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Icy's Crappy Health Updates


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I’m hoooome! My one cat is so mad at me for leaving her and coming back with a walker and unable to hold her on my boobs.

Okay! Progress is made! I have a double laminectomy on the calendar for June 18. Turns out that *cough* age related degeneration was actually another severely herniated disc, so both thoracic and lumb

Better news today from spine doctor #1! Since I respond well to steroids, he's going to try epidural steroid injections. And I get to have the first one on Monday. If this works, I'll be able to

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Still no call. I called the nurse today. My surgeon is on military leave, and I fell through the cracks. A “Charity”, whoever that is, was supposed to call me last week, and I am assured she will give me a call soon.

I still think I won’t actually talk to anyone about it until my appointment with the surgeon on May 10.

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11 hours ago, Iceheart said:

“America has the greatest healthcare system in the world!” - probably Fox News. :rolleyes:

If you’re on Fox News, it probably does. You can afford the fancy concierge doctors.

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Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting treated like this because I’m on Medicaid, but I was talking about it on a local Facebook group and other patients in this program say they’re going through the long waits, too *sigh*

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4 hours ago, Iceheart said:

Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting treated like this because I’m on Medicaid, but I was talking about it on a local Facebook group and other patients in this program say they’re going through the long waits, too *sigh*

Like any government program, it is slow and cumbersome.  I have always wondered if it is just plain stupidity on the government's part, or intentionally inefficient to discourage usage of the program.  Or maybe both.

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4 hours ago, Zathras said:

Like any government program, it is slow and cumbersome.  I have always wondered if it is just plain stupidity on the government's part, or intentionally inefficient to discourage usage of the program.  Or maybe both.

No, Medicaid has been amazing. They've covered absolutely everything I've needed so far. It's the hospital system I'm in that's slow, it doesn't have anything to do with the insurance. Wait time just for diagnostics is 3-4 weeks if you're not smart enough to call central scheduling yourself and shave it down to two weeks.

I have good news!!!! I got a cancellation list appointment on Monday afternoon! That speeds this process up by three full weeks!

Okay, so, remember how I called the nurse the day I got the MRI results and she said to wait for a call? And then I called again two days ago and was again told to wait for a call? Today I called again and was told that surgeons never call people, they prefer to have all communication face-to-face. So, knowing I had an appointment already scheduled, regardless of when it was scheduled for, they elected to simply send me the MyChart results and have no communication with me until my appointment. If the nurse had told me this right off the bat, I would have been mad, but patient... good thing they gave me the run-around so I kept calling and was fresh in the nurse's mind when she got a cancellation call.

The surgeon's PA told the nurse to tell me this:

The brain lesion is small (I knew that, it's a half-inch in diameter, blueberry sized), and they're going to skip the recommended CT scans and just do a follow-up MRI.  No word on if an actual neurologist will be involved in this at any point. All questions I get to ask Monday.

I had a thoracic MRI done at the same time as the brain, and that shows, wait for it - AGE RELATED DEGENERATION that's constricting my spine some. I have no idea if that's something the surgeon will want to treat or not. Also, I am old.

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Okay! Progress is made! I have a double laminectomy on the calendar for June 18. Turns out that *cough* age related degeneration was actually another severely herniated disc, so both thoracic and lumbar will be operated on at the same time.

As for the cyst, I have a referral in to a cranial sacral specialist that I’ll be scheduling in the next few days.

So my back should be healed up and I’ll be enjoying summer by late July, if my doctor is correct.

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Well! Neurology is a much faster department than Spine & Pain... I have my initial appointment with my new neurosurgeon on Monday to talk about what'll be done about the brain cyst.

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I've got a shirt with the same text.  It's funny how different the joke plays when the shirt is black and the characters are skeletons with one of them collapsed on the ground.

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A list of all the things I have bought for surgery and recovery:

a knee-length robe, because the packing list was very specific about the length and all my robes were calf length or ankle length.

stretchy summer weight slippers with nonskid soles because I usually go barefoot and hate wearing socks in the summer, and appropriate foot coverings are specified in the packing list. 

a Ta-Ta Towel, because the thoracic incision is going to be right where my bra band hits. Great.

cheap underwear with an elastic waistband, because the packing list was weirdly specific about that, too... and in a size too big, because they’re going right over the lumbar incision.

What I do not have to bring - the back brace that’ll be delivered to the hospital, and the walker they’re going to send home with me like I’m 95. For my age related spinal degeneration.

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Aw giant hugs. Tina needed a walker when she fell and broke her hip at 45. I don't think she appreciated I teased her that she's older than me.

 

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Finally good news! The cyst is asymptomatic and does not need to be removed unless it grows in a year, which the surgeon doesn’t think it will do.

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  • 1 month later...

A little less than 2 weeks until surgery now, and it’s going by sooooo S L O W... but I filled my med dispenser this morning and had to pull out my list of meds to take and meds to stop to make sure I got Friday and Saturday right.

I have to go off all my anti-inflammatories on Friday. This is going to suuuuuuck. Thankfully I have a soaker pool and and ice cold well to fill it from.

I also need to schedule a Covid test and then go into isolation after taking it 3-5 days before surgery. So, at least I can’t go into work and have lots of opportunities to rest.

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No one has called me to schedule a Covid test. I have now called central scheduling, to be told that I have to schedule it through the pre-surgery planning nurse. I have called the nurse’s direct line three times and left two messages.

According to my paperwork, the test has to be done 3-5 days before surgery… so between Saturday and Monday.

They just don’t want me to have any ability to plan my life for the next week and a half.

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I had the bright idea to call the spine center, and ask them if they knew what was going on... turn out no one ordered the Covid test for me. So, the nurse sent me to the surgery scheduler to see if she could order a test for me, and we're playing phone tag... lets see if I ever get this test before the 18th.

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Okay, the scheduler called me right back, at least - apparently pre-surgery is so backed up that they're calling the day of the test to schedule it. And if they miss that, I get a rapid test in the hospital. Le sigh.

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Fun body fact! The bladder and bowels are controlled by nerves that come off the base of the spinal cord, right where my shit’s getting squashed. Without anti-inflammatories, I feel like I have to pee ALL THE TIME. But I don’t have to pee. It’s great.

Also, the marks in red are where they’re popping the tops off my vertebrae on Friday.

E3D46DA7-52DD-49D9-8623-40F4277CD933.jpeg

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