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Sat Jun 14, 2014, 03:38 PM

 

Just back from a "Debridement" surgery following a brain surgery. ACA covered. Ask me anything!

First and foremost: If you have been treated for hypertension, don't drop the meds unless you're told to.

I picked up my exercise and dropped 30, improved my eating habits last December and quit my $1,350 COBRA plan for similar ACA coverage under same provider, Anthem.
BUT, it took time for cards and I never picked up with my PCP for testing and refills of cholesterol and BP meds.

Big Mistake.

On 5-17 I became dizzy and fell, continued dizziness after a short unconsciousness took me to an ER, and a brain scan indicated possible brain bleed so was flown to Stanford and had a cranial angio, then brain surgery to treat a minor aneurism, then another angio and release.

The surgical site deal heal well and I went in last Tuesday and they checked me in, opened me back up (but didn't have to remove the skull piece again, thankfully) and sent me home today with a PICC and IV meds to be self administered for the next six weeks, pretty intensive but likely to prevent a relapse.

The jury is still out about coverage, but I know my $6,350 max out of pocket and deductible are covered (all that on the first day, easily).

I hope and pray for good health, but also hope that the ACA Silver Plan will cover everything, this is a costly deal.

Just some of the costs:

Ambulance: $2700
LifeFlight to Stanford: ~$25,000
Angiograms: $60,000 - $80,000 each for total of maybe $160,000
Cranial surgery: I have no idea, thinking at least $100,000 (I have one bill for one doctor alone that's $25,000)
Room and Board in ICU/Neurology at Stanford Hospital and Clinics: No idea, great care, five star staff and surgical crew.
Cost for return visit and second CT Scan and Surgery: No idea.
Six weeks of home health care, PICC system meds and other prescriptions: No idea.

I'm thinking this is at least a $250,000 medical event, possibly twice that, all for about $500 and month plus the max out of pocket.

I'm grateful for the medical team and for the providers.

Lesson learned: I take my hypertension meds, I check my BP with a decent device that has a memory that stores the values. A few minutes ago I was at 109/83... much better than the numbers I had when admitted!!!

Needless to say, there are other measures (reduce sodium, chill out) to manage stress; meds aren't the only way to reduce tension.

But I'll bet I'd not have had the problem had I not so cavalierly dropped them.

Be well, DUers!

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Reply Just back from a "Debridement" surgery following a brain surgery. ACA covered. Ask me anything! (Original post)
NYC_SKP Jun 2014 OP
PoliticAverse Jun 2014 #1
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2014 #2
GentryDixon Jun 2014 #3
greatauntoftriplets Jun 2014 #4
dem in texas Jun 2014 #5
Warpy Jun 2014 #7
auntAgonist Jun 2014 #6
Warpy Jun 2014 #9
auntAgonist Jun 2014 #33
rocktivity Jun 2014 #8
Mnemosyne Jun 2014 #10
LoisB Jun 2014 #11
democrank Jun 2014 #12
brer cat Jun 2014 #13
quakerboy Jun 2014 #14
cbayer Jun 2014 #15
elleng Jun 2014 #16
NYC_SKP Jun 2014 #19
elleng Jun 2014 #24
Cha Jun 2014 #30
NYC_SKP Jun 2014 #32
Shrike47 Jun 2014 #17
emsimon33 Jun 2014 #18
awoke_in_2003 Jun 2014 #20
NYC_SKP Jun 2014 #21
awoke_in_2003 Jun 2014 #22
cantbeserious Jun 2014 #23
applegrove Jun 2014 #25
TlalocW Jun 2014 #26
NYC_SKP Jun 2014 #27
MFM008 Jun 2014 #28
Cha Jun 2014 #29
sheshe2 Jun 2014 #31
flamingdem Jul 2014 #34
NYC_SKP Jul 2014 #35

Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 03:41 PM

1. I thought 'debridement' was another word for divorce.

Best wishes for your recovery.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 03:47 PM

2. My dear NYC_SKP!

My god, man, what a ride you've had!

