So many body parts are out of whack that it’s hard to know where to start.
A retina tear in the right eye was repaired by laser two weeks ago. Yesterday I was back for a follow up to make sure it was healing well (it is). It’s been hard to keep my head up when I have cats to tend and just getting in and out of my chair presents challenges. But I’m happy that what I was able to do was enough for the doctor to be pleased. I am feeling like a slug, though, after not doing NuStep or much else for two weeks.
I also had a follow up with the vein doctors about my blood clots, after yet another leg ultrasound 10 days ago. The scan report said I only had one chronic thrombus in the thigh and nothing in the calf, which didn’t match what the one done in the ER said three weeks before. But the vein people read the scan differently and said that yes, there is a second chronic thrombus in the calf. Apparently it’s not likely that either clot is going away but they will pare down to smaller little webby things on either side of the vein. At least that’s what I understood her to say.
I’m on blood thinners for life, which I expected. Xarelto is wicked expensive but so is Eliquis, which is the same medication class as Xarelto but you take it twice a day instead of once a day. That’s easier and I already have it, so we’re sticking to Xarelto. If I go to the dentist or need to have another kind of procedure, I’m to ask that provider what they want me to do about the blood thinners. Most times I can skip a few days without going into great risk, but a longer time off will require me to get a “bridge medicine” to take until I can take the Xarelto again. Whatever. I’m not to make assumptions or read Dr. Google for answers, but just ask the providers. When in doubt, need more info, or another clot appears, I’m to call either the P.A.’s cell phone or the general number and ask the answering service to page the doctor on call.
The shoulders have been messed up for months from rolling the manual chair around. The TotalCare therapist who was here as part of the power chair process told me she thought I had rotator cuff problems which seems quite probable as I assess what hurts. Reaching hurts. Rolling hurts. Sleeping on my side hurts. Being attached to my body hurts. Inside the armpits hurts, too. My aide is giving me regular massages which hurt in a good way, and I’ve started going to Chair Yoga for stretches – but I have to be careful about my head position because of the retina tear issue. It may be time to go back to PT for shoulder help.
I’ve had a deep chest cough for about three months. No fever, minimal drainage, facial pain. Splitting headache much of the time. Leg spasms. Right ankle that rolls. Left thigh has Meralgia paresthetica, a disorder characterized by tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the outer side of the thigh – another nerve thing that first popped up six years ago. It’s fun. Not. I’m off to the pain doctor next week and my mandatory 2-month drug screening because he gives me the good stuff. Although I have SI joint pain on both sides, I don’t think I can have an injection to help because of the blood thinner. But we’ll talk.
All the paperwork was sent to insurance yesterday. We’re not sure if they will pay for the chair, since Medicare bought me the manual chair in 2022. But I have medical complications (think shoulders, ankle, blood clots) since then as well as weight gain. But the shoulders and blood clots are the big reasons they would consider it, plus my doctor advocated for it. I will pay for the power chair if insurance doesn’t, because it could be a huge improvement for me. We’ll see.
I have great insurance – Original Medicare A&B, with Plan G supplement, and Part D prescription coverage. Then I went to the hospital on January 1st, the day that deductibles zero out and you start again. My Medicare Part B deductible is $226 for 2023. The hospital bill was $20,214 plus assorted other physician billing for their very limited time with me. Okay, sounds good. Medicare A paid $1,600 of the hospital bill. Everything else is going to Mutual of Omaha for Part B coverage which restarted on January 1st. All of those claims hitting them at once meant that everything was initially denied since I hadn’t met my deductible. Except I actually paid the first of those bills ($208) on January 2nd using my cell phone. Since then I’ve paid $160 to the eye doctor and $680 to assorted hospital stay doctors. I know I’m responsible for $226 of the combo of things so someone is going to owe me a pot of money once they get caught up.