Day 44: Oh Dear the Medical Bills

I slept pretty well last night. I’m not sure if it is becoming comfortable with how and when I sleep at night but at least I haven’t feared going to sleep like I had been earlier last week or the previous week. 

The only issue with overnight was that my bladder and the timing of my pain medications were not in sync with one another like they have been. That meant waking up every couple hours throughout the night to either use the restroom or take pain medications. That created tiredness this morning that I know affected Laura throughout her work day.

I was happy that I was able to maintain one pain pill every four hours throughout the night as planned. That was the lowest strength pain meds that I have taken since entering the hospital six weeks ago.

The morning was dominated by dealing with medical claims, short-term disability and other medical paperwork. No fun. At all.

There have been a total of 81 medical claims submitted to our health insurance company. The claims break down to:

  • 1 - $450k
  • 4 - $10-30k
  • 8 - $1-10k
  • 68 - sub $1k

And that’s not including the majority of the UCSF bills that will start to roll in from last weekend. Some claims have hit but not all of them. There is also physical therapy and dozens of prescriptions that we have had to have filled. 

This will easily add up to around a $1 million health insurance claim by the time everything is in. 

We will then need to continue dealing with additional health insurance claims with the ongoing oncology appointments, MRIs and other treatment that will start in a couple months. 

We have excellent medical coverage including an HSA. Fortunately the money that was so nicely fundraised for us will cover everything, including the mounting prescription bills. 

But, it does cause you to pause for a minute to think about what would happen if we did not have premium health insurance, an HSA, short-term disability and access to other insurance options. I have MANY friends who are entrepreneurs who I thought of today while going through these claims. This could have happened to anyone. 

After dealing with medical claims for a couple of hours I took time to catch up with Jason SurfrApp. We talked through the Built Unstoppable roadmap that I mentioned sketching out. I have relied on him, Caroline and several others during this period to provide guidance. It was great spending time bouncing a few ideas off of him and gaining validation.

I was happy to have my new UP24 get delivered this afternoon. About two weeks ago my UP24 was mishandled a few times during all of this transition between hospitals and home. I was able to ping Jawbone on Twitter and have a new one shipped. 

I was eager to get it set back up since I really want to start getting back to tracking my activity, at least somewhat until I get out of my slings.

I continue to feel anxious about getting back to eating healthier, taking supplements and working out, though my workouts will transition from heavy weights to exercise bands, swimming and other types of exercises. To tamper this, I am spending time doing research, making plans and getting ready for when I'm back to full speed.

I am scheduled to transition to active PT next week or so. I’m planning on using that as the unofficial start to eating better again, taking my supplements and getting back to light exercise. The reason for that is that active PT will utilize several types of bodyweight or light weight exercises. 

I know, I know…take it easy. I hear you.

Laura was able to stop by the neuro surgeon’s office on her way home from work to pick up more pain meds since we ran out overnight. UCSF was able to call in an alternative prescription yesterday to help me get through the day but that was something else to deal with today.

Laura’s colleague had someone drop off food for us again tonight so that made for an easy night. We enjoyed some of my grandmother’s special peanut butter and chocolate bars following dinner. Neither were healthy but still working through getting back to healthy eating. 

While waiting for dinner to be heated up I was able to talk to my grandparents for a little while. They continue to be concerned for us. I have enjoyed talking with them every night or so. 

By the time we were done with dinner I was able to catch the last few minutes of Monday Night Football. I wasn’t too concerned since my Fantasy Football team won yesterday before my final two players had to play - not too shabby.