Friday, June 23, 2006

Update on Jeff

On Wednesday, Jeff's doctor called and told him not to bother to come in to see him that day, he had the results of the MRI and was referring him to a surgeon. So he called the surgeon and they did not have any openings until July, but told him to come in the next day (Thursday) at 11 and they would work him in. So, I took him to the surgeon's office. He was, at that time, able to walk for approximately 5 minutes at a time. Other than that, he cannot sit or stand; he is usually laying down or crawling around the house. So when we got to the surgeon's office, I went in to sign him in while he waited in the car. We were not sure how long it would take, and he didn't want to have to lay on the floor, so he chose to stay in the car until I was able to find out. Turns out they have a couch in the waiting room, so I went back out to get him to come in. We did not have to wait too long, I had to fill out some paperwork for him and then it was time to go back to see the doctor.

The diagnosis was just as expected, the disc had ruptured and was hitting his sciatic nerve. This was causing the severe pain in his leg. He will indeed need to have surgery and the doctor wanted to schedule it for the week of July 4th. He escorted us to the woman who does the surgery scheduling - since this happened while at work and it was being handled by workmen's comp, they would not be able to do the surgery until they have approval from the BWC. This approval has never been quicker than 2 weeks, so the surgery is scheduled for July 11th. Both the doctor and she felt that it would be easier to reschedule it if the approval was not received by then than it would be to try to fit him in after the approval. The doctor also prescribed a couple of medications that might help the swelling to go down a bit and possibly relieve the pain a bit while he has to wait. So, 2 weeks and 4 days from now, with any luck in the approval department, Jeff will have some pain relief then.

That might not be soon enough, however, because today Jeff has not been able to be on his feet for any longer than 15 seconds. He said he does not know how he is going to last 2 1/2 weeks the way he feels today.

Based on the surgery happening on July 11th, the doctor took Jeff off of work until August 18th, and that will be pending the physical therapist's analysis of him. If he does go back then, it will be "light duty" until 6 months have passed.

So, that is the update for now. The bureaucracy of it all is driving me crazy! Jeff has really good insurance (like 100 times better than mine!) and I wish we could just go through that instead of having to deal with the BWC. Approval this, approval that! They are not the ones who have to live with the pain, or with him while they decide if it is really necessary for the surgery. If they have the ability to decide better than a doctor what action should be taken, then they are in the wrong line of work!! Shouldn't they be doctors? They'd make a lot more money that way.

No comments: