I was asked today what it cost to be in hospitals for 115 days. This is a hard question to answer in some ways. The quick answer is "it's not what it cost, it's what it costs..."
I believe that the hospitals and associated services have billed in the range of +/- $638,965.72 (six hundred thirty eight thousand, nine hundred sixty five dollars and seventy two cents).
Then there is the "out of pocket" costs. This would include everything insurance wont cover. This could be something as little as buying India a bowl of hot chowder when she wouldn't eat anything else, pink nail polish to make her feel pretty, cab or train fare, clothing, toiletries, over the counter medications, business items, daily living supplies, etc. After 115 days it adds up.
There is the cost of not being able to work. This cost is both monetary and emotional and its hit is felt to the core. No work means no money. No work means no security. No work means no retirement. And at times, trying to keep the lights on, a roof over my families head and food on the table can be challenging.
The trickle down from all of the above is stress that can be crippling and tears families apart. But I know I can't leave my childs side, that could be devastating for her. So my loyalty means my life and my families lives are put on hold indefinitely so that India can have a fighting chance and a sound advocate.
There are a lot of people out there who would just institutionalize their child so that they could return to work and go on with their life. I couldn't live with myself if I did that. India calls for me 10 to 20 times a night by saying "Daddy, help me please Daddy". Imagine her calling for me from an institution only to hear her voice echo off the walls and nobody respond.
So as I'm doing for India, I'd do for any of my children if needed. And I firmly believe that we will get through this dark time and someday it will be a distant memory.
That's the "costs" of being in a hospital for 115 days...