Monday November 9, 2015
My Doc (Dr. Amie Hiller, Movement Disorder Specialist at Oregon Health Sciences Center in Portland Oregon) says: “Its better to get the DBS surgery done sooner than later”. “By later what do you mean Dr.?” “Two or three years down the road”. “So you are saying I need this surgery done NOW”. “Yes, you will have better results if you do it now. Its a process that begins with Speech, Physical Therapy, Neuro-Psychological and Neurological evaluations. These evaluation determine if you are eligible for the surgery. The surgery will have you in the hospital just one-two days. Then you return to have the power pack activated and the system tuned to its best potential. That usually takes three visits. When completed this is about a 6 month process.”
So that’s what the Doc says.
Charlie and I talk during our drive back to Hermiston. We realize that I am going on Medicare in February. I send a quick note and I hear back immediatley that it might be in our best interset to wait unti then.
As the week progress I am feeling worse. The dyskinesias are picking up, especially in the evening. I have periods of significant stuttering or word finding issues. As a Speech Pathologist these speech and language difficulties are quite concerning to me. Friday rolls around and I am so uncomfortable. I call my current insurance MODA and talk to one of their advisers who explains more about the evaluations and what my current policy will do for me. Sounds good. I am going to get some of these preliminaries done and go for the big cost items when the Medicare kicks in.
Friday Dr. Amie orders ua schedule of tests. I get a message from the Neurology Rehab Department at 4pm..and then I get a message from Dr Amie at 5 pm (this is Friday) both letting me know the referral has been made.
Sunday morning my phone is turned off. When I turn it on there has been a message from OHSU in regards to scheduling. Sunday evening at 8:30pm there is a message from Dr. Amie. Do these people ever take time off?
What else does the Doc say? Back at the appointment she tells me the arrogant surgeon will promise me the moon. She then reads me the list of side effects and possible complications. I look her right in the eye and say “Let’s do this thing. I am not afraid!”
It can’t be any worse than I am feeling right now.