So our story so far gentle readers is that last Tuesday I suffered a massive chest pain that had me flat on my back for at least 30 mins before it subsided. I had similar events over the previous two days, and far lessers ones over the previous month but this was the last straw.
This was not something that was getting better and it wasn’t something I could ignore of blow off. That afternoon I went to the Emergency Room, they gave me an EKG and almost immediately put me in a room with a half-dozen docs and nurses for an exam.
Let’s say I didn’t take it as a good sign.
Over the next day, they performed a catheter procedure through my arm to examine my heart and it turns out I have a 50% blockage in my left large artery. They told me that I needed either open heart surgery or else a stent to open the blockage. The difference between the two procedures is massive. With the stent I’d be able to go have that afternoon after two hours of recovery, with open heart surgery it would be a week's recovery in the hospital and another 3-6 months of convalescence at home.
Then my insurance got involved.
They yanked me out of Harbor UCLA and transferred me to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where I’d never been before. If I stayed at Habor, my care wouldn’t have been covered.
I’ve since been informed that St. Francis isn’t a high-enough level hospital to do the stent procedure as in my case the blockage is at a junction between several arteries, and even though Harbor is capable of doing it — I can’t go there because I won’t be covered.
So I’m trapped here.
The surgery will be scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday depending on availability. The surgeon, Dr. Omari, will bring the consent form for me to sign tomorrow.
I’ll post further updates here as they occur. Feel free to discuss in the comments.
My nurse took a SARS test, which I guess is in preparation for the surgery, and we just had an earthquake. It felt from here like at least a 4 on the Ritchor scale, probably higher if the epicenter was far away. It lasted about 15-20 seconds.
I've tried contacting my insurance provider once again, but the first and second calls both went to voicemail. I left a call-back message on one of them, but it seemed like someone’s personal line.
I just got a couple of meds for the gaut, which is nice. One of them is Allopurinal, the other is Colchicine. My BP is down slightly to 145/79.
I tried to call my wife to see if she could try to contact the insurance company with a last-ditch appeal, but that call went to voicemail also.
I finally reached Robin through Facebook voice chat, and requested my nurse so I can ask for my social worker to contact the insurance company for me and help me work out some of these issues like transportation, support and delivery of meds after I get home. The nurse hasn’t shown up yet, but it’s close to shift change.
I’m rewatching Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 to help calm my nerves.
Dr Omari (my surgeon) just came in and said he’ll be busy tomorrow so he’s going to have me sign the consent forms today and get all the blood work started. The surgery will be scheduled for Tuesday morning. I also told him I’m going to have the social worker try and resolve the issue with Harbor if possible, but if not — we’re a go for Tuesday.
Just got off the phone with G2geek. Long conversation. I don’t get a chance to talk about myself and my life with people all that much. Rambled a bit. Lots of old stories. I’ve had a weird eventful life. I have a diary posting tomorrow about a pretty important subject so I hope it gets noticed.
[4;58 am Mon]
They took another chest X-ray, fortunately, I was already awake. The nurse never came last night to talk to me about the social worker, last chance to get that done today before surgery tomorrow.
Up for breakfast. I’ve had a fairly mild pain in my chest for a couple days now, which I’ve rated as.a ½ on a scale of 1 to 10. It’s actually subsided a little — now down to ¼th. My foot also feels better from the gaut medicine, but hasn't improved as much. I haven't heard anything about the social worker yet.
I’m acclimating a little more to the idea that I’m headed for surgery, and a long recovery. It’s gonna be a thing.
I have a lot of plates in the air right now. We’re in the middle of a probate process for my mother’s house and property. We have to implement a temporary loan to pay off her reverse mortgage, then eventually we’ll have to sell the house. My cousin Mitch has offer to buy it to keep it in the family and that’s fine. All this has been in the works for several months. The probate hearing was July 20th.
I had started recording new original songs toward the end of last year and now have about 20 tracks completed. I’ve needed to get into the melody and lyric phase for.some time — and maybe this recovery will be a chance to do that (since I won’t be able to do much else).
I had already planned to carry my current Dkos activism directly into the songs, making them a mix between early U2 and Rage Against the Machine. Trying to discuss complex subjects in song form is a challenge, but I figured I’d just take them in bite-sized slices and then do follow-on songs to get into the detailed intricacies. We certainly do need some Progressive anthems, particularly as songs like “Try That in a small town” and “Rich Men of North Richmond” seem to be coming back to back from the other side.
