Monday, April 03, 2006

Insurance Woes/Doctor Visits/Other Things

Hate medical providers who screw up insurance claims, or insurance claims that we don’t expect because almost each “person” who touches Venita in a surgical setting sends a separate billing. SIGH. Takes Venita at least a half-hour a day to clear these up. About ¼ are wrong, and of course they all need to be “tracked.” Jim is the “sponsor” for Venita’s insurance; providers have to file under Jim’s social security number. Some file under Venita’s social or under some completely unrelated number. Sometimes providers submit duplicate charges or don’t put in the correct diagnosis code so they get paid nothing, when they should get paid something.

Venita saw Dr. Primary today. Venita’s main complaint was that all the medications were making her so groggy that she is sleeping up to 20 hours/day. Dr. Primary is moving the Paxil (long-term treatment for panic attacks) from AM to PM (when Venita would otherwise be sleeping) and asks that Venita minimize the Xanax (short-term treatment for anxiety) to times when it is absolutely necessary. Venita sees Dr. Primary again in 6 weeks. She is really helping Venita through this, and seems to truly understand the trauma.

Dr. Primary recommended against a change in breast surgeons. She agrees (as do all the Drs.) that Dr. Cutter has lousy bedside manner, but that Dr. Cutter is the most advanced breast surgeon in the area. We've agreed to stick with Dr. Cutter.

Venita and Jim also saw Dr. Boob today. Dr. Boob did the re-surgery on Venita’s mast scar 5 days ago. He said the new scar looks good, even though there is a small amount of dark scabby tissue forming again. Dr. Boob said that because the scab is near the breastbone, it is in a location where the skin is thicker and thus he will be better able to deal with a “weak area” when he goes to add saline to the expander implant. He took one of the 2 drains out today. (OH! What a squirmy feeling that was.) Dr. Boob says he thinks the other drain may come out in 2-7 days. Starting saline into the expander implant in about 3 weeks, once the scar is completely healed. Venita still has pain where the corners of the expander are. Dr. Boob says that should minimize as he fills the expander. Dr. Boob has not yet researched the effect of Venita’s intercostal neuritis on her left breast reconstruction.

Last night, darlin Ellen sent Dick over with Cornish game hen, rice, green beans, and bread pudding for dinner. Venita was laying on her side in bed eating, and she was scarfing it up! She loves Ellen’s food. Thank you so much Ellen and Dick.

Can’t think of anything else new to say. Can think of something old to say—thank you all so much for caring for and for supporting us!


julie said...

I am glad to hear that you are starting to feel better...sleep for 20 hours..hmmm, sounds good to me about now...I haven't slept more than a few hours at a time in months since Smokey has been sick...seriously though, I am glad you have a good Primary that seems to take an interest and not just brush you out the door like some of these docs I see...and the insurance stuff, what a headache...they just cannot ever seem to get them right..I can't wait to get mine! although I can just march right over to the office and pull my bulldog act..that would be fun..anyway..just wnated to say hi and glad all is going better..hugs to you! and Jim...

{Steve Rapaport} said...

A Frogger for your Blogger!

Gorillaz Frogger

{Steve Rapaport} said...

Venita - If I read the "expander" comments right, you're trying to stretch your skin to accept an implant later, right? If so, has anyone mentioned topical cocoa butter to ease skin stretching?

Venita and Jim said...

Steve. I looked at the Frogger and have no clue how to make it work. I'm not one of those wonky, geeky, IT types that . . ..ooops, nevermind that editorial comment Mr. King of IT. Just give me some clue how it works or where the "help" or "instructions" button is. It looks like it could be fun trying to get frogs across the road without making frog pies.

Also, on the expander, you're absolutely right about the skin stretching purpose. The mastectomy takes the nipple (which is breast tissue) so there's less "covering tissue" than before. And some women will choose a larger breast cup than they previously had (like if they are having a bilateral mast). Dr. Boob has not yet mentioned what I might use to ease the discomfort of the skin stretching, but cocoa butter sounds good. Thanks for the suggestion.

Martha and Alley Cat said...

... and use use your wheat bag too. Sending lots of Spring green thoughts to you.


{Steve Rapaport} said...

Cocoa butter is what pregnant women use to ease stretching and prevent stretch marks on abdomen and breasts.

Frogger works with the keyboard (the up,down,left,right arrows on the right side of the keyboard.)

The landspeed of the cheetah is up to 78 mph.

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Alice said...

"Dr. Primary asks that Venita minimize the Xanax (short-term treatment for anxiety) to times when it is absolutely necessary." You have freakin BC, I would say it's freakin necessary. I would be poppin those suckers like tic tacs.

Love Alice

Robin said...

Posting to see whether Robin's new log in works. Seems it will. ~~~~V