Please forgive me. I’m not my sweet self today. I am going through voice mail hell this morning.

You see, back in September Art and I were on vacation in Connecticut. Among other reasons, we were there to cheer on my brother-in-law, who was undergoing surgery. While we were cheering him on just after the surgery, I suddenly fell ill. I vomited on my shoes and almost fainted – right there in the room. Very cheery.

So about twenty nurses and techs and candy stripers appeared out of nowhere and insisted on taking me to the E.R. To tell you the truth, if I’d been at home, I just would have figured I had a mild case of the flu and stayed in bed for the day. Nevertheless, they kept me there for about five hours, checking out my heart, my blood pressure, my temperature, and giving me saline solution. When they were satisfied that there was nothing wrong with me (or nothing that they could diagnose apart from a “pre-syncopal episode”, which means “You almost fainted”) they sent me home.

Now, a month and a half later, after having provided everyone with the necessary documents – which was no mean feat – I am receiving vague threats from the hospital, inferring that I am a deadbeat who deserves to have her credit dinged for failing to pay for services rendered.

Now, in the first place – This is the first time I’ve received a bill from this doctor. So how could I be in arrears? In the second place, when I logged on to the hospital web site, as suggested, it appeared that they did not have my insurance information. How could they not have it? My husband handed them my insurance card before they admitted me. Furthermore, I called my insurance company the next morning and straightened the whole thing out with them. Finally, this is the third bill for the same visit – my insurance company has already approved the other two for payment. Why do I get the feeling that I am in the Twilight Zone? Has this ever happened to any of you?

So now I’m trying to call the hospital so that I can – once more – give them my insurance information. Thank God my husband has a speakerphone so I don’t have to hold the receiver up to my ear for an hour waiting for someone to pick up the line. I’m not usually one for multi-tasking. I consider it an affront to my sense of civility. But I just can’t sit and twiddle my thumbs for an hour waiting for someone to pick up the phone. I consider that an affront to my sense of self-worth.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll take a shower, take a walk, do some laundry, scrub the floor, have some lunch – and then, maybe, just maybe someone will pick up the phone. Of course, by then I will have forgotten who I called and why. I will apologize to a disembodied voice at the end of the line and hang up the phone, only realizing after I am disconnected that I have now set the wheels in motion for a dunning letter from a collection agency.

Such are the conveniences of modern life.

© 2004, Robin Munson

 Category: Robin's Nest

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