Monday, November 30, 2009

Denied, again

Today I received a nice letter from UnitedHealthcare again denying my implant surgery. They stated the usually that is it not covered because ...blah blah blah. I think this will be the 4th letter I send to this company and I am really getting sick of this. I know it's their "job" to save the company money but come on.

On the plus side I have not gotten an infection from the implant surgery. That's a good thing. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving thanks.

Well, Happy Thanksgiving. This is the time where one should be giving thanks for what you have. I have semi good health. Semi part being amelo but I will talk about that later. I am thankful for my family. My brother and mother who I love to pieces. I am thankful for the support I have from my boyfriend and friends.

But I also reflect on what I have lost. 4 years ago almost to this day, I lost my father to a heart attack. I watched it happen right in front of me and it truly affected me emotionally. So it makes it hard around this time a year to be truly happy. I miss him.

I also think of amelo. It will be 2 years next month since my first surgery. I am thankful it was not cancer. I am thankful for the outcome of the surgery. I am REALLY thankful that it has not come back. But I am also tired. Tired of the doctor appointments. Tired of the CT Scans, X-Rays and MRIs. Tired of traveling 6 hours to Baltimore and back.

It is a mixed bag. But most of the human race has this in some form or another. I know it could always be worse. And for that I am truly thankful for what I have.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

CT- Scan

In January 2009 I went to see my doctor at his private practice. He had this machine that Hopkins did not have. It basically captures a panoramic CT-Scan image. I just recently acquired a copy and wanted to show this. The images were done before they removed the plate.

Here you can see a scan of what my left side of my jaw looks like. You can also see the nail placed into my chin to hold the end of the plate in place.

Here you see the right side of my jaw. You can clearly see the plate and the fibula bone underneath it. It's amazing how small it is compared to my normal side.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yes, antibiotics taste like crap

I got to the doctors office with 15 minutes to spare. Only a few people were waiting so I had my choice of seats. There was this one older guy sitting behind me, dead to the world. He was fast asleep and snoring-up the office. It was funny at first but it started to get on my nerves. I wanted to poke him in the leg and say, "wake up." Thankfully, he did so on his own. To tell you the truth I think he woke himself up.

I got called back to the operating room at 1pm on the dot. Very efficient. The assistant asked if I was there for just a routine check up. "Errrr....Nooooo. I am getting an implant done." I got scared for a second. Was there a mix up? But to my relief the doctor came in and asked if I was ready to get the implants done. Implants, as in plural. I hoped that they would be able to replace both implants that were taken out but I was not sure if that was possible.

Before the doctor got started with the procedure he handed me a tray with two pills on it. Antibiotics. What! He wanted me to take them to ward off getting an infection. Guess he knows my track record since I get an infection at a drop of a hat. The worst part about this was I can not swallow pills. I had to... chew them. GROSS! No, the doctor did not tell me to chew them, I can not swallow pills. It's a mental thing I mentioned on a prior posting. Believe me, they taste worse then you can imagine. I almost gagged from it. I had to rinse my mouth out with mouthwash to get rid of that taste.

The doctor came back and went over with me what he was going to do. I was ready as I was going to be. So I leaned back against the seat. He, in turn, brought out a big needle.

Here we go.

An anxiety attack... Really?

Today is the day. Today I get my implants replaced. Mom and I stopped by Starbucks to get my coffee fix, (Chai Latte, yum.) We left early and traffic was good so we hit the White Marsh Mall for a little shopping. We usually do this afterwards but I was not sure how I would feel after the procedure.

When we got to the hospital we had a little time on our hands so we headed for the gift shop. On the way we went passed the flower store. They had their Christmas decorations up already. What caught me off guard was not the decorations being up so soon. (It was, I mean come on, it's not even Thanksgiving yet.) It was the fact that I had little anxiety attack.

On December 24th, 2007 I had my second surgery, which to be honest was not a pleasant one. My mom got me a little Christmas tree and some flowers then too. Seeing the flower decorations today brought it all back like I was living that day all over again. I blogged about it and you can read it here. I was taken back as I have been back to this shop countless of other times, even around this time of year. Never an issue. Guess it's funny how the mind works.

Mom did not see my face and I am glad for it. I am sure I looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a car. The sudden surge of fear only lasted for about 5 seconds. Then... it was over.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Almost Time

Two days and counting. I am starting to get a little excited as I always do before surgery even though this is minor in comparison to my past ones. So it should be a walk in the park. Should be.

My appointment is for 1pm, so I will leave my home in the morning. Traffic is hit or miss. But I always give myself some cushion, time wise. You just never know, especially in the Baltimore area.

I called the doctors office today to go over what I may need for my upcoming procedure. As expected I got their voice mail. I did leave a message and was pleased to hear back from them in a reasonable amount of time. Usually they take days. I was told that for the procedure I would not have to be put under. They would give me local anesthesia. So I could “drive home” afterward. Personally I don’t know how I can drive home after something like this since my drive is about 3 hours but I guess time will tell. Mom is coming with me so that will be a comfort. Well, to a point as she does not drive at night.

Guess there is always the Marriott Waterfront Hotel. Really, it’s a nice hotel and I highly recommend it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

In one week, back to Hopkins

Next Thursday I will go back to Hopkins to replace the one implant that they took out in the last surgery. I finally feel that things are moving forward, which is good. But for some odd reason, I feel worried.

I think I feel this way as it has been such a crazy process. From the infections, to the implants being taken out, to the doctor leaving, every step forward seems to be a few steps back. I hope nothing will go wrong and I am thinking positive, but …

The good thing is that I did find Dr. S, (HAZZAH), who will do my prosthetics. He recommended going back to Hopkins to get the implant replacement done and then we would take it from there. I will have to wait 2 -3 months for my mouth to heal and then we can proceed with putting “caps” on top of the implants. Then I would have to wait another few months before they can do the cast of my mouth and then….. TEETH! So, I will not get my teeth for Christmas as I hoped but if all goes well I will get my teeth for July.

Whether the insurance company will pay for it I have no idea, but I will deal with that when it comes up. Thankfully, to date they have paid everything. I could not visualize going through this process without some sort of insurance to help. I really feel for the people who do not have insurance. I am luck in the respect.

So here is hoping all goes according to plan. Fingers crossed.