Friday, July 24, 2009

I gambled, and I lost. Big time.

I was 100% focused on getting out of debt.  I admit it.  Several times, I was given the opportunity to change some things, but I didn’t want to spend the money, and detract from the pace at which I was eliminating my debt.

But a house and a baby are big detractors, anyway.  And I failed to make those connections.

We have no insurance on my wife, and no insurance on the baby.  So we are paying all of these expenses out of pocket.  To make matters worse, my wife had an eclamptic seizure on Monday afternoon, something that happens in only rare cases after the birth.  An ambulance ride, 3 additional nights in the hospital, and thousands of dollars later, I arrive at the end of this week not really knowing where to go from here.

The baby had already run up costs significantly, so our return to the hospital put an already drastic situation into dire straits.  We will, of course, be negotiating with the doctors, the hospital, and everybody else that comes running to us for money, but, at the same time, it appears that we will also be making drastic lifestyle changes in the coming weeks.

First thing on the list, though, is to get through the current crisis.  Wife and baby are fine, but this process can take 6 weeks to work through.  Thankfully, they are both at home, and most of what needs to be done is simply rest & recover.

I don’t know the damages yet, and it could be months before all of this gets figured out, but there will be a major revamping of the family finances, for sure.

I am not complaining.  There is no question in my mind that whatever sacrifices I must make are worth it, because I have my wife and baby.  And, in the big scheme of things, that’s really what matters.


  1. I am so sorry for y'all. I can't even imagine what the financial stress feels like on top of all the emotional turmoil.

    *wishing the best for you*

    You'll make it work. Well, you have to. You don't have any other choice.

  2. Wow...I'm so sorry to see this..I hope most importantly that your wife and child have an uneventful and rapid recovery. I also hope things work out on the financial end and that the medical establishment will work with you to make the repayment process as painless as possible.

  3. What the heck happened? Darn, I hope your wife and baby is okay.

  4. If it's not too much trouble to ask, I run a blog and would love a guest post about why you didn't have health insurance and what happened.

  5. I'm so sorry for you and your wife, but YAY for a healthy baby. You can get back on track financially and now you've got even more motivation.

  6. I hate doctors and avoid them like the plague but this is one of the fears I have about no medical coverage. The catastrophic events. My husband is not happy that I've been "wasting" money for the past 17 months since I have been taking advantage of his COBRA insurance through his last employer. He has felt all along that the $145 a month was a waste of money. The 18 months is up either this month or next and he is so happy. I just hope that nothing catastrophic happens to throw us deeper into debt. I guess I am going to looking into a Health Savings Account at least and put the $145 there each month. I know nothing about how they work. I am so sorry you have found yourself in this position, I can just imagine how you must be kicking yourself. I hope your wife and baby are doing good now. I know this is no consolation whatsoever, but we just had to go into $2000 more debt to replace our air conditioner so I can feel a tiny bit of your pain. Hang in there, let us know if you are able to work some deals.

  7. From what I can gather from the info you posted, you got a 70% discount on your hospital bills and will get a 50% discount on doctor bills?


    If you had medical insurance and paid $600 a month for coverage, you would have paid in $7200 a year X 5 years=$36,000.

    Let's say your total medical costs come to $80,000, less the 70% = $24,000. Throw in another $5K for the docs and it looks to me that your gamble paid off. Provided you spent the last 5 years putting $36,000 into savings.

    Since I don't follow your blog, even if you paid $36,000 off in debt, just reuse the debt and pay your medical bills. Worse that could happen is that you are back to square one.

    First off, take a deep breath. Be thankful you are in America and the hospitals didn't turn you away nor deny you and your wife and baby any medical attention. You got the correct care didn't you? The hospital and doctors are willing to work with you and have offered you tremendous discounts, right?

    Sounds to me you did the right thing.

    Now, you just have to pay.

    Will you get health care in the future? Under Obama's plan, you'll be penalized $2500 per person, per year=$7500. Then health care will be rationed to the very young and the very old. Under Obama's plan that baby might not get the care it may have needed. It will be rationed on a need basis.

    Count your blessings brother. Pay the bill and be happy about it. That's the way the cookie (gamble) crumbles.

    You'll all be fine.

  8. Congratulations on your new baby, and I'm so sorry to hear about your wife's frightening seizure. I'm glad she's doing OK and hope she'll be able to rest and recover, though I realize with a newborn that's, um, difficult.

    Intending no offense, it seems to me your rather more pressing immediate problem is getting insurance for your wife and baby ASAP. If you have insurance through your work (I'm afraid I don't know enough about you to know), you probably have a 30-day window when you can add them due to the arrival of the baby qualifying as a life-changing event. If you don't have group coverage, getting an individual policy for your wife may now be difficult or impossible, though some states have regulations kinder to consumers than others do. Good luck to you, and I hope your wife recovers quickly.

  9. Hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it? Good luck on the getting out of debt journey. I'm on that road myself.

  10. By the way, where'd you get the graphs on the side of the blog that shows the amounts?

  11. Yes, I love the graphs. You will get through this, you will. Don't get too discouraged. Life throws us curve balls sometimes. Babies are irreplaceable. Congrats. Megan

  12. wow... i just couldn't imagine not having health care... i hope everything works out. Are you planning on getting health insurance for your wife and baby?