We got married on the beach in Hawaii and I was awake crying, hunched over in pain almost every single night from an excruciating pain in my upper stomach. I thought they were ulcers and by the end of our romantic week I broke down & went to the ER where I remember they gave me some Pepto bismol and told me to see a Dr when I got home, and later sent the $3000 bill. For a 20 (&23) year old who just bought their first house it was a ton of money. Later, after I got home my Mom & I were driving around the night before our open house to get something and I had an attack. I remember her looking at me and how much pain I was in and saying "Honey, this is definitely not ulcers, we are going to the ER". I found out it was gallstones and had it removed a few days later. That was another $5-$10k. So rather than spending our extra hard earned money on buying a new fancy car or an adventurous trip to Europe we set up a payment plan for our hospital bills.
Due to other really shitty health problems, an egg retrieval for IVF, and 2 C-sections I had already had 9 surgeries total pre-accident. Some of them we had no insurance at all. So along with utilities, and cell phone bills we've just always paid the hospitals, Dr's, and Anesthesiologist's bills too. Such is life. In fact when I got home from the hospital I was greeted by some collections statements from the hospital bill payment plan that had been missed while I was away from when Colum was born. Colum hadn't even been paid for yet by the time we lost him. (Finn cost $8,000 + $15,000 for 2 IVFs and Colum cost $7,000 (this is all after insurance)) We are proud to say that we have paid ALL of this on our own. Our parents don't give us money or pay car or house payments for us. We just have to work our asses off and that's that. Somehow, someway it always works out though. My Dad did pay $1200 for the frozen embryo transfer (that resulted in Finn) cause I had no idea when I showed up to do the thing that I had to pay more and our bank accounts were drained drier than a popcorn fart.
So when Ryan was informed on the phone that not only had we been screwed so badly that we couldn't even wipe our own asses and we were going to have the pleasure of having to be held responsible for ALL OF IT...
I took a trip to crazyland.
More. Medical Bills.
I completely freaked out. How? We were disabled. We had lost our son. Our hearts had been ripped out of our chests and now we were going to lose everything! I kept asking myself how does this work? How does this happen? How come there are people who cheat the system and go on lavish vacations, have cleaning ladies, and yet are on food stamps, Welfare, and Medicaid?
I stopped sleeping. I was beyond stressed. I was broken. My baby. Oh My Baby! I literally could not even fathom that this was happening to us. My sister knew somebody who knew somebody who was friends with the attorneys who did those commercials and she called them. After she hung up the phone she got in the car & drove up to the Hospital and passionately laid out some options of how we could survive. My parents called an acquaintance, an attorney who kindly talked to us on the phone and was also kindly, so willing to help us. Our friend's sister was a paralegal and the attorney she worked for told her to give us his number and he'd offer free advice. We were so grateful for all of this effort. We weren't as hopeless anymore but something just wasn't there. We had to make a choice about something we are/were clueless about.
An old friend, Heather contacted me on Facebook and asked if she could swing by and pay us a visit. I was very strict on visitors because I was so physically and emotionally ill the stimulation would make my already fast heart rate, beat faster, but it just felt right. I've always LOVED her and she stayed for only a minute but pleaded with us to please call her brother (or let him call us I can't remember) and we agreed. We set up a meeting with him. By this time we shared a room on the rehab floor & I had made it back from therapy in time but Ryan was running late. Matt walked in and sat down after he introduced himself and just started to sob. I remember Ryan wheeling in on his jazzy to join us and Matt was still sobbing during their introduction, and apologized for getting emotional.
We discussed our situation and he asked if we would let him help us. After our 1st meeting Ryan and I both knew he was the right fit for us. We got that unmistakable feeling that's undeniable that told us
we trust this man, He's our guy.
Well this man has moved mountains and done miracles. He's taken the impossible and made it possible. He prevented us from having to claim bankruptcy, which on his first visit explained that it was a possibility. Ryan, my hardworking husband shook his head at this and I was sick about all the lavish vacations we didn't charge on credit (totally sarcastic but kinda serious) and Matt settled Ryan & I's pride by explaining that if we had to do that it wasn't our fault. Matt made us feel at ease with his quiet honesty. His strategies didn't constantly involve the words "sue"; he didn't exude strong feelings to attack the bad guys, yet expressed a powerful desire of helping us the best he could. He didn't make any promises but he delivered beyond our expectations. Oh, and I believe the guy is a Harvard grad, so he's superb at what he does. Note: I think we had every right to sue but, it wasn't a realistic option for certain and possibly even obvious reasons. Also, we know nothing about suing and how one goes about suing. I know very little about the justice system and politics because I've never had interest in such topics and they always seem to be frustrating and disappointing.
Because I am so disenchanted by those envelopes that kept coming (and are still coming) in the mail, I would just put them in a bucket. I'm the lucky owner of many a buckets. I rarely opened one. I. couldn't. open. one. I would get overwhelmed just thinking of the numbers inside of them. But it was okay because I knew Matt was fighting a lot of our battles and I thank him from the bottoms of our hearts
also my nervous system thanks him from the little corner in my brain that still has some sanity left.
Thank you Parke Gordon! Note: I wasn't paid or asked to write this.
And thank you again to every one that has helped us. We have a lot of ongoing medical bills that are really expensive. It's officially official that financially we are gonna be okay. I can't tell you how nice it is to have that peace of mind. My car payment that was passed due because I didn't pay it in December so I could buy my kids' Christmas presents, half of which never got opened and remain wrapped in my basement. Ambulance bills, wheelchairs, walkers, physical therapy, Ryan's leg brace, lab work, co-payments, the bills from the 2 other hospitals, funeral, obituaries, hair pieces :)...... the list goes on and on. I open them and I can pay them along with our other living expenses. Thank You!