A couple of weeks ago, I got a bill from the hospital Jack was in. Last month I’d gotten what looked like the same bill and paid it. I had to do some comparisons — was the bill exactly the same? was it for different doctors? was it for different procedures? But a couple of weeks ago, I was deep into memorial mindset, and could not face diverting my attention, mental and emotional, onto financial matters. The bill could wait.
Today I went looking for the bill I knew I had paid. I looked in the file it should have been in (Jack’s medical bills), and it wasn’t there. I looked in the second file folder it might have been (my current to-do); no luck there either. I sat down and determined not to panic. I don’t throw paid bills away. I just don’t do that, no matter how addled my brain is. I only had to think of the places I often stick papers, went to my own “bills paid” file, and there it was.
Now I pair up the two sets of bills, and on the first page the doctors, dates, and procedure codes are identical. I’ve already paid these. But page 7 on each set is different. So am I going to compare every page, cross out the doctors I’ve paid, add up the new charges, and figure out the difference?
No, I call the hospital billing office, wait only a few minutes on hold, and talk to a very helpful woman named Donna, who says she will send me an amended bill with only the amount I now owe. Vast relief. One task, semi-complete. Life can work out the way it is supposed to.