Thanksgiving: Good Health, Good Friends, Good Family: Overcoming Medical Bills

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for friends and for family and their support during the good times and the bad. It’s an emotional day because I found out that my friend is spending Thanksgiving in the hospital. I recently had to go there, and I was reminded of being there, alone, pondering the medical bills, and pretending like I was fine so that the doctor would release me.

This summer, I was sick for over a month and the doctor couldn’t cure my illness. I had gone to work for weeks with no voice, holding up a post-it “Can’t talk”. But, I woke up one morning and knew the illness had escalated despite a few treatments. I went to the doctor and she ordered me to go to the emergency room. I don’t have any nearby family, and even worse I didn’t have a voice, so I couldn’t call my parents (who still only have a landline phone). I panicked. I was going to the emergency room alone. I took a breath and then another, and hopped on the bus.

I texted my sister to tell my parents that I was going to the hospital. I have never been to the ER and I had no idea how insurance worked or how expensive it was to go. It took a lot to get off that bus and to literally find the ER. I had a few tests done and an IV put in.

As I went to check my phone near the door, I thought of escaping….IV and all. The doctor caught me and took me to a screen. He said that I was very sick. My throat was closing up.

All I could think about was how expensive it was to sit in this room in the hospital.

I felt like I could cure myself.

The doctor looked at me in the eyes and said, “You could stop breathing.”

At this point, I knew I couldn’t eat, and I couldn’t talk.

I was admitted into the hospital.

The doctors were so nice, and I was treated and healed in less than two days. If you ever have to go to a hospital in Chicago, go to Swedish Covenant Hospital The staff there, from the doctors to the nurses to the Chaplin are all so sweet and caring.

I was, however, having a meltdown in my head over the medical bills. When I got the bill, I freaked out. I called the insurance company and told them about the bill.

I asked, “Should I have called you before deciding to go to the hospital?”

The insurance representative said, “If you have an emergency, go to the hospital”.

I was so grateful for the whole experience. I was grateful for knowing that when I had an emergency, I could be treated timely and well, and have my health restored.

I realize that this is not the case for a lot of people, who don’t have the option to go to the hospital when they need to because they are afraid of medical bills, because they don’t have insurance, because they don’t have someone to offer to help cover the costs or to donate.

Today, I am asking you to help my friend, Ed, a funny, lively, caring guy, who is in the hospital. He was recently diagnosed with cancer and needs our help. Please read his story and help this Thanksgiving so that Ed can focus on getting better and not stress over medical bills! Thank you so much! Blessings!! ‪#‎TeamEd‬

Click on the link below to hear Ed’s story and donate today! Many thanks to all of those who have donated and those who have helped spread the word about Ed.

https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/wgm6/ed-siemienkowicz-s-fundraiser/updates/102362

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