I’ve passed my pre-op exam, and, more importantly, my insurance company has greenlighted my surgery, in writing. I’ve spoken with the insurance people and I am amazed – amazed! – that my out-of-pocket cost will be a very, very small number. I will have spent far more on testing – not to mention about seven years’ worth of the wrong meds – than the actual procedure. That annoying little fact aside, I’m feeling like a very fortunate person right now to have such good health insurance. To have health insurance at all.
My surgery is scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 13. If all goes according to plan, I will be home the next day. The surgeon expects the procedure will take about two hours. It all sounds so – simple, really. In the morning I go in with an illness that has been everything from merely annoying, to downright miserable at times, for the past ten years of my life. Several hours later, theoretically, I will no longer have this illness.
The reality is that nobody knows with absolute certainty that this will work. There are several possible outcomes: ideally, the hypertension and low potassium will be gone right away. Or, it may take some time. Or, it might not work at all, and I’ll still be faced with taking meds for the rest of my life. That last possibility is small, but not nonexistent. Still, it’s a chance worth taking.
There are things that can go wrong. The surgeon may have to switch from laparoscopic to open surgery depending on what mysteries lie within. There can be allergic reactions, a very real fear for me considering my many allergies. Things happen, I know this; all I can do is trust that they won’t happen to me.
The recovery may be easy, or difficult. I’ve talked with people who have mentioned everyday things – washing their hair, putting a kettle of water on for tea – that were unexpectedly difficult to do post-op. I’ve talked with people who were up and about, walking a mile or more, several days after surgery. I’ve talked with people who were incapacitated for up to a month. I am expecting the best, but aware of the worst.
I am ready.