Just a quick note to let you know I'm home from the hospital and doing GREAT. My surgery was on July 29 at noon, and I was discharged this morning. The surgery and recovery so far has been remarkable. In addition to fantastic medical staff, luck, and genes, I made sure to have a good attitude and move around a lot. After surgery, it's important to get on your feet and walk to encourage your digestive system to get back to business.
So now I begin my six weeks of recovery at home, along with waiting for the medical bills to come pouring in. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't have to pay more than $1,700 ($1,500 out-of-pocket maximum for my insurance + $200 copay for inpatient hospital admittance) but that's not a focus for me right now. I want to continue healing and getting my body and mind back to 100%.
Thanks for the well-wishes, kind thoughts, and prayers because I think they really helped me!
- November 2009 (the day after Thanksgiving, btw) that I just got the invitation for from a former co-worker that would be out of town.
- April 2010 for a cousin that I hadn't spoken to in years, but is nice and came by the house a few times when my dad was sick. This would be in town, no invitations yet.
- September 2010 (Labor Day weekend) for an out-of-town cousin that I'm quite fond of. No invitations sent for this one yet either, but that didn't stop them from announcing their engagement in September of 2008. :::groan:::
While I'd like to attend all three weddings, I am only going to attend the two in 2010. The first and most important reason being that this will be the first Thanksgiving without my father and I want to be home with my mother. Actually, nothing else needs to be said after that. This coworker is a wonderful person and I'm truly happy she found a partner worthy of all she has to give. So I'd like to participate in their celebration by sending a gift even though I will not witness to the ceremony.
If I laid down right now and put your hand on my abdomen, you would feel a hard, massive lump that extends from the middle of my pelvis, to near the end of my right hip, and up to my navel. At the risk of sounding crude: That shit can't be right, and has to go. I appreciate all the information available about alternatives to hysterectomy, however after a lot of research and thought I've decided to proceed with an abdominal hysterectomy. That's the old-school procedure of going through the abdomen instead of the vagina or laproscopically (where they make a few tiny incisions with a robot, magic happens, then no more uterus). The main reason I'm going abdominally is because I have to. My uterus/fibroids are just too big. Also, because it's concentrated on one side the doctor needs as much room to see what they are doing. Another benefit is that they will be able to clearly see my ovaries and make sure they are healthy. That is a huge concern for me because right now, no one can see them because they are blocked by my lumpy uterus. ::frowny face:::
In between crying jags from fears of dying on the table to being in crazy amounts of pain after the procedure, I've managed to get a few things done to prepare myself financially (is it really possible when it comes the the health care industry?) for this surgery:
- Applying for short-term disability benefits from my employer. I will need 6 weeks to recover from this procedure. After a waiting period for approval, I will be covered for up to 7 weeks at 100% of my salary.
- Pre-certified/pre-notified my insurance provider. I called them yesterday to let them know I'm having this done.
- Verified my coverage. While I was on the phone with them, I learned that my out-of-pocket maximum is $1,500 for any health care (not including copays) I receive this year. Remember that $411 I paid for my CPAP machine? That comes out of my $1,500. If my insurance approves all charges associated with this procedure, I shouldn't have to pay more than $1,289 ($1,089 that's left in my out-of-pocket maximum + $200 copay for inpatient hospital admission). Considering that hospital stays alone for abdominal hysterectomies can reach up to $50,000, I'll be absolutely thrilled to just pay $1,200 bucks which would come out of my Health Care Deductible fund.
But there's still more I have to do, which I really don't want to. I need come up with three documents before I check into the hospital:
- Power of attorney for health care;
- Power of attorney for finances; and
- A living will.
I know these things are important and always meant to "get around to it" however I can't avoid it anymore because of silly, illogical fear that I might be, somehow, tempting the hand of fate. :) Anyway, that will be my duty over the next couple of weeks. To draw up and notarize these documents. I'm thinking of going to my state's website where they offer temples for these forms, altering them for my needs. I don't own property or have dependents, so I don't see the need to spend hundreds with a lawyer just yet. I'm interested to hear from anyone who thinks otherwise.
So that's what I'm up to. Making sure I'm prepared (as much as one can be) emotionally, physically, and financially for this surgery.
So it seems that everything is in order.
Fun tidbit: When I had huge debt on this card ($13,000 a few years ago) the interest rate was 15% to 17%. I could only imagine how I'd feel if this spike in rates happened back then.
I have a lot of sympathy for people trying to get out of credit card debt right now.