I really don’t know if anyone is even interested in reading a blog by me, but I thought I would finally give in and give it a try. For now, I suppose I will just introduce myself and tell a bit of my story to anyone who wants to listen.
My name is BJ. I grew up in northern Utah, living there pretty much my entire life. About 3 years ago I got married to the most wonderful woman around these parts, and, while now I know what love really is, I also have never known what stress is until now.
About 2 years and three months ago, we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy named Elliot. He was born at 29 weeks 6days gestational age. Yes, that is correct, he was born 10 weeks and 1 day early weighing 1 lb. 12 oz. (806 grams). This wasn’t so bad. It was quite stressful and made us worry a lot about him, but in the back of my mind I always knew that he was going to be fine coming through that. And fortunately, he made it through that, coming home after the entire 10 weeks somewhere around the 4 lb. 8 oz. mark.
After this hospital stay is when thing started going crazy. The bill for his hospital stay was 30 pages long. Anyone who has had a hospital stay ever should realize just how long that really is. Within the first 24 hours of his birth, we had blown past our health insurance deductible and our family out-of-pocket maximum and everything was being paid for 100%. That was great for us! Or so we thought.
At the end of 2005, I switched jobs. Just our luck, though, Elliot never entirely “outgrew” his prematurity and we hit our deductible in December 2005 again. In January, he contracted RSV and stayed in the hospital for 6 days causing us to hit our deductible and out-of-pocket maximum yet again (in 2006).
Around March of 2006, I lost my job and was forced to get a new one, which was fine. It was a better fit for me anyway. Things were going well in 2006 and we thought perhaps we would go through a year without another hospital stay. Unfortunately, on Christmas Day 2006, Elliot contracted Rotavirus and stayed in the hospital for 4 days causing us to yet again hit another deductible and out of pocket maximum. This was probably the worst Christmas we ever had.
And finally, in April 2007, Elliot got a disease which we never found out what it was. It caused him to throw up quite often and he was put in the hospital for one day.
I guess the reason I am writing all of this is that it is hard to understand the weight of financial burden that some people must go through until you have thousands of dollars of medical debt that won’t go away and causes you to lose control of your financial situation. It really is a difficult burden to bear, and I would love any comments on how to overcome that hurdle!