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RightNation.US: Vale of Tears…not really, just Paperwork! - RightNation.US

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I decided to start working in earnest with our HR department to get things in place in case the worst happens. Not the worst, actually—if that happens, I’m out of the decision. I didn't think I'd have to start thinking of this stuff for about 10 years, but oh, well! But the next to worst would be if I have to go on disability before I plan to retire. The next case would be if I have to retire earlier than I’d planned, because then my benefits each month would not be as much as retirement later—do not get me started on THAT.

Anyway, I sat down with Teri in HR, who’s really great. I really thought our initial meeting would be about a half hour. Big mistake there! We were still at it over an hour later, and what we came up with was more specific questions to ask of specific people. Progress! I asked Teri if I was her first transplant. She said yes, so I told her she needs to journal all of this in case it happens again. Then it will be a piece of cake! She agreed.

Luckily, I never get sick so I have about 3 months or so of sick leave saved up. I think the whole transplant process will fall under sick leave—yay! Then (worst case scenario), if it doesn’t go as well as expected, I can use then my long-term disability, which I have been paying through the nose for for 15 years. I think that lasts until I’m 65 or something. That’s a detail I have to investigate. I also need to look into whether, at some point, I could be forced into early retirement and then all the paper work for early retirement. Also, I have to go on Medicare for three years in the meantime, and I’m not sure how that weaves through all this, except that my regular insurance becomes secondary for that time. I have lots of reading in front of me.

I FINALLY got all my testing done except for the heart stress test I go to Seattle to do next week. I have been amazed at the errors and mistakes in sending the results that have occurred, and I despair for anyone who’s old or infirm or alone or the quiet type in their trying to get anything done. I have had my colonoscopy records sent somewhere—twice—and finally found out they transposed a couple of numbers on the P.O. Box they sent it to. My blood typing—I don’t know where that went but I went down to the lab finally and said to give me a copy and I’ll send it myself. So I don’t know who has that. The same with a lot of my other hospital tests. I had to get after them 2 or 3 times and I finally got those sent to the correct place.

So I am hoping that while I am in Seattle, they will *officially* put me on “The List”. Then I can go to the air ambulance people and sign up. They don’t do that until you are officially on the list.

I went to a local surgeon who will implant a catheter into the abdomen for getting dialysis—ugh! They’ve not done dialysis with me yet, I guess because I’m still doing OK without it, and who wants it unnecessarily? But I have to get prepared for that, too, so he wanted to take a look at my abdomen! Luckily, it’s a pretty pristine abdomen, but I’m sure he sees others that are a mess of lumps and scars and tumors and who know what else. So he looked and declared it fine, and said to just give him a call if I decide to do it and it will take about a half hour for the implant, and about 2 hours observation, then I go home. Not bed but yet another machine to be hooked up to. When this transplant goes through, I am looking forward to the day I am no longer attached to ANYTHING. Theoretically, just some pills and it could take up to a year to get totally settled down, but even that’s ok.

With all of this, last Friday my sister went to the doctor with what she thought was possibly appendicitis, and it turned out to be extensive uterine cancer! My sister, who along with my mother, has never been sick a day in her life, has only been to the hospital when she had kids, had everything “cleaned out” and will probably have chemo as a follow-up. Luckily, she’s been very healthy and athletic her whole life so that is a plus and she looks and feels good just a week later. So we are both in a similar boat. But I was really OK with my role as the “genetic dumping ground” of the family and the one with the medical problems because of the diabetes (although I’m never sick!!) So this has put both of us in a spin—not to mention my mom, who had my brother die 2 years ago, and now both daughters ill (but recovering we assume). My other brother is still fine as far as I know—at least there’s that!

2 Comments On This Entry

I learned, the hard way, that as soon as the medical records become important to more then just the FIRST medical types asking for them, you are best served to demand DEMAND a copy of them for your owns records. That way when, for the third or fourth time, you are told that some critical piece of paperwork hasn't arrived somewhere, YOU can take it to the Post Office and personally send it to whoever is supposed to get it.
I know, I know....it shouldn't be that way, but it is.
And complaining that the system is all hosed up is great, but it doesn't get some lab result or Doctor's office visit notes or whatever, to the one person (this time) who simply will not pursue anything until he/she gets it.
The extra cost in time and money of sending the information yourself is regrettable.
But much less so then finding that nothing is happening because someone didn't get a piece of paper, and ain't doing nothing on your case until they do.
Heck, I even had a minor scream fest with the Social Security folks when one was demanding a copy of a document that was in a different office in their building! Told young lasy to call young fellow at extension xxxx, and "wow" everything was present and accounted for.
The ONE and ONLY thing that I have any hope the new medical system is going to accomplish is making it so at least everyone speaks the same 'language', and the forms are less of a pin to get moved to where needed.
And, once again, Best of luck with your pending operation.
Man, you've got all that right! And my doctor "Dr. Blunt" said when I asked him about more feeble people said that they just end up waiting a long time or never getting it done or dying. NIce, huh? That will sure improve with more government workers in medical offices. You REALLY have to be an aggressive advocate for your self. I will be teaching my sister all my tricks.
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