Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The soap opera continues

First things first: my dad is home from the hospital and doing reasonably well. He's been home since Monday evening, and today my brother carted him over to the Big City to see his surgeon for a follow-up. My dad was too tired to talk much tonight, but I gather that things went all right there. Luckily, my brother requested that they take my dad's blood pressure there at the doctor's office (they showed no signs of even thinking of such a thing, even though of course my dad had been through a scary drop in BP only a few days before). They found it was somewhat low, and so told him to lay off his BP meds for the time being (normally his runs high) until things got back to normal.

His surgeon's office had also somehow managed to mislay the paperwork (or something) that was necessary in order for him to have a visiting nurse come by every day for a while and check his BP, etc. Said nurse is supposed to show up tomorrow, but I'll believe it when I see it. It's starting to sound to me like the surgeon is a good surgeon, as such, but he needs to hire a new office administrator. Luckily, my dad is good at following up on things, and he said he would call their office tomorrow to make sure things were actually arranged as promised.

My dad is also supposed to have someone from a local caregivers company come by tomorrow for four hours, and fix him lunch and do the dishes and so forth. He could probably use someone all day long, but they're $14/hr and my dad, while not exactly penurious, definitely has Scottish blood. (Well, actually, it's Welsh, but close enough.) The fun part about that whole thing was trying to arrange it from here (California) since my dad was stuck in the hospital and my brother was busy either working or running back and forth between their rural home and the Big City hospital to see my dad. But the Internet was a big help. I got the phone number of the local hospital's geriatric care unit, and called them for a referral for care givers. Still, I cringe when I think of my long distance bill this month!

And in the main plot of the soap....

Today, I called and made an appointment to do a selective reduction on two of the four fetuses, on September 25. I'll just be starting my 12th week then. Making the appointment upset me less than I thought it would. I think I am becoming numb to the whole thing. I just hope it doesn't "hit" me later on. But I think, in part, I have finally come to the understanding that some parts of life just suck. They simply do. And there's nothing to be done about it but roll with events and try to get past to the other side with as little damage as possible. I found myself taking that attitude when I had my shots for IVF. The subcu shots were a piece of cake, but sometimes the intramuscular shots that I took in the backside hurt like a bear. Of course, I never knew which ones would hurt, which somehow made it worse -- it was just when my husband would happen to get a little too close to a nerve or such. And I had the choice of either whimpering and getting upset before each shot, or just baring my butt and getting on with it -- especially realizing I had volunteered for the whole thing. So I think that attitude has carried on here, a bit.

Of course, the logistics of getting this reduction done couldn't possibly be simple. Dr. Enterprise recommended a clinic down in San Francisco to do the work. They are not, of course, in our HMO's network. So now we will either have to pay for this out of pocket too (and I'm sure it won't be cheap) or else wheedle our HMO into paying for it. I doubt they will, since basically they only pay out of network providers for things that are (a) medically necessary (though I think you could make a good case for this being, in fact, necessary) and (b) that the HMO cannot provide through its own providers. Well, I'm sure our HMO has some hack who does this procedure once every six months and would be glad to take a crack at it for us, but I want a specialist who does this so much he could do it in his sleep, and that is what I am assured this clinic's doctor is. So if we have to pay, we pay. (But I'll bet it's gonna hurt.)

September 25 is going to be quite a day for us. For one thing, we'll be at the clinic for about four hours. Dr. Enterprise said they could probably combine a nuchal fold transluscency test with the reduction. I thought that was an excellent idea, since I cannot tell you how volcanically enraged I would be to go through this selective reduction, only to be told a month later that oh, by the way, one of the two you decided to keep has Down Syndrome. I think that would make me lose it. As in, chairs flying out windows, etc.

But the woman who was arranging appointments said they did not always do it that way (combining the nuchal with the reduction). Yes, I responded, but can it be done that way? Well, she would have to check with the doctor. Fine, I said (trying not to let her hear me gritting my teeth) but if possible, I'd like to do it this way. Usually, she said brightly, the doctor chooses the ones that are easiest to reach. And at that point, I was thinking, not with MY fetuses you don't! Because I swear I will get medieval on them (what does that mean, anyway? Like Vlad the Impaler?) if we go through all this and they get rid of the healthy ones. I really will.

She also suggested we could do CVS on each of the fetuses beforehand -- but then immediately contradicted herself, pointing out that would be very difficult, with four fetuses. That's fine with me, really. I would much prefer to do as little invasion of the womb as possible. These fetuses seem settled in for the long haul, but I don't know if that would remain true if we start poking around too much in there.

There are also, just for grins, several blood tests the clinic requires beforehand. To get my HMO to do those, I'll have to try and sweet talk my doctor into ordering them for me. But actually, she has been willing to do that before, so I'm hoping she might again. We'll see.

I do wish this blog entry had had some grand, overarching theme. I admire writers who are good at that, who can start off with a premise, spin it through loops and arches and round-the-worlds like a yoyo, and then come home to rest by rounding off their initial premise. But this entry is merely recording the slogging of this day. Maybe that's enough.


Blogger casey said...

Sometimes, posts that exemplify the theory of entropy are worthy, too! I mean, it's the galvanizing force behind my life, so I can appreciate it in others.

Glad your dad is doing better; sorry that the San Fran clinic seemed a little non-chalant about your reduction. Perhaps the people answering the phones and scheduling should be required to have gone through what you're going through...give them some sensibility.

Keep pushing for what you want, though (nuchal and all). It's always a good idea to practice advocating for yourself (and your children, even this far in advance).

7:55 AM  

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