Is Life Like the Movies?

Life is like the movies.

In the movie “Last Holiday” with Queen Latifah as Georgia Byrd, when the main character goes to her Health Maintenance Organization with an ailment that requires surgery, they explain her policy doesn’t cover the necessary procedure. The same thing happened to us when after almost three months of constant pain, and after the doctor said my husband’s degenerative disc disease required two replacement discs, our health insurance representative said the procedure wouldn’t be covered.

In the same movie, Georgia Byrd realizes if she is going to have the surgery, she’s going to have to pay for it.

That was the same conclusion we reached. We figured it would take some time, but we’d eventually pay off the medical bills.

Life is not like the movies.

In the movie, Georgia’s HMO Administrator tells her, “The cost of a median cranial debulkin’ surgery is around $340,000. That’s without anesthesia. You’ll want that.”

Our real-life insurance rep couldn’t tell us the cost, although the doctor wanted to be paid in full before he started, and the hospital wanted 50% of the cost up front… and even though neither the hospital nor the insurance rep had any idea what the cost to stay overnight was.

Anesthesia was not mentioned.

Our procedure is not brain surgery, so the cost is not $340,000, but when they told us the $65,000 price tag, you could have knocked me over with a feather. My husband and I kinda just blinked at each other, like we were watching a movie.

We shared the bad news with our beautiful millennial, who lives on the other side of the country. After sputtering with me in indignation for a few minutes, her MSM (Millennial Solution Mode) kicked in. “Let’s see how much we can raise through GoFundMe.”

I could hear typing noises over the phone. “You know how to do that?”

“I’ve never tried it before.” Click! “There! It’s all set up. I’m sending you the link.”

Ping! I opened the link (yes, I’m very tech-savvy) and there it was – our very own GoFundMe page. “Now what?”

“You have to share it with everyone you know, and see what happens.”

It was a very odd concept. My husband and I were doing that blinking thing again. “Sure. Why not.”

Life is like the movies.

Have you ever seen the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart playing George Bailey? You know that scene at the end where it’s hard not to get teary-eyed, the one where George’s friends and family come to his rescue by each contributing a little bit of money?

That’s what watching this GoFundMe page is like. We reached out to people with whom we’ve lost touch, to the people currently in our lives, to the people from our childhood. I sent emails and posted it on social media, and our friends and family responded… and some of their friends and family responded.

I can’t find the words to express how this experience feels. We are completely humbled and grateful for the love they demonstrated with their donations. People are so wonderful.

Life is just like the movies.

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