1 -- Getting Reamed
We got our hospital bill from Jack's intussusception situation a couple of months ago. If you haven't read it, or want a quick reminder, Jack had a collapsed bowel and needed the following treatment:
- Admission to the ER at Texas Children's Hospital.
- Ultrasound and X-ray to diagnose the blockage.
- One enema (using tapwater) to fix the blockage.
- One enema two days later (using air) to fix a recurrence.
- Total of 22 hours in the hospital, less than a day.
Final cost? Five thousand dollars.
The kid didn't even spend a full day in the hospital, and he basically needed a tube up his butt. Twice. Once it shot tap water into him (the nurses filled up the bag from the sink right before the procedure), and the other time it was just air. No fancy materials, no surgery, no anesthetic, no medicines... $5K.
I'm obviously grateful for the treatment, since that type of intestinal blockage is eventually fatal after a few days, if it isn't fixed. Still, five grand? We got the detailed bill with line-by-line costs, and each enema cost a thousand dollars. Ridiculous.
2 -- What a crock
We took the kids to get sandals a few weeks ago, thinking it would keep their feet cooler during the scorching Houston summer. I figured we'd spend about $10 each, but then they found the "Crocs" section. I'd seen these cheap-looking plastic shoes around, but figured they were just another sandal variety. I was wrong.
The kids did the cliched "please, please, please" routine, and then I looked at the price. $30 each. For tiny little kids' plastic sandals. No laces, no wireless capability or anti-air missiles... just sandals. I explained to the kids that we could buy them, but it would mean no dinners at their favorite restaurant (Escalante's) for a while -- we would need to save some money. It wasn't that we literally couldn't afford both the shoes and the dinner, but I'm trying to introduce the whole "cost" component to the kids. Every dollar you spend is a dollar that can't go somewhere else. It's about choices.
They chose the shoes. A few days ago Samantha tore the strap clean off her left one, after messing with it for quite a while. She was totally crushed, and understood that we wouldn't be buying her a replacement pair. Now she's wearing them anyway -- one Croc with a strap, one without.
Friday night she came to me and said, "Daddy, can we please go to Escalante's to eat? I'll even wear my tennis shoes." I think she may have missed the point of choices.
Escalante's was delicious that night, by the way.
Jack is having a really hard time letting me go to work in the mornings. He has been a true Daddy's boy lately and just doesn't want to be apart from me.
Finally, last Thursday, he said, "OK, Daddy. You go work and buy money." That's the language the kids use regularly -- Daddy goes to work so that he can buy money for the family.
Samantha then joined the conversation. "Yeah, go buy money so you can save it and get me tickets for college!"