Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Once Again The Hits Just Keep On Coming

I went to the oncologist with Gerry for his usual appointment on Monday. He hates when I inform the dr of any issues he is having. As we spoke about transfusions, I told the dr that Gerry's urine showed blood in it (orange spots on the porcelain). Gerry got VERY upset with me (even sat with that little boy angry pout). We got into a heated discussion, which upset me as I hate confrontation AND I knew he was wrong - the dr. needs to know all that is going on. The dr. was very supportive of me while being patient with Gerry. I also told the dr that Gerry's ankles have gotten swollen. When the dr checked he agreed and prescribed two diuretics. As Gerry's pissyness continued I walked out. He must have bitched to the nurse about me because she suggested that since he disagreed with me about the blood in his urine, he should just do a urine test. So, he did! I called several days later for the results and lo and behold, he did have a trace of blood in his urine. More important, tho... he had a urinary tract infection... and it was MRSA! Gerry had his blood transfusion (one unit) on Thursday and I had gotten the results as we arrived home, so we had to go into the dr's office a little later for a bloodtest to see if MRSA was in his bloodstream. In the meantime the nurse said she would call a prescription in to the pharmacy. We went to the dr's office about 4 PM and the nurse took his blood. As we left I called the pharmacy to see if the prescription was ready (as it was 2 hrs after the call went in). I was told that they were waiting for authorization from the insurance company, and the insurance company was waiting for a call from the dr telling them why Gerry needed this antibiotic. We turned around and went right back to the dr's office, which was now closed. Thank goodness they were still there and let me in. I explained what had happened and the nurse said 1. she had called in the prescription at 2 PM 2. she never did get a fax regarding authorization needed. I called the pharmacy and went through the whole thing with the pharmacist. He said he would send another fax to the doctor but that it would take several days for the insurance company to process the information and give authorization. I felt like Shirley McClaine in Terms of Endearment, fighting for my loved one's comfort. The pharmacist told me he could give me enough pills to get Gerry through the holiday weekend, until the insurance company gave authorization ,but that we would have to pay out of pocket with no reimbursement. "Sure," I said, knowing it was only 8 pills. The pharmacist told me it would cost $659!!! The price for the full prescription, 20 pills, is over $2200! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I hate to put a price on Gerry's health but REALLY!!! $659? I told the pharmacist that I would call him back. I went into the back to see the nurse, Joan. She was floored. She had also called the pharmacy and just then two identical faxes came in - regarding Gerry's prescription. Joan got right on the phone with the insurance company. The doctor then walked in (thank goodness he was still there) and waited to see the outcome. Then Gerry walked in (he had been in the car). As Joan finished with the insurance company, she looked shocked...the co-pay for the full prescription, after the insurance paid their part, was $1200! OUCH! Gerry and I looked at each other. Yes, it's for his health but it's a lot of money. Then the doctor, God bless him, said, "If you went to the ER and were admitted they would give you the antibiotic as part of your treatment. You will be seen by the infectious disease doctor." Gerry agreed and then mumbled that he was dreading sitting in the ER waiting room for a few hours. Again, doc to the rescue: he had Joan call the admitting office in the hospital - they were still there and did the admission over the phone - YEA! We went right over and Gerry was brought right up to his room. They did blood work, too, and he was seen by the infectious disease dr and Gerry's other oncologist (partner of the first one). The ID doctor told me that I didn't have to be tested for MRSA, even tho it's contagious. My immune system is good, I just need to use a separate toilet and do lots of hand washing. Gerry was in the hospital overnight, had the antibiotic by IV before he was discharged, and now gets the same as an outpatient in the ID doctor's office. He has the first one today. I am not sure how many days he has to go, probably for 10 - 14 days.

But that's not all: One of my best friends, Cheryl, just became a grandma again, to a beautiful baby girl - Payton Elaina. Sadly, 3 weeks before Payton was due they did an ultrasound and found that she had fluid and a blood clot in the left hemisphere of her brain. They delivered her early by C-section. Four hours after her birth she had a seizure. They took her to the neo-natal ICU of All Children's Hospital in Tampa. The doctor's put in a reservoir to hopefully drain the fluids. Please say a prayer for Payton and her family who is going through this with her.

But that's not all: On Friday I got word that Gerry's oldest brother Pat (77) was just diagnosed with advanced cancer in his stomach, liver and bladder. It's metastisized and it's not good. Out of 5 sibings, 4 had cancer. They lost their brother Donny, second oldest, a few years ago to liver cancer. The youngest, their sister Carol, had breast cancer. Gerry has end-stage melanoma and now Pat! My heart breaks for Eddie, the brother just above Gerry, who now has to live in fear that he might get cancer too, but worse than that, he will watch his two brothers die within a short space of time.


  • At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Donna S, said…

    Men! Tell Gerry there is no reason to be stubborn when you are just taking care of him. I always tell my husbands & grown sons "It's hell to be loved, isn't it?". You poor thing. Hang in there.

  • At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Paula said…

    Ouch. Sorry you have had such bad news and another round of health issues.

    I'm also sorry you had to abort the visit to Alaska - we went a few years ago and loved it, except for the food poisoning my husband picked up at a restaurant in Fairbanks. (Come to think of it, that makes me wonder about Gerry's vomiting. You didn't happen to eat in a steak place right by the Pincess hotel, did you?)


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