I’ve also started doing some vocal covers of already-known pop and rock songs. (And I’ve gone for some really difficult ones like ‘GIrl on Fire” by Alicia keys, “Wasted Time” by Skid Row and “Jesus Christ Pose” by Soundgarden) I plan to release snippets of them on Instagram and Youtube, then the full-length Mp3 on Patreon along with my original material. I’ve done about 18 of those so far, but I need more practice because a few have worked great, but some are still shaky. That’s ongoing — but I hope I can keep working on this as I recover because I really do want to get the Patreon up and online to help deal with monthly expenses and bills. Robin and I are both on fixed incomes and we could use a little headroom to make ends meet.
Brother Richard just came in to offer me a blessing. I’m not Catholic, but does that really matter?
They just gave me another chest ultrasound, it’s the 3rd one I’ve had so far, but the first here at St. Francis. I’m certain they need it to map things for the surgery.
My cousin Mitch just called and I had a chance to catch him up on everything. He didn't stop by yesterday because of the HurriQuake. He’s volunteered to help me with the Social Worker, as has Angela Marx — I’m about to call her after they take my vitals again. And the cellphone charger that G2eek ordered for me has arrived.
I finally got to specifically request from *my* nurse— myself, not through someone else — for access to my social worker or case advocate. She said she’d get right on it in the next 5 mins (At last). I’ll give her an hour or so before I call Angela and Mitch.
Angela found me the number to the Case Manager’s office (hidden on the About page). My Case Manager is Miss Jackie, she’s coming to my room to talk.
Ok, I just had a nice discussion with Jackie the Case Manager (finally). She’s going to try and contact my insurance provider Angeles IPA to see if I can get authorization to go back to Harbor in the future for follow-up care. (It’s too late to try the stent procedure anymore, I’ve signed the paperwork for the full surgery]. She’s going to send me someone from Social Services to help deal with my after-case planning for once I get home. She suggested I have my wife call her social worker to get a replacement for me as her In-Home provider while I’m out of commission. She’s perfectly nice, friendly and upbeat. (I have no idea why it took four requests, and then Angela finding me their direct number to get her in here — she showed up almost immediately, like within seconds.)
Just got off Facebook Chat with Robin and got her up to speed about the Case Manager. She doesn’t have any idea how to reach her Social Worker, so when mine shows up I’ll try to ask about that so she has some support sooner rather than later. I know she’s worried about me, but I should be fine — I’ll just being fighting through recovery for a while. I have to just think about the positives of surgery, which is that i won’t have to worry about this problem ever again.
I watched the HurriQuake come and go through my window and I have to say it was pretty underwhelming. The windows are too thick for me to hear the wind and I’m too high to have really seen what was. happening on the street. So that was a disappointment. I wanted a little carnage, just a little. Or maybe some lightning. Even the Quake was no big deal because this building is on rollers.
While I’m posting and commenting here I’m also posting on Facebook and still running my group Army For Truth. All these are distractions that help me not obsess on the fact my heart is going to be disconnected in the morning.
I have an old friend who’s joined the group, but he is a person who has the attitude that you can’t trust the government, you can’t trust the media and you can’t trust the courts — so have a conversation with him about public policy and events is a lot like Alice on Paranoidland. However, I find it interesting because he’s far from the only person with that attitude. It’s practically an epidemic.
He asked me to prove Fox News lies, which was easy just using the Dominion case because they admitted it on tape. He laughed at that because he doesn't trust courts. (Eyeroll) I asked him to prove that the government, courts and media can’t be trusted. And I didn’t take “It’s obvious” as an answer I wanted specific examples. He argued that I would just “rebut” his argument using the same untrustable media — which of course, I would — so it’s a circular conundrum. He can’t prove it to me, and I can’t disprove it to him. There’s no way I’m going to just stop trusting every credible source on earth just on his personal say so. No chance. I need facts and evidence, all he needs is “belief.”
This is the same circular firing squad America is trapped in. We need a way out of this.
Some people have been asking how they can help, well, I do have this Paypal donation link that I haven’t used for a while. It still works.
DKmail me if you want the phone number to my room.