Remember when Geraldine told me to night wean Coop at an appointment for Egg during which I asked for absolutely no breastfeeding or parenting advice? And then there was that weird office manager thing? There was also the visit where the nice Ms. PA wanted to check Coop’s penis because there was a note in the file to check it. I said breezily, “Oh, it’s fine! No worries!” because I wasn’t yet at the Teaching Medical Professionals about Foreskin place.
The next visit the nice Mr. PA wanted to check Coop’s foreskin and I am proud to say he didn’t even get to first base with Coop. In this instance First Base is taking off Coop’s pants. I did have a conversation with him about foreskin as well as the feeding and care of an intact penis. If you don’t have one yourself, it is pretty simple: There is no need for the foreskin to retract until the owner of the penis is using it for sexual reasons. Pretend it is a finger. Wash it appropriately. The End.
Mr. PA wanted Coop’s foreskin to retract. I said it didn’t need to until he used it. Mr. PA warned of phimosis(NSFW) and the horrible, terrible infections he had seen as a result. He said there were all these cells that sloughed off and were stuck without retraction. I said, “They are expelled every time he pees. He pees a lot.” He said he had thirty years of medical professional experience with penises. I said I hadn’t seen an adult intact penis until I was thirty.
I also mentioned how it used to be thought a vagina needed douching but now it is known to be a self-cleaning oven. An intact penis is similar. He was not convinced. I told him practices had changed, and he should do some research on how to take care of an intact penis. He was not convinced. I was frustrated.
The not so funny part? Phimosis “causes may include scarring caused by forcible retraction of the foreskin.”1 Which is exactly what Mr. PA wanted to do to Coop. I paid my 10% when I left and wondered if every visit was going to challenge my parenting knowledge.
After the great Phimosis debate appointment I received a form letter in the mail from the doctor. In this office there are multiple PA and one doctor. I have yet to meet the doctor, but had really liked Ms. and Mr. PA. The letter said, “You owe us almost $90 and your account has been sent to collections. You and your family are no longer welcome to be treated here. You have 30 days to find a new doctor and we will see you only in an emergency within those 30 days.” Now, I’m paraphrasing because you don’t need to read the whole letter. The essence is “You didn’t pay us. Fuck you. Goodbye.”
You’re thinking, “Hey stupid! Pay your bill! This is all your fault!” Yes, I allegedly owed them money. I went to the office the next day and paid it. There was no mention of “ZOMG collections!!”, just “Sign here! Have a nice day!” There are multiple reasons I had not paid the bill yet. They include:
My insurance is a PPO. Which means I have a deductible to meet each year. Every time I go to a doctor they say, “Your insurance said you have a deductible, you owe $XX.” And then I laugh merrily, “HAHA! I blow through the $1000ish deductible in January. Call them again and update your records.” When I receive a medical bill I usually sit on it for a while. Doctors like to bill the patient and the insurance at the same time. I’m not about to pay a bill that my insurance will eventually pay.
I spend many hours figuring out medical bills and our share and bills and OMGSOFUCKINGBORINGDIE. Eventually I will get a “You haven’t paid this shit in 90 days so pay up, yo.” Then I go to the trouble of determining if I actually owe them money. If I do, I pay it. Otherwise, I tell them to resubmit it to insurance. It’s a lot of fucking time and paperwork is what I’m saying over and over. I have other things to do, like fight with Chicken’s father about medical bills!
There is also the fact that I had been in the office multiple times for multiple family members and I always pay them upon leaving. If someone had said, “Hey, you owe us $90 what’s up with that?” I would have paid it or looked into it that day. But I didn’t pay it. So they sent a letter to Adam telling him our family is no longer welcome at the place I was already not feeling especially welcome.
And that is the story of how our family doctor that we never met fired our family over less than ninety dollars.