Jeff's surgery has now been moved up to July 5th, next Wednesday. It has not yet been approved by anyone, but they recognize the need for it, so they are waiving approval at this time so that he can get the surgery done. They will decide who has to pay for it after it is all done. My guess is it will be us, I do not have much faith in insurance companies and government agencies. So approximately one month after his injury, he will finally have some relief from the pain.
He had to go to the hospital yesterday for pre-admission testing and then to his doctor after that for something (I'm still not sure what). We left the house with him laying in the back-seat of my car with a lot of pillows around him. I felt that I should have a sign on my car somewhere saying that I had a fragile passenger to explain my idiot-like driving. We made it to the hospital and I took him to the door to drop him off while I parked the car. We had brought a little wooden stool from home to assist in his getting in and out of the car because he is no longer able to walk at all. :( The stool also came in handy when trying to get him into the wheel chair. Being unable to sit, he had to kneel in the chair facing the wrong way. I left him sitting outside the door (he did not want to go in to wait) and went to park the car. Of course there were no parking spaces remotely close. So I parked way out in the parking lot. I was trying to hurry to get back to him so that he would not be sitting out there by himself for long, so I hurried and grabbed my purse and started walking to the door. About 3/4 of the way there I realized that I did not bring his paperwork or any of his cards (insurance and BWC), so I hesitated for a second, not wanting to have to go back but knowing I would have to anyway. So I went back to the car, got the papers and headed back to him.
Getting everything situated and Jeff as comfortable as he could be, I began pushing him through the hospital. He was facing me, so that meant of course, that his butt was sticking out at all the people we passed. When I asked him where we were supposed to go, he replied, "Past as many people as you can so that they can see my butt."
That must have made him think about it because his next question was, "You can't see my butt crack can you? I don't want people saying 'there goes another plummer' when I pass." So, even in pain he manages to be a comedian.
We arrived at the pre-admissions area and there was a couch. I went to the desk and answered the questions while he waited, then I was sent over with some paperwork to ask him questions and get his signature. One of the questionnaire was very strange. It asked what time he went to sleep (varies due to his job); if he woke up for any reasons during his sleep (no, not normally); if so, what for? - it was at this point he said, "What does this have to do with anything?!?"
I wasn't entirely sure but it eluded to the care given during his stay in the hospital, so I told him they probably wanted to know so that when he was there after his surgery they would be prepared a little better. I don't know. So then he changed his mind about the prior answers. "Tell them I get up several times a night to eat, and I need a lot of chocolate."
I don't think so. I left the answers the way they were and turned the forms back into the desk nurse. They did come to get him rather quickly but when we got to the small room, there was a recliner and a chair for the nurse, and a computer. Not a lot of room for the wheel chair and the nurse thought he might be OK in the recliner. He attempted to get into the recliner and the nurse tried to quickly recline it so that he would not be sitting, but she tried too quickly - before the wheel chair was out of the way. His feet hit the wheel chair, causing him severe pain - which sent him flying from the chair and onto the floor. (I do not know if I mentioned it previously, but his right foot is VERY sensitive to any form of physical touch - he cannot even stand for a blanket to be tossed onto it.) Seeing the amount of pain he was in prompted the nurse to want to speed things up for him so he didn't have to suffer any longer than necessary. She went through the check list and asked him all the necessary questions, Jeff tried to make jokes at some because I think he wanted to make her feel better. She was quite freaked out when the whole chair incident occurred.
He was *supposed* to watch some computer animated information program about his stay in the hospital that he says is horrible (he remembers it from the last surgery), but the nurse said he obviously could not sit at a computer. And he was in too much pain so they wanted to get him out as quickly as possible. Next step was the blood taking... she went and got a different nurse to come and take the blood. This part I could not watch - I can't stand needles! But when it was done Jeff said, "That's it, you're done? Wow, you do a good job taking blood, that didn't hurt at all!" He was clearly impressed, but I think he was just sucking up for some reason. Probably happy he didn't have to watch that video.
So that was it, we were free to go. We maneuvered him back into the wheel chair and I wheeled him back outside. He wanted to wait outside rather than inside while I went to get the car. He said if I get him a can he could probably get some people to give him money... :)
So, back in the car we head to the surgeon's office. They did not have wheel chairs, or a door to pull up to, so he had to crawl from the car to the office. This he hated and he started saying something about trying to walk.
"Oh, so you are willing to be in pain and possibly make your pain worse because you are worried about what other people think of you crawling?? Who cares?"
"Yeah, you're right. I just hate this."
We made it in the office, and they gave him a little stool on wheels to roll around on. They checked his blood pressure and went over the surgery, gave us a list of things that he could and could not do after the surgery and that was about it. He had some forms that he needed filled out by his doctor and she said to have the people at the front desk fill them out. We also asked for another prescription for the muscle relaxer he had been taken because he did not have enough to last until his surgery date. So she wrote him another prescription and sent us on our way. At the front desk we were told that the person who fills out the paperwork was in their other office and they could send the papers over to them and it would take 7-10 days to get them completed. This was not good as the BWC wanted the papers back ASAP, so they said we could take them over to the other office ourselves and she called to make sure the person - Katie - would be there to fill them out.
Good news, she was there and she was starting vacation the very next day, so it was a good thing we could take them to her today. Jeff wanted to try to walk back to the car, so he stood up and put his arm around my shoulders, and tried to hop on his good leg out the door. His face was filled with a pained expression and I knew he wasn't going to make it. He said to me, "Just get me out the door, hurry." So I did. As soon as we went through the door he fell to his hands and knees in pain. After pausing for a moment, he started his way to the car. He got in and got situated with the pillows, and we were off to the other office - which happened to be at the hospital we were just at on a different floor. Yep. That's right. The same place we just were. Now, why they couldn't just let him be seen in that office while we were in the same building I do not know.
We started down the street and Jeff needed some of his meds because his back was paying him back for his little walking stunt. I did not have anything to drink and there was nothing in site, so I drove past the hospital and finally found a UDF. I went in and got something to drink and went back to the hospital. I left him in the car this time while I went up to get the paperwork filled out.
As it turns out, Katie does not do fill out these forms, Babe does and she is off on Wednesdays. But she would be returning on Thursday and I could come back and pick them up. There was nothing I could do about it and I was too tired to be irritated, so I just said OK, I will come back tomorrow during my lunch hour.
I returned to the car and started to head home. Jeff was quiet in the backseat and didn't say much on the way home. We listened to NPR on the radio and didn't say much.
I do have to add something that has noting to do with Jeff. On the way to get him a drink I passed a sign that I felt was a little strange. It was a 'Caution deer crossing' sign, which, OK is fine. But it said "for the next 1/4 mile." So apparently someone has trained all the deer in the area to only cross the road in that 1/4 mile stretch of road. Or, maybe the deer in that area are really smart and can read, so they know which parts of the road are OK to cross and which parts are not. Or maybe whoever put the sign there is an idiot. Whatever the case, it irritated me enough to want to write about it. :)
We arrived home and Jeff crawled into the house, into our room, and fell asleep within minutes on his 'bed' of pillows on the floor. I unloaded all the stuff in my car and headed off to work.
The countdown has begun.... 6 more days.