All I Want For Christmas
In previous blogs I've regaled you with my hip problems. In case you're new or just want to torture yourself and reread, here they are:
It Can't be That Part I
It Can't be That Part II
Both of these highlight my delightful experience with bi-lateral hip surgery, the medical profession and the health insurance industry. To conclude, after a year of mishaps and misdiagnosis and a year long battle with my insurance, I had labral repairs on both hips.
Labral tears are usually a professional athlete injury. Before you google me to perhaps find out about my storied past as an Olympic Curler, no need. Unless it involves a curling iron, you won't find me. I survived a head on collision. Which should get me a gold medal, but didn't.
Four years later, the familiar tinge snaked through my groin and thigh. I immediately knew what it was.
Been there, done that.
So I did what any intelligent, health conscious person would do.
I ignored it.
Finally, when it got REALLY bad...
I still ignored it.
Then the pain interfered with my stiletto wearing and all bets were off.
Having been pushed around by my general physician before, this time I went directly to the source. I skpped my primary doc and made an appointment with an orthopedic doc - a hip specialist, no less.
Hip Specialist: This is my 15 year old assistant. She'll examine you and I'll be right back.
15 Year old Assistant: Does it hurt when you do this?
Me: Ouch. Yes.
15 Year Old- What about this?
15 Year Old : And this?
Me (catching on): I don't know. I'm not doing that.
15 year old, stern look on unlined, freckled, face: Um hum. Well, let me ask you-
Me: I know what it is already. I've had it before. Torn labrums. Both sides.
15 Year old, eyeing my flabby thighs, gelatinous biceps: Hmmm. Did you have an accident?
Me: Well, four years ago, when it happened the first time, I had a head on collision, they weren't sure-
15 year old: So...no accident. You'll need an x-ray.
Me: Nothing will show up on an xray. I need an MRI.
Xray Technician saunters in- Come with me.
Xray guy chats amiably about nothing. Lines me up in front of the xray machine.
Xray guy: Were you in an accident?
Hip Specialist looking at X-rays: Well, the xrays are clear.
Me: I know. Torn labrums don't show up on xrays. I have to have an MRI.
Hip Specialist: Umm humm...yeah...so have you ever heard of super cali fragilistic bursitis?
Me: I've heard of bursitis.
Hip Specialist: So we can give you a cortisone shot today or start you on physical therapy and if the therapy doesn't help we can still give you the shot.
Me: Does the xray show that I have bursitis?
Hip Specialist: No.
Me: Then why would you treat me for that?
Hip Specialist: Well, we tend to do the easiest stuff first and-
Me: I'm not leaving without an MRI appointment. And you're not giving me a shot and I'm not doing physical therapy. I have torn labrums.
Hip Specialist: Well...if you do have torn labrums you'll have to see the labrum specialist and not me.
Don't threaten me with a good time.
A month later, after my MRI, Hip Specialist calls on a Sunday: You have torn labrums on both sides.
Me: You don't say.
Another month later 18 year old labrum specialist says: Were you in an accident?
18 year old specialist: Yep, both sides, torn. We can't repair them again. They've gotta be replaced. I'll have my assistant schedule it.
Assistant: Okay, all scheduled. Here's the paperwork, all the pre-op and post-op stuff you'll need. By the way, did anybody tell you that you have an ovarian cyst?
Me on hold with my family physician trying to make an appointment to get the cyst checked out. Got cut off three times. Gave up.
18 year old labrum specialist's assistant: Just wanted to let you know we'll need a deposit of half before your surgery.
Assistant: This surgery isn't covered by your insurance.
So, off I go to surgery (again) tomorrow. With my 18 year old surgeon and no insurance.
I'm sure it'll be fine.
It went so well the first time, right?
Wow, health insurance in this country is a farce. My wife and I recently got screwed by BCBS and are battling for a refund, much more to this but whatever. I hope the surgery gets you back in your favorite shoes soon. The teenybopper assistants are scary aren't they! Nobody favors a child asking them such serious questions.
12/9/2013 01:25:33 am
I don't know what's worse...not having insurance, or having it. The whole thing is a bad joke.
12/9/2013 12:31:16 am
I like your style. We both know that ovarian cyst is just your secret coin purse- where you've stashed the moola to pay the 18 year old surgeon. MAke him find it, I always say.
12/9/2013 01:26:01 am
I figured I'm not using it anyway. So, what the hell?
12/9/2013 12:38:31 am
OMG. First of all, your style is hilarious so please pardon the fact that I laughed my ass off as I realize this must be a very scary procedure. I totally know what you mean about 15 and 18 year old HCPs taking charge of your health care, it's horrible. But I can NOT believe your health insurance won't cover this, that's very scary. Hope you get it covered (somehow I think you'll figure out a way to get them to pay for it, from what I've read) and hope the recovery is swift and painless. If not, I hope they give you really good drugs. xo
12/9/2013 01:27:10 am
It has definitely been a "if you don't laugh you'll cry" situation. It took a year of fighting last time. Hopefully, that's all they want this time, too. A fight. Thank you for your good wishes.
12/9/2013 12:54:50 am
Young Nurse girl: "Drop your pants."
12/9/2013 01:27:59 am
Thanks, William. These young whipper snappers think they know everything. Well, they're not the boss of us!
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