A Shocking Followup

You might remember that, a month ago, I had my nose electrically cauterized.  Well, yesterday I had my followup appointment.  Perhaps I should have known how things were going to go a few days prior when the doctor who did my procedure had to cancel due to emergency surgery and I was given an appointment with another doctor.  But I figured that these things happen.

Getting to the office and into the waiting area for the doctor went without incident.  Then the doctor came in.  She was nice, listened to my history and looked in my nose.  She got it to bleed which was a good thing because she seemed to be actively trying to find where it was bleeding from.  Doesn’t make sense to treat areas that you *think* are bleeding when another area might be the actual bleeding spot.  So far all good, but we’re about to head downhill fast.

She said she was going to put some stuff in my nose.  I didn’t quite catch the name, but I thought I heard "Afrin" which I had taken to reduce the size of my nasal blood vessels and so reduce the number and severity of the bleeds.  I figured she was going to pack my nose like was done one time before to help it heal.  As she stuffed a cotton ball up my nose, liquid ran down my lips.

"That’ll just numb your lips a bit," she joked.

Numb?  Excuse me?!!!  Just what was she planning on doing?  I told her that I didn’t want another electrical cauterization done.

"Well, I’m going to have to do something," she said as she walked out of the room.

Now alarm bells were going off.  Just what was "something" and why would she leave the room mid-discussion like that without giving me a chance to respond?  I was left to sit there and think this over (and text message) a bit before she came back in.  I reiterated my stance against another electrical cauterization.  I told her how painful it was last time, how I was so clogged up that I couldn’t sleep last time, and how I had nobody to drive me home should I not feel up to it.  She insisted that she was going to do a silver nitrate cauterization.  She said it’s less intense and I won’t get as clogged up.  I grudgingly accepted, half feeling like I was backed into a corner.

The procedure went smoothly, I guess.  The two main problems during it (for me) came when a flood of fluid spilled from another cotton ball stuffed in my nose into my mouth causing me to swallow numbing solution.  She made sure to squeeze the cotton balls better next time to prevent a recurrence.  The other incident happened when a gush of something came out of my nose and went *under* the bib they put on me right onto my white shirt.  During the electrical cauterization, a similar incident involved blood so I was fearful that my white shirt was now ruined.  Luckily, it was that numbing stuff again which is clear and doesn’t stain.  Still, her joke post-procedure that my white shirt is "too much pressure" for her was in poor taste.

After the procedure was completed, she said she wanted to see me on a weekly basis to keep an eye on the bleeds.  She explained that you can cauterize one area only to have another bleed form slightly higher up in the vessel.  Apparently, she was planning on repeating this procedure many times until the bleeding stopped.

I went to check out and was told I owed a $30 co-pay.  I asked why.  After all, this appointment was a follow-up to my electrical cauterization procedure.  I was informed that followups don’t need co-pays only when dealing with a surgical procedure and electrical cauterization doesn’t count as a surgical procedure.  Then I asked if this meant that my weekly followups would have co-pays as well.  Yes they would was the answer.  This was the last straw.  I can’t afford to spend $30 per week to have someone chase nosebleeds in my nose!

They gave me the number of their billing manager (the person at the desk had no authority to do anything except collect co-pays and schedule appointments) and I called the next day.  The billing manager told me that they had zero leeway with this.  This is what my insurance company mandates so this is what they charge.

Meanwhile, I had had a chance to stew about some of the problems with what went on in the doctor’s office and asked to speak with the patient representative.  I explained to her the situation and she (with my permission) said she’d talk with the doctor.

Now it gets *really fun*.  The doctor called me back and started all but blaming me outright for the situation, telling me that she "can’t read minds."  EXCUSE ME?!!!!  A doctor is not supposed to start a procedure on a patient and just assume they’ll get up to speed about things.  A doctor is supposed to give the patient options and discuss a course of action before starting something.

She said the only other option was packing my nose and I told her that’s what I thought she was doing before I felt the numbing stuff inside my nose.  I quickly realized that I wasn’t getting anywhere with her and got off the phone with her.  B called the patient representative back and lodged a complaint.  Curiously, the doctor didn’t want to see me and the doctor who did my electrical cauterization will now see me on my appointment this Friday.  (If I keep it.)

In any event, this whole situation could have been diffused by five minutes of sitting down with the patient (me) and telling me what our options were and what she thought was needed.  I’d have likely agreed and the rest would have gone the same, but at least I’d have known and agreed to the medical procedure *BEFORE* it was started and not *AFTER* the doctor began it.

