Well, it's official. The date of my Spinal Fusion surgery is October 3, 2013.
My work knows. Everyone knows. Great. People are asking questions especially if they have no idea what Scoliosis is. You know how sometimes you would just like to forget about it and hopefully it will go away well, this is not going away. Everyday I am reminded that I am leaving my job. I am having to prepare and have things in order.
My boyfriend and father of our child will be taking over everything in the household for at least 6 weeks. Depends on how I heal. He keeps reminding me that he's here for the long haul and he's willing to take care of me to the fullest. I love him so much.
My mother, of course, is being strong for me but I know that when I'm not around, her fears haunt her. She's my rock. We're planning on me staying at her house for at least the first 1-2 weeks. It's the most crucial & painful. She will insist that I don't lay around and make sure I'm positive. Then I will go back to my home and just try to get stronger everyday. I won' t get to be around my son a lot because he is very active and jumpy. He loves to jump and play. We are afraid he might hurt me. But, maybe he will surprise us.
3 months and counting......
My boss said there are no positions available for me as of now. So in other words, I have no idea if I'll have a job when my surgery is over and my healing time passes. I understand that you can not just create a job for me I mean, I am just a nobody to your company. I'm replaceable.
The surgical coordinator called me as well. I booked the surgery for September 26th but my Mom will be out of town for something that was planned a long time ago so I am going to move it. Probably sometime in October.
Today when I booked it, it was like it was becoming real. A date was set.... I cried and cried. I could have cried more but I was at work. Luckily, I did not break down until after the patients and my boss left. I am trying to be strong but it's wearing thin. Very thin. Not to mention that I will probably have to drop my online college classes. It took me about 10 years to go back to school and now all this stuff is going on.
Today is not a good day.
I checked on my insurance and the specialist's office said that my deductible is $10,000 out of pocket. After that, it will pay 100%. I had a surgery in April for removal of my left ovary & Fallopian tube so that leaves my out of pocket at $2,800. That's all I'd have to pay for a surgery that's over $100, 000!!!! Good news finally!
The catch is that I have to have the surgery before the end of my calendar year which ends December 1st. So it's crunch time. I have got to figure out what I am going to do with my son, job, and how to pay my bills. Luckily I have a little money in my savings to pay for the 8 weeks after the surgery but, I have no idea what I am going to do if there is no position available at work for me. Do I file unemployment if that happens? Or disability? I don't know. But hey, I got some good news today.
I was able to tell my boss about my surgery today. That was not easy. I was terrified that I would lose my job. Lose my insurance to pay for the treatment.
Basically, I just blurted it out. I said, " So...I went to the doctor for my Scoliosis & this is what he said....." My boss looked kind of horrified. But so far, everyone who does know ends up with the same look on their face. He said that I am a great employee and he wants to keep me as one. Which is wonderful news! Except there are no other positions available at all 3 locations that involve a desk job. Someone would either have to quit or get fired. Someone can quit if they want too...that's on them but firing is not an option. I would never hope for something like that to happen.
Being a dental assistant is very hard on your body. I happen to work for someone who's practice does a lot of sedations which can last for a few hours stuck in a frozen position and not able to stretch and move properly. Over the years, I've paid the price for having this job. I am in so much pain when I leave but I try to show no one. I just can't do it anymore. I either have to get a front desk job or I guess I won't have a job. The 6-8 weeks after the surgery is the time I need off but if there is no position for me to come back to becuae of the Spinal Fusion then that's it.
My boss told me to talk to our office manager and see what he says and to ask about my insurance. So I did. If I pay my deductible then my insurance should pay 100% according to him. So I am going to call the Dr's office tomorrow to find out for sure. So we will see I guess.
Where is the awareness?
Did you know that June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month?
Did you know that the educational tools to teach about Scoliosis are prehistoric?
Did you know that 4 states in the USA have completely omitted the Scoliosis screenings from Public School systems because they thought it was pointless?
Did you know that there are hardly any charities or support groups out there for us?
Did you know that only approximately 3% of the population have some form of Scoliosis?
Did you know that YOU can do something about this?
Stand up and make it known that you are a survivor. Embrace your curves!
Money grows from my bum.....
Over $100,000. I don't have that kind of money!
