A lighthearted beginning to my blogging week:

Readers, my family has now entered the inner sanctum of the American experience. We have medical debt.

My son, Andrew, has been having bleeding from where you never want bleeding. Normally, we go to a physician a couple of hours away, who is a family friend. He works outside insurance plans and his rates are extremely reasonable. So much easier to just go and pay. However, for reasons of speed, Andrew went locally.

Colonoscopy required, he was told.

Now, I must tell you that we have been in the states thirteen years and have used the  ‘system’ only once – many years ago, when my daughter, Grace, was a teenager, and for the same thing. So, we enter these murky waters of co-pays and deductibles, 80/20 splits and so on with great trepidation. Remember, we are Canadians. with socialized-medicine backgrounds! (And I must tell you that the system works well there, though I agree with most of you that it would not here.)

So, my poor son did the prep you have to do before a colonoscopy – no fun, but he handled it as he does all things – like a trooper.

We presented ourselves at the hospital at the proper time and I read magazines as Andrew went in for ‘the procedure’. Everything went well. I was impressed by staff and facility as we experienced the inside of an American hospital for the second time. And Andrew’s problem turned out to be…

A hemorrhoid…

The gastroenterologist spent a few minutes telling us in detail about this hemorrhoid and I listened as carefully as possible. But I must admit I was diverted. My Canadian mind was trying to process all this.

And, eventually, I couldn’t restrain myself. I had done my calculations. I simply had to articulate it, and get 100% clarity…

Nothing else? You mean, this was a one thousand dollar hemorrhoid?

Yes, no doubt about it.

Ouch! And in more ways than one!