Maybe it’s a sign that "Patient Representative" is the first option on their phone menu.

Project New Me: Week #14 or Post-Passover Weighin #newme

Weight: 194 lbs (up 2 pounds)

Average Hours of Sleep: N/A

Total Workout Time: 0

Total Calories Burned: 0

Passover is now over and, as expected, I gained some more weight. My total weight gain for the 8 Passover days and the 6 non-Passover days that I didn’t count points was 4 pounds. I find that quite reasonable. My challenge now is to get back on track with my weight loss. After all, I have a mere 6 weeks to go and now have 7 pounds to lose. That’s not impossible to do, but it will take some effort.

Project New Me: Week #13 or Mid-Passover Weighin #newme

Weight: 192 lbs (up 2 pounds)

Average Hours of Sleep: N/A

Total Workout Time: 0

Total Calories Burned: 0

Well, it’s the middle of Passover (actually, getting toward the end). Given the complexity of cooking for Passover, I decided not to track points. I figured that, I’d gain weight but I’d try to keep it under control by eating healthy wherever possible. I’ll admit to snacking on more than my fair share of Passover cakes, but those tend to be self-limiting as they don’t taste as good as non-Passover cakes. In any event, my weight gain was only 2 pounds which I’d say was pretty good.

I didn’t keep track of my sleep time either, but I think that I got less than average amount of sleep. Between being up until midnight for the Sedars and being up late cleaning, I didn’t get that much sleep. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get more sleep during the upcoming week.

Project New Me: Week #12 or Pre-Passover Weighin #newme

Weight: 190 lbs (no change)

Average Hours of Sleep: 5.7 hours

Total Workout Time: 0

Total Calories Burned: 0

Beginning my Passover Project New Me respite, I’m 190 pounds. This means I’m (like last week) a mere 3 pounds from my goal. Of course, high calorie Passover food won’t help me lose weight. I’ll try to eat as well as I can, but Passover is complicated enough without adding points into the mix. So I won’t be tracking them this week. It should be interesting to see how much I gain at next week’s weighin. (I won’t be tracking points, but I’ll still be weighing in.)

As far as sleep is concerned, I did poorly this week. JSL has had bad nighttime coughing fits. He doesn’t typically wake up from these, but we do. He’s come into our bed many nights where we laid awake listening to him coughing. He seems to be getting better (and Passover cleaning is done) so hopefully this will mean more sleep for us.

Project New Me: Week #11 or Banned From Exercise #newme

Weight: 190 lbs (down 2 pounds)

Average Hours of Sleep: 6.5 hours

Total Workout Time: 0

Total Calories Burned: 0

This is the last week of my Project New Me before I allow myself a 1 1/2 week respite. You see, Passover is next week (starts the night of Monday, March 30th to be exact). During Passover, it is hard enough to figure out what to eat without worrying about points. So I’m going to forget about the points tracking for those days. Since Sunday and Monday will be hectic enough getting ready for Passover, I’m not going to bother with Points on those days either. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to eat a five doughnut breakfast on Sunday morning, of course. I’ll still try to be as healthy as I can be under the circumstances. I just won’t be formally tracking it.

For now, though, I’m positioned really well. I’m within 3 pounds of my goal weight. I’m also getting decent amounts of sleep during the week. Of course, my sleep average was helped by a big nap I took on Wednesday. You see, after my nose cauterization and my lack of sleep that night, I passed out in my bed while JSL and B went out shopping. (NHL was in school.) I woke up at 12:30 to my phone beeping that a picture message was received. I knew it had to be B sending me a photo (she’s the only one who picture messages me) so I went back to sleep. I next woke up to NHL running in the room with JSL. Looking at the clock, I saw it was 3pm. Yes, I had slept for 5 hours! (I also had completely skipped lunch, but that was ok because my body needed sleep more than food at that point.)

I know I’ve been lax on the exercise front. I don’t even remember the last time I worked out. However, with the nose cauterization, I now have a perfectly valid reason: Doctor’s Orders. I’m not to exercise, run, eat hot and/or spicy foods, or use any “in-nose” product (e.g. saline spray) for three weeks. Doing so could result in something bad happening. I’m a bit vague on what “bad thing” would happen, but if a doctor says “don’t do it” I’m not going to do it just to see what will happen.

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