine this as a running commentary.)

I found some interesting stuff -- cookie cutters, craft booklets, puzzles, etc. So, anyway, I started looking at the pictures. I've found some fascinating pictures at garage sales. I once found a beautiful antique painting of a lady, and recently I found a reverse painting with mother of pearl inlay. But I digress. At this sale today I found a print that was signed by the artist. I debated getting it for $3 but thought I'd go ahead.

As I was back at this area, I heard someone start mocking the "Shop often" woman who was still continuing. I wished I had brought earplugs! :)

By this time I had a stack of books, the print, and a couple puzzles. When I was able to say something to "Shop often" I asked if I could set the stuff down somewhere while I continued looking. Most years they allow you to put it in the kitchen. She said "Shove it under the table" "SHOP A LOT!" Then turned to me and said she couldn't guarantee that no one would take it (at which point I was thinking she could be put to better use watching purchases rather than being a cheerleader to encouraging shopping.) "PAY ME ON YOUR WAY OUT! SHOP OFTEN!" Then she turned back to me and said, "Just pay for it and take it to your car and come back". *sigh* I've gained some weight and I thought "Why did she make me try to get it out of the way under a table and now telling me not to leave it there". So I slid the stuff out as best I could on the carpet and slipped my fingers under the print, which was the largest thing I had, which I had put on the bottom. I was going to gather the items and after having my hands in the middle of the print, pick the whole stack of items up. The next thing i knew I was in excruciating pain. I didn't know this but the print was broken on the underside. I rammed some of the broken wood through my finger, slicing it about a quarter inch below my right index fingernail. I pulled my hand out from under it and I was dripping blood. "SHOP OFTEN"

I said to Shop Often that I needed a band-aid. My blood is starting to drip at this point onto the carpet. It's already on my shirt. She asked someone if they had a band-aid and they said yes. She said "Loretta has one in her purse." I have NO idea who Loretta is, so I think that Shop Often might be able to get it for me. "DON'T BE AFRAID TO SHOP A LOT. PAY ME ON YOUR WAY OUT. SHOP OFTEN. COME AGAIN. SHOP A LOT" This woman is really grating on my nerves. I figured the best thing to do to keep myself and the carpet clean is to put my finger in my mouth. At this point someone is starting to look at my stuff. I said muffled with my finger in my mouth "That's mine". Shop Often turned to me and said, "That's why you need to pay for it and take it to your car." Again, muffled I told her that's what I was doing when I got hurt, and please, could I have a band-aid. "SHOP A LOT" She turned back to me and told me to see Loretta. Again, I still have not had the pleasure of making Loretta's acquaintance, but someone overheard me asking for a band-aid and got out a first aid kit from the building. I was still in a lot of pain, feeling a little woozy as well. I reached for a fingertip band-aid and was told I couldn't have that one. WHAT THE HECK? All this time "Shop Often" is still continuing her monologue in the next room. 

I'm forbidden from a fingertip bandage which I think would be best but am given one. I go to pay for my stuff and "Shop often" decides to charge me $5 instead of counting everything up. I count it up later, and had it all been counted up it would have been $4.85, but I'm just happy to be getting out of there although I would still like to look, I just am feeling a little light headed and think I best either plan on going back later or not at all. The woman sees I'm looking a little woozy and asks if I need to go to the hospital. I said I don't have insurance, so I wouldn't be going. Little do I know, although I go to the doctor instead of the hospital.

By the time I get to the car, my finger is throbbing and I'm in a lot of pain. Mom comments that if a little thing like that could hurt so much, how could I ever stand surgery. When Mom can, I like her to drive when I go to yardsales because she can let me off, I can look and I don't have to take the time to park -- it saves me a lot of time. So Mom says we're going home so I can get some Tylenol. I'm feeling a bit sick to my stomach at this point. Blood doesn't bother me, but this was really hurting.

I was able to clean my finger off a bit at the house and saw something in it. Great. That's why it was hurting so bad. It was deep enough I couldn't get it out. I called my doctor, and she wasn't in today, but someone she works with was. The first appt. I could get was at 1, and this was hurting so badly.

So Mom says just stopping in at the doctors might get more results. Bingo. I get in less than 15 minutes later although I have over a 2 hour wait. The doctor comes in and sees my finger. He agreed that, yes, part of the picture was left in my finger. He asks about the picture. Old or new? New. What was it of? Did I get a good deal on it? Was there anything else interesting at the sale? What else did I buy? :) 

So the next thing I see is a tray with surgical instruments on it, and a big light. I think "I'm not having a baby, that's just fat." Which I tell the doctor when he stops in again and he says he's only going to deliver a metal splinter. (At this point we thought it was metal.)

I also mention I wasn't sure when my last tetanus was, it was either before I went to China in 1997 or before I went to Europe in 2002. He looked at me and said, "You get a technical shot." (I think he thought this was funny because he kept saying it. Of course I have an odd sense of humor, too, and can make jokes in some of the worst of situations.)

Finally, he comes in, and has me get up on the chair. He asks me to put my finger up, and puts a sheet around it. I said, "We're number one". :) So he numbs it (and why does it hurt so much to numb something? Isn't that an oxymoron?)

I can feel him digging around in my finger, but it doesn't hurt. I can tell it went pretty deep. He said I needed to see him today, that this shouldn't have been left on its own. Afterwards he tells me I did really well through the procedure and said that men are the worst, they can't handle pain. I told him I had a professor in college say it is because women have two X chromosomes and men have an X and a Y. He said, "That's probably true, but I don't know Y." 

So I am told to wait for my technical shot. I started feeling really nauseated, and let's just say there was a good thing there was a trash can in the room. Yuck.

The nurse comes in with my technical shot. I wait a couple minutes after she gives it to me for my stomach to settle, which it did. 

Itemized cost of everything:
base doctor visit $50
technical shot: $50
removing the splinter$75
antibiotics that were prescribed $11.99 

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