Sunday, June 24, 2007

Money, money, money!

Lots of stuff about money going on in our house lately. Here's the lowdown:

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!"


FishrCutB8 said...

Take the Crocs back--that shouldn't happen and a good store will replace them. Also, my wife and daughter LOVE theirs--go everywhere in them. They are comfortable, functional, don't suck up water and give great arch support for walking all day--in short, they are the perfect summer kix.

Redlefty said...

You rock. I'm an idiot.

Took them back tonight and got a new pair in exchange. Will wrap them up and surprise Samantha.

I admit I have a bias against sandals just because I've never been able to wear them. They just don't feel comfortable to me, and it definitely bothered me to spend $30 on a tiny pair of sandals that broke in two weeks.

Thanks again!

RedWifey said...

Thanks, Rob! Worked like a charm, they exchanged them with no trouble. Thanks and double thanks!

~aj~ said...

Crocs are all the rage, but I just can't see how they'd be THAT comfie. Glad the kiddos love them though!

Love that you go to work to "buy money." Good luck with those college tickets!

James W said...

Yeah I am right there with you, both the hospital bill and the sandals are a "croc", pun intended. Really makes me mad how hospitals charge so much, and come on 30 for sandals! That is just highway robbery

Redlefty said...

The kids are in VBS right now, and last night I saw seven of Jack's classmates.

Six of them had crocs on. They're taking over.

Anonymous said...

I'm right there with ya on the health care costs. After my wife having a baby last November, then her spending another night a couple weeks later with some minor complications and our two year old having a little accident that required surgery in Feb...I can't imagine what it would have cost without insurance. Last summer I had an MRI on my shoulder...the bill before insurance was $2600. I was in there for no more than 20-minutes. The "negotiated" price was like $700 though...I'd like to have that guy as my agent, that's for sure. Ted

MamaRose said...

I actually TRIED ON a pair of those 'Crocs' recently & they did NOT feel comfortable to me--just like they DON'T look comfortable to me--BUT, they ARE the 'rage' around here, TOO! & in ALL COLORS!
Glad you went back & exchanged them for Sam.

About the hospital & costs, etc.--they have TOTALLY gotten OUT OF CONTROL, that's for sure!!!!! BUT, part of it these days are there are SO MANY who CAN'T pay ANY of their bill--that WE end up paying PART of theirs/IN OURS!!!

Some time soon NO ONE is going to be able to afford for Health Insurance--Companies & Individuals & something ELSE is going to have to be FIGURED OUT!!! You're SMART--IF you come up with THE IDEA--maybe you could 'buy' some of the 'money' to pay for their 'college tickets'--I think you're doing GRAND, teaching your kids--they're ONLY 4 & 2!!! LOVE YA'LL!!! Mom

Rodrigo said...

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