Surprises Life Throws at You

Medical Surprises

Earlier this year, my mom had surgery on her hand. Nothing major, but I didn’t know about it because I apparently don’t call enough. She knows how much I love anything medical-related so, naturally, she sends me a picture post-op. Fortunately, she was all wrapped in a bandage, and I wasn’t eating or anything.

No shots….yet.

In retaliation, I may have implied that her hand injury was the result of the many (undeserving) whoop-ings that I used to get as a child (perhaps it really did hurt her more than it hurt me).

“Just wait till your father gets home.”

I DID call to check on her later in the week. Apparently, her hand surgery was a surprise! She was really there to see the doctor about her foot, and just happened to show him a recent injury to her hand. He told her that she needed surgery. Her doctor was also thinking about operating on her foot.

Me – “Good grief! You are falling apart, mom! We’re going to have to put you in an old folks home.”

Her – “You’ll spend all of your inheritance doing that!”

Me – “Not really. I didn’t say it would be a GOOD home.”

Relax. We are still speaking.

Recently, I read an article that talked about how many Americans couldn’t afford a $400 emergency.  I speak from experience when I say most medical emergencies are so much more than $400. Just recently, a regular visit to the doctor set me back $200-ish, and I have good insurance! Everything added up so quickly $35 copay, $20 at the lab, $100+ for medication, etc. If you don’t have an emergency fund, you are left with very few options.

Your emergency fund is hopefully bigger than this.

I remember being afraid of emergencies. In college, my husband and I were ALWAYS strapped for cash and I was always so afraid that one of us would be in an car accident or get really sick. I was afraid of every little weird noise my car made. Little stuff was a big deal. Since we’ve graduated, our income has gone up, and we both have good jobs with insurance. We try to always keep a decent emergency stash in the bank so those big deals aren’t so big anymore.

Dave Ramsey says that you should have $1000 saved up as the first step towards paying off your debt. I agree, although I personally feel a lot comfortable saving more. What do you think? Do you feel like you would be able to cover an emergency if it popped up? Perhaps you are like me and remember the times you couldn’t?