Archive for the ‘healthcare’ Category

In San Antonio

Last night, we got out late as usual.  But for a partly good cause.  Having no sense of time is always for a good cause, right?  Anyways, Nana could not watch daughter, because Grandad had a tooth abscess.  Poor guy.  So we all loaded up and came down to San Antonio.

About 2/3rds of the way, we swapped out and she drove as I was very, very tired.  I made the mistake of stopping off at a Walmart to buy a voice recorder.  Why is it that when you want to run in and get something real quick, you 1. can’t find it, 2. get stuck behind the lady with 3 kids and a basket full of items at the only register open.  I patiently bore this, but it took about 30 minutes for something that should have taken 5 minutes.

And then we got here, at about 230 am.  The appointment was postponed till later on today, because the Dr. I’m supposed to see missed his connecting flight.

And here we are.


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Apparently, I misunderstood.  I very much thought I was going to see a resident and a resident alone, which kind of pissed me off.  It turns out you see the resident, they make their comments/notes/dx and then the faculty comes in a goes over everything with you.  I feel a tad bit better now.

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Today, I went over to the oral surgeon I’m seeing to pickup my radiographs and such. I have an appointment next week at UTHSC in San Antonio for a second opinion. The oral surgeon I see (and am leaning towards) said that if I wanted to get a second opinion, he wouldn’t be offended and the place I’d want to go is UTHSCSA.

Not that I think they’re going to tell me something different. I know what must be done. I’m worried about the details. I’m worried about getting all of the ameloblasts out so I won’t have a recurrence. If I have to go through this once, I don’t want to repeat it. I’m horrified that I’ll have to repeat it.

I’m also worried that if I go with UTHSCSA that I won’t be able to get local follow up support. I asked about this today when I stopped by and they said that I’d have to follow up with the other OS. I guess that means I’d have to spend a week or so in San Antonio recovering before I returned to Austin.

I also have to admit that first impressions (I know I’m more judgemental and pissy here than most, so don’t take this too seriously I guess) that I’m not that impressed with UTHSCSA. First of all, they tried to schedule me with a dentist. That was my fault though, I didn’t specify that I wanted the OMS. Then they put me with a resident instead of a faculty member with lots more experience. I was hoping to see one of the faculty, especially one with 10-20 years of experience. I’d strongly prefer them to somebody with 1-2 years of experience. I really didn’t expect this and it kind of set me back. I asked them if I decided to go with them if I could get surgery with the faculty instead of a resident. They said when the resident performs, the faculty is in the room. They said it’d cost more … which I’m fine with. I’d rather pay more now than later.

There is a certain grandeur and wow factor associated with UTHSCSA. Their hospital, University Health System, is quite huge and everything is there. I mean everything. I told them that I had “ameloblastoma of the left mandible”, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference to the people scheduling. Granted they’re just schedulers. And pretty much before they’d even talk to me, they had to verify with their financial department whether or not they’d even take my insurance. I can understand wanting to get paid … maybe there’s not a better way to handle this?

I also went over to my dentist to have them make copies of any radiographs and such they have. Tomorrow I’m going to try and get the pano radiograph from before I had braces put on 4-5 years ago. Some of what they gave me to carry down was duplicate. But they were pretty kind to me and wished me well. You get to notice things like this. And they kind of help.

I started the day out feeling pretty good, determined that things were going to get done and that I was going to be motivated to do them. My oral surgeon’s office called and asked if I’d scheduled the second opinion. I was caught up in work (and also not wanting to think about it) so I didn’t get back to them for a few days. I feel guilty about this. I sometimes wonder if they’re going to just tell me to forget it, that I’m too much trouble to mess with. I have this fear with everybody though. It’s kind of been ingrained in me from adolescence.

And I’ve started to be sick with worry again. Thinking about this makes me sick with worry, where I feel my stomach just tense up and just want to obsess about it. Then I want to put it out of my head and not worry about it. I want to procrastinate so I don’t have to think about this horrible thing. Or wrap myself up with work. Or spend hours reading Wikipedia trying to be escapist.

Some of these questions I feel are hard to answer and there’s no way to know if you have complete information. And this is frustrating. I’m trying to deal with the uncertainty. But it’s hard. And damn it, I don’t want to appear weak. But sometimes all this just makes me want to cry.

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