Yes. It’s true. Rob finally has a date for the operation. March 30th, they’ll tackle the carpal tunnel in his right wrist.
Of course, first, he has to have a pre-op physical. I don’t have any understanding of why he has to have this second physical when he just had one with the same doctor. We are both hoping that they will be able to schedule this physical rather faster than they did the other one, otherwise they’ll have to push the operation date back. Mind you, when the problem was first diagnosed in October, the surgeon had wanted to get Rob in that week for surgery. Clearly, he is dealing with relatavistic time of some sort.
There’s actually not that much to tell this time, except that he has managed to schedule an appointment to get the new nerve conductivity test. Somewhat amazingly, it’s this coming Thursday. I was rather expecting it to take a month.
On the other hand, when Rob spoke with the surgeon, they still haven’t received the report from his physical and can’t schedule the surgery until they do. So, that’s business as usual.
Apparently, there’s also a war between our insurance and the worker’s comp about who pays for it. I feel as if we just paid for it out of pocket, everything would have been easier and not significantly less expensive.
Rob finally had his physical while I was away. In fact, that’s why he didn’t go with me to the birthday retreat, because the only date he could get was smack in the middle of it.Â While I was in Chattanooga, I told one of my cousins, who’s a surgeon, about the physical.
He looked baffled and said, “It’s a six-minute procedure done under, at most, a shoulder block.Â Why do they need a physical?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. Insurance, I guess.”
He shook his head. “Fly him down here. It’ll be less of a hassle.”
We both laughed.
So, today, Rob finds out that yes, of course, there’s another hoop he has to jump through. The nerve-conductivity test he had back in Portland shows that his hands are normal.Â This means two things 1) they have to do another one. 2) It’s not a pre-existing condition, which throws the status of the insurance (worker’s comp or our insurance) back up in the air again.
I’m beginning to think that I should just put him on a plane to Chattanooga.
Yesterday Rob managed to contact the physician and the insurance company. THIS time he was told that, yes, of course the physician’s office will contact the insurance company (as if they hadn’t told him that he needed to do that) but they need a copy of the worker’s comp rejection letter first. Okay… Sure would have been nice to know that earlier. So Rob faxes that over and calls back to make the appointment.
Now the lady says that he can’t schedule the appointment until he’s had a complete physical, which he needs to schedule at least two weeks prior to the surgery.
My reaction was a resounding WTF? [1. WTF, but not in acronym form.]
I mean, he could totally have had the physical anytime in the past couple of months if they’d just said that was a prerequisite. So Rob is calling around today, trying to find a primary care physician — because we don’t have one — so that he can get the physical before we leave for the holidays. And then AFTER he has the physical he can call back to schedule the appointment.
Mind you, this is for surgery that the physician wanted Rob to have right away in October
Both of us are so frustrated because of how many hoops we have to jump through just to get on the schedule. Since we’re both free-lancers we usually just pay out of pocket; write the check and you’re done. As Rob says, “It takes nine people just to make an appointment, no wonder insurance is so expensive.”
Here’s the latest on Rob’s hands. Last week the insurance finally approved his claim and said that he could have the surgery. Yay! I waited to post until we had a surgery date, which… we still don’t have.
Why? Because the doctor’s office said that they needed written authorization. It took a couple of days for Rob to reach the insurance company, which he did today, only to be told that they need the doctor’s office to make the request for the written authorization. Needless to say, when Rob called the doctor’s office to tell them that, the person who handles scheduling was gone. Maybe tomorrow he’ll get on the schedule. More likely, he’ll just have to jump through another hoop.
You might remember about a month ago I mentioned that Rob had gone in to have his hands diagnosed and that the doctor wanted to get him in for surgery right away, as in that week. Â The nerves were dying. He’s been jumping through paperwork since then. Â We just found out that his worker’s comp claim has been denied because they’ve said the carpal tunnel is a pre-existing condition.
The problem with this is that it’s not debilitating if he’s not working harvest. Â I mean, the problems he’s having are so clearly linked to his job that it’s not even funny. Â Right now, he’s having trouble tying his shoes. Â This wasn’t an issue before harvest.
We’re been told that he can appeal to a judge, which we’ll try, meanwhile he’sÂ also jumping through the paperwork hoops for our regular insurance. Â I’m frustrated, angry and worried about him.
Rob’s been having some trouble at the winery with his hands. He’d been losing sensation in his fingertips, dropping things and dealing with general weakness. We were pretty sure it was carpal tunnel syndrome, so he was trying to put off going to the doctor until after harvest.Â A persistant tingling in two of his fingers added to everything else finally sent him in yesterday.
The doctor, a hand specialist, confirmed that it was carpal tunnel.Â But then he told Rob that the persistant tingling was a sign of nerves dying.Â He didn’t want to delay treatment, at all. So sometime next week, Rob is going in for surgery.Â He won’t be able to lift anything at all for two weeks with that hand. And then be on very light duty with it for months.
(Tor Books – July 14 2020) Mary Robinette Kowal continues her Hugo and Nebula award-winning Lady Astronaut series, following The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky, with The Relentless Moon. The Earth is coming to the boiling point as the climate disaster of the Meteor strike becomes more and more clear, but the political situation is already overheated. Riots and […]