Wednesday, September 8, 2010

True North, Dr. Hands and Will you Take a Check for That?

Hi.

I'd much rather be at work tonight, shoulda been, except for this damned right foot that doesn't want to cooperate.  I won't be working tomorrow night either, I can't chance it, and I already tried my work shoes on, won't even fit.  Swollen feet.

I sure am grateful that they love me at my job and are doing everything they can to work with me and let me take this as it comes.  You just don't know how much I appreciate that.

I'm hoping this Cymbalta and my sheer will to work are going to kick in and I'll be back in an apron with a bottle of good wine in my hands next week.

Today was a big day.

I had my second appointment with True North.  It was great to see her.  She looks just great; her little baby pooch has pooched just a bit more since I last saw her.  I had lots of questions about the procedure, and about my boobies and my nipples.  Here are the highlights.

She will do what she can to fix my ugly purple port scar.
It will be a seven day hospital stay for me.  I will be in ICU the first night, then switched to a regular room if all things go well.  (Duncle, I will be at Davies Campus.)
Biggest risk seems to be losing the flap, meaning the transplanted tummy tissue made into new breasts will fail and not take, and after all of that, I will have to get implants at some later date.  The risk for this is about 5%.
True North has decided I have enough nipple and areola to take Mopsy's good one, and magically turn it into two.  She feels this has a much better cosmetic appearance since it is my own tissue, and will save me having to go back for nipple reconstruction and tattooing.
I will probably end up a full "C" cup but she doesn't want me to worry about that.  She said proportionately speaking, I will look great.  and perky.
She confirmed that my nipples will no longer be an erogenous zone.  Dang.

I told her I loved The Wizard, and would like to use him and had decided against meeting the other surgeon she recommended.  She was fine with that, and thinks he is great, both at what he does and his bedside manner and care of patients.

True North showed Husband and I a PowerPoint slide show that had illustrations of how the DIEP surgery is accomplished.  Most of it we already knew from looking at her website and others.  She recommended I did not watch any videos of the procedure.  Yikes.  No problem doc.

After meeting with True North, we headed over to my first appointment with the micro surgeon; Dr. Hands, as I will call him.  Prior to the meeting, Husband had looked him up and found that he is part of a medical clinic started by the founder of micro surgery.  Uh huh.  Their clinic at a prestigious San Francisco hospital has a fellowship program responsible for training medical students who have already completed their Plastic Surgery or Orthopedic Training.

Dr. Hands is obviously a very competent, all business kind of guy.  Harvard undergrad, McGill medical school in Canada, and Plastic Surgery residency at Stanford.  He got right to the point, both in his examination of me and our brief discussion later.  He did remark how great I looked for someone having undergone so many months of chemo.  I told him it was all an illusion.  He said it was a good one.

Dr. Hands reviewed the risks associated with the DIEP, and I was then waiting for the good news.  It didn't really come.  He is not a there there now hand patter like True North or The Wizard.  I can live with that.  I am sure this man is incredible at what he does.  Today he seemed rushed and distracted.  All business.  After meeting with him, we met with his patient coordinator to discuss how we get the ball rolling regarding the whole out of network thing. Just so we would know up front, his patient coordinator let us know what Dr. Hands charges for my type of surgery.  Are you ready?

$25,262.00

Um, can I pay the $262 of that?  Will you take a check?

This should get very interesting, to see what my insurance company is going to pay, and what part they will hold me responsible for.  It was overwhelming, not to mention, if it all goes to hell, I will be stuck trying to find a whole new team.  Right now, I believe I have the "A" team and I think it will really suck the big one if insurance and money considerations keep me from having the best possible care.

I am feeling under the gun too because True North will be going out on maternity leave.  Geez I hope this all works out.  Pray.  Trust.  Pray.  Cross your fingers.  Pray. Trust.  Pray.

Are you allowed to close your eyes and wish for a Hail Mary if you aren't a Catholic?

Husband was raised Catholic.  Does that count?

1 comment:

Jill Nogales said...

Thinking of you and praying big-time. I'm good at that. Went through the whole reconstruction thing myself a few years ago. You are so strong -- You're going to be fine. Keep hanging in there...

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