Gripe : Emergency Injury, to the Wallet, Too ALICE SHRAGAI Woodland Hills

I am a senior citizen living on a very fixed income. But after going through two open heart surgeries within six months, I hired a young woman to do the heavy-duty work in my apartment. Gloria comes every second Friday and works four hours for me. One recent Friday, she as always arrived on time. She is a beautiful 19-year-old. When she steps into the room, everything lights up.

Since there is no room for both of us, I always leave my place, when Gloria starts cleaning. I usually decide on the street corner which turn to take. For the next Sunday I planned to cook a birthday dinner for my son-in-law. So I was thinking: Should I go to the market to shop for the dinner first or should I go to swim for my heart? I decided to go shopping first.

I returned one hour later to my home. I found Gloria standing in a pool of blood. The cleaning rags were on her wrist and she was crying bitterly, trying to call her friend. As it turned out, she was cleaning a glass door on a cabinet. The glass broke and cut her wrist. I rushed her to the nearest emergency room. While sitting in the waiting room, I had the most horrible thoughts. What if I had decided to go to swim instead of the market? The poor girl might not be alive. After a while the nurse came out from the office to tell me that Gloria was all right, but she was lucky that I came home on time.

From the hospital we went home. Her friend came to pick her up. I was still shaking from this terrible experience and started to clean up the blood from the kitchen floor and everywhere it splattered.

A few days later, I received a bill from this hospital for $1,230. Now who will compensate this very short visit to the emergency room? Since Gloria was hurt while working for me, I am responsible for the payment. But I don’t have the money. How can anybody charge $1,230 for a few minutes of work, for four stitches? How far can the medical community push us? In my budget there is hardly room for car insurance, much less health insurance.


One gets confused. Who here is abusing funds? Single mothers or our health providers?