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Medical Bills…


My daughter struggles with a reoccurring health issue. It’s genetic. My mother has the same issue so I’ve been around it my whole life. My mother has only needed formal medical attention a handful of times in more than 60 years. The rest of the time, it just goes away. Painful? Yes. Miserable? Yes. But the body is an amazing machine that does great repair work.

My daughter has had bouts with it but never serious enough to need medical attention. I’ve taken her to her pediatrician multiple times in the past and they always send me home to let it run its course. The issue never lasted more than a few days. She had a bout recently. I was avoiding hospitals for obvious reasons. Her health concern is an annoyance but it’s far less serious than COVID-19. I was also avoiding taking her in because I knew lab testing was going to be costly and thanks to our decision to switch to an HSA this year, all costs are out of pocket until the deductible is met.

This time, she was still suffering a week later. Then she started throwing up, a sure sign things were getting worse, not better. Ugh.

We decided the ER was too dangerous and took her to Urgent Care (a decision that saved us $2,000). I was seeing dollar signs with each test they proposed. We moved forward with every test they suggested only to discover the issue would correct itself. She didn’t need medications, she just needed time for her body to heal itself.

We were fortunate that no medical intervention was necessary but it’s always a delicate dance between ‘paranoid mommy’ and ‘head in the clouds mommy’. It’s so hard to gauge pain or sickness in young children. Does her tummy really hurt? Or is she just trying to get out of eating broccoli?

We were notified by our insurance company that we should expect several hundred dollars in medical bills. We received a bill for less than $50 today with a note that if we were impacted by COVID-19, they would negotiate further. I can’t thank our hospital enough for understanding that everyone is hurting a bit right now. We are expecting one more bill for $120 but we can cover that.

Not so bad! We’re going to pay it from our budget this month and leave the HSA intact. Since the HSA is invested, we’ve decided to only touch it when we can’t pay a bill without touching the emergency fund. That and the market is killing it right now so we’d rather keep it there! HSA is a FANTASTIC investment vehicle. If you haven’t looked into it, please, please, please do!

A Trip to the Airport


Gymnast flew to Texas on Saturday. I escorted him to security to see him off. While he is well-versed at flying alone now, I went in because every time he leaves it just tears me apart. And I wanted to cherish every moment with him.

But it was quite a shock to see the Atlanta airport and parking lots so empty. And to see all the people in their masks.

Before we would have needed to be at the airport at least 2 hours before his flight. Going through Atlanta airport could take an hour in and of itself. But this weekend…there was no wait. He walked right through.

Oh, and you know how expensive airports typically are, especially the gift shops with souvenirs and such? Well, the souvenir shop right outside the security gates had tables of merchandise for $4-5, I’ve never seen that.

Gymnast reported that there were only about 50 people on his direct flight.

Our world sure is changing.

Summer Travel Plans

Princess and I (and possibly our new foster child) will be heading to Texas sometime toward the end of June. I am trying to workout whether we will use our remaining American Airline credits or drive. It’s really hard to decide what the right move is right now with the uncertainty of the virus. (If we didn’t have the American Airline credits, I wouldn’t even consider flying as it is far more economical to drive when there are 3+ people traveling.)

We are going in order to 1) see my parents and 2) to bring Gymnast back to Georgia. Thankfully, I will be able to maintain my work throughout the trip. And Princess will be able to keep up with the 3 college classes she is taking because they are all online.

This was not how the summer was supposed to go. I hadn’t planned to travel this summer. Princess was supposed to have gone to see her grandparents over spring break. And Gymnast visitation is all off because of the pandemic.

But this is how it is and for a lot of personal reasons more than financial. So now I have to make the best decision I can for travel with way too many variables that could change everything.