The last two weeks…long post

Okay, I can finally sit down and process what has gone on the last two weeks. Leaving here and going to NY City for Charles’ surgery was an interesting experience. We had originally booked coach because by the time we got everything sorted, that’s all that was left. Once on the train we were able to upgrade that portion to a sleeper (altho it was very tiny) so we were able to stretch out and sleep. And the meals were included.

However we did discover that Charles gets train sick. Dr. Pomp mentioned if he faces the way the train is traveling it helps and apparently it did cause coming home he was able to face the way we were traveling and he was able to not be sick.

Anyway, we got there, checked in and collapsed. Monday was spent at the hospital going thru preop, meeting Dr. Pomp, Charles’ surgeon, getting weighed in officially (he weighed in that day at 255.9. (he weighed in this morning at 231.2 for a lose of 24.7 lbs) and our NUT (nutritionist visit. I swear that woman talks faster that an express train.

Next day, we had planned on going out to sightsee but it was 19 with a windchill of 9 and just so cold that after 2 trips out, we decided to not try a third until Carol& Jack showed up and we headed to the nearest store for a VERY quick trip inside for a few essentials. We had a kitchen in our hotel room so most meals were taken there. That store was on the “basement” level and we had to go down the escalator to get to it.

After a great visit with them but a quick one we were hoping for a chance to head out the next day but Wed was just as cold if not colder. We did find a grocery store that delivered by then so we got some more groceries to finish out our stay. We also found out that Charles had to be at the hospital at 7AM for his surgery to start at 9AM. I knew it was a 4 hour surgery so I figured he would be in his room by 2-3PM at the latest…boy was I ever wrong.

I was right about the time he finished surgery but he didn’t get a room til almost 7PM and then was put in a step down unit…but let me go back to that morning.
Now in EVERY hospital he or I have ever had any surgery in and that includes, the University of Michigan, San Fransisco, University of Toledo, University of South Carolina, University of Pittsburgh, Cleveland Clinic, etc, when you go into preop, you are put in a room and put on a gurney and that is where you stay until ROLLED into surgery. NOT this one.

He was taken off and I was plopped in a waiting room. He comes back to me, dressed in his cute little surgical getup , attached to a glucose solution, and with his clothes in a bag, and sits with me til they call him again. Then he comes back and waits again. They call him again and THIS time they WALK him to the OR. I walk out to the waiting room this time with his clothes and wait, and wait, and wait.

So after he gets into recovery and I can see him we wait longer…waiting for a room in the step down unit. Because of Charles’s previous history he had a urologist handle the catheter, typical a technician handles that. Anyway, he ended up having two surgeries for the price of one. And they wanted to be sure that end would heal as well.
He was suppose to go to the Bariatric floor on Saturday but they never had a bed open up so he never managed to move out of the step down unit. A step down unit is a cross between a normal nursing floor and intensive care. Normal nurses have about 7-10 patients (with an aid) where as intensive care is almost a one nurse to 2 patient ratio. In a step down unit it’s one nurse/one aid to 3 patients. His cardiologist that saw him at NYPH had a patient who was in recovery for three days cause there was not a bed to be had in the step down units.

Anyway, he was able to go “home” on Monday. Home being across the street at the Helmsley Medical Tower. Once we realized that we didn’t have to see Dr. Pomp again after Charles left the hospital, we tried to get home sooner on Amtrak. I had already upgraded our trip on Friday to a handicapped sleeper which is the same as a first class sleeper. But nothing opened up so we left on Friday. Glad we did.

We got to my daddy’s at 4:15 AM Christmas morning and promptly went back to bed for a few hours. I had gotten up about 2AM to call him to wake him up at his request. He and Dawn (my oldest half sister) came down to pick us up.

We had Christmas dinner at my youngest half sister about noon time that day and exchanged presents. Then got the older half sister on the road. As the rest of us headed back up the mountain, it started snowing (about 2PM) so by the next morning we had 5 inches on the ground…it hasn’t snowed in that area for a White Christmas since the 60′s.

We got a chance to see that the interstate was clear the next morning and I was worried that it would warm up and then freeze overnight and turn into a skating rink so we took a chance and drove home Sunday. Turns out that the last part of I-40 in NC was very iffy but doable…took us 5 hours to drive a normal 3.5 hour drive. We got to the NC/TN line and it was like a completely different storm system…almost no snow here. But it was so worth getting out of there and getting out of the stress.

Our cats let us know just how they felt about us being gone so long!!! They’ve yelled at us and cuddled at the same time.

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Been in New York City

For almost a week now. Got here last Sunday after a 14 hour train ride and collapsed. Monday, we spent most of the day getting hubby thru the pre-op at the hospital, seeing Dr. Pomp for the first time (he’s a fantastic surgeon) and seeing the nut who talked a mile a second.

Tuesday and Wednesday were suppose to be spent sightseeing but it was too blasted cold.

Thursday morning was his surgery, he’s switched! (that means he has his Duodenal Switch)

Didn’t get to his room til almost 7PM, I collapsed again when I got back to the room. And I suspect he will be in til Monday.

Friday, I hope we get on the train to go back to my daddy’s.

Been a LONG week!

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It’s been a nightmare for the past two weeks

Let me see if I can get it all sorted out and explained…not even sure I still completely understand it.
I was approved by BCBSTN for my surgery.
The Medicare part tho had to get in the act and decided to not approve the facility even tho my surgery was approved. They decided I could get the surgery here in TN.
So I was trying to appeal it when I found out my secondary, United Healthcare denied me completely. So the appeal became even more critical. I wrote the appeal and then called the next day to find out what I needed to do to get it approved. Found out, I needed to prove there was not a doctor in state who could do the surgery before they would let me go out of state.
I was down to one surgeon as of noon yesterday. He was the partner of my original surgeon. They had to agree for me to switch surgeons AND he had to agree to do a Duodenal Switch on a Lightweight (someone between 35-40 BMI).
I got word that they agreed to the arrangement and he would do a DS on me so I am staying here.

In the meantime, dh was approved and in order not to delay him any further, we will go to NY for his surgery which is now scheduled for the 16th of Dec.

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Had a revelation yesterday

Rather than drive up and back…take Amtrak. Of course, Amtrak doesn’t come closer than than Greenville/Spartanburg but we can drive over there and then leave our car there with family and ride the rails. Be much nicer than driving up, worrying about our car while there and it would allow us to both have surgery at the same time. It’s a 14 hour drive and we would just get a sleeper and sleep our way up there. Get there about mid afternoon.

And for about $400 round trip for both of us, to rent the sleeper with meals provided, that is fairly cheap. And New York is one place we don’t need a vehicle. It would allow us to be well rested on the way up and on the way back we could walk any time we needed without having to pull over and stop the car. And we could just stay in the bed most of the trip when not walking.

Not a bad idea. Glad I thought of it. :)

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