I'm really glad to hear that you're OK...and that you have this great insurance.

Please take care of yourself, OK? We only have one of you!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 03:48 PM

3. Healing vibes, Skip.

I was life flighted out and the original bill was 15K, but after insurance & write down it ended up being only $150.

Good luck with your treatments.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 03:57 PM

4. The LAST thing you needed was more surgery!

I was actually surprised at how relatively "cheap" my hospitalization two years ago ended up. Had expected it to be much higher. The even better news is that my share was just $225. My detached-retina surgery later that year cost me nothing beyond the initial copay to the retinal specialist.

And as for you, just take it easy and do what the doctors say.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 03:59 PM

5. If you are taking hypertension meds, don't ever drop them.

I know a similar situation like yours where a friend of mine dropped weight, starting exercising and went off his meds. He looked great and was excited about his new health regimen, but sad to say, he suffered a stoke and it the effects were not good, he had mental and physical damage that he was not able to overcome and had to stop working. My mother, who had high blood pressure from way back, took her meds every day and lived to be almost 90.

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Response to dem in texas (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 04:14 PM

7. Taper slowly under a doctor's guidance

My own hypertension started to resolve and it took me a little over a year to go completely down to the lowest therapeutic dose and then off. My thrice a day blood pressures were getting lower and lower and orthostatic hypotension was getting to be a big problem, making trips to the grocery often hair raising experiences as I tried not to kiss the floor in public.

I still monitor my pressure very closely and if it starts to edge up again, I'll be back on the drugs, no question.

The funny thing is that my kidney disease has improved greatly off the drugs.

Gawd, I'm weird.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 04:08 PM

6. Good luck with your recovery. I too am on a PICC line with IV meds and TPN

Have been for the last 2 weeks and I have about 6 more to go. (approximately)

PICC's are easy to take care of, pretty simple to add the medications to the bag. I only have to do it once a day at change time.
Biggest thing? .... WASH YOUR HANDS, use anti-bacterial gel, wear gloves if you can. KEEP IT CLEAN.

The last time I had TPN (total parenteral nutrition for malnutrition and malabsorption issues) I managed to get an infection and ended up back in hospital for 3 weeks. So, please be careful.

best wishes.

aA
kesha

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Response to auntAgonist (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 04:22 PM

9. Sterile golves aren't necessary

but the rest of your advice is spot on. Antibacterial soap is counterproductive unless you need it, and having any sort of central line means you need it.

Good handwashing and vigorous scrubbing of the entry port with the doctor's choice of anti bacterial treatment will scrub the bugs away and discourage any still on the port beyond caring to live when you access it for meds or flushing out.

I've always been pleasantly surprised by how few infections I saw in patients who were caring for central lines at home.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 11:44 AM

33. I still have the PICC and the TPN. Going well so far. Keeping it clean is the important part.

Another 2 or maybe 3 weeks they say.


aA

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 04:17 PM

8. De-bride-ment surgery...you got divorced?


rocktivity

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 04:39 PM

10. Glad to hear you are doing better now. Here's to a quick, and uneventful rest of your recovery. nt

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 04:41 PM

11. Here's wishing you a full, speedy recovery. Don't forget your hypertension meds -

there is a reason they call high blood pressure "the silent killer". Very, very important to stay on top of that.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 04:52 PM

12. Wishing you well, NYC_SKP.

Get some rest~

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 05:03 PM

13. Well, I am glad you got your tail back to DU

where you belong!! Hope your recovery will be smooth. And thanks, Obama!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 05:13 PM

14. Can you smell purple?

Im glad you are well enough to come post here after the experience.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 05:20 PM

15. Glad you are back among the living and wishing you the best of recoveries.

Scary story and one I will take to heart, my friend.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 05:29 PM

16. BE WELL, SKP!




4:30 this morning



6:15 this morning



Will try to catch sunset for you, @ 8:30!

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Response to elleng (Reply #16)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 06:22 PM

19. Beautiful!

 

I look forward to the update.

