Thirty Two Dollars and Twenty Seven Cents

It’s done!!!!! I no longer must endure the medical tyranny which has been thrust upon my poor unfortunate soul. Free from the constant horror of mysterious calls at all hours of the day. Liberated from a blood debt so strong it has plagued my family for generations. Well not really, but it’s been a while.  Oh wait, I am actually talking to people who may not know of my plight. Allow me to explain.

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A good while back I had a respiratory infection, no big deal, I get infections all the time, but this one was a doozy. Now I consider myself a smart person although I do tend to do stupid things. It’s kind of a hobby. I know it takes two weeks for a cold to go away. Therefore, if I get sick, I wait two weeks to seek medical treatment. You guessed it; I get to be completely miserable for multiple weeks before I get help. I could be made more comfortable and properly diagnosed but no I wait each time, and destroy my comfortable life.

Anyway, I got said infection, and waited the appropriate two weeks and called my doctor, who happened to be on vacation. Now, I like my doctor, He lets me color pictures, and even take a lollipop, if I don’t cry during the examination. Even though I’m considerably older than twelve. It’s like being a kid again every time I get sick.

Because of his vacation, I had two options. Schedule a visit when he returned in a week, or see his partner that day. Now his partner is a meanie. There’s just no other way to say it. He expects people to act like adults when they’re sick, and he loves to give shots. He says the shots are important, but I secretly think his nurse is a sadist, and he wants to stay on her good side. (He’s probably afraid she’ll give him a shot if he doesn’t.) Therefore, he prescribes a shot for everybody, just to make her happy. The thing is she’s cute. You’d never think, a young brunette, with a beautiful smile and figure could be a needle-happy shot-monster. But she really is. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, my options.

Well, you can guess I wasn’t about to see the meanie, and who knows how I’d feel in a week, so I took the third less intelligent option. I waited to see what would happen. (Not smart at all) Two days later I could barely move. Then, my lovely wife, who loves me unconditionally, was threatening me with violence unless I saw a doctor.  Yes, the meanie had an available appointment, but there was no way I was going to that injection factory. I have very sensitive veins.

I decided to go to the local urgent care center, where you don’t see a doctor at all. What you do see is a Certified Nurse Practitioner. In other words, a Junior Varsity, almost a doctor. They can’t do everything a doctor can do, but they can do some things, and they do it at a greatly reduced price. When you have a cold, go see a CNP. End of commercial. Anyway, I went to the CNP and she gave me a prescription and sent me home. Well to make a long story a bit longer, the prescription didn’t help and I went back a second time. I found out I had pneumonia, got more drugs, and was sentenced to bed rest for a week. The illness ended, but the pain was only beginning.

Two weeks later I received a letter from my insurance company telling me what they covered. Consequently, a week later I got a bill for what they didn’t. Feeling better by then, I gladly paid the bill for Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents. (Dum-Dum Daaaaaaaa)

Almost two months later, I received a phone call from an agent of the clinic. She stated I had an overdue invoice. I asked, “How much?” She sweetly answered, Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents. Well I didn’t hear any music at the time so I cheerfully told her that the check was on the way. I even provided her with the number. We hung up cordially, and I thought the issue was closed. Another month went by, I received another call, this time the agent was not so friendly. They said they had received all payments and I still owed, Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents. “What a coincidence”, I said, and sent a second payment, but this time I sent it certified mail. Four days later I received confirmation they had received it. Case closed. Or not.

Then the weirdness started. I received a check from them for, you guessed it, Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents. I knew I had overpaid. The thing is three weeks after that I received another, also for Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents. I contacted the accounting office and asked “Hey, what’s going on?” Had I overpaid. Twice?”

“Yes” they said. I then went on with life, but a bit confused. About ninety days later, I came home to a voice mail. It was quite nasty, stating that I still owed, Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents. Also, if I continued to avoid payment, they would take legal action. I called the office, in quite a huff. They further apologized, and stated they had just gotten a new accounting firm, to better serve their customers, and I owed no money. I slammed down the phone, and was very confused when three weeks later I received in the mail, a legal summons promising jail time if I refused to pay. In fear I did, and in a week, received a refund of Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents.

I angrily called the office to yell at the office manager. I was told her name was Mary, and she was busy on the phone. They would leave a note for Mary. I didn’t get a call from her. What I did get was a call from a law office stating they were starting proceedings, unless I paid Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents.

Anyway, you get the message. Collectors called me to threaten action. I would call the office, the office apologized, told me I owed nothing, and would leave a note for Mary. I can’t tell you how many times this cycle repeated itself, over and over and over. Finally, one day, they placed a lien on my house for an unpaid debt. Confused I asked the amount of the debt. It was Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents.

I was livid! I called the office one last time I was determined to speak to the mysterious Mary. When they answered the phone, I screamed, “I want to talk to Mary” Well I got my message across. Mary finally came on the line. I told her about the payments, refunds, lawyers, and liens. She checked my account. It was then she gave me the strangest news of all. The fifteen messages for Mary to call me were located in a section no one would read unless they went straight into my personal account. Mary was never told that I called. I was angry and let Mary know it, rather loudly I might add.

Mary apologized, and waived the infamous Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents. It seems they had accidentally opened two accounts for me. When I sent in a payment It was applied to the first account while the second kept getting more overdue. She offered me a certificate for a free visit. I declined, I am never going into that place again, even if my head is falling off. Actually, if my head were falling off, I don’t think a CNP could handle it, but you know what I mean.

Sadly, it didn’t end there, because that Thirty-Two Dollars and Twenty-Seven Cents was so important, they gave the debt to several collection agencies which keep calling. I make rude comments laced with four-letter words, then tell them to call Mary. We’ll see how long it takes them to get through to her.

Thank you for laughing

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