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Old 09-12-2005, 12:50 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 17

I joined ADR Support several months ago but, I've been out of touch. This has got to be one of the strangest stories you guys have heard lately. "PLEASE" I'd like to hear from some of you especialy if someone has heard of anything similar!!!Sorry, I've been out of the loop here on ADR Support for a long while but, I'm back with some news. I have been approved by my Insurance carrier for full100% coverage for an artificial disc replacement in my L5/S1 region. It took six months of countless letters, emails, phone calls etc. Finaly on the 12th of August I received a phone call authorizing full insurance coverage for the proceedure (100%) needless to say, I was floored!!!!. I called Southeastern Spine Institute in Mt Pleasant, SC where my Dr's office is. It is located next door to East Cooper Hospital which is where the surgery is actualy done. My Surgeon is, according to everything I've read & heard is one of the best in the Nation at this proceedure. I called them with the great news & they said as soon as I received the official authorization letter to fax it & the surgery would be scheduled ASAP.
Needless to say I was extatic & when the actual letter arrived two days later I called to schedule the ADR proceedure. The surgery was scheduled for 1m on 08/26/05. I went to East Cooper Hospital on the 25th for initial blood work & pre admittion & after about two hours was set for surgery the next day. I was told to arrive at 11:00AM to get ready. I couldn't sleep at all that night & my wife along with about a dozen family members were all at my house early Friday morning the morning of the surgery. At about 10:30 we were litteraly packed & walking out of the door for the five minute drive to the Hospital when the phone rang. It was the Surgeon's nurse. I answered the phone & she told me not to worry about comming to the Hospital, that it had been cancled. I was floored, litteraly, I could not beleive what I was hearing. After waiting for this surgery for nearly two years & all of the beauratratic BS I'd been through to get a call like that litteraly 25 minutes prior to the time I was supposed to be lying in a bed at the Hospital I nearly passed out!. The phone was on speaker & my wife asked what in the hell happened that we only had a 25 minute notice. The nurse said that if that attitude continued she would just hang up!. It turned out that the pain managment specialist that my surgeon had me seeing for the past four months was in the national Guard & had been called to Iraq. This was not news to me because I go there every 30 days for refills on my pain meds. He had been gone for about two months & his partner that I had been seeing no longer makes Hospital calls. Dr Don Johnson, my surgeon was unaware of this untill 30 minutes prior to my scheduled Hospital arrival. Dr Johnson's nurse, Karen Blakley, the one that called to cancle said she had just found out at 10:15 that morning. After plenty of begging, pleading crying etc. she said there was absoutely no way the surgery would take place today or anyother day for that matter without a pain managment specialist to follow me through surgery & maintain my pain managment through my Hospital stay. It is the contention of Dr Johnson that I am on so much pain meds that the surgery could kill me without the properly trained pain managment specialist to follow every step of my proceedure. The Dr that is standing in for my pain managment specialist while he is in Iraq is the one that has been filling my meds. He said that i was on what he would consider a higher than normal amount of Morphine but, nothing that would prevent my surgery. I begged him to follow my surgery & he explained that he retired from East Cooper two years ago due to heart trouble & he would not go back for anyone & he appologised, which I can understand. What I cannot understand is why my surgery was scheduled in the 1st place to allow me to get my hopes up & do pre admission & so on & so on & so on!!!! We had six family members that had flown in from other states, my wife had taken vacation time. I was so mad that we got in the car & drove to the hospital anyway just as scheduled. We arrived at 10:57AM & I showed the nurse at the admissions desk my wrist bamnd from being pre admitted. She looked but, copuldn't find the paper work. I acted as if I knew nothing different & asked for someone to have my surgeon come out to explain why I could not get my much needed, hard faught for, much anticipated surgery. in just a matter of moments the two nurses that are in charge of the surgery center came out to explain what I had been explained about twenty minutes earlier. They explained that Dr Johnson was in surgery & couldn't come out. I asked why he couldn't do my surgery if he was steadily doing one right after the other. Then the nurse that had called me walked into the room through the swingimg doors & saw me & immeadiately spun around as if to act like she hadn't seen me. I called out her neme & she came over & said"I don't know what you are doing here, I told you that you will not get your surgery today period." I asked that if I could locate a pain managment specialist myself would they still do the proceedure a PA came into the room at the same time the nurse Karen did & he said that DR Johnson felt terrible about the mix-up & he would do whatever he could to help. The PA went into the O/R & came back & said that Dr Johnson would do the operation just as soon as I could find a pain managment specialist to follow me through my hospital stay & keep my pain in check. WE thanked them & went back home & called every Dr in the phone book that is a pain mgt specialist. We could not find one single one!!!! WE are in a fairly large city,, Charleston, SC which has MUSC-Medical University Of Charleston along with five other large hospitals. Later that day Dr Johnson called me himself & personaly appoligised to me for what happened. he said that he will have his staff try to locate a pain mgt specialist for me & as soon as he finds one he is ready to proceed. he also said that he is a teaching physician at MUSC & knows most DR's in the area & that we will most likely have to wait for my regular DR to return from Iraq. He is scheduled to return in November but, we all know how that is subject to go when dealing with the military. Does this sound reasonable that I now have to wait for who knows how long to get my surgery after going through litteral hell just to get the approval. The Ins. has already written me a letter asking why my scheduled surgery didn't proceed as scheduled & that if I don't have it soon then I will have to get a new letter of approval. To say I'm frustrated is an understatement. If anyone has any suggestions please, please, let me know! I have 100% approval & still can't get the surgery. The dr that is standing in for my pain dr says that my current meds are not that high & he doesn't understand the big deal!!! I take "AVINZA" 120MG 1 PER DAY ( THATS MORPHINE) & I TAKE ANOTHER 4 MORPHINE TABLETS DAILY 15 MG EACH. TOTAL 180 MG OF MORPHINE DAILY??? CAN ANYONE HELP BESIDES THE ONE DR THAT IS IN IRAQ? What would happen if, God forbid, he never made it back home???

Totaly frustrated
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