Monday, July 21, 2014

the $110 that sent me over the edge

I hope to never again have a pile of crap-that-makes-me-batshit-crazy as tall as the one I am currently surrounded by. And, quite honestly, that wish is likely to be granted. It is tough to imagine a pile higher than the one I (with some help from others) have managed to assemble. That's not to say that there aren't quite literally billions of people with plenty more on their plate than I have - as that is certainly true...we can definitely chalk the entire pile up to first-world problems, no doubt. I sincerely hope, however, for the sake of each of those people, that they have the patience to handle it all better than I currently am. Because quite frankly, this girl is at her tipping point.

After a rather tumultuous work trip in Vegas (Vegas was not the challenging part, to say the least - jetted spa tub in the room? yes please!*), I was incredibly happy to arrive home on Saturday evening. Although we missed the window to pick up the furry son and I'd have to wait until morning to see him, I was eager to sit on the couch and catch up on some Bachelorette (admitted without any shame) and attempt to forget about the week. The mail had even been delivered, so I had four days of mail and magazines to look through and enjoy, even. What a delight.

...and that's when I found the envelope with the receipt for $110 from CCRM that made me lose my mind. Seriously, I went into some sort of brown to black out rage mode and left a message (on Saturday night at 6:00 pm) for their billing office that I don't remember a single word of (except rage, lots of rage). Now, let's be real, $110 is a fair chunk of money, and no one would be happy to be charged that for no reason. To put it into perspective, however, in a separate envelope I received receipts that same day for two other charges from CCRM that were in the ballpark of $20,000. So, in the grand scheme of things, what's $110? No big deal, right?

False. In a world that feels out of control, every single day, only exacerbated by the challenges last week, that $110 was equivalent to a person hitting you with their car, giving YOU the finger, and then driving off ...and to top it all off, your horn not even working to be able to have some sort of last word (so, in other words, really crappy potatoes). 

On July 1st I went into CCRM (my second home for the last year - Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine) to get my labs up to date, as most of them were done last April and May, which means they were out of date for the coming year...another year of CCRM induced "bliss" (i.e. stress). In order to have your stuff (embryos) stored near everyone else's, they have to regularly check and make sure you are free of all communicable diseases. Part of the panel of tests includes a pee sample, which, for me, is a nightmare. They never manage to tell me ahead of time that I am going to need to take a urine sample, and as a result, I never have a full enough bladder to have any success (no matter how many bottles of water I sit and consume in the waiting room - I have the bladder of a blue whale compounded by serious stage fright). In the past year, there were at least 3 instances where I had to give a urine sample and was unable to for at least an hour or more - the cruelest part? All three instances were for a pregnancy test. HELLO, do we not understand the problem here? 

After trying for about 45 minutes to fill up with water and make the magic happen, I still failed. I asked the front desk to see if I could "complete" this part of the test when I came back on the 15th for some other tests and was told that was fine. Somehow, several days later, I got an email from my nurse with my results from that test - the one I gave nothing, not even a drop for. When I was in last week, on the 15th, I explained this to my doctor and my nurse and did finally "complete" the test (I was SO ready). I got a call later that afternoon from the head of the nursing staff trying to figure out what happened and why I was taking the test "again." She let me know that she was going to have to charge me again (actually she said bill insurance, which we don't have for infertility, because most people don't, which blows and thanks-so-much-for-reminding-me), and I made it very clear that I was not OK with that. She said, "are you sure you didn't leave any urine, not even just a few drops?" NO. I did not. In fact, I said, "Shouldn't we be more concerned here about the fact that somehow someone else's urine got sent in with my name on it?" I mean, right?!

All that said, somehow I still ended up with a receipt mailed to me for $110 for a communicable disease test that I had already paid for, and after making it very clear that I would not be paying for it twice, as they had only used my own bodily fluids once. And that, my friends, was the little piece of paper that sent me right over the edge. [insert black-out rage]


So, small victories matter, and I finally just had one. After more back and forth, CCRM assured me the $110 charge would be credited back. After a week and weekend of what felt like endless pokes to the eye (gut, leg, butt, ear, wherever), I immediately started crying as though I had won the Pulitzer Prize because I managed to contain a single, small, but mighty fire. In a world where we are tossing out so many g-notes we're making it rain, and yet have zero control over what happens next, an extra $110 was enough to make me lose my feeble and barely hanging on mind. On the bright side, I got to enjoy the satisfaction of having made a wrong right, of having controlled something, and that, right now, might be worth a few g-notes in and of itself.

*Random fun fact: Due to another cruel twist of fate, I was unable to enjoy the fancy jetted spa tub in my room in Vegas since I had a (super minor) operation at CCRM on Tuesday which prohibited me from submerging my body from the waist down in any pool or tub for 3 days. Seriously dissappointing.

This too shall pass, friend. This too shall pass.