Thursday, May 8, 2008

Those darn epidurals

I was induced with Annika, 9 days past the due date, because she seemed determined to never come and my 3 week window with my visiting mom was quickly drawing to a close.

The labor was completely bearable, but with a progression of only 4 centimeters after 5 hours of Pitocen and talk of increasing the dosage, I got worried and decided for the epidural. Well, by the time the anesthesiologist got there and was ready to do his magic, I was nearly in transition. I should have told him in my still, quiet voice to make like a cow patty and hit the trail, but instead I suffered through transition hunched over on the side of the bed doing my best to hold completely still (this is my SPINE we're talking about here!) while he puttered about and made small talk about how much luggage we had brought.

Twenty minutes after he left, Annika was born. The pain relief hadn't even totally kicked in yet. What a waste. Then I had to squelch my yelps while the nurse ripped the tape off my back (what do they use, duct tape??) that held everything in place AND keep an IV in for 4 extra hours. Oh and the back pain? No joke.

Current day. That epidural is still haunting me. For the past 6 months, I've been periodically receiving letters from the anesthesiologist saying that they don't participate in my insurance and that I was personally responsible for signing over any reimbursement checks sent to me from the insurance company. I have heard nothing from the insurance company. So today I decided to call them and figure this thing out once and for all.

There's just not much worse than calling medical insurance companies. Okay, maybe calling the cable company. Anyways, I got the number to call from my online account. After finally reaching a representative and going through my spiel, I was informed that I had called the number for United HealthCare employees only. Great. So I was transferred to the "correct" department. Okay, go through the automated stuff again, get to the representative, only to be eventually told that they only had the records since Jan 08, that I would have to call the other department that handled accounts last year. Fabulous. I don't have my old member number, we threw those cards out when we got the new ones. They get me identified by the SSN, and as I struggled to make out what the lady was saying (her voice was about the volume of a tiny bird in a nest in the tallest tree in my backyard), I eventually made out that they sent a check to the Anes. in January.

Now I had to call the Anes. to find out why they keep bothering me. Oh, their office closed at 4:15. Hurray. Now I get to call them again tomorrow.

Why, oh why, did I get that epidural???

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