The Recovery Room

Surgery (Not Mine)So… the bill for last months emergency appendectomy surgery came yesterday.

$30,445.16.

Thirty grand!!!

Abbi and I could go scuba diving in Belize six times! We could buy a brand-new Jaguar X-Type! We could put a 5% down payment on a $600,000 house!

The bill’s full of interesting stuff, though, like a $219.19 “specimen bag” (presumably the final resting spot for my beloved, 5mm appendix). Or the $1041.86 Harmonic Ace Scalpel (an “ultrasonic cutting and coagulating surgical device” that, vibrating at 55,500 times per second, cuts tissue while coagulating blood vessels).

Here are some highlights:

$14,814 Hospital Room
$3,139.27 Operating Room
$1,041.86 Harmonic Ace Scalpel
$775.00 Emergency Room
$753.59 Anesthesia (90 minutes)
$723.68 Lab
$694.40 Recovery Room
$683.27 Pharmacy
$285.00 Chest X-Ray
$229.00 EKG
$219.19 Specimen Bag
$57.55 Blood typing
$42.48 Cefoxitin x6
$2.80 Percocet x5
$3.08 Heparin x3

Gratefully, we have United Healthcare; excepting the $500 upgrade for a private room, we’re covered. But it does start the mind spinning. What if we didn’t have health insurance? What if the appendicitis struck just one week prior, while I was working The Video Music Awards in Los Angeles? Or just one day prior, while we played Wiffle Ball™ in Vermont? Heck, what if I was born a hundred years ago?

As painful, inconvenient, and expensive as the whole ordeal was, it could have been worse. And now that I’m on the other side of it (or nearly so), I feel an extra sense of gratitude.

Last night, for example, Abbi and I met Casey and Langan Shea, plus Chris Abad for mussels, fries and beer at Cafe Charbon-Epicerie‎, then took in Jamie Leonhart’s stunningly original set at a jam-packed Rockwood Music Hall. It was a magical, hilarious, beautiful New York night.

When we got home, I had to say it out loud: I’m lucky. I’m happy. And I’m grateful.