We just got the notice from our health insurance company--the trip to take our one-year-old to the emergency room will cost us $550 out of pocket. Sure, it scared us at the time--baby Jaclyn had the deepest, barking cough coming out of her little lungs--she seemed not to be able to breathe, Frantically, we rushed her to the hospital. It was croup and turned out to be, while not a no-big-deal-thing, was possibly not a rush-to-the-emergency-room thing--in hindsight. It did take her weeks to get better. Now this huge bill. I work part time at home--as a writer--and full time at home--as a new mama. $550 is a lot of money to me--to us.
Wish I could re-script the past--I'd tell our friend who had laryngitis not to come spend the weekend with us for the baby's first birthday. (Laryngitis in adults manifests itself as croup in babies). No one in the baby's daycare was sick and she was not exposed to anyone else. She almost certainly got the croup from exposure to our friend whom I'd now like to strangle. THEN, if I'd only known that she's be OK--if I'd known to get a humidifier and put it in her room, or run the hot water--anything to humidify her air--then she might have been fine without the trip to the emergency room to be told, "Your baby has croup--keep an eye on her and she should be fine." I'm beating myself up over this. I feel sickened. It's hard enough to keep up with bills on our incomes--money is not tight, but it's not jingling around in our pockets either. $550 hurts.