25 February 2012

Gratitude & A Clarification

Again, I have to thank you all for your kind words and support. I have been a lot better emotionally and I'm feeling a lot more in control of the situation.

We had to take a break from dealing with the billing department at Creighton. The extra charges have nothing to do with PPVI or Dr. Hilgers, the additional costs are all from my hospital stay. We will be asking Creighton for an itemized bill and for some more leniency with the crazy cost they are trying to saddle us with. I hope and pray that there will be more "discounts" applied to our account.

Our financial planner has figured out a very easy plan for us to free up some cash to pay for the extra charges. We were contributing quite a substantial amount to a tax-free account to help save up for our next home, but we are going to suspend those contributions until our bill is paid up. We can't afford to move, not just because of my crazy medical bills, but also real estate is nuts right now in our neighbourhood. It truly was a blessing that we didn't get that house last spring! Then again, if we got that house, I wouldn't have even considered going to Omaha.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around owing so much more than we were told. I wish that this experience hasn't soured my memory of my treatment. I do know that if we knew the entire financial picture that I wouldn't have gone to Omaha. I know that hindsight is 20/20, but I do feel immense guilt for the extra financial burden.

To top it off, Mr. JB's brother sent him a lengthy e-mail saying that we have to stop being so reckless with our spending. Yes, he was kicking us both (in steel-toed boots) while we were down. The last thing we are is wasteful, he seems to forget that we both earn a very good wage and that life is not cheap. In his message he made it sound like we were throwing money away. Yes, if I was doing that I wouldn't be driving an eight year old car, nor would I be clipping coupons. The last time he tried to criticize our marriage he said that I had a compulsive shopping problem. Again, he couldn't be more far off. Yes, I do like to get a good deal, but I'm not going into hock when I get a new sweater or a new pair of shoes (I can count on one hand how many items I have in my closet that I have paid full price).

Again, I'm feeling like I'm being punished for something. I wish I knew what it was, but I can't help but wonder what I could've done to deserve what is happening.

Last night we attended mass and the Stations of the Cross. Our wonderful pastor asked those in attendance to follow him around the church and he asked those around him to help read the passages. The one that he asked me to read was very fitting:

Station Seven: Jesus Falls Again
Christ speaks:
This seventh step, my other self,
is one that tests your will.
From this fall learn to perservere
in doing good.

The time will come
when all your efforts seem to fail
and you will think,
"I can't go on."

Then turn to me,
my heavy-laden one,
and I will give you rest.

Trust me and carry on.

I reply:
Give me your courage, Lord.
When failure presses heavily on me
and I am desolate,
stretch out your hand
to lift me up.

I know I must not cease,
but persevere in doing good.

But help me, Lord.
Alone there's nothing I can do.
With you, I can do anything you ask.

I will.

Prayer buddy, you are getting so many prayers your way. I decided to offer up all of my anxiety for this situation! I hope that there is something fruitful that we can both benefit from through this suffering! 


  1. JB, I am sorry you are going through this, but I know it will all work out. Your brother in law sounds like a real turd. What's his problem?! From what I have grown to know of you through your blog, I would not think for a minute that you are reckless with money. Don't even listen to him. Sending you hugs!

  2. (I am virtually reaching through the computer and shaking you, GOD IS NOT PUNISHING YOU - WHY WOULD HE?? He's not out punishing the pedophiles, why would he pick on a nice school teacher who is kind, gentle, understanding and WAY too nice to her turd BIL).

    Punish a nice woman like you? For what? Eating meat on friday?

    And that brother in law of yours, I would love to punish him. ( trying to hold myself back but its men like HIM that make me the anti-religious person that I am).

    Stop beating yourself up, life is doing enough of that right now, be kind to you, you deserve it.

  3. You Stations reading gave me chills.

    I am grateful that you have a plan, though wish that you didn't!

    I'm so sorry that Mr. JB's brother is so clueless! I would just reply that "He who is without sin should cast the first stone" - well, I would like to reply, but I know I would chicken out!

    So glad you are starting to feel some peace and I will keep praying for you!

  4. Right now...it is so hard to see the hand of God in all of this.

    I promise you...that the whole financial side of this will soon fade, fade, fade away...

    And, your brother in law--is that who is was--will end up eating his words.

    ERRRRRRRR...he needs to butt out!

    There have been so many times I did not know how we would get out of IF related debt. And, then an amazing turn of events came our way.

    I know the same is being worked out for you as I write this.

  5. You are right about the housing market where you live! My cousins who live near you informed us last summer during our visit what it's like to live there. Eeek! IT's bad everywhere in reality.

    Try not to let the bills get you down..I know, easier said than done. You know in the long run....it will be worth it. I think your BIL was wrong for saying what he did. Maybe your dh needs to avoid him for a bit and not look to his bro for advice. Your BIL is not helpful or compassionate.

    God bless you during this time and remember...you did the right thing by having that surgery. Your health is number one!

