Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Small Son and the Hospital

Small son has long irritated me with his know-all attitude to life in general and I have longed to eject him from his insulated life, living at home with all his needs accommodated (except maybe privacy, we all need to earn that); but my husband won't let me.  Aged 23, small son is lucky to be able to job shadow in his brother-in-law's company: otherwise he would still be unemployed, not having ever achieved even a diploma of any sort. Granted, he doesn't earn much, but others of his age are grateful to work for nothing just to get some job experience.  Granted also, he rarely eats at home, spending his hard-earned cash at McDonald's mostly and I am shamed to say, on cigarettes.  Whatever. This week, he learned a lesson about why even a healthy young man needs a decent Medical Aid (having argued with us about this). He developed a pain in his groin, which proved to be a twist in the epididymis - resulting probably from an old rugby injury when he was school. He had to be admitted for a minor op. and an overnight stay in the hospital.  On the way there, he was telling me how he thought it was time he moved into his own place, being 23 and all. I thought of the things he doesn't yet pay for: accommodation, car repairs, cell phone account, laundry, .... I could go on. This is the same hospital in which I had my toe op last year, so I knew the ropes:  I had to conceal a grin when the admin trainee asked small son to fill in the part in his own words concerning "what the surgeon told you he is going to do".  Small son's pen hovered in the air:  "I don't know", confessed he.  "I only heard: 'have an injection, go to sleep, wake up, stitches. I didn't listen to the rest."  I wonder what he wrote?  I wasn't allowed to assist, although I of course, had looked up everything on YouTube. He scribbled something in the end. The other thing of note is that during the admission process at reception, he was finally taken through the "Financial Commitment" page, after which the efficient clerk regarded him with a beady eye and said, "Sign here to show that you are responsible for whatever amount your Medical Aid does not cover." Small son turned to me: "You hear that, mommy?"


  1. Owweelllll! A twist in the epididymis! My knees squeeze together reflexively.

    Well my son at 23 had the same list as yours but he was going to college. Pushing 30 the list has dropped to car insurance.

    He is now going to graduate school. He didn't go when I asked him to, while I was still working and could pay for it. Well I wasn't going to work forever waiting for something that might not happen. So my son is going to grad school and is going to learn about student loans. Of course that means I will be paying car insurance till the day I die.

    1. That has been our one weapon - next year, dad retires, we shall no longer have this house and will live too far away for you to continue to lodge with us. Your son sounds as if he will eventually be gainfully employed and of course, his first thought will be to pay back his parents for all they have shelled out over the years since he left school.

    2. Oh he is gainfully employed now, just not gainfully enough. Unfortunately he works in a field where you need tons of education but don't ever expect a big paycheck.

      I was part of the industrial middle class, gold plated working class that was lucky enough to find a unionized manufacturing job in a high tech industry. I needed an associates degree to do what I did. My kid has aides with masters degrees working for him making about 1/4 of what I made. My son was promoted because he has a talent for what he does, but has to get his masters to keep his position. I am not sure how long we as a society can afford to put our children in deep debt and pay them next to nothing. Its a fool's game that probably will end when our generation dies off and our kids are still paying off school loans well into their 60s for jobs that pay a little bit more than Walmart.