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Nail Biter

Posted May 19 2013 8:01pm
My third revision is supposed to take place in 5 days (May 24th). I haven't written about it because my personal life has been so chaotic. I was under review from Social Security for a YEAR!, I had to drop out of school because my pain has been ridiculous, I have gotten the flu, several sinus infections, a cold then laryngitis, and oh yeah, I am a witness in a criminal trial for an assault that happened ages ago.

So my third revision. I finally found a neurosurgeon to see me, Dr. Jaimie Henderson at Stanford in San Francisco. The appointment went swimmingly and I actually really like him. It's the first neurosurgeon I have met with any bedside manner. I saw him in March and we scheduled my surgery for the end of May. I was thrilled, and even though he is technically out of my network I was told it wouldn't be an issue. HA! I got a call the first of May from UC Davis (the site of my first 6 surgeries) telling me they will not approve me to leave. So I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get this approved. My insurance told me this isn't an emergency so they wouldn't even consider my appeal for 45 business days. The odd thing is "severe pain" is considered an emergency and must be put through their 72-hour review. I filed an independent medical review with the State of California to help us, and the lawyer assigned to my case has been great.

First UCD wouldn't give me a reason for the denial, then they said I could go back to Dr. Boggan for another revision. Um, well first he didn't want to see me again and also, why would I keep going back when it's obviously not working? Plus he won't put in the necessary amount of leads (as Dr. Henderson says, "Why would he put in such an antiquated system?!"). So I e-mailed Dr. Boggan and requested he let the insurance know he's done. His ego was too big to do such a kindness. But, ultimately he said he was disinclined to have me as a patient. While I was sad to see it in writing, I already knew how he felt about me. So I thought that was the end...I was wrong.

UCD then said they have another neurosurgeon who can do the surgery. Wait...no, that's not right. Then I heard the name and realized he's the one embroiled in the whole killing people with feces in the brain. No way I would let him touch me, plus he's never done this surgery before. So, despite my severe reservations I saw him on Friday. What can I say? I didn't hate him, but that's mostly because he said it would be best for me to go to Stanford. That's the end, right? No. UCD is now saying I have to see someone at their "sister hospital" which is UCSF. So I called UCSF and tried to get an appointment. Turns out they haven't been affiliated with UCD in years.  I am currently awaiting a phone call from the lawyer to decide our next step.

My conclusion is UCD is just trying to buy time so I have to reschedule. I had no idea they had any say so, however apparently because they are my HMO they do. I was so smug, thinking I was one of the lucky ones since I have never had insurance problems before. I figured since I have the stimulator in they had to pay for it to be revised, and why would they make me go back to a doctor who couldn't do it properly?

Will I have surgery on Friday? Nobody knows. I sure hope so. I want this to work so badly. And while this may sound vain, I was really excited when Dr. Henderson told me he was going to fix my hideous scar. My fingers are crossed, and I can now understand the pain of all the people who e-mail me asking how to deal with insurance companies; they are evil.
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