Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Next days, next steps... to healing, we hope!

1 October: It's already October? Wow. Did 2021 fly by for everyone else, or was 2020 just so fucking long that 2021 seems to be shorter?

Ennyhoo. It's Friday the first, and I've managed to somehow sleep, and I have some pain, and I can't do anything. So, I hand my shuffle of papers to Stephen to see if there's anything in there to learn, and also to see if the orthopedist Dr. Drew referred a) accepts Emergency Medi-Cal and b) can see me in the next 10 days. Also, where's that scrip? I'ma need to fill that thing.

I call the ortho. They don't accept EM - I'll need a group number and all that other shit. I'm welcome to call Medi-Cal/Covered California to get a "real" insurance policy. Or I can be a self-pay. But the earliest appointment they have available for me is Wednesday the 13th (oh, hey! TODAY! {the day I'm actually posting this}), which is not within the 10 days Dr. Drew has prescribed I follow-up. Hmm... 

So while I make calls to Medi-Cal and Covered California to try to get a "real" policy, Stephen goes looking for orthopedists who'll see me sooner.

Covered California is the "Marketplace" where California residents can shop for health insurance policies, under the ObamaCare provisions that everyone should be able to afford insurance. According to CC, we won't have earned enough income in 2021 to afford even the most basic of plans, meaning, we should automatically qualify for "regular" Medi-Cal. But Medi-Cal qualifies you based on monthly income, not annual, and even though Stephen's schedule with the Dodgers is very irregular, and he had, in fact, earned $0.00 in the previous workweek, he'd earned enough over the course of September (as had I), that we did not qualify for regular Medi-Cal. So, as far as insurance is concerned, we'll try again once the Dodgers are finished. Which may very well be us trying again next week, if they lose the game tomorrow night. Hmm... I'll need more facts.

Meanwhile (and I mean that in the sense that I was on the phone with both "insurance" entities for practically the full day), Stephen found an ortho with a very user-friendly website, where I could also make an appointment in days rather than weeks, and the office charges would be reasonable enough to put them on a credit card, no matter what my insurance outcome was. Unfortunately, they were full up on Friday, or Friday was already over by the time I even knew to try to get in. However, I was able to get a very early appointment on Monday, confirmed with a phone call from them after I had "placed the order" online. In that phone call, I was given a pre-estimate of charges, for the consult, any x-rays, and a cast, if that was the direction the doc took. Great!

So I grabbed the Rx and walked to my local CVS pharmacy, wearing the ER sling to support the splint, which was, for all intents and purposes, "hidden" by the sling. It was roughly 4 p.m. when I saw the pharmacist, a rude woman who declared that they were "out" of my meds, and no, she couldn't tell me who "might" have them on hand. I think she saw my sling and judged me to be a drug-seeker, even though I had a legitimate Rx! Found another pharmacy nearby, where they also didn't have my Rx, but not because they were out. They didn't have it because they're not a big chain, and they just don't carry narcotics. But that pharmacist was very nice about it all, and suggested CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. She was actually enthusiastic about Walgreens, so that's where I went to get my meds. And they gave me zero resistance. #YayWalgreens

In the upcoming week, I'd been scheduled for some background (acting) work, with Covid tests on Monday and Tuesday, and 3 potential BG days Wednesday through Friday. Somewhere around the incident, they changed the test days to Sunday and Monday. So now it's weekend, and I'm calling the after-hours line, leaving messages, asking to change the tests back to M/T. I have an injury, and an appointment to see a specialist. If you test me and I don't end up working, you won't pay me for the test, and everyone's time will have been wasted. If I see the specialist and he clears me for work, I'll give you two clean tests and then I'll work! ... "Production would like for you to test on S/M and we'll still pay you whether you work or not"... hmm

So on Sunday 3 October, I drive myself to the testing site, by way of an auto-parts store, where I buy a knob for my steering wheel and attach it so I can use my left hand as little as possible and manage to drive myself!

#AchievementUnlocked! And of course, my negative test results come in that night, so...

On Monday 4 October, I drive myself to my ortho appointment. Only one person on the staff grates on me, expecting me to run my credit card for the charges as they accrue, rather than hitting it once for the day's total bill. At some point, he relents to allow me to run the office visit and x-rays together, and I relent to adding the cast afterwards, if that's what it takes to be seen. #ThatsWhatItTakesToBeSeen

Dr. Nevarez and Dr. Gendelman are top-notch. They both inspire sufficient confidence, so that when I discover that the ER has possibly mis-diagnosed and therefore mis-treated me, I'm less upset with the ER than I am sure of this particular ortho practice. My fracture was never hairline; I should have been able to see an ortho within 24-48 hours, or the ER should have put me in a real cast versus the splint. The time spent in the splint has made the fracture worse, not better, and now the only thing for it is surgery.

SURGERY. Cut me open and install a plate and pins. FIX the injury. Okay. #JustDoIt. How soon? What will it cost? How long will I be "down"?

There was an opening in his schedule for Tuesday 5 October! I'd have to be at the hospital by 5 a.m. for pre-op, so I'd be under the knife by 7 a.m. #GREAT #JustDoIt. Went home with my "do's and don'ts" list, informed Central Casting ON MONDAY that I would not be working this week, and waited. (I did not cancel the Covid test on Sunday!)

5 October: Stephen drove me to the hospital in the 4 a.m. hour, or as I like to call it, #DawnsTrampStamp. Got checked in early in the lobby, and waited to be sent upstairs. Got to the first round of paperwork, which I had him fill out so all I'd have to do was sign, and when they took me in for pre-op, they sent him back downstairs. He found some nice coffee somewhere and did whatever he does (reading or writing or playing games or posting on Fakebork).

Post-op, so bruised & swollen, but feeling 10k times better. I'm now bionic! I will set off every airport security gate going forward... can't wait to get to fly ANYWHERE!

The rest of Tuesday was spent in rest, in a much more reasonable splint, with only two medical "rules" to be followed: 1. Pick up nothing heavy 2. Follow up with the office on the 18th.

And now you're caught up on the injury & immediate treatments. Now to cover just LIFE and unlocked achievements! Please, comment away! I'll respond pretty quickly, this week, I think...

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