Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The story of 2 epidurals

December 7 seems like such a long time ago. I can't believe my little baby is getting so big. Yet in another few days he will be 3 months old. We've gone from counting the days, then counting the weeks, and now we're on to counting the months. (in regards to Anthony's age). The medical bills are still trickling in, I've yet to get the BIG one, but today I got my bill for my epidural. I have been wondering about this one, because I had to have two epidurals on that lovely day in which Anthony was born. I got my first one before I even needed it, the nurses told me it was a good time to get it because then I would have a pain free labor (yeah right.) I really think it was just a convenient time for the anesthesiologist. Either way I got my epidural around 11am. As soon as it was in and I was getting my pain meds, my legs felt heavy and numb so I know it was working at one point. 4 or 5 hours later I was trying to watch a movie (Music and Lyrics) with Todd and my sister Rachael and my back started to hurt really bad. I kept changing my position and nothing would help, I finally told my sister about my back pain and she told me to use the pain button to give myself a bolus dose, so I did, 3 times over the next half hour and it didn't help, it kept getting worse and worse to the point that they called the anesthesiologist to come and check it. He asked me a few questions, I told him my back was hurting really bad, he asked if it was on and off (like contractions I imagine is what he was getting at) and I said no, it was constant. Then he asked me if I could feel any pain in my stomach when I was contracting? NO. He then proceeded to explain the procedure of an epidural to me and that they use a big needle which can cause pain afterwards... I told him I was pretty sure this wasn't needle insertion pain. He tried turning up the pain meds, but nothing worked. So finally my sister offered to rub my back and that is when she discovered the bandage from my epidural was wet. I guess somehow the epidural came out and the medicine was going into the gauze bandage instead of me. By this time I was in so much pain I was crying and my blood pressure was 170 something systolic. The doctor was on the phone talking to another anesthesiologist and they decided to take it out and put in a new one, fine I don't care, just hurry up and do it already. But no, he wasn't going to do it, he was going to have another doctor come in and do it. I don't know why, I didn't care why I just wanted them to hurry up and do it. Finally I got my second epidural and they gave me so much pain medicine that I was comfortable enough to take a short nap. When I woke up I couldn't feel anything, my legs were so heavy I couldn't move them. I think they went a little overboard with the meds the second time around, but I wasn't going to complain. I just wanted to make sure I didn't run out at a crucial time. I didn't realize that the epidural only helps with contractions and isn't much help when it comes time to push.
The hospital I was at was out of network for my insurance, I knew this all along but wanted to go to the hospital my sisters OB/GYN office uses and the one closest to my house, so I knew I would be paying a high coinsurance. 40% to be exact. I also know an epidural cost around $1000 so my portion would be $400. A price I was definitely willing to pay. But when I had to get 2 epidurals, I wondered if I would then have to pay for 2, even though I don't think it was my fault the first one came out. At the moment I of course didn't care, but later I thought that if they tried to make me pay for 2 it wasn't going to be fair. All this time I've been wondering about that bill.
The verdict is in, the bill came in the mail today and it's good news. The total charges were $900 and my insurance covered $867.73 of it. I only owe $32.27. I don't know how this happened but it was a very pleasant surprise. I'm so glad I didn't cheap out and try to do it natural just to save money.

10 comments:

Rachael said...

Wow. That's great news. Definitely worth $32 in your case!!!

I wonder if you'd already met your out of pocket cap. or it the anesthesiology group actually does participate with your insurance. I probably wouldn't question it if I were you. Just be happy.

Mob said...

I had an epidural with my older daughter and all I know is that if I had a million dollars I would have given it to the doc just to get myself out of that pain. As it turns out the doc really liked banana bread and that is my specialty, so that is what he got! (This was 20 years ago, my ins. paid and I have no idea what it cost back then)
I'm glad that you didn't have to pay much, great news!

Starfish said...

Ugh What a nightmare! I blame it on that horrible movie - it's enough to give anyone serious pain.

Tina in CT said...

How horrible for you! When I had Moscowmom 36 years ago, I had a caudal. Wow, the way to go! The anesthesiologist inserted in BEFORE hard labor set in so I was numb from below the breast down. Wonderful and no more pain.

Glad that it only ended up costing you $32. A treat.

BabyMakes4 said...

I planned on going drug-free. To save money. Ha. That kind of backfired, didn't it? We got our first bill today. For $4000.

Want to trade? :)

Cecelia said...

That is certainly good news.

Francie said...

Wow! I've been wondering about that! So, you think it'll be made up when you get the BIG bill?

Mandy Lou said...

Wow - what a bargain! I was worried that you were going to have to pay an insane fee for both, so it's a happy ending!

Natalie said...

Doesn't get cheaper than that! Unless your Rachael....

Scoobers said...

i love pleasant surprises like that but tell them you want your $16 for the first epidural ;) haha. can you imagine?