Oh it gets better. I called the Specialist's office to speak to someone about the benefits of my insurance. Only 50% coverage. That's it. Just like the other surgery I had. I have so many unpaid medical bills as is. I'm living pay check to check already. I have collectors calling me trying to collect the money that grows from my bum. I don't have it. The woman I spoke to at the doctor's office told me she'd get back with me for exact price that I'd have to pay. You could hear the tone in her voice that suggested this was crappy insurance. I AGREE!
What am I going to do? If I don' t have the surgery I will be disabled when I am older. I am just corroding away. My pain is getting unbearable and all I take is Tylenol. I'm popping them like M&M's lately. Bet my liver looks great!
All my boyfriend can do is feel sorry for me. That's it. What good does that do? I love him though and he has mentioned to me that he thinks I'm depressed. I think he's right. I'm finding it hard to smile. Even at my son. I know this is not the end of the world. Some people have it way worse. That's why I can continue searching for an answer. I will not give up. I will not give in. No matter how much I'm in pain.
It's the next day. I have not slept. Barely ate anything.
Going back to work was hell for me. I knew my coworkers were going to ask me how the appointment went. Everyone there knows I have Scoliosis and that it is painful. Especially after we have sedation patients or I'm running around all day without a break. Which seemed to be a lot over the last few years....
I avoid telling people as much as I can. I don't want my boss to find out yet. I don't want him to find out that I can no longer be a dental assistant. It's my job; my lively hood. Oh Geez... When should I tell him? If you can't do your job then what happens? They let you go. Right? I'm going to ask for a front office position so I can at least still have income. But it's very likely that there isn't one available.
So I keep smiling trying to make it look as though there is nothing wrong. Just like I always have. I wear a remarkable mask. If I could market it, I'd be a very wealthy woman.
Tonight I have a lot of research to do as far as my insurance through my job and how much the surgery will be. As far as I know, my insurance sucks. I had my left ovary and Fallopian tube removed due to some other health problems (Aren't I lucky?) this past April and my insurance only covered 50%. That's horrible!
Maybe it will be better for this...
I decided to make an appointment at an Orthopedic office about 2 months ago because the pain started to get intolerable. I can barely make it through a day of work. I'm stuck in ergonomically horrible positions for someone like me. Why couldn't they tell me before I started school for dental assisting, " If you have a bad back, do not pursue this career." Private college be truthful? Ha! Yeah right.
Anyway, I arrived at my appointment an hour early. I was so nervous. It poured down rain on the way there and I was yelling at my boyfriend because I thought we'd be late. Poor Yvenson. He just kept calm and kept telling me it would be fine.
He keeps me grounded.
When I was called to go back to a room I thought I was going to puke. 11 years is too long to keep this waiting.... I changed into my gown and took x-rays. The Physician's Assistant came in and got a run down on what's going on and why I came. She checked my reflexes and any areas that did not feel normal to me. Besides the constant thoracic pain, left shoulder feeling on fire, no feeling in my left arm and hand, right palm numb, and hips hurting to walk.... I felt great.
The doctor came in and told me something I never expected. My curve progressed to 62 degrees. My heart fell into the pit of my stomach. It took everything I had not to cry. He said I needed surgery or else it will keep getting worse. It has started to push on my lungs. I will become disabled by the time I am middle aged if I do not do anything. On top of that, my curve has now begun to curve outwards causing my right shoulder blade to protrude.
The surgery will last minimum of 6 hours and I would be opened from basically the point right above my shoulder blades to right above my hips. All types of rods and screws will be placed. He says that he should be able to get my curve to at least 22-24 degrees. Fantastic! That would be like a having a brand new back!
The doctor gave me the information I need on what to do if I decide to have the surgery. His office staff was really nice and told me I can come back to consult again if need be. No paralysis, impairments, or deaths on this doctor's table either.
I have to do it. I have too. My son is counting on me. I do not want to be in a wheelchair or be disabled any worse than what I am.
I felt like I got sucked into another dimension. Yvenson drove home. I do not remember anything that was said. I feel like I am in mourning. Like I'm mourning the normal straight spine I never had. I feel like a freak.
I have not slept tonight.....
New diagnoses: Right Thoracic Kyphoscoliosis