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Elective Surgery for Early Stage Glaucoma: Iridotomy

Well, woe is me and I guess since I don't want to bum out my friends and family, so instead, I'll whine here to my blog readers. Boy, today is quite a blogging day.... I'm filled with topics!

Today I went to St. Luke's Eye Institute because I was referred by the optometrist when I went for a vision test last week. I've always tested high in the "puff" test for Glaucoma and knew I was suspect for this blindness-causing disease, especially since my father and grandma had it. So, my score has been creeping up from 20 over the years to now, 29. Anyway, after long hours today and multiple tests... I was diagnosed -- I am in early stages.

The surgeon recommended an elective laser surgery (of course he did - that's their business) called an Iridotomy. It's outpatient... basically it's like sticking a needle in your eye to relieve pressure because the angle of my something or other is too narrow.

I have major health insurance and I'm 2/3 towards reaching my deductible, for 2009 but still, they want $835 to reach my deductible (the surgery value is $3k and they said my out of pocket was that eight number) IF I do it before the end of the year. Well, shit. It might as well be $8 million. I have expenses through the end of the year, etc.

So I said, "Thanks, but I'm going home now and not making a decision."

I guess St. Luke's doesn't hear that kind of talk very often. I guess most of the old folks with eye issues just write an effing check. I guess I'm some freak who wants to shop around or wait until finances are better on something NOT life-threatening at this very instant.

Maybe I'll change my mind and go back. I don't know yet. But I defend my right to ponder and consider all options... maybe even (daresay) I shop for another surgeon?

I felt like I was 18 years old again and going through the schpeel at the Fitness Center, "Oh, our membership is only $850, which is less than a cup of coffee per day when you break it down, and our price is only good TODAY only, so you'll want to sign up so you can start on your workouts immediately... after all, Rosalita outlined your 3x per week program...blah, blah, blah.." and stupid me signs some commitment and never goes to the gym and just pays out the ass. I mean, eye surgery isn't a fitness center, but I felt PRESSURE to schedule just like I did at other times of my life and today I'm on a money mission to get things right,and I want to take time and THINK ABOUT IT!

I'm writing this because it's therapeutic to restate what's real for me. That, plus, I want to encourage others.... I think it's perfectly OK to put your hand out and say, "Stop. Wait. I don't feel comfortable in this moment."

So... there.


Anonymous said...

get it doen when you ahve the money Doreen my dad has glaucoma and macular degeneration the last 20 years have not been fun and prevention is way way better than cure

Spidey said...

the new world of health care will be the consumer being savvy. check with someone else, but get it done.

Jilly said...

see if you can make payments. $100 a month for 9 months might fit in the budget whereas outright $900 isn't.

but i have no room to talk, i'm supposed to go get vaccines and some asthma treatments that i've been putting off because BlueCross won't pay for it.