No news is … no news

I don’t have news. I naively was hoping for news today, but nope. Instead I’ll ramble about my fragile emotional state. ūüėČ But first, I’ll update about anything I DO know.

At the end of last week I found out that my insurance company approved the overall concept of me getting a single level spinal fusion. However, they denied pre-authorization for claims¬†relating to what materials would be used and how it would be done. (I suppose to folks who only read my blog, this IS new news. I’ve been posting on Facebook more regularly as the post style seems less daunting – throw out a few sentences and walk away vs. trying to construct paragraphs or logical thought.) The insurance company didn’t want any use of synthetic materials or cadaver bits upon their initial review. Instead, they prefer that bone be harvested from my hip — it would be my third incision site for this circus.

This is my basset-lab mutt, Jack. He has nothing to do with this post except for the fact that he keeps me company a lot these days. He can tell I’m ailing and it’s sweet to see how much¬†dog-concern he has for my well-being. (Legs are shown to scale.)

Today, two things happened. My surgeon had a one-on-one call with one of the insurance doctors to make his case, AND I finally received the official insurance¬†paperwork from things I learned last week. I called the doc’s office this afternoon hoping for an update, but no luck. The denial paperwork was special. I received it alongside the approval paperwork, and the documents contain conflicting information. (For example, I’m approved for a spinal fusion. On the other hand, I’m NOT approved for allograft material because I haven’t been suffering for six months and/or haven’t lost control of my bladder and bowels yet … but the overall fusion concept is approved?! Also, is falling down stairs not enough of a reason to allow surgery? Seems like major nerve problems to me. FML.) I’m trying to ignore the paperwork in hopes that the surgeon made a compelling case today and that any new paperwork will be more logical ….

I’m becoming more frustrated at not having a surgery date, or even an estimated surgery month. My boyfriend stated it best a few days ago when he said that he wished I had a surgery date scheduled so we could plan the rest of our lives around it!

Yesterday I “overdid it” by going into work for a few hours, sitting in upright chairs for a few hours, and tallying about 5000 steps. (More on my “anti-fitness” wearable fitness device in a future post.) I sat in my recliner today and cried¬†because the pain was so intense, and it was just so goddamn beautiful outside, and I was confined to my chair(s), and I felt hopeless. Holy shit I want to ride a bike or move my body without nerve pain SO badly. The doctor won’t give me any pain meds stronger than Aleve so I don’t build up a tolerance to narcotics prior to surgery, which makes sense, but … I’d gladly meter out my own oxycontin to allow for SOME movement and participation in more normal life activities.

Mostly, I’m a whiny ball of pain these days. I have a high pain tolerance so I put on a brave face at work and around others and especially around the kiddo. It’s a blessing and a curse to tolerate such pain. Unobservant folks think I’m fine, while the more observant ones say they can see the suffering in my eyes and that my overall personality has gone “dark”.

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