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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Being Dealt a Bad Hand

Call it bad luck, misfortune, trials, etc. I will simply call it our life right now. The past couple of weeks have been rough ones. Nothing life shattering or truly difficult, but bumpy to say the least.
Travis worked the late shift on Tuesday the 1st so he scheduled a car repair in the morning (bill #1 totaling $81.44). He left for work as usual but phoned home during his supper break saying he felt like he had been hit with the flu bug and BAD. He was at WalMart picking up some medicine to "get by" and would return to work. It wasn't much longer before I received another phone call saying he was on the way home feeling even worse. He got home, quickly changed out of his work clothes and crawled into bed. Fast forward to Wednesday morning when I was greeted by this.
I absolutely can NOT look at this picture without grinning from ear to ear at the look on McKenna Jane's face. If that isn't a scowl coming from my baby girl, I don't know what is!
He calmly said "Let's get the kids off to school, find a sitter for the baby and get me to urgent care." He didn't have to tell me that twice. The doctor at urgent care immediately ordered blood work after taking vitals (his blood pressure was very low and his pulse very high). Trav's WBC was very elevated but not at an alarming level so the doctor prescribed a double strength dose of antibiotic used to treat skin infections. We picked it up at the pharmacy, grabbed a small bite to eat and settled back in at home. Travis crawled right back into bed. After lunch I put McKenna down for nap and Dawson and I attended parents day in P.E. at Gabrielle's school. We were gone less than an hour and when we got home it was apparent that Travis's condition had deteriorated. I called the doctor that had seen him just a few hours earlier and explained the changes and he encouraged us to go directly to the ER. We had a terrific doctor at the ER who ordered more testing including additional blood work, blood cultures, urine cultures, a chest x-ray and CT scan of the facial region and head to rule out an abscess or blockage. He was quick to start an IV antibiotic and to order a narcotic pain medication as Travis was writhing in pain. The blood work returned with an even more elevated WBC so the doctor knew we were dealing with a rapid onset aggressive infection of sorts. Within several shorts hours Travis was wheeled from the ER onto the 2nd floor of OMC to be admitted. We anticipated his stay to be overnight and we would find ourselves on the way home the next morning. Not so. The infection continued to progress as did the swelling/redness/rash and associated pain. This is what Travis looked like at his worst.
Sexy, no? 
And this is AFTER the blistering had subsided and his nose was somewhat within the normal spectrum for size. He ended up spending six days and five nights in the hospital. We were blessed to have so many people move to action to ensure the kids, lawn, meals, etc were taken care of! Trav was discharged on Monday the 7th on some heavy duty oral antibiotics and was finally given the OK to return to work on Monday the 14th. Definitely not how we would have liked him to use up all his sick pay and a good portion of his vacation pay, but again feel blessed we didn't go without a paycheck. 
That same week we incurred a streak of bad luck including the following:
Quila, our beloved four legged friend, was scheduled for her annual exam and vaccinations on Tuesday the 8th. She was diagnosed with mild heart murmur the prior year. In short, she has been dealing with some respiratory issues so the doctor felt it was indicated to order a chest x-ray and dental cleaning (periodontal disease can directly affect respiratory and other related illnesses). She was put on a heart medication, an antibiotic, prednisone & OTC Benadryl. All this came to the tune of just short of $450.
I woke up that same morning (Tuesday) and my laptop monitor was all wonky. I panicked for a moment but thought a quick shut down and reboot would somehow be the magical solution to the problem. Eek! We piled up in the van and rushed over to MicroCenter only to be told that my 11 month old young laptop monitor was cracked and that no warranty or service plan would cover the repair cost. When I inquired about an estimate to replace it, I was told anywhere between $200 - $350. Thank you very much, but NO thank you! So I now have this ghetto set up right smack dab in the center of my kitchen, Try to picture it, a laptop connected by some very ugly wiring to a separate monitor screen. I'm beginning to sound like a complete Debbie Downer so let me interject that I am SO grateful for a solution for the time being!
Wednesday morning Travis was feeling well enough that he drove his mother and sister to Clinton, Missouri which is the half way point between KC and Springfield to meet his niece who was picking them up. The knucklehead (and for the record I called him this to his face) got a ticket on the way home costing him $150 big ones!!! I wasn't very graceful in expressing my displeasure regarding the obvious fact that this was one expense that was 100% unavoidable & 100% unneeded at this time.
I went to bed Wednesday night with a horrendous headache. Thursday morning I woke with searing pain in my left ear and a sore throat that screamed infection to me. Travis was scheduled for a hospital follow up visit with the internal medicine doctor that was involved in his case at OMC. I pleaded with Dr. J to examine me after Travis's appointment and he obliged. Strep throat confirmed and prescription #1 filled. Out of pocket cost $45 copay x 2, prescription cost $8  = $98.
Friday I was in bed ALL.DAY.LONG and Travis played Mr. Mom.
Saturday rolls around and I am literally still in bed with NO relief from the antibiotic. A quick call to the doctor on call and a different antibiotic was phoned in to the pharmacy. Rx #2 cost $8. On Saturday we also received a call that Travis's mom was at the urgent care center in Springfield with the exact same signs and symptoms of Travis's infection that landed him in the hospital. What are the chances of this just five days after Trav being discharged?!?!
A few other little happenstances occurred throughout the week that aren't quite as notable, however since I'm on a roll I might as well document them. The older kids decided it was a good idea to fill Gabrielle's nearly empty body mist bottle with Airwick room spray to keep in her bedroom. What would possess them to do this I will never know. When G grabbed the room spray, her shadow brother took it upon himself to grab the Lysol toilet bowl cleaner that was stored directly next to the room spray and somehow managed to get two large bleach lines on her Bombay Kids bedspread that I have a bit of attachment to (we have all the matching throw pillows, shams, coordinating bed skirt, blanket, bolsters, etc.). This is another time I reacted instead of responded to the situation. Forgive me Lord. Our Radio Flyer Pathfinder wagon got broken by the older neighborhood boys pulling each other around the backyard in it. My faith was restored in people when my neighbor who lives several doors up rang our doorbell within an hour with a brand new wagon in hand. Cost to her $99.99 tagged on the box. And lastly, we found a tick on Dawson head during the time that Travis was in the hospital. We get lots of ticks here living on a wooded lot, so we didn't blink an eye. The area on D's head began to fester and look angry (have you heard that term before or is it just something we say?). We succumbed and took him to the pediatrician yesterday to have the area evaluated. She put him on both an oral antibiotic as well as a topical antibiotic ointment. Cost involved - $45 copay & $8 prescription.
If you've done your math (HA!!!) that equals a lot of green somewhere in the ballpark of $840.44 + 1 undetermined hospital bill that will include a $750.00 deductible and 20% coinsurance +1 unrepaired computer monitor + 1 bleached bedspread + the generous act of 1 kind soul.
If you've made it through this entire post you're a saint!

1 comment:

Megan said...

Christine- sorry you guys have had such a rough time lately with all that going on. it seems like when it rains it pours. glad everyone is feeling better. i feel your pain on the medical bills- but on the bright side be happy for a $750 deductible instead of my $5000 deductible that will take me years to pay off, after almost meeting it the last few months. i hope that this next month will be a much happier, and less costly one for your family :)