I'll be keeping a low profile, resting, trying to heal but look forward to getting back to my happy new place with a view.

I hope everything at the cottage continues to be amazing, I think about the different birds you must see, and other critters.

There must be water critters and crawling and burrowing critters, too!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #19)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 06:37 PM

24. Lots of bunnies and GROUNDHOGS! EDITED X2.

Last edited Sat Jun 14, 2014, 07:52 PM - Edit history (3)

Insects are coming. I do see birds, lots of ospreys in the area, SAD I missed them when they are nestlings adjacent to the cottage. Cardinals, and think I've spotted some jays. FUNNY when I open the door, start to take a walk, they start telling eachother, 'Here she is, watch it!' I WAVE at them! NOT easy to get pics, tho.

Looking for recipe for safe weed killer I thought I'd shared on FB, cause weeds coming up on brick patio, and would like to do them in so it looks respectable.

DO rest!



OK, JUST for you!





across the creek:







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Response to elleng (Reply #24)

Sun Jun 15, 2014, 06:04 AM

30. You're like a prolific book of neverending beautiful photography, ellen..

Wow.. how nice it is to have such feasts for the eyes available for us observers. Mahalo!

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Response to elleng (Reply #24)

Sun Jun 15, 2014, 10:51 AM

32. Delightful!

 

One thing from childhood that never left me, the love of living on or near the water.

Sister and I grew up in a house without running drinking water, but it was adjacent to a river, almost on the levee, in the "Delta" of Northern California.

I wouldn't trade that simple rural life for anything. We both attended the same two teacher K-8 school, both wound up in education.

I think she hated it, but I loved the nature and the critters and the solitude, it formed me.

Your cottage and your photographs always bring back warm memories, they are comforting and beautiful.

Thank you!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 05:35 PM

17. What an ordeal! Wishing you well.

I've been taking blood pressure meds for decades. My blood pressure really dropped when I retired. The lack of that stress made the world so much better! But I always take my meds.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 06:09 PM

18. Sending you healing thoughts.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 06:24 PM

20. "following a brain surgery"...

 

what? Did you finally have one installed? Just kidding, get better Skip.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #20)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 06:29 PM

21. Ha!

 

It was a long, exploratory surgery but they did find one!

Girlfriend says it would have taken longer if they tried to find my patience, and they'd have failed at that one!

Actually, an aneurism, aka brain attack, bleed, or mini-stroke. Could have been much worse, I'm lucky to be alive and with all of my faculties!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #21)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 06:31 PM

22. Glad you made it...

 

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 06:31 PM

23. Hope Your Recovery Goes Well - All The Best

eom

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 11:30 PM

25. I had no idea. Missed you. Glad you are

now well. Take care.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 11:41 PM

26. Are there any lingering side effects from the surgery

Like when you're reading something and mama dogface to the banana patch often?

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #26)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 11:56 PM

27. The first surgery had lingering effects of pain and swelling, second surgery has relieved that.

 

For all that could have happened, slurred speech and blurred vision, for example, I'm one lucky sucker.

OTOH, I'm now dependent on someone else to admin four syringes thrice daily, that's a load on them and on me.

I'll have to work on what means "mama dogface to the banana patch often"!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sun Jun 15, 2014, 03:58 AM

28. good luck

good recovery!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sun Jun 15, 2014, 05:59 AM

29. I wondered where you were, SKP! I thought probably

you were just chillin by the Ocean.. You poor thing.. I'm glad you're on the mend now.

Thank you for writing about it so vividly with the caveat not to drop ones meds unless you check with your Dr.

Hope it works out the best for you financially, too, with your coverage.

You be well, SKP.. we've all heard this but our Health really is our most important asset/priority.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sun Jun 15, 2014, 07:47 AM

31. Oh my SKP!

Good to have you back and recovering. What an ordeal.

Get well soon

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Sat Jul 5, 2014, 09:10 AM

34. My best for your recovery!

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #34)

Sat Jul 5, 2014, 10:37 AM

35. Thank you, flamingdem!

 

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