Tuesday, August 15, 2006


When I went to the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Doctor regarding the Spinal Cord Stimulator, he said that he would put in the trial version, and then refer me to a neurosurgeon for the permanent version to be implanted. We asked about the timing of all this because we needed to plan for our busy Fall schedule. He told me that normally the "big" surgery is 2-3 weeks after the trial. So we planned accordingly (meals, help, postponement of big events on the schedule until later in the year, etc). His office also told me the surgery usually is scheduled in that time period, and even the Medtronics nurse, who has done this for 17 years and worked with these doctors-said the same thing. So we figured we could count on it.

Well, my trial device was taken out on August 1st, and I called the same day to make the appointment with the neurosurgeon. Their first available, at any of their 5 locations, was August 18th. You can imagine my frustration, knowing the surgery would be even later. Well, it gets worse! They called back a few days later and asked if I could go to a different location to see the surgeon, but on the same day. It is further away. But, because I want this over with, I said "SURE." They called today to confirm my appointment for the 18th, but then, just 2 hours later, they called back to say the surgeon can't see me until September!

I explained my frustrations (nicely-I know the receptionist can't help it). I told her what the PM&R office had led me to believe about surgery schedule. Also, I had already had my pre-surgery physical exam and EKG, and now they might need to do it over again closer to time(they had ordered a chest x-ray and labwork, but I had waited to do that-now I will wait even longer!).

So, now my neuro appointment is August 24th (she found an opening sooner than the September date) and because she felt sorry for my situation, she went ahead and scheduled my surgery even though the doc hasn't seen me yet, for September 14th. This is a full month later than when we had expected it to be scheduled. She did say she will call back if there are any cancellations.

Even though I'm disappointed in the delay, I'm trying to see the good in this. So, my reasoning for all this, is that maybe it is better this way so that my abscess can heal well, and we can be sure the infection is completely gone. By looking for a positive, it helps blow away the dark clouds!

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