Friday, April 27, 2007

House of Cards

The biggest problem with delusion is that it doesn't last. Sooner or later, a gust of reality will come along and blow aside the gauzy veil that allows the deluded mind to take comfort in not seeing clearly, and the stark reality of the situation becomes painfully obvious.

Yesterday this blow to ignorant bliss came by way of a bill for a doctor that Kara saw several years ago. Kara believes he helped her quite a bit. I will keep my opinion to myself.

In any case, we owed this doctor an amount of money that was almost five digits long. The initial plan was to pay this bill with equity from the sale of our house. The problem is, there was no paper statement for this bill, and I did not understand just how much we owed. By the time a paper bill did arrive, the equity had been pretty much tied up into improvements on this house.

So we went to plan B - insurance.

We were having a very hard time getting any insurance paperwork from this doctor - he's actually a Naturopathic Doctor, and they don't usually deal with insurance. So it took a lot of pushing and prodding to finally get the paperwork we needed. We sent it in, and the insurance company promptly and flatly denied payment.

This led to plan C - Ignore it and hope it goes away.

Which, of course, it didn't. So plan D was to put it all on the one credit card that had a high enough limit. This should have been easy, but instead required 5 calls from the doctors office and two calls involving the credit card's fraud prevention hotline. I was starting to feel like Han Solo trying to engage the hyperdrive in The Empire Strikes Back.

Anyway, this little episode brought into sharp focus our current debt structure, which does not make me proud. And, of course, I have no boat or airplane or other fancy toy to justify what we owe. Instead, I have a house full of unfinished projects, and a clear understanding of the need for me to spend a little more time (make that a LOT more time) wearing my Accounts Receivable hat. There is far too much money owed to us by the insurance companies that hasn't yet been claimed.

The problem with having so much to do is that it is too easy to ignore the least savory tasks. And for some reason I'd rather clean the toilets than deal with the insurance companies. But this little exercise has given me just a little more incentive.

And on top of everything else that happened yesterday, one of Anna's fish died.

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