Hearing Aid

Health class, revisited.
Health class, revisited.

Yesterday, I took Ruby out of school for another hearing test.  We drove back to the medical center in Lacey and a nice lady with a large, triangular soundproof booth determined that Ruby has fluid lurking in her ears, behind her eardrum.  It’s not infectious or infected; it simply is.  It sits there, not draining, or allowing her eardrum to vibrate when sounds hit her ear canal.

And that’s the good news.  She’s not deaf and has suffered no permanent hearing loss.  She will need to have her ears suctioned out and tubes put in.  This is an operation I had done when I was even younger than she is.  I had multiple ear infections, back-to-back, due to smaller than average Eustachian tubes.  It’s a hereditary thing, I guess.  Sorry, Ruby!

The bad news?  We got the bill for her last visit, where the doctor suctioned out some wax and used what Ruby christened “the grabber” to get a large piece out of her ear.  The insurance company called it “surgery”.  I had to disagree with them on that.  I called them up.

“Excuse me?  It was not surgery.”

“Well,” the young man on the other end of the line said, “it was a wax removal.”

“Yeah.  A wax removal.  No cutting.  No blood.  It took 30 seconds.”

“Right.  A surgery.”

I did not handle that well.

Grr!  And an expensive surgery at that.  I was not happy.  We haven’t met our deductible yet but at this rate we’re on track to meet it inside of a month.

I don’t like hidden costs.  I don’t like things that come back to bite you.  I would like it if people were upfront at the beginning. And I sure don’t like finally having insurance and still having extra costs after the fact.  I’d almost rather go to the doctor, pay the $100+ up front for a visit, and know there was no other little bundle of joy coming in the mail later.

Even with the blessings of life, there are drawbacks.  Raising children is expensive.  They are a blessing, but blessings need upkeep.  Owning a house means you pay utilities. Otherwise, you have a shack.  Pets require food and sometimes medical care.  Usually.

I think I need to be counting the cost more.  And remember that our insurance allows us access to a network of doctors and specialists otherwise unknown to us.

“You could ask for a fee schedule the next time”, the informative insurance company employee told me.  I gritted my teeth and realized he was right.

Meantime, I think I’ll thank God our little girl will fully recover.


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