Yep, you read that right. In case you missed my last post my surgery was canceled because the insurance company couldn’t get their act together and approve my hysterectomy in time. My tip to you, if you can help it, don’t schedule a surgery around the holidays when companies take time off work. My approval didn’t come through in time because the person that needed to review my case wasn’t back from holiday yet. Yep. I’m ticked off.
Anyway, moving on.
Yesterday was probably the lowest and hardest day I’ve had yet. Even more upsetting than the diagnosis itself. The day they rescheduled I was amazed at how calmly I was handling everything. I didn’t raise my voice, I didn’t cry, I didn’t get upset. I made phone calls and tried everything I could to get the surgery approved but couldn’t make it happen so I accepted the need to reschedule. It was the only logical decision. We simply can not afford to pay for a hysterectomy and if something happened during surgery there would be questions as to if insurance would cover future treatment. I had to wait and I accepted that.
Or so I thought.
I woke up at 5:30 the day I was supposed to be having surgery and couldn’t sleep any longer. I waited in bed until around 7:20 and headed down to the living room. My surgery was scheduled to start at 7:30 and I was upset and decided to make a phone call. I called the insurance company and when they asked how I was doing I let them know. I explained that I was supposed to be having surgery right now to remove my uterus because I have cancer. That wasn’t happening because they couldn’t get their act together and authorize the surgery and now I had to live with cancer for 19 more days.
I shocked the poor woman I was talking about and she was pretty apologetic and put me on hold for 10 minutes to look into everything. The longest I’ve been put on hold yet. She came back and explained again that my pre-auth had been put on urgent but it was simply too late. I then proceeded to ask her about which ERs I was authorized to visit when my bleeding started up again and I was close to passing out and added in mental health providers I could go to because of how upsetting this has all been. In the end, she took my phone number and promised to follow my case and call me if she saw authorization come through. That is something they have never done before either. It wasn’t her fault and I didn’t yell at her but I know those calls are recorded and I wanted the emotion in my voice to be heard. I wanted it on record.
I hung up and went to talk with husband and proceeded to lose it, majorly. I have not cried like that yet over my diagnosis and quite frankly it surprised me. I thought I was scared of the surgery and here I was devastated that I missed my opportunity and that there was still a chance they might decline the procedure. I felt as if I was all alone with my life in the hands of this corporation that didn’t give a damn about me, in fact they were probably looking for some way to dump me because I was going to cost them too much money now. I do not trust insurance companies, and neither should you, they are only looking out for their profit margin and don’t give a damn if we live or die. They don’t.
So husband left a sobbing wife at home and left for work. I decided to indulge my self pitty and basically sat on the couch and did whatever I wanted. I listened to an audiobook, knit, played games, ate chocolate…. About half an hour after husband left for work I received a phone call. One of the girls from billing/insurance in Iowa City were calling me. She wanted me to know they were thinking of me that morning and to let me know that the authorization came through… Seven hours after I was supposed to have my surgery the insurance company approved it. Thank God. I’m still ticked off but I do find some relief in this news as I know now I will have the surgery on the 24th. No more limbo as to if it will happen or not, simply waiting. Waiting I can do. The girl did want me to know that the insurance company wanted to pass along an apology from them. That should have never happened. She told me I did everything right and explained how they fought for me, argued with the insurance company on my behalf. She told them how unfair it was to receive diagnosis around the holidays and get all prepared for surgery and to have to cancel it the day before was unfair and stress I didn’t need.
Wow. I was blown away at how much they cared. Seriously, the University of Iowa has been wonderful. I feel as if my life is in good hands out there with people who give a damn whether I live or die. I’m receiving my care from the right place. I know that for certain now. I can not express the amount of gratitude I feel towards these women that fought on my behalf. I am going to find a way to thank them properly when I am out there. Maybe flowers or a thank you card. Something.
So. Now I have approval, the surgery is happening, just 19 days later, but it is happening. The waiting begins again. I have thought about what to do with this extra time to prepare and came up with a plan. One day of sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself, check. 18 days of trying to improve my heath before surgery. My blood pressure has been up the last few times I’ve gone in and I want to do something to try to improve that. Fortunately, I respond well to simple exercise and diet changes so that’s what I’m going to do. Every day until my surgery I am going to walk for an hour on days off work and half an hour on days I work. I am also going to continue to cut white flour, caffeine, and most sugar (one treat a day exception) from my diet. I will drop a few pounds but hopefully, my BP will be in a better place when surgery day finally arrives.
So that’s the plan. I’m still feeling pretty good but I can feel that my body is getting ready for another period and that makes me nervous. The last one was so bad I’m worried that the next one will be too. So far no spotting yet but all the other indicators I get are there. Hopefully. it will arrive and leave before my surgery. I know that it won’t make a difference, it is surgery, after all, there will be blood, but still it would be nice to not have to deal with heavy bleeding and getting ready for surgery at the same time.
Thanks for listening.