1 Year ago today I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. I was feeling contractions as I had been sporadically all day and I just kept thinking they were Braxton hicks. I remember at one point going in to the office and sitting on the big bouncy ball and bouncing during a few contractions. Then I went back to getting the house ready. I thought there would be days or weeks of on and off contractions. I was preparing myself to be up all night with contractions unable to sleep. My husband and 4 year old went to bed. I laid down also but the contractions were keeping me up. They weren’t really painful. They were a feeling and I couldn’t ignore it and go to sleep. IT was like as the house got quite and I laid down to sleep the contractions started to become REAL.
I am 37.5 weeks pregnant today and this morning I lost the mucus plug in the bathroom. I had the bloody show. Later I had a few surges that were more like contractions and less like brachston hicks. It was only 2 within the span of an hour so no way near labor. Later I started feeling so warm I had to turn the AC up. Our house guest left to go back home so I decided Fiona and I should go to the grocery to fill the fridge just in case the baby comes soon. I can tell the baby is lower. I also am having some gas. It feels like everything is moving lower.
So back in December we took our preschooler to the ENT. He came highly recommended from a woman on our same insurance plan. She basically said he is great, and thorough but he doesn’t take our insurance. I assumed that meant that we would pay out of pocket.
We had our appointment on December 5th 2013. We filled out all their many forms. When we turned in our paperwork the woman behind the desk had even more questions. I don’t remember her exact words but she said we would have to pay today and she could not estimate the cost because it would depend on what we were here for and what the doctor did. She said something to the effect of us having to pay the full bill today. We said that would be fine.
After we met with the doctor. We settled our bill on our way out; $ 253.00. We paid in full and thought we were done. We later received a “this is not a bill” explanation of benefits from our insurance provider Cigna. It shows the amount billed as $ 343.00. They do point out the lovely “Cigna negotiated discount with the health care professional and facility to save me money” of $ 66.34. The amount actually paid by my plan a big fat $ 0.00. The explanation of benefits letter goes on to point out that I owe $ 276.66. This does not fit the $ 253.00 that we already paid….Then we get an invoice from the ENT’s biller saying we still owe $ 23.66.
See the bills below
Reviewing the bills I can tell that the original bill was for an Office Consultation Level 3. We paid this in full. It was then processed through our insurance. The 2nd bill was for an Office Consultation Level 4. Maybe I should call the number on bill number 2 and tell them that it isn’t our bill because we had the Level 3 and we already paid for it so Level 4 couldn’t be us.
The $ 23.66 isn’t going to make or break us but this complete lack of clarity on prices is ridiculous. It’s like going through the check out line at the grocery store and them charging you based on how nice your cloths look.
Maybe I should charge my clients based on what they drive and what type of profession they are in…oh wait no that’d be and ethics violation. How is this type of pricing ethical in one industry and completely unethical, so much that you’d loose your license to practice, in another industry?
Going the self pay option and claiming no insurance possibly would have been cheaper. I know it was in another health care situation that I will be writing about very soon.
I started registering domain names and hosting and creating websites in 2007. At one point I think I had 14 domains registered and they were all at different stages of development. I was single, had no kids, and no house. I had graduated with my Bachelor’s degree and was working full and found myself with more time on my hands than I was accustomed to. Diving into web design and development was a huge learning experience. Tinkering with, figuring out, and teaching myself how to do something was liberating. I had always gone to school and then had free time filled with sports so that I would “stay out of trouble”. Even in college when I could pick what I wanted to study they still told me what to study within that category to a large degree. I remember how liberating and also over whelming it was to study in Europe where they have a slightly different take on education.
Now with my business growing, a toddler, a baby on the way, a husband, a house full of house projects, I don’t have time to keep up with all of my websites. So I am letting them expire this year instead of renewing them. I will keep my business site but I will transfer the hosting to squarespace so it will run a lot faster. I am thinking of keeping my husband’s domain for his burgeoning photography side business. I can use his domain and host with smugmug. I will keep the first domain I ever registered tarraguna.com and host with wordpress.com so you and myself and the internets can read this.
Letting things go is sad but it is time.
kdugan.com will be expiring on January 22nd 2014 and I won’t be renewing it. Below are screenshots.
I made German and Spanish language versions. You can see the more screenshots here.
As I was reflecting on 2013 I originally thought that 2013 had royally kicked my ass, but in writing this I realized there were some highs and lows just like most years. It just so happens that the two lows were life altering and at the time felt very overwhelming and sad.
I started off the year by creating a raised garden bed.
