Monday, February 16, 2009

Just me Ranting.

Well, as far as my health goes, things haven’t changed.

However, my recovery might shape up to be rather… interesting.

The nutshell version goes like this;

The nurse practitioner who will be handling my recovery process told me, in no uncertain terms, that I will be out of work for 6 weeks at the minimum.

Well, I spoke with my short term disability manager today over the phone. According to her, a Spleenectomy (or however you spell it) is supposed to take 21 days to recover from, so that’s all the short term disability they are going to give me… and that’s after 7 days where I have to burn my own six time before they start paying their share. (Oh and by the way, they only pay half of my week pay rate anyway, so its not like I was totally covered to begin with.)

Oh… almost forgot the kicker, if I don’t get a letter from the Doc releasing me to return to work, I can’t even walk in the office door.

Anyway, after hearing this, I called the hospital and spoke with the nurses aid who has been just about the only person in this whole mess who seems to have a decent head on her shoulders. I spoke with her, and at first she kind of toted the party line about how the Nurse Practitioner has the final say in my return to work and she isn’t supposed to let things like insurance and pay influence her medical decisions and so on…


My reply to all this.

“Okay, do me a favor, just ask her this, will you. She already told me she would likely clear me to drive after two weeks. I drive a ‘97 Pontiac Grand Am that on its best day could be said to have power assisted steering, and a brake pedal that occasionally needs to be reminded that its supposed to move when pressed on. If she’s going to clear me to drive a car like that two weeks out of the hospital, does she think that maybe she can consider clearing me to sit as a desk and use a mouse and keyboard after three weeks?”

The logic seemed to sink in for her, and she put me on hold and spoke with the Nurse practitioner. I didn’t get any promises—wasn’t expecting any to tell you the truth—but I did get a “Okay, Well talk about it”, which is a lot more than I was getting before.

Frankly, if things get screwy again, I’ll just call the Short Term disability advisor from the clinic and put her on the phone with the Nurse Practitioner and let the two heavyweights duke it out. Hell, I might sell tickets if the argument gets good.

The truth be told, I’m actually enjoying the hassle of all of this, it’s a nice distraction from the coming big day, which I am still scared spit-less over.

So, they are going to pull my spleen, maybe my Gaul bladder (don’t ask… I’m not even sure why either.) and they are supposed to do a Liver biopsy, though right now I am really tempted to put the brakes on that idea cold.
So far every, and I mean EVERY test they have run on my liver comes back normal. The fact that I carry the HEP-C virus seems to have every doctor in the goofy clinic convinced that my condition has to be caused by something to do with my liver, even though they keep coming up with more and more test results that say “nope, no problems here.”

Things got so bad at one point that they scheduled me for a very, and I mean very expensive Gastroenterologist without even telling me about it. I wound up burning 4 sick hours waiting to see him under the assumption that I was seeing the surgeon for an initial visit. When the facts came out, I ended the visit loudly and abruptly, and told the doctor that unless he was ready to fork over 4 hours pay in exchange for wasting my time, he had better just step aside and forget he ever saw me.

Which by the way, is exactly what happened, the visit never took place as far as the insurance is concerned, and all of my vitals and statistics from the visit were promptly fed to the paper shredder. I don’t know if I just scared them outright, or if they realized that I was mad enough to do something lasting like file a complaint with their bosses. In either event, I haven’t spoken to the man again, and frankly don’t plan to.

By the way, I already have a GI, who has time and time again proclaimed that my liver in fine, healthy and asymptomatic of any type of Hepatitis.

I carry the virus, but it is not active in any way, based on all tests that have been run.
The funny thing is that this was all news to the GI down in OKC.

Funny, I thought asking all of my doctors to send copies of my files to you meant you were supposed to actually look at them, doc?

Okay, yes I’m ranting… sorry.

But It is fun :)

Anyway, that’s all in the past. By all accounts, the GI is out of the picture for the moment, and as soon as I am on my feet, I plan on telling the whole crew down in Oklahoma city—that includes the surgeon, the GI and the Hematologists that recommended me for surgery—“goodbye”.

Actually, the truth be told, ditching the Hematologists might be a little dicey. There is no guarantee that the surgery will resolve my issue 100%. Frankly, the most likely hope is for this to heavily mitigate the effects of the anemia such that what’s left can be managed without hitting me with mammoth doses of steroids that are almost as destructive as the anemia. But even that is a large question mark until after the surgery.

Sigh.. too many unanswered questions.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Well, don't ask me how. but I somehow managed to delete my first post about my medical situation.


Computers; sometimes they work... sometimes you just want to hit them.

Anyway, if I get the text from the old post back, I'll put it back up.

Grrrr... that's just damn annoying.

At least I still have the comments  :)

Ivo Blackhawk

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Date and Time

Well, I received a call from the doctor's office today. They have set a date and time for my surgery.

I will need to visit the hospital sometime Tuesday the 24th so that they can type and match my blood, so that will be one trip down to OKC.

I'm not supposed to eat anything after midnight Tuesday, so I plan on making Tuesday night a good meal. No idea what it will be, but I'm thinking something beef :)

Anyway... I need to be at Integris Baptists Medical Center six or six thirty am Wednesday. That's when they admit me. The surgery is scheduled for 8:00 am, and evidently its supposed to last 4 hours, or at least that’s how long the operating theater is scheduled for. The surgery is supposed to be conducted laproscopically , but every time I talk to the doctor's office, they always (and I do mean always) say "but if anything changes, and they have to do an open surgery, that becomes more involved." You would think they would give me credit for having heard this mantra twenty or more times already... but I guess not.

After surgery, I will be moved to recovery until the doctor says I am stable (or something like that), and then I get moved to the Intensive Care Unit. I don't know how long I will be there, but I seem to remember someone saying I may spend the first night there. Evidently this is standard operating procedure for all post operative patients.

Hopefully, (and God willing) I will be moved to a regular hospital room sometime Thursday. I asked one time about when I might (and I even said "might") be able to see guests. The nurse practitioner who will be managing my recovery flat refused to even address the question. Shrug... I'll just have to see how that progresses.

I was told that the expected stay was five days (give or take) after surgery, and then they would discharge me to go home and rest there. This is--of course--dependant upon a million different things that no one has any control over. So with my luck, I might get a full ten day stay there. (God I hope not!)

So, that much is now set in stone, more or less. All of this could be derailed if the doctor is called up for a transplant, but the nurses aid said that they are usually able to reschedule the same day or the next if that comes up.

Am I still scared spit-less?


And I probably will be until this is past me. Fear, like all other emotions is part of the human experience and I am just dealing with it as best I can. Its not a debilitating fear, or one that is spiking my blood pressure or costing me sleep. But it is what it is, and its not pleasant.

All of that being said, the words of encouragement from my friends (including some I didn't even know I had) have been heartwarming to say the least. Its been has all be just a little surreal for me to see how many people there are who have taken the time to send in kind words. Say what you will, but it was a pleasant surprise at times for me.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protégé to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pen, Quill and Stile

Writing has long been a major part of my life, be it my fiction, my essays or my letters, I have always enjoyed a chance to compose. Towards that end, I have decided to use my writing more effectively in the SCA, and even though I am on a vacation, of sorts, I plan to make good use of my time by keeping up with some writing projects that I have been looking to do over the past year.

So, partly because I like to keep things organized, and partly because I like showing off what I can do, I put together a small online collection point for my SCA writings, complete with a comment’s section.

Pen Quill and Stile
My personal Library

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"