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  1. #911
    Siobhan's Avatar
    Siobhan is offline Senior Member
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    I am hoping for the best for your dad and your whole family. That is very stressful, a very expensive procedure. I hope everything works out.
    My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

    "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

  2. #912
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    Yes, it's so hard to act calmly under stress. Shalom.

  3. #913
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    Sending prayers for you.

  4. #914
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    Thanks all!! Now I have 'helpful' friends of my folks telling them that I am exaggerating the cost and that it only costs about $4500 for the whole thing ... now I look like the mean, stingy daughter that won't help. I HATE this stuff big time! Everything I have found mentions a LOT more than that - especially as the cardiologist mentioned the possibility of a stent too. Sigh, the folks are pouting, but are still going to cancel the procedure until I can find out as much as possible. Trying very hard to keep my cool and do the best for all concerned. Spoke to all my siblings and they are on board and agree with what we are trying to do.
    Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
    Primal low: 186 lbs
    Current weight: 224.8 lbs
    S.T. goals: try thyroid supplementation.
    Goal weight: 135 lbs

    "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

  5. #915
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    Well, I got a stent in my leg in 2010 and it cost...$40,000. Yup. That is including all the work-up prior and post procedure. Lucky for great insurance which I had at the time. And what is this 'only $4500?' That is a boatload and half of $$$$ to me! To be honest, I know some pretty well-off folks and dropping $4500 is a lot to them also. Okay, I have said enough. But I hate to see you under such stress.

    Well, since I have already opened my big mouth, I might as well continue. You may feel a moral obligation to pay for your parent's medical care, but you are not legally responsible. It is really just not possible to pay out-of-pocket for medical care in this country unless you are a really, really healthy person who doesn't actually need much. Has your dad talked to the cardiologist about his inability to pay? Even with no insurance, there may be some program that could help. Doctors can and do work for gratis. Of course there is a lot more to pay for than just the doctor's fee. The hospital charge is considerable. Okay now I will shut up. But you are NOT a mean, stingy daughter.
    My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

    "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

  6. #916
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    Siobhan, thank you sooooooo much for sharing that!! I am so glad to hear that I am not out to lunch on this, how can a cardiac stent cost less than one in your leg!? Unfortunately we are legally responsible for my folks bills as we are their sponsors as when they applied for green cards we had to sign that we would cover their bills in the event they couldn't - stupid in retrospect esp considering my folks! The up side to all this is my Dad is a big time 'drama queen' hypochondriac etc and I have high hopes that he is actually not as badly off as he is making everyone think. He is consumed with how he feels and every tiny nick or bruise is reported on repeatedly and in great depth. DH and I have often joked that we are sure to hear sometime that he has called 911 for his hang nail. Even without the cardiologist's fee (only $650 +/-) there are tons of other fees and expenses. I am feeling more and more strongly that we need to just get them back to SA whatever the situation so that he can get the care he does or doesn't need and not at our expense. As it is we are the only thing that is keeping them off the streets here - in SA there will be a much better situation as our money will help them get by far more comfortably and they can get super cheap health care.

    I couldn't get to sleep last night - too many thoughts keeping on rushing into my mind and it took me ages to shut them all up. It took 3 melatonin tabs to overcome the adrenalin. I had a wonderful time praying and reading my Bible this morning and feel that ultimately this is actually going to be beneficial for all of us. When things are so out of control I know that I have a stable and safe place with Jesus, whew!

    All of this makes me so determined not to become and sour and ungrateful self centered person. I am going to choose to find the silver lining no matter how dark the clouds!
    Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
    Primal low: 186 lbs
    Current weight: 224.8 lbs
    S.T. goals: try thyroid supplementation.
    Goal weight: 135 lbs

    "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

  7. #917
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    Ah, that is a different situation, again I am butting in where I shouldn't, but that means they just can't incur costs that you can't pay. Can you talk to the cardiologist and possibly his other doctors yourself? They certainly know the problems with costs and may be able to help. And I hope you are right about your dad not actually needing the procedure.

    As a funny coincidence, a friend here in Maine has her grandson staying with her this summer. He was born and raised in South Africa and has no health insurance. She was quite worried about this, and wouldn't you know the first thing he did was fall off his bike and break his arm. So far it has cost almost $4000 and it isn't over yet. So the money he was supposed to be earning to help with college is not even enough to pay the medical bills. And prior to this his stepmother visited and needed a trip to the ER - she was shocked that they were unable to tell her how much it would cost upfront, and how much it actually did cost - $1700 - when she finally got all the bills.

    Well, I don't know if this is helping or hurting. Of course I hope it is helping. You are definitely NOT mean and stingy! People from other countries are often not aware of how much things cost here. Medical care is shockingly expensive. All the doom and gloom stuff you hear from the media about medical costs are not some pie-in-the-sky future scenario - it is with us right now.

    And yes, I had the full work-up, nuclear stress test, echocardiogram, cardiologist consult, angiogram, balloon angioplasty, and stent placement. I had an artery in my leg that was almost fully blocked and I couldn't walk. Of course now I blame wheat, but that is another whole story!

