Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's Okay

Actually, no it's not okay. It's not okay that babies die.

I was talking on the phone with someone who was apologizing for our situation ("Oh, I'm so sorry...") and I replied, "It's okay." But I didn't really mean it. Because honestly, it's not okay. It is okay that she is being sweet and showing concern and love through her words, however. She understood it wasn't okay either and replied back, "Well, no it's not and you don't have to tell me you are okay." Thank goodness for that woman.

When people ask me how I am doing, I always reply with a deliberate, "I'm alright." And I never ask them how they are doing in reply. I'm pretty sure the answer will be, "A lot better than you", although no one would ever be cruel enough to speak those words. 

And you know what else I'm not okay with? Dead baby bills.

I know it's our job as health patients to pay for our healthcare. I'm no socialist. I understand the need to pay for services rendered. But gosh... can it be more painful to look at dates from hospital bills, pathology reports, etc.?


I get it. My baby died on 12/05/2010. And I get it that because he died, I have to stare at bloodwork bills no one else who has a successful living baby has to pay or endure. I don't get why the doctors or insurance can't come to an agreement of how much these pathology reports are worth, so therefore lay the burden on the patient and try to shiest the money out of us vulnerable people instead-- only to find out they are liable for their share no matter the cost doctors place on the medical care. Of course they are just seeing if we'll pay it first before they are willing to pay their share. Great. Try and pull one past the poor bereaved couple who had to endure countless ultrasounds, full labor/childbirth, stitches, ridiculous amounts of blood drawn, and oh yeah... a dead baby as the reward for all the bills. I don't understand why blood thinners I might be taking in the future have to cost so dang much or why my friends going through IVF (as though that's not painful enough!) have to pay ridiculous amounts just to be able to bring a blessing into the world. I do understand, however, that life's great rewards {i.e. babies} don't come without taking risks and those are well worth taking in my opinion. I just wish insurance companies and doctors were more understanding about the process and wouldn't try to be so deceptive about ways to get their money at the expense of those they serve. Have a freaking heart.

Changing gears...

I've read two books in the last {nearly} two months since Andrew left us: Tear Soup and When Bad Things Happen to Good People. While I have a pile of books to read which I may never get to {since I don't want to}, these are the ones I chose based on their broader tones. They aren't dead baby books.

Tear Soup is a 10-15 minute read and it's incredible. It's about grief of all kinds and is not specific to any one feeling. Both Ray and I loved it and recommend it to anyone who has/will endure any type of struggle or loss.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People is a recent read and it deals a lot with God's role in the whole suffering process is. Many people blame God after a loss because there is just no one else to point the finger at. I have already admitted to struggling with my connection to Him lately. I guess it's hard to worship and be thankful when you feel all of your hopes and dreams of your future have halted. Anyhow, the book is not about death or anything in particular. It's about "bad things" as the title states and is written by a Rabbi. I appreciate his points of view that shut out all those stupid comments I've heard from others about God's role in my suffering.

On another note, I'm feeling more positive today lately---though you probably wouldn't have guessed that's where I was going considering the ranting above. Lucky for me, I have plenty of excuses for my rants and behavior and I don't have to make sense. Maybe it's the fresh snow that has just dropped from our crazy Chicago blizzard piled 2 feet high on our deck that's making me feel upbeat. Maybe it's because I'm back to subbing again and actually enjoying being around kids (without having breakdowns). Maybe it's because we bought Zumba for the wii or finally reached world 3 in Super Mario Bros. Maybe it's because my body is finally feeling like it is mine again (aside from the extra lbs that although I am trying to lose by healthy eating + Zumba, is still there and making me want to throw away all my clothes). Maybe it's because I cooked 2 new meals recently (homemade BBQ chicken pizza, Chicken Tortilla Soup) and felt great about the results. Maybe it's realizing again and again that I have such a loyal, compassionate, and loving husband. Or maybe it's because it's February and we're drawing closer to our Bahamas cruise and March surprise trip!

Whatever it is... I'm thankful. I know five minutes from now tomorrow could bring sadness and I'm allowed to feel grief, but I'm thankful for pockets of happiness in my days that get me through the mud I'm walking in.


Newlywed Next Door said... [Reply to comment]

Ugh, bills bills bills -- I feel ya on that one. Definitely adds insight to injury. I'm sorry you're dealing with that. It's not "okay."

I love when I (occasionally) pull off cooking a great meal.

Fabiola said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, I found you through Newlywed Next Door's blog.

I can relate to the "damn" bills. When I lost my 1st baby, at 18 weeks pregnancy, there were so many tests they did on the baby and on me (with no answers at all) and the "damn" bills didn't stop coming for a few months. I'm glad they finally ended.

And as you said, it is not "okay". And for us women, it is even worst, because we have to handle all the (crazy) pregnancy hormones too.

I send you a big hug!!!


Jill said... [Reply to comment]

I understand you 100% . I remember getting bills, and PAINFUL reminders from medicaid "oh your babys 6 week check up is expected " and it just kept pouring in. I HATED it. And got so fed up with it and had to write a letter explaining my baby DIED, is DEAD and to stop sending me these things. I would cry all the time. I always saw painful reminders everywhere, that my baby was gone. And I never said I was okay, my uncle told me, he lost his 9 year old, he said tell them like it is, sort to speak. He was straight forward with me. big hugs to you sweetheart.

I am glad you will be going on a trip, I know its not easy. You have written that post beatifully.

Katie Truelove said... [Reply to comment]

I remember my sister talking about how painful those bills are-- as if regular bills aren't bad enough. I wish hospitals and insurance companies had a service that dealt specifically with bills related to the death of a loved one...I will bring this up with some of my friends who are social workers in hospitals...

boo and stacy arnold said... [Reply to comment]

We got a bill after the doc extracted our number 3 at 9 weeks pregnant. We actually got a bill that said.... fetus extracted by doctor. I'm thinking really....not only for all the tests but for the physical act? Couldn't that one be covered? Or at least be written differently?

Other than the above stated....Can't wait to see pics of the cruise!

The Anglin Family said... [Reply to comment]

Labor an delivery for a stillborn plus testing and pathology=$24,000.

Just really burns me up. I have a stack of bills in there that I just cant even open. It's almost like there should be some law they can't charge you for having a dead baby. And no, its not ok. But thats what I tell everyone else too. Because the ones who dont get it never will. I want to scream "of course I am not ok!"
I just read that book..(21 reasons) and it really helped me put things in perspective, but still doesnt help the pain.
I am so sorry you are hurting and are going through this. It sucks.