Small setbacks

Note from Kurt: see my last post for why this is appearing sometime after Lisa authored it. She is getting around much better now.

It’s been quite a while since I posted to our house project blog. Suffice it to say that things became overly difficult for me as I watched my little house disappear before my eyes. I would get very depressed, than regain my equilibrium, only to return to panic.

Three weeks ago I fell through a hole in the floor that hadn’t been properly boarded over and reinjured my knee. It would not bear any weight and would not bend – at all. I couldn’t even bend it enough to sit on the toilet in our tiny bathroom with the door closed so I had to take care of that with my leg sticking out the door. I thought it was hard cooking meals in our tiny kitchen, but try it on crutches!

My knee has gotten much better and I can walk again, although I still can’t straighten it and I wouldn’t try to walk very far on it. It’ll do for now. We will probably go to Costa Rica to have arthroscopy surgery to correct the torn cartilage that was found by MRI one and-a-half years ago. It will cost approximately $1,000 there as opposed to $12,000 or so here. It’s hard to get a true picture of the cost here because of the absurd way we are billed for medical procedures.

Everyone involved in your surgery gets to send their own bill and they’re indisputable. Since you can’t know what it’s going to cost until it’s over and you’re staring at the bills with your mouth wide open in horror, you can’t shop for your anesthesiologist, or radiologist, or for any of the numerous people involved. So, I can only guess at the price. When I asked my doctor a year-and-a-half ago how much the surgery would cost he looked at me like I was crazy. I know people who have been billed $70,000 for a two-week stay in the hospital for pneumonia and $20,000 for an appendectomy that involved only one day in the hospital. So, a safe guess would be between $10,000 and $15,000.

The hospital I am considering in Costa Rica, however, actually lists their prices for each procedure – a veritable surgical menu. They can control their costs, which we can’t do here. Too many stakeholders in whose interest controlling costs are not favorable.

So, still no roof and no siding, but I’m walking again and have gotten the hang of living in a fifth wheel. We had a great garden over the summer and I’m really excited about next year – especially as we’ll be back in our house and can spend more time in our garden!


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