Thursday, August 23, 2007

Here’s the Plan...

I could have labeled this one, “Here’s the Plan or How to Piss Off Your Wife in Two Seconds Flat”; but that wouldn’t fit in the title bar line. I should back up a bit and fill in some blanks.

Last month I had some surgery that didn’t go smoothly, an understatement. They had to go in and make some repairs as they went along; one of those repairs was to implant a temporary stint to drain off bile, a temporary implant that would be removed after a few weeks when it was no longer needed. A month has passed and we found that our HMO required authorization to have the stint removed because it was put in by a doctor not on their standard list of physicians.

We had to first get a form filled out by our HMO family doctor who then would explain that the procedure was not only necessary but that only one doctor, the one who put it in, could remove it. That was two weeks ago and we’d heard nothing from the HMO folks so Lucy started calling them to find out what the hold up was.

Yesterday Lucy found a super reasonable round trip air fair to Florida where I could go visit my folks in time for my dad’s birthday. Lucy did all the work on the computer, lining up the best departure time for this Saturday, the most efficient time to come back early Monday to where I’d be home early enough so as not to miss any locksmith work and even booked a nice mid-sized rental car for me. I called my folks and let them know I’d be there in time for lunch this Saturday; things look pretty good, so far.

Around lunchtime today I got a call from the fancy doctor’s office explaining that they’d gotten the authorization from the HMO on their fax machine; apparently Lucy had lit a match under the HMO folks to the point of getting some results. The connection on my cell phone was terrible and it hung up on me before I could find out how to proceed. I called them back and got their answering service, my frustration level increasing by the moment.

A few minutes later I got a call back and this time the connection was much better. The young lady from the doctor’s office explained that I could come in anytime to have the stint removed; how about tomorrow? She told me not to eat anything after midnight and to arrive before eleven in the morning, expect to be able to leave before three in the afternoon and to have someone to drive me home.

While I was listening to these instructions Lucy was trying to tell me that I should wait until Monday to have this “procedure”; but I didn’t want to hear that, all I wanted was to be done with doctors, gall bladder stuff and on with my life. I didn’t consider that Lucy was concerned that this “minor procedure” might turn out ugly, just as the original minor procedure or set me back as when they removed the drainage system from my abdomen.

Not that I’m pig headed; “We’re doing it tomorrow!” I let the words vault into the phone and that was that. Lucy then explained how dumb my lack of planning was, how my airline ticket was non-refundable and that my name on the ticket made it so only I could use it. So, nobody say, “Piece of Cake”, like the Billy Crystal line in Forget Paris.
I’m going in tomorrow for a minor procedure and flying to see my folks the next day, even if I have to have an ambulance get me to the airport with an oxygen mask dangling from my chin; I’m going to see my folks.

I feel like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof when he put his foot down about going to see the sewing machine. “Golda, I’m the man of the house and I say we’re going to see the sewing machine…(duck in for half a second, enough to glimpse it)…there, now we can go.” Maybe I should use different movies, Forget Paris was a bumpy ride all the way to the end and Fiddler on the Roof ended with everyone having to desert their homes, their village and even their country. Maybe War Games, “How about a nice game of chess?”

Lucy just came in and told me that she could still spend an extra $15 on my flight’s ticket insurance; “…better than wasting $175 if you can’t make it on Saturday”. Yea, I think Lucy is a bit miffed still.

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