Dark humor surrounding my AVM surgery

I was trying to catch up on the bills surrounding my AVM surgery. There were two bills that seemed to from the same place because they were for lab work that was performed on the AVM following surgery. However, one was roughly for $62, and the other one was roughly for $13, so I was hoping that one was an inital bill, and the other was for when the insurance settled up with the lab.

Unfortunately, they were from two different places, but after looking at the bills more closely, I realized that the diagnosis of the AVM even after it was removed was a mystery as well. The first lab performed five different tests. Apparently, that lab couldn’t figure out what it was, so they sent it to a second lab. When I read the name of the second lab, I realized it was the business name that the county coroner uses. I’m amazed that the county coroner had to figure out what was wrong with me.

And it’s almost as amazing that my cost of the lab work was almost as much as what my portion of the surgeon’s bill was.

your surgeons bill was for $75?

It was for $80. Since the original diagnosis was that it was a lymph node, the surgery took place in a surgical center, hence the cheap bill.

OMG, my bills from the hospital (with my TIA and the initial finding of my AVM), the testing, and my surgery were a total of $4,500. That’s just my portion after my PPOM paid their half. I’m still working on paying it off, buts its not easy… sigh

All i can say thank god for the NHS as the last thing i would want just now is to worry about treatment costs, what would happen if you did not have insurance

I actually didnt have insurance with my first surgery…the hospital worked great with me! Even tho I’m still paying on it now. but they saved us over 100,000!

I don’t know what I would have done if my insurance didn’t pick up the tab. Lots of people are bankrupt from medical bills. It’s very discouraging.

Another reason for my bills being lower than for a typical AVM surgery was that the AVM was in my neck, and the surgery was done by an ENT surgeon. If they had known if was an AVM, I’m guessing that it would have taken place in a hospital and done by a neurosurgeon, and therefore, the cost would have been higher.

I also feel quite fortunate that I have insurance. There was an extended period of time when I didn’t have a steady job and didn’t have insurance, and paying for regular medical expenses was challenging.

Thanks to everyone who has posted a comment.


I cannot believe how some people have astronomical medical bills and some don’t. I am very fortunate to be retired military and only pay a $12 office fee (and that is only because they do not have a neurosurgeon on the base and had to refer me off base), otherwise it would be free. I am extremely thankful not to have to worry about medical bills AND go through this.

We totaled up my bills including the neurosurgeon, the ICU, the infectious disease doc., the the 2 month hospital stay, the rehab, the 4 different surgeries, the countless MRIs, CTs and lumbar punctures and it was close to $500,000! Yes, that’s 1/2 a million. My max out of pocket with my insurance was $1000 so all in all I think we paid about $2000. Insurance is a great thing and I’m so thankful that I had it at the time. No one should have to worry about the financial issues when you’re dealing with this stuff!

It’s always good to embrace any humor you can find in your situation.