Feb 24, 2006

Progress!

What a busy day today was. Kezia picked me up and we drove to Bethesda with the intention of walking in to the “Credentials” department and getting all kinds of good information about the doctors there. We found the office and we asked the first person we saw, an enlisted sailor, if we could get that information. She looked perplexed and said that she was pretty sure we would not be able to get that information. But, she said she would take us to the department head to see what he would have to say. She walked us over to his office and he pretty much told us the same thing. He asked him what info I was looking for and I told him that I guess I really wasn’t sure. He said that he could tell me that our doctor is fully qualified and has never had any malpractice suits brought against him. That was about it. Not quite what I expected.

We walked out feeling pretty defeated and decided that a drive to Walter Reed would also be a waste of time. That’s when my cell phone rang. It was a call back from Johns Hopkins! The nice lady said that I would need to obtain the written Radiologic Examination Report from Bethesda and fax it to them for review. She said the department head (I think) would review it and have one of the doctors call me. I hung up the phone and told Kezia what they told me – Kezia said, “we’re here now, let’s get it!” I’m glad she was with me – I wold have gone right home and then called around for it. We walked right to the MRI department where I had my MRI done and asked for a copy of the report. She printed it out on the spot and gave it to me. We drove back to the apartment, wrote up a cover letter and faxed the paperwork off at about 4:45pm.

We got some coffee and I got another call from my Primary Care Doctor at Bolling AFB. She said that she saw that my surgeon already put in the referral and it is in process. She suggested that I call the Tricare referral person Monday morning for the status of the referral and to get the authorization if it is ready. It was starting to sound like everything was going to have to wait until Monday.

Kezia left and I waited in the lobby for Holly to come home from work. She finally arrived and we made our way up to the apartment. When we entered there was a message on the machine. It was the nurse of the Chief of the Neurological Oncology Department at Johns Hopkins. The doctor that looked at my case gave it to him because he thought it should be handled by the most experienced person at the hospital. It turns out that this doctor performs over 400 craniotomies per year and has been working at Hopkins since 1987. He definitely seems to have more experience. The nurse I spoke to also has differing opinions on my current treatment. She thought that I should be taking steroids to reduce swelling (NNMC thought they are not needed now and that the side effects are too severe) and that the CTA I am scheduled for next Tuesday may not be necessary. Now, she is a nurse, so I took her comments with a grain of salt. She did say that this looks like a very serious case, especially because of the size and location of the tumor. She said that they might be able to see me Monday or most likely Tuesday afternoon. She also said that they might be able to get me in for surgery on Mar 3 also. I asked her how we would handle the whole civilian doctor doing the surgery versus the military doing it. She said that she thought they could make a very good case to the military that Johns Hopkins should be doing it. If I don’t hear from them by 11am Monday, I am supposed to call.

So, nothing can be done until Monday. Amazing things have happened today, in good time too. Weird. Anyway, I think we have a good opportunity to just rest over the weekend. We can’t do much, so that’s a good thing.

I’m still suffering a little bit from this cold. My nose is still a bit congested and I have a little bit of a cough. It is supposed to be very cold this weekend – so I’m going to try to stay inside where it’s warm and kick this cold.

Lastly, our cell phone minutes are almost gone for the month and the billing period just started. If you call our cell and we don’t answer, just leave a message – we’ll get back to you soon. Off to dinner!
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