  6. Here I am again...and I am still mad about the comment he made about your shopping.

    You deserve to treat yourself right.

    GRRRRRRRR...okay, I will calm down now.

    If you are ever in Greenwich, CT we must go to the Avenue and do some shopping!!!

    I find there are few fun, friends who still love to shop these days.

    Praying for you in a special way this Lent...

  7. I feel bad for people who criticize other people's financial decisions because they lack charity and humility and will one day be accountable for their false judgements. Your bil surely doesn't know the whole picture. Heck even you and your husband didn't know! For this reason, yoi are not accountable JB. God only holds us accountable for what we know, and you didn't know this at the time.

    This will all work itself out in time. I'm confident because we have been where u are so many times and the Lord always provides. And the guilt will dissipate. Trust me.

    We are so ingrained to think that money (having it in abundance or not having nearly enough) is something we are personally responsible for and of our own doing. Everything we have comes from God and everything we lack He will provide for us if our intentions are in line with His will. I have no doubt your intentions in going to Omaha were in line with His will. And He will provide for what you lack.

    Praying for you :). Hope I didn't sound preachy.

  8. I hope that soon your prayers will be answered.

  9. Love that reflection from the Stations! I didn't make it last night for our Stations here, but I really want to try to make it more often this Lent.

    Praying that things continue to resolve with everything!

  10. Please do not feel guilty or bad for taking care of your health.

    And how you and Mr. JB spend your money is not up for discussion for other people.

    You will come through this financial situation.

    I think the other people who have commented have good ideas about the bill. My goodness, hospitals will charge you $25 for a single cotton ball. Well I don't know what they charge for a cotton ball, but the mark up is great.


  11. That is the EXACT same stations book we used when I was growing up, I LOVE it! I also love the part where it says, "Take heart, my other self. I will not let your burdens grow one ounce too heavy for your strength." :)

    I am praying SO hard for you, my friend!! Our daily chats are one of the few things I miss about FB. :) I need to just break down and get an iPhone so we can text.

    I hope Creighton changes their tune. That's really not cool that they are charging you SO much, especially when that's not what you were told up front. We weren't very happy with their billing dept either, though are situation wasn't anything like yours. Just a warning though, we got a bill like four or five months after surgery for the anesthesiologist, which was not mentioned up front, nor was it included in anything else we paid. They are not very good about communicating (and doing so accurately) the full charges.

    Like I said, I'm praying hard for you!!!!!!! Every day!!!! Miss ya.

  12. PS--just ignore Mr JB's mean brother. DO NOT feel guilty for spending money on your health!! It isn't your fault that US healthcare is disgustingly expensive, and you shouldn't regret or feel bad about getting healed. I remember feeling guilty too--we spent what would've been our house downpayment on my surgeries (so we had to borrow the downpayment from my inlaws). For a long time I felt guilty about using that money for surgery, and about needing to borrow from DH's parents. But you know what I realized? DH would MUCH rather have a healthy, healed wife than a downpayment. I'd be willing to bet Mr JB is the same way...all the money in the world couldn't take the place of the joy he most certainly feels knowing his sweet and wonderful wife is healed.

  13. Nope, God isn't punishing you - somehow this is a blessing to you and Mr. JB. I think it's interesting that you say if you had've known how much the surgery turned out to be, you wouldn't have done it. I think sometimes the Lord allows these things to happen...perhaps because you NEEDED the surgery??

    And wouldn't all this be completely moot if you conceived next month, or the month after?? I'd pay double what you paid if I knew it might help.

    And nuts to Mr. JB's brother. He has zero insight into you and your finances. Also you don't have to rationalize ANYTHING to ANYONE!!! It doesn't matter if you've bought 60 sweaters in the last 60 days, that's nobody's business but yours!!!! (Drives me nuts when people try and make me feel guilty for those types of things!) Stand strong girl. There is a reason all of this is happening.

    And in the end, it's only money. It comes. It goes.

  14. I too LOVE that Stations book! I know I have a copy around my house somewhere... I'll have to find it.

    How ridiculous to say that money spent on your health is frivolous! It's NOT! In any. way. shape. or. form. You did the right thing, JB. I'm pretty sure you know where your real treasure is!!

    So many prayers for you!!

  15. I'm praying for you special this Lent too, even though you're not my prayer buddy.

    Have you heard of the Novena to Our Lady of Good Remedy? No joke, in the image of her she's holding a bag of money...

  16. Oh, and I second that God is not punishing you. It just feels that way. :( I hope that He makes it all make sense...

  17. I am sorry for your well-meaning, but rude bil and for the horrible way the hospital charges are stealing your joy and peace about finding healing!

    Will continue to pray!

  18. Sending some special prayers your way over the next few days cycle buddy!

  19. Sending some special prayers your way over the next few days cycle buddy!

  20. Oh JB, I am sorry for all this mess, yuck!! I will be saying extra prayers for you!