Health “benefits” from Centura called this morning. Hey, guess what? You know those scans? Not approved. What! Twice in two weeks? What’s going on?

abdominal snowman

In spite of being the patient, hereinafter to be known as the victim, of our health care system, I was having a hell of time accessing any of it.

I don’t like phones. I like to see the people I’m talking to, even if I know them. It’s a thing and I’ve had it for decades.

This morning, however, was a phone morning. I called United Health Care. Nothing had been submitted for approval. Say what? It’s the day before these scans which were ordered last Friday. Who submits these things for approval? The doctor.

Anova Healthcare. Amanda, the heroine of the morning, or good Amanda as I think of her now, answered. The Littleton office handles authorizations. OH, I thought. She’s going to make me call them. Nope. She called. Vanessa, who has responsibility for my case, would call me back. Amanda had talked to the manager of the authorization department. I assume the same one that failed to get my axumin scan through.

Anyhow, Vanessa never called. I got a call again from Centura where I learned of another authorization hurdle. It’s internal to New West Physicians and focuses on Medicare claims. Oh. AARP Secure Horizons, which Kate and I have, is a Medicare advantage plan administered by United Health Care. Apparently this is the first point of contact with potential payors.

At the VRCC, Jan. 2018

Cindy answered. I’m sad and a little scared. Can you help me with this? The doctor ordering the test marked it as routine and Vanessa (bad Vanessa) only sent it to them yesterday at 3 pm. Oh, come on. The doctor had to change routine to urgent. Could you call the doctor? No, we usually don’t do that.

OK. Back on the phone. This time Amanda again. Answering machine. I told her what Cindy said. Amanda called me back in a short time. She’d already talked to Cindy. (Good Amanda) The bone scan is authorized. The CT is awaiting a decision. We’re half way there.

Here’s the thing though. All these phone calls, which took me all morning, were made by me, the victim. Ratcheting up my stress level each time. And, the result, which I sought all morning, was to get back to where I thought we were to begin with.

This left me with my head in my hands, talking to Kate at the dinner table, saying often, I don’t know. I really don’t know. A sort of ringing and head pressure came and went, my body trying to adjust itself to the feelings coursing through it.

I’m glad I’m not anxious, not much anyhow. But, I am stressed.

From a local facebook group

So I get home this morning and my dog is laying on my porch covered in snow and mud and has a rabbit in his mouth. He’s not bloody, just dirty.
Now, my neighbors raised these rabbits for 4H and have blue ribbon winners. I instantly knew it was one of theirs. So I get the rabbit away from my dog, I take it inside, wash all the dirt off and before my neighbors got home I took it over, put him back in the cage and went back home.
Not 30 minutes later I hear my neighbors screaming, so I go out and ask them what’s wrong?
They tell me their rabbit died three days ago and they buried it but now it’s back in the cage. 🐾🤷‍

Celebrate

From this last October

On Kate’s caring bridge site I posted about her upcoming surgery, June 3rd, to implant the feeding tube port. This represents the end of a long winding process requiring TPN, ct scans, visits (when we could get them) to the pulmonologist, to Lisa Gidday, our primary care doc, to Westermann, the rheumatologist, and one last visit, on May 29, to the cardiologist.

Ed Smith, the surgeon said, “Well, at least I don’t we’ll do you extreme harm now.” Reassuring. I give him props for insisting on the TPN, for Kate being as prepared physically as she can be for this procedure. I thought he was stalling. “Well, we’ve put this off as long as we could, haven’t we?” he said. First, do no harm.

To this, May 2019

Once the j-tube is in and Kate has it for ongoing nutritional support the remaining unaddressed challenge will be her lung disease. For the summer.

We had a t-bone, risotto, and asparagus last night to celebrate getting a date for the j-tube. Somehow I over-cooked the t-bone. Still good, but we like’em rare, not medium. Guess who cleaned up? Kate.

It feels so good to see her walking, doing ordinary chores. Laughing. Gaining weight. A victory already.