I apologize for the tone of these posts but I'm so tired of trying to do the right thing or trying get things figured out only to be knocked back down again.
On April 30, 2012 I had a lumbar epidural for my spine. It helped my back but the doctor that performed it works for Northern CA Spine Institute. Good doctors but billing practices are questionable at best. I thought everything was had been worked out well over a year ago after receiving a bill for over $9000. I spoke with the chief financial officer at the time and we worked out a compromise so I assumed everything was taken care of.
I received a phone call tonight from a COLLECTION agency saying I owed over $8000 for this same procedure and they'd been sending bills to my sisters' house where I was living at the time. This bill was from the surgery center where the procedure was performed.
Not once did my sister or her husband forward the bills to me so I could have had a chance to get this resolved before reaching collections. Not to mention when I had the money in savings to pay the bill or what would be left of the bill if Medicare pays their share.
I'm so pissed off. This affects my credit. I have Care credit which will enable me to to make monthly payments on upcoming dental procedures. I need to ask for a higher credit limit so I can have the procedures but now I'm worried I'll be denied because I have such a big bill that will show on my credit report.
Do they have such little regard for me that they don't even bother to forward a bill? This is just not okay because it directly affects my credit which could also impact future housing as well as my ability to get a higher credit limit on the Care credit. Since I don't have dental coverage or eye coverage Care credit is what I need so I can see the dentist or get new glasses (which I also need).
Plus I had the money in my savings account at the time had those bills been forwarded to me so it wouldn't even be an issue now!
I'm also completely freaked out that I owe that much money. The guy said they didn't know I had Medicare so they will make a note to bill Medicare but Medicare will only pay 80% which means another medical bill for over $800.
This was from OVER TWO years ago. It's ridiculous. I don't understand. And I don't understand why the bills never got forwarded to me. The guy acted like he didn't believe me when I said I've never received any bills. I'm sure they hear that sort of thing all the time. I never got the damn bills. I asked him what address they'd been sending the bills to then got pissed off when he told me and said "I haven't lived there in over two years"!
I just can't believe this is happening on the heels of feeling the most depressed I've ever felt while also dealing with other huge financial concerns. There's simply no way I can pay all of this. Absolutely no way can I afford it. My food budget is about as low as it can go right now. I don't even eat 3 full meals a day as it is. It's a freaking nightmare that never ends.
Like many ME patients I can't tolerate antidepressants. I've tried all of them. Ones I used to be able to tolerate I can't anymore. I'm on Lamictal but clearly it's not helping anymore. If I had the money I'd smoke pot. I've been reading about some good results some people have had with it on one of the message boards (Healclick--a good message board btw). All I want is some relief from the depression (it's really, really bad) as well as from the financial burdens.
Last night I had another episode of feeling like I was going to pass out every time I stood up and walked a couple steps. I don't understand why this is all happening--the money stuff, the wanting to pass out. With the tooth infection I could barely see anything on the x-ray so it can't be that bad to affect my functioning. It wasn't there when I was at the dentist 18 months ago (different dentist).
I see the oral surgeon Tuesday and will ask him if I can postpone this. I emailed my ME doctor about it and he said I needed to get the tooth out. I know a lot of ME patients end up with this sort of thing--healthy people do too but it seems more rampant among people with problematic immune systems.
I've been beyond fatigued again today but now my nervous system is so riled up I can't get it calmed down. I feel like the only thing I can do is talk about what's going on in this blog because it's something only ME patients can understand. I'm just incredibly stressed out over all of this.