I hear nearly every day on the news about the controversy over healthcare in the U.S. Critics say the cost is too high, the insurance system doesn't work, and the process simply isn't functioning properly. I'd like to provide an alternate view to those opinions.
Yes, the cost of healthcare can be high, but we are so blessed to be in a country where we have access to the very best medical technology in the world. I am sitting at my computer today because of this technology and the physicians who spent years of training to hone their skills and who are brave enough to try something new. We were told my brain tumor was "inoperable" by an entire team of specialists, before we found Dr. Couldwell. His specialty is listed as working on parts of "the brain previoulsy thought to be inoperable". He was "lured" here from back east to be part of the U of U and Huntsman Cancer Center Hospitals, where they are doing new and experimental, LIFE-SAVING procedures. Do I think his per hour fee is high? Yes, I do. Do I care? No, I don't. It because of people like him that I am alive!
CONTEST: It has been interesting to see the medical bills start to pile up. I decided some time ago to make this a fun process, rather than a painful one. So, here goes. We want all of you who read the blog (even if you haven't commented before) to submit your best "guess" as to my total hospital and dr. bills to date. The person who comes the closest to the actual amount will win a fabulous prize (still to be determined:). This is all in good fun and will hopefully help us appreciate how good our healthcare really is, even if it does cost a bit (thank goodness for insurance).
So, please base your "guess" on the following info:
* 2 MRIs to diagnose the tumor
* Multiple dr. apts. with specialists, neurosurgeons, ENTs, etc.
* 2 Full body CT scans and 2 more MRIs prior to suregery
* 2 Craniotomy surgeries, the first with 1 neurosurgeon and 1 Neuro ENT, the second with a Neurosurgeon (10 hours of surgery total)
* 2 Lumbar drains, inserted and removed
* 4 CT scans in the hospital
* 1 Brain surgery to seal the Euchstation tube, by a Neuro ENT (2.5 hours total)
* 34 days in the hospital, 28 days in the Neuro Acute Care Unit, 6 days in the Neuro Critical Care Unit
* 1 "Gold weight" eyelid surgery by an opthamologist
* 3 Follow-up apts (1 with each specialist)
So, give or take a few minor procedures and hundreds of shots and doses of medication, this is the basic list. GUESS AWAY!!! Oh, and I don't know the "correct" answer yet, as bills are still coming. We will determine the winner in about a month.
A special thanks to my good friend, Becky Sevy, who gave me a wonderful haircut and color this morning (and gave Lindi a darling haircut, too!!). When I saw the finished "product" in the mirror, I wanted to cry. My hair looks "normal", even if my face doesn't. :) You can't see the big patches of hair that are missing because of the wonderful style. I feel "new" and refreshed by this great change. Thank you, thank you! It may seem like a "little" thing, but feeling normal is very big to me! See the pics below of my new "do".