Thursday, June 28, 2007

bad thursday morphs into good thursday, kinda

The day started with phone calls to the vascular surgeon’s office to find out what’s happening as far as Stanley getting his calf clot dealt with. I’d been trying to speak to the doctor or at least find out if he read the CT test and find out the next step since Tuesday morning. Gee, Tuesday, that was just a coupla days ago. What’s the rush? Somebody limping around in pain and unable to go back to work is the rush. I got two “we’ll call you right back"s today until, miracle of miracles, Dr. Gagne (Southern Connecticut Vascular Center) called! He didn’t have the film, he said, only the report, and he can’t make a surgical decision based on the report ... I asked him why he didn’t have the films since Norwalk Radiology said they’d be delivered in a couple of hours. I offered to get them and hand deliver them to Dr. Gagne wherever he wanted me to ... I was pretty close to tears I was so frustrated.

Dr. Gagne called me back a little while later, explaining that, through the miracle of the Internet, he was able to access the CT scan online—he said he wasn’t sure if the new software they just had installed would work, and he seemed pretty pleased that it does. Not as pleased as I was. (Wow, medicine is up to Internet speed—1998 Internet speed.)

He said the best deal for long-term success is to go into the artery via Stanley’s knee (doesn’t have to cut muscle that way) and clear the clots (yes, there is more than one, alas) or bypass the artery with a vein from his leg if the clots are too, well, clotty I guess. Inpatient, since it’s an operation, and recovery is relatively quick since no muscle would be cut—about a week. He said he’d proceed on getting things set up, cautioning me that he is going to proceed as if everything will be approved by Oxford, that there were things that had to happen to make it all happen, and would try for Norwalk Hospital. I told him we’d go to any hospital at any time, the sooner the better, with the only requirement that it be a hospital in the Oxford network.

A little while later, Diana called and said that Stanley’s operation is scheduled for July 10th at Norwalk Hospital at 11 a.m.—assuming approvals from Oxford go through in a timely manner. He has to check in on July 9th, and she said she’d send me a packet with all the information we need so I’ll know exactly what is going on and when it’s supposed to happen. I really, really hope Oxford doesn’t screw around with this—I’m still worried that parts of the clot will break off and wreak more havoc and I’ll be scared about this until it’s, rather they’re, removed.

As it is, we’re both very disappointed that Stanley has to endure this almost two more weeks more. He was hoping to get back fully to work by July 6, when his coumadin and transfusions would be finished, but now it won’t be until July 16th. And he’s just so frustrated with not being able to walk very far. Not to mention the thousands more it will probably cost us since we’ll be in a new “fiscal year” with our health plan—I’m hoping like hell that it’s a calendar year before out-of-pocket zeros out again, but I doubt it. I will find out next time I call Oxford ... maybe. But, while disappointed that it’s taking so long, what a relief that we finally have a date for when the problem will be fixed!

Meanwhile, between phone calls and emails that I had to deal with, I’m trying to finish up the last bits of five stores I’m working on—so very close to finished! Just a few more hours of work if I can just be left alone to do it—which I thought would be this afternoon and early evening since we had no place we had to be and no plans other than grilling salmon for dinner. Then I could move on and put together another store for a very patient client, spec out a website for another, and begin building yet another one for a third client, start a small ad campaign for another, plus concentrate more on editing http://www.westportnow.com ... a lot on my plate, but all interesting.

But that was not to be. But not for a bad reason. My nephew Brian, the truck driver, called. He has a layover in Milford at the Pilot truck stop there, and could we please come and get him. Stanley went to get him and I was very happy to see him—I always am. I waited for Stanley’s drug delivery because someone has to sign for them, and tried to get some work done, otherwise, I would’ve gone as well. I think he lucked out that this run brought him so close to us and gave him time to stop over night because he’s between paychecks and had nothing but molecules of air in his wallet. Not one dollar. No money in the bank until well after midnight when he paycheck dropped in, and no credit card. So he was glad we answered the phone!

We talked for quite a while, catching up on his life and family things, and he told us about his new house, which he recently bought. It’s in Dearborn Heights, about halfway between his mother’s house and his Aunt Jamie’s house, with a good 6.2% 30-year fixed mortgage and his payments, including taxes and insurance, are not much more than he’d be paying in rent. He said he paid about $13K less than its appraised value. He’s hoping that the piss-poor market in the Detroit area will turn around sooner or later and he’ll be able to sell at a profit some day—but at least he’s got a place to live that he’s not throwing money away on so even if it doesn’t appreciate much, he’ll get his money back. And that’s a pretty good mortgage rate for someone in his early 20s! His brother Aaron and a friend and her daughter are living there—as roomies— now. They help defray expenses and the house isn’t empty when Brian is on the road. We’re looking forward to seeing it when we hit Michigan later this summer.

We wanted to barbecue chicken for Brian, but it was storming out, so Stanley made grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. We watched Earl and The Office and chatted until it was time to take him back to his truck. We couldn’t bear the thought of him being on the road with not even a dollar, so we gave him a bit of cash for his birthday, which is July 3. It was kind of nice taking a ride up to Milford. Stanley and I tried to stop at the Dairy Queen in Fairfield on the way back, but we got there about 15 minutes too late. Damn—I’ve been craving a blizzard for about three years now. Will just have to wait.

So the day started out overwhelming and teary and frustrating, but we got an end-date for Stanley’s clot problem and I got to see my nephew, so it turned good. Although I’ll have to hustle to get stuff done tomorrow, it was worth the visit.

I’m still grappling with my mother’s diagnosis. I find I can only accept it a little bit at a time. So many things fit, it’s hard to deny it as much as I long to.

posted by lee on 06/28/07 at 09:37 PM

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