My husband doesn't choose too many battles and as far as I can tell, there's no rhyme or reason to his method of choosing. Sometimes they're obviously justifiable. Then there are times I raise my eyebrows and wonder what the heck just happened.
The latest battle he chose landed us in court. This time, he took on the local hospital. More specifically, the surgical center. And eventually, even more specifically, the anesthesiologists.
The problem? A bill for a surgery I had last year. The remainder of the bill, not covered by insurance, was a sum of $600. According to the itemized statement, that total came from 3 separate recovery room charges for roughly $200 each. They were broken down like this: "Recovery Phase I, 30 minutes. Recovery Phase II, 30 minutes. Recovery Phase III, 15 minutes."
It was "Recovery Phase III" that sent him over the edge and suddenly we were going to battle over the injustice of duplicate billing.
When he gets like this, I've learned to just go along for the ride.
So last month when I woke up to a voice mail telling me to meet him at the courthouse and instructing me to show cleavage, I thought "Here we go."
My hope was that it would be quickly decided one way or another that day and we could move on with our lives. And I think we stood a chance of that happening, until my husband got a little carried away in his closing argument and may or may not have accused the hospital of telling the anesthesiologist to put me into a deeper sleep so that I would need an extra 15 minutes of recovery time as part of a master plan to make an extra buck.
Holy crap, he did not just say that.
And on that note, our trial was set for December 8th.
So yesterday, we sat in the courtroom waiting to begin. I was shaking with nerves while my husband sat there repeatedly making the sounds from the opening of "The People's Court".....du nu du.
"The Plaintiffs" arrived. aka; the sleezy collections lawyer and the spokespeople he was ordered to bring from the hospital. I was a little surprised at the appearance of the spokespeople. I was expecting men in suits. So I was taken aback to see 2 elderly women dressed in slacks and festive holiday sweaters.
My husband leaned over and loudly whispered "I bet he asked his grandmas to come pretend to work at the hospital."
Let's keep that little accusation to ourselves, okay Chuckles?
The lawyer approached us and asked if we wanted to talk.
Me: "About what?"
Him: "Your reaction."
Me: "My reaction to what?"
Him: "You became extremely ill after your surgery and started profusely vomiting."
Me: "I did?"
Me: "Well, this conversation is over. Now I want to ask the judge why neither of us were informed that I became so violently ill after surgery."
My husband: "Maybe it was because she was given too much anesthesia."
The trial itself was uneventful. One of the grandmas took the stand and the lawyer questioned her. I was proud of my husband when he leaned over and whispered, "Leading the witness" rather than dramatically standing up shouting while pointing his finger and he never once yelled "OBJECTION" and pounded the table with his fist as he'd planned in the van on the way.
The court was very patient with him. When we were shown "Exhibit A", my signed consent form, he sat there reading every word and then dramatically asked me if that was my signature. (Sigh) When it was his turn to swear to tell the truth and was told to raise his right hand, he abruptly raised his left and sat there staring at the judge until the judge finally had to tell him to please raise his other hand.
Grandma explained that the 3rd Recovery Room charge was because I became nauseous after the surgery and needed some medication. Turns out there was no profuse vomiting. Shocker.
When it was my turn to speak, I began to tell the judge what happened with the lawyer before the trial. The lawyer interrupted with an objection and claimed it was irrelevant. The judge overruled him and allowed me to speak and then scolded the lawyer for his inappropriate behavior while I sat there fighting the urge to stick my tongue out at him.
When it was all said and done, we wrote out a check for $600 plus court costs.
Lesson learned: In the court of law, Grandma always trumps Cleavage.