I went to the gynecologist, today, expecting another ultrasound, as I mentioned last night/this morning. I got a brief physical exam, a talk that caused me to get frustrated, and then an equally-frustrated doctor referred me to a surgeon for exploratory/corrective surgery via laparoscopy.
They can’t figure out what’s wrong with my uterus without poking around inside through my navel. Despite exams, medications, ultrasounds, etc., it seems like there’s just some mystery issue that’s hiding out of reach of the usual methods. I’m not sure what it is, and neither is my doctor, and he’s very good at his job.
Nothing has been ruled out – even cancerous growths* – especially given the sudden onset of my most recent pelvic pains with the introduction of the estrogen in my birth control. Basically, it would have happened, anyway, but it happened faster this way. Which, if you think about it, is kind of a good thing, treatment-wise.
I have a consultation on April 3rd to schedule this procedure, and then will have the procedure itself likely within the following two weeks. The consultation is $40. The surgery is quite a bit more (and if something is found, the way this surgeon works is that he removes anything that doesn’t belong as he finds it, so unless there’s a serious complication, this should be the ONLY surgery I have for quite some time).
Thankfully, I do have insurance, so there’s a deductible, and then I pay 10% of the remainder of the costs. My insurance really is very good, and I’m grateful for it, because otherwise I’d be, to put it politely, out of luck.
The problem is that there’s not a large flow of income due to a lack of tutoring students, and quite a lot of health issues keeping me from pursuing more regular work. I am trying, and my boyfriend will tell you that I do what I can, when I can.**
My deductible is $400. I have one of the best doctors in the country doing the laparoscopy, and it’s through University of Tennessee, so it shouldn’t be much more than that on my end, but even $400 is more than I can afford.
Here’s a breakdown of the average costs, so you know what I’m dealing with:
$2500 – average cost of laparoscopic procedure (higher-end office) <—This is the most likely scenario for me, because if there’s something seriously wrong, they’re going to have to sew me up and give me a hysterectomy later, anyway.
$2500 – $400 deductible = $2100.
10% of $2100 = $210.
Add that $210 back to the $400 deductible, and you get a total of $610 needed for this procedure, baseline.
Remember – this isn’t just a diagnosis, it’s also a treatment. I’ve been told to ask for donations to help me get the uber-bloodtest for Lyme ($800 total), and I’ve felt weird about that because it’s a blood test…it’s a diagnostic tool. This, however, is an actual treatment. If they find tumors, they get rid of them. They find scar tissue, they burn it out. If one of my ovaries is dangling in a weird position and rotting or something equally horrible, they remove it. Wham, bam, DONE.
I know it’s Convention Season. I also know that most of the folks who read this blog are spending much of their disposable income on ammunition as it becomes available, and the price of such is going up.
I wish I had products to offer for the donations, but all I can promise is that you will get a personal and very heartfelt thank-you card (hand-written, mailed to you, so addresses and aliases are appreciated with donation…). I will probably cry with every donation, too, so there’s that.
You’d also be helping me to get some of my quality of life back, so that I would be ABLE to visit folks who don’t live that far away (like Oleg…who is still offering to take my portrait, you guys), finish my degree and begin the process of getting on with life, and even continue with my lifestyle changes necessary for Lyme treatment.
I’ve changed the graphic and donation button at the upper left (trying to inject some humor into the situation). If you wish to help, please do. If you don’t, no harm done. If you can’t donate, and you’d like to help, please share this post. I’m not embarrassed about my medical maladies, and if anyone needs more information about what I’ve had done up to now that necessitates this step, please feel free to email me and ask.
Thank you! <3
**edited: Although I’ve almost reached my goal for the (proposed) cost of the surgery, if that’s keeping you from donating, keep this in mind: I also have to be able to pay bills while recovering, and pay for prescriptions and follow-up visits. That’s not a request for more money – that’s just letting you know that if you want to give, you can, and it will STILL go toward costs associated with my surgery, even if it doesn’t pay for it directly. Everything helps, and anything anyone wants to give up through the beginning of April will be happily and gratefully accepted.**
*(I’m not hearing this as “You could have cancer.” I’m hearing this as, “Anything could be going on, so hold on to your ovaries, ma’am.” That doesn’t mean I’m not scared, though. I am, in fact, terrified.)
**I was on ER watch this weekend from pelvic pain, and I still went to watch a toddler on Sunday because I need the money for medical bills, and Forrest drove me to keep me from having an incident while driving. (Note: I would not have worked at all had I thought for a minute that the child was in danger. Her mother and grandmother were running errands, and were in and out, and thus were there for all but 30 minutes of the 4 hours I was working, and those 30 minutes were spent with the child taking a nap. I need money, but I am NOT irresponsible with other people’s children.)