Woke up yesterday morning to my phone ringing. The caller id said, “Dr Shumway.” I knew something was up. Initially, I thought ANOTHER date change. I tried to sound awake. I’m sure I failed. Dr Shumway called to tell me [regrettably] that neither the hospital nor the surgeon’s group accepts (or has a contract with) Medicaid of Montana. Then she rattled off two locations closer to us with surgeons that might be capable. A colleague and a former classmate from St. Jude’s. She told me how she really wanted to do my surgery and she felt bad, but didn’t want us to go in the poorhouse over this surgery. I asked her what my timeframe was to get this surgery done: at the most – three months. Nothing like a deadline.
I was in [another] state of shock. An in-between-place. I never know where to go or what to do first. I called my mom. I called my dad. I called my sisters. Then I started grasping. I called Medicaid – I scrambled to think of any other options, but I refused to think beyond not having the surgery done by Dr Shumway or out of MN.
I spent two hours on the phone/internet trying to figure out what to do. I had nothing. The last person I talked to told me the surgery was completely cancelled. I lost it.
Everything was planned. I had organized, planned and coped. In a flash – all my efforts were meaningless. Nothing made sense. I had no direction.
I called my mom and yelled, swore and cried. I called my dad and vented, cried and tried not to swear. I was done. I was done fighting for something that was not coming together. I wanted off the rollercoaster. I was not along for the ride. I wasn’t calling another person. I was not fighting for this.
I wanted to be alone. I got ready. And took myself to a matinee. I escaped for two hours. Kind of. I laughed – so that was good. I couldn’t see past how angry, frustrated and confused I felt. Everything had come together and was set. Why wasn’t this working out? Should I even have this surgery? (Not really an option.)
Major props to the family for picking up when I quit. My dad was on the phone. My sister was on the phone. Everyone was rallying for me, but totally understanding that I was done with all of this (at least for the day).
Finally, yesterday afternoon a financial guy called my sister Caren back. They are committed to getting these issues resolved. They are working on a total dollar amount for the surgery. Then then will decide was percentage they will accept from Medicaid. Next, Medicaid will have to approve that amount.
Finally, a surgery date will be set.
Basically, we are starting over. The only difference is – this time I know the drill – sort of. And I’m ready – my room is ready for recovery. 🙂
There are definitely some issues that will be addressed in the future. Someone (I have an idea of who) dropped the ball and isn’t doing their job. This insurance issue should have been addressed a month ago. Also, someone (same person) did not do their job yesterday – giving me incorrect info and not directing me to correct departments.
Dr Shumway and my local cardiologist are doing everything they can do to make this happen. I’m very, very grateful for that. Still a few bumps in the road.
Four specifics to pray for:
1. The first thing – and most important to me is – Timing. That everything happens timely/efficiently. There is a deadline and everything (lots of details) need to come together quickly and correctly this time.
2. That the hospital (Fairview) and the U of M Surgeons will come up with a fair price for Medicaid.
3. Medicaid of Montana will accept the price.
4. Medicaid Travel has already denied me. Saying that I can have this surgery closer to home (UM, NO I can’t – too many complications!) So, I have to re-apply when the new surgery date is set. This isn’t essential – but travel funds would definitely help.
Ironically, this is the most stressful surgery I’ve ever had – oh, wait – I haven’t even HAD the surgery yet. Should heart surgery be stressful?! 😉
Well, God is sovereign. Let’s do this.