Friday, March 26, 2010

I Got Hosed

Literally. I got a firehouse in my ass and a garden hose down my throat and I had to pay for it.

That's right, it was that time - the endoscopy and colonoscopy - the double whammy.

I'm all for preventative healthcare procedures but I don't get the exorbitant costs around it. Is this what our new healthcare plan is supposed to take care of? I doubt it.

How much do you think this 20 minute procedure cost? Wrong.

Considering I had to do most of the work myself, the price I had to pay was absurd. I should say, most of it was absorbed by my health insurance but not enough of it. This was no simple co-pay, my friends. I was on the hook for a good 10%-15%. Yep, my plan sucks.

After chugging 64 oz. of fluids, overdosing on laxative pills, and hugging the porcelain potty between my thighs for a good few hours, I got to wake up early and head to the doctor's office. Once there, I had to undress and put on that stupid gown. "Don't forget to leave the opening in the back," the nurse said. Duh!

I was pricked with a needle so a catheter could go into my arm and then wheeled into the procedure room. "How are you today?" the doctor asked. Duh!

I was knocked out with the most wonderful anesthetic drug (the same one Michael Jackson used on his last day) and then what seemed like moments later I was being jostled out of one of the deepest sleeps ever. Then to top it off, I was told by the pretty nurse that I had to fart before I could leave. Sheesh!

All of this cost about $8000!!! Here's the breakdown: the gastrointestinal doctor's time, the anesthesiologist's time, a rental fee for the procedure the room, the anesthesiologist's drug, a biopsy (which is standard procedure and the linchpin for actually being able to charge all these crazy fees), lab costs for analyzing the biopsy, and a fee for hose sterilization (they re-use those things???).

In the end (literally), everything turned out fine. The doctor said I did a great job on the prep and everything looked sparkling clean. He even handed me a report with color photographs of my shit pipes. But I look forward to the day when I can buy my own home test kit (drug included) from the local Walgreens, hook up a link to my TV and a hose to, well, you know,  and run a test in the comfort of my bedroom for a couple of hundred bucks. Now that would be an advance in healthcare.