Total Pageviews

Monday, May 7, 2012

Other People's Parts

So...I'm not sure if I should get a new pair of lungs.

I got a phone call last week, and I've been going back and forth between stewed and relieved. It was from the surgery scheduler from the hospital I would be checking into, calling about scheduling a consultation for a double lung transplant.

My insurance doesn't want to pay for the initial consultation or follow-ups. Should I even pretend to be surprised that insurance doesn't want to pay for something? Don't get me wrong, I have really great health insurance, better than most plans out there. But there aren't too many surgeons who want to perform surgery on me, since I'm not exactly the perfect candidate for anything harder than ear piercings. I'm classified as an ASA 4E, which in non-medical terms means that I should only undergo surgery in a dire emergency. An ASA 6 patient, for comparison, is someone who is brain dead, and they're only performing surgery to retrieve organs for donation. What this all means is that there are lung transplant surgeons who wouldn't want to operate on me. There's a new doctor in Phoenix who moved from California who specializes in exactly what I would need, but he's out of my network. And there really isn't a surgeon in my network who is as good a match.

It's probably going to be a fight to get approved, and I'm not sure I want to fight. I agreed to visit with a different doctor because my pulmonologist said he's the best I could get. This new doctor is pretty much awesome according to my pulmonologist, and he wants me to understand all of my options. I just don't think I have this kind of drive anymore. Recovering from surgery is so hard. I had bone spurs removed from my feet last summer, and what was supposed to be a two week recovery turned into four months of foot braces, a follow up surgery to clean out the wound again, and a wound vacuum for a month. It's frightening to think what kind of recovery process would be for me, Miss Worst Case Scenario. This isn't even starting to think about the cost, and who would take care of me once I was checked out of the hospital, and then there's always the chance of organ rejection. But there would be the bonus of not having to have my remodulin pump.

And there would be an awesome scar.

For now, I am relieved to not have that appointment that was supposed to be next week. I don't like those reminders of me being sick. I was glad to take a long weekend in Rocky Point and play not sick.  Even though I got sunburned and already miss Alejandro, the mango man.   

But I guess I'll call my doctor and let him know so he can fight the insurance company. Just in case some lungs become available.

By the way, there really wasn't any more story to Alejandro, other than the fact that he is a mango salesman who walks to you on the beach, puts a mango on a stick, peels it, slices it so that it turns into somewhat of a flower so its easy to eat, and puts lime, salt, and some spices on the mango.  No strange connotation to go with.  But really, when you're just hanging on the beach, its a great thing that people come to you and give you delicious fruit.  My favorite fruit.  EVER.  And food as well all know is much better when served on a stick.  Pretty much every time!  Like corndogs, corn on the cob is easier to eat, kabobs, you know, stuff like that.

Mangos on a stick, well, that's just genius.  Adding lime and chile and tajin, and its a reason to stay alive.  =)

1 comment: