Friday, December 17, 2010

LTD and Doctors

So, I've been having a horrible case of anticipation/anxiety about my upcoming surgery. It's showing up in my mood and sleep disturbance (i.e., terrible insomnia). I woke up yesterday with a horrible migraine, and then listened to a missed voicemail that spun my day even more out of control...

My long-term disability (LTD) carrier is currently reviewing my claim to determine whether or not they're going to extend my LTD benefits. The nurse that's reviewing my claim called me because they had received information from my headache specialist/neurologist regarding potential for improvement and release for return to work date. My doctor mentioned the former, but not the latter, at my previous appointment with him (at the end of October). Apparently, he put a release for return to work date as 11/29/10!!! WHAT?!?!?! Are you kidding me?! Yes, my permanent neurostimulator was supposed to be implanted on 11/16, but that would only allow 2 weeks for recovery. 2 weeks!!! The doctor that is doing the surgery told me to expect at least a 6 week recovery time. Heck, it took me most of the time I had the trial in (a week) to even start to heal from that... a more minor procedure.

Once I recover, the process isn't done. It's NOT a magic bullet! I'm SOOO sick of everyone thinking that this neurostimulator is going to be implanted and everything is just going to be peachy. Okay, it's possible... but not probable. I'm still on all kinds of meds. So, whether I get off of them or adjust the doses, there's a process of medication adjustment after the surgery recovery.

Why on earth would my doctor even put a date on the form? He's been asked this question on millions of forms for me over the last 19 months. He normally responds by saying something like:  "expected return to date - 6 months, but will have to re-evaluate at that time." I called my doctor's office and expressed my frustration with the situation. I'm still going to bring it up with my doctor at our next appointment (in January) because it really ticks me off!

I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, but I was able to function a little more today than yesterday. I got ahold of my LTD carrier, and talked through the situation with the nurse. She's going to report to my case manager that my claim should be extended and then revisited around the end of January. But, she does't make the decision.

My migraines yesterday was bad... and, to top it off, I ran out of my abortive meds after my second dose. Didn't occur to me to this morning that I could've sent Jeremy to pick up the refill I had my doctor call in to the store for me (his work is giving them 2 weeks off... sure hope this isn't a sign of another job loss). I hate that my mind just stops working altogether like that.

On a more positive note, though. We'll be heading to Texas in the next couple of days, and then I'll be having my surgery on Wednesday. I can't believe it's almost Christmas!
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