Towards the end of January I had a miscarriage. I was 9 weeks pregnant. I will refrain from showing you pictures. When I first felt the cramping and started to bleed, I called my midwife and we scheduled an ultrasound. Bleeding doesn’t always mean a miscarriage. The ultrasound was scheduled for the next day. I immediately was thinking it might be a miscarriage so I Googled something like ‘miscarriage 9 weeks pregnant’. I knew miscarriages were quite common during the first trimester, and that it wasn’t anything to worry about, and that it didn’t mean that something was wrong with me. Throughout the day the bleeding and cramping got worse. I found women’s personal accounts of their own miscarriage that they had posted on the internet to be of some comfort. Maybe knowing that other people had been through this before and and gone on to have more kids or do whatever they wanted made me realize that there will be an end to the pain and sadness. My husband and I were quite sad and affected by the miscarriage.
After the initial sadness I took the opportunity to express my anger while demolishing some shelves in our shed that were falling apart.
In February our town has a great celebration for the kids and this year my husband could attend with us as he didn’t have to work.
My husband started getting back into photography.
He also designed a great new logo for my business.
My daughter made me laugh so much throughout the year. I really love her creativity.
We became members of a nearby state park because it included kayaking in the membership.
We also really pushed our luck and were almost home at the end of our gas tank.
Our daughter started tumble tots.
We continued to learn a lot about parenting. Patience is important as well as modeling the behavior you want your kids to emulate. Even when you think they are not watching, they are.
Our friend Jeff finally came down for a visit. After we had lived here in Southern Florida for 4 years he drove down in his jeep with his black lab/boxeador Sammy. Reflecting we are glad he made the trip in May because at the end of the year Sammy passed away due to mouth cancer. She was a really good-natured dog and had been wonderfully trained by Jeff. Its the only dog my husband doesn’t watch like a hawk around our 3 year old.
I even had to put our 3 year old in a little time out and Sammy laid down right next to her.
Happy Father’s Day
We started painting our house!
My Aunt and Uncle came down for a visit and we put them to work some before we took them to the beach.
We went to the Zoo a lot. This involved face painting and carousel riding.
I purchased a new computer!
The husband started working another job (so we can pay off Sallie Mae ASAP) and he started getting more photography work.
We saw a friend of ours partake in Roller Derby.
We enjoyed the South Florida Science Museum
In October some family came down to visit us. My Mom found a large beach house nearby to rent for all of us to stay together.
At the end of that week I managed to pull a back muscle so bad that I could hardly walk the next day. It put our next scheduled trip in jeopardy. It was in jeopardy when I made the plane tickets as we planned to visit a national park during the government shut down of October 2013. Luckily the shut down was over before our flight. The flight was not fun with my pulled back muscle but it gave the husband a chance to be the primary toddler wrangler for an extended period of time. We flew to Atlanta, rented a new blue Ford Focus and drove to Elberton GA to see the Georgia Guidestones and then on to Gatlinburg TN to see the mountains and some awesome long time friends met us.
It was a nice vacation. Its the first vacation in a few years where we went somewhere as opposed to going to visit family somewhere. My pulled back muscle was sore the entire time. The hot tub and pool in the evenings where the kids had to go every night after dinner until they closed it down was a big help. The day before our flight home I overdid it. By the time we had driven back to Atlanta, returned our rental car, made it to our gate, and boarded our plane, I felt devastated to learn we would have to deplane due to an issue with the plane. I was glad of course that the caught the issue before we were up in the air. My back was screaming at me and i didn’t know if I could make it to the next gate. I did and we landed and got home safe.
The next day was Halloween. I don’t have any pictures because I laid on the couch with ice on my back while my husband decorated the house. We didn’t even make it to the pumpkin patch. Our daughter had fun with dad passing out candy.
Due to my pregnancy, we didn’t plan on traveling for the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s. It is always really hard for my husband to get any time off then. ERs are busy places on the holidays. Did I mention the pregnancy? We were are!!! We heard the heartbeat back in October and told my family when they were in town to visit us. It was so nice being home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think I will have to start a new tradition of being home for Christmas and visiting extended family in the summer.
Right around Thanksgiving we had it confirmed with an audiologist. Our 3 year has mild-moderate (depending on the frequency) sensorineural hearing loss. Talk about a swift kick in the gut that takes all of the air out of your lungs so you can’t breath. I will write many more posts about the process in the near future but the good news is that she will only need hearing aids to amply sounds and she should be and develop totally normal. Hearing aids that range in cost of $2,000-6,000 are not covered by most health insurance plans….don’t get me started.
She had ear molds done and she gets her hearing aids on January 9th, 2014.
December was filled with trips to doctors, some appointments, and trips to the zoo, the wildlife sanctuary, her ballet class and recital, preparing for Christmas, and our toddler starting her morning preschool class.