So about my $983 medical bill, my frightening overwhelming, I-didn't-ask-for-this, medical bill:
To recap: I had a cardiac test that the scheduler told me would cost $250. The bill came and it was $1560, and I owed $983 of that. This circumstance meant that I spent all weekend in a State of Extended Panic with bouts of Trembling and Shouting with a Tendency Toward Tears.
As soon as I got to work this morning I called the 800 number at my medical insurance company and talked to Randy, a claims guy, about my problem. He made really good sympathetic noises, but basically said it was a problem between me and the doc.
I got done with work and off to the medical office I went. I found Debbie, the scheduler who had given me the $250 estimate and told her what happened.
She, of course, denied the whole thing. She started out fairly reasonably, but when it became clear that I was indeed pinning the blame on her and wasn't backing down, she got snotty and could not have been snottier.
She tried to weasel out of it every which way. She never said it, I didn't understand her, she never quoted tests, she "knew how she interacted with patients and I wouldn't have done that," "This kind of thing has never happened before," "You probably just don't have very good insurance," yadayadayada.
She finally would not talk to me any more. She sent me down to the Office Manager. By then I was shaking and so screwed up I had to walk around the building twice to find the office.
The first person I talked to in the business office was a complete wench too. She took my paperwork and looked it over and tapped her acrylic nails on the desk and told me it was billed correctly. I was on the verge of hopelessness.
But then...then came Betty. She emerged from her office, a tiny white-haired woman in a purple sweater and cute glasses. She waved off the wench. She grabbed my hand and looked in my eyes.
"We don't want you to be upset," she said, and I could tell she meant it.
She looked at my bill and nodded and muttered under her breath and figured a bit.
"How about...would it be okay if...you just paid the $250 and we called it even?" she said.
"That is EXACTLY what I was going to propose," I said.
So all it took was one kind person, one Betty, to make me think that maybe the world wasn't such a rotten place after all. That the Universe wasn't conspiring against me. That I might make it after all, like Mary Richards in Minneapolis.
Here's my wish for you dear reader: into your life, may a little Betty fall.