    Okay, I will stop now. I am so glad you have your faith to help you through this. Remember always you are a good person, a wonderful wife and mother.
    My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

    "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

  8. #918
    Coll's Avatar
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    Actually Siobhan your comments are welcome and appreciated. We do feel really alone in this whole mess. It means something very different when someone from another country hears that some procedure is expensive - it still gets heard through the perspective of what is familiar. Sorry to hear about your friend and the unfortunate mess with her grandson. How frustrating for both of them!

    I spoke to my mom this afternoon and they are going to cancel the procedure for now. But they are doing it with a really bad attitude. Hopefully their attitudes will settle down soon. I know this is stressful - but they don't seem to have any thought for our side of the issue. Now they are saying that they are just going to settle in and wait the next 4-6 months for their passports to arrive. Now all of a sudden they are saying that Dad is doing ok. I am going to speak to the doc tomorrow and at the very least get a letter so we can pursue the expedited relocation to SA. Just because he is supposedly ok now (?) doesn't mean he is going to stay that way and I really don't want to be forced into the situation where I/we have to pay for an emergency procedure. I tell you, sometimes they drive me scatty! I told them to take a couple days to get over the craziness of the last week and then we are going to work on getting them emergency travel documents and all the rest of it. They just don't seem to be able to think things through rationally ... so we get to parent them (not easy let me tell you!) They dig their heels in at the most unexpected moments. I think my young kids are better behaved and more stable than my parents!

    Thank you so much for the support everyone, it is VERY much appreciated!
    Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
    Primal low: 186 lbs
    Current weight: 224.8 lbs
    S.T. goals: try thyroid supplementation.
    Goal weight: 135 lbs

    "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

  9. #919
    Siobhan's Avatar
    Siobhan is offline Senior Member
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    I am relieved to hear the procedure is off for now, although you are correct in thinking an emergency will crop up at some point. Parents can be so difficult. I'm sure it is stressful and problematic. You put it so well - we see things through our own perspective, which may not jive with the current reality. I have spent some time thinking about your situation and hoping that I am not being obnoxious. Family dynamics are always very personal and unique. My own opinion, which counts for nothing of course, is that your foremost responsibility is to your children, and the cold hard fact is that taking on your parent's debts will impact their future. And these medical debts are potentially larger than what you could imagine. It is really important that you talk with your father's (and maybe your mother's) doctors about payment and problems therein. Doctors are very aware of costs and normally can't or won't do procedures on a nonemergent basis without a pretty good idea of when they will get paid. Although it is very hard, it seems the emergency travel is your very best option.

    I'm probably belaboring the point here, but I was talking with my mom about this stuff in a generalized manner, and she mentioned that when she landed in an emergency room and then in an ICU with cardiac issues, the bill was $67,000 for two weeks in the hospital. Medicare paid for most all of it, but that gives you an idea of how crazy it can be.

    I do apologize if I am being offensive and out of line here. I know you want what is best for your parents and you are doing really well with a difficult situation.
    My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

    "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

  10. #920
    Coll's Avatar
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    Siobhan! YOU ARE NOT BEING OFFENSIVE!! I am benefitting from what you are sharing and the support is deeply appreciated. I am perfectly able to glean through what you say and pick out the things that work for us and it was SO helpful to be able to tell my folks that I have a 'friend' who has had a stent and it cost $40 000 because it took it from the possible to the reality if that makes any sense. And since then they have had a bunch of friends mention all their various stents etc that have cost at least in the same realm. What also concerns me is there is always the chance of complications and aside from the initial bill (which we can't afford!) there could very easily be a LOT more costs added to that. My folks health is not good and my dad especially as he will not give up his multiple slices of bread and other unhealthy treats. He sits all day and my mom can't get him off his butt to do anything, plus his mental attitude is a huge issue.

    We have thought exactly what you brought up - our responsibility is to our children first and if we allow this whole thing to go down it is going to have a profound impact on our family in so many ways. This is very difficult, but we are having to be strong for our kids. As much as I care about my folks I don't think it is right that we are destroyed to keep them going in a way that they want. Since we have to foot the bill for pretty much everything at the moment we decided that we are therefore the ones that get to make the choices about when and where and what happens.

    I slept better last night - a solid 8 hours though it did take a while for me to get to sleep. I am sure the stress is having a big impact on my weight - I have gained back a couple of pounds. I am sure it is cortisol related as otherwise I have been gradually losing weight on this eating plan I have been following. Surprisingly I have not been wanting to medicate myself with chocolate. Still eating low carb and despite the stress I do feel as though my energy is improving slightly. My muscles are all feeling tight and achy - just tension.

    Late yesterday afternoon DH and I decided we needed to head up the river for a while. Nothing like hanging out next to rushing water to help dispel tension. We had a lovely time and I was delighted that it was cloudy. There were people in the exact spot that we like to go to, but as soon as we arrived we realized that they were packing up to leave. So we had that whole stretch of the river to ourselves and all had fun wading around in the water. We were reminded that it is snow melt we were wading in - brr! But DD still immersed herself and had a wonderful time playing that she was a crocodile I, of course, was having fun going through the rocks to find paintable ones Came back with a few nice ones. I think some painting might be in order - good stress reliever.
    Start weight: 225.5 lbs Feb 14th 2012. Height: 5'7"
    Primal low: 186 lbs
    Current weight: 224.8 lbs
    S.T. goals: try thyroid supplementation.
    Goal weight: 135 lbs

    "You are free to choose, BUT you are not free from the consequences of your choices."

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