Murphy Strikes again

Random Saturday Thoughts

10/21/20233 min read

Tomorrow was the day I checked in for my knee replacement surgery in Jacksonville. However, fate had other ideas. Friday morning, as I was preparing for work, I received a text from a co-worker I had been training to cover for me during my leave. It went something like this:

Him: Ed, are you awake yet?

Me: Yes, I'm getting ready to leave for work.

Him: I tested positive for Covid yesterday.

Me: Crap

I had been having symptoms of my annual Allergy/Sinus crud that I get every year at the change of seasons. At least, that is what I thought was the case. I went on to work and decided to test myself when the pharmacy opened.

As I entered the parking lot, two fire trucks were entering the lot at our fuel station (never a good sign). Someone had been pumping diesel into their truck and pulled the hose over it to reach its fuel door. When they finished fueling, they pulled on the hose, which came loose and spilled about three gallons of diesel onto the pavement. Thankfully, it didn’t reach the drain system, freeing us from a bio-hazard.

I informed the store manager of the other coach’s diagnosis and told him I had to test myself because it would postpone my surgery. His response was meant to be funny, but it was rather self-serving, and it hurt a little in my feels. He said, “Well if it’s positive, I’ll have to give him a High-5.”

At 9, the pharmacy opened, and I bought a covid test and returned to take it. Long story short, it was positive. I needed to verify the test and then call the people in Jacksonville to let them in on the results and see what the verdict would be.

After I got home, I called the surgeon’s office and left a message. Knowing the clock was ticking since it was Friday and most doctor offices were closed or closed early on Friday, I panicked for the next few hours, awaiting the callback. When it finally arrived, I was asked how severe my symptoms were. Mild, just like the last time I had it two years ago. The good news was it only required a 10-day wait between diagnosis and a new surgery date. The bad news was the earliest new date available for the surgeon was December 7, a day that will live in infamy (see what I did there?).

So, now here I sit, having to reschedule all my follow-up visits for the doctor and PT. I also have to go back to work for the next 40 days. I have decided to wear a mask between now and then, as this is the second time my surgery has been postponed. I will also wrap myself in bubble wrap, as I can’t have any scrapes, cuts, or blemishes on my leg from toes to thigh. You may think I jest, but I can walk by a shelf and brush against it with my arm covered in a long-sleeved shirt and a jacket and still tear the skin on my arm.

Today is day 6 of my symptoms, and the only symptoms I still have are nasal congestion and an occasional coughing up of phlegm. By Monday, I will be back to normal, I hope.

The frustrating part of waiting for the new surgery date is that I waited ten years from the first diagnosis of my arthritic knees to decide it was time to have the surgery. I have postponed it twice now. The first time it was postponed was because I set up the surgery with my physician, and when they called my insurance for authorization, they were told I had to call for authorization. When I called, I was told I had to go through the Centers of Excellence. I applied for the Centers of Excellence and was sent the paperwork, and when it arrived, I found out I couldn’t use my doctor; I had to use one of theirs.

I questioned why I couldn’t use my chosen doctor since I had been with him for two-plus years. I was told I could use my chosen doctor; however, the insurance would only pay at Out-of-network rates of 50% after the $5500 deductible. And there would be no OOP Maximum. I was on the hook for 50% of every last bill.

Or I could use the Centers of Excellence, which my company would pay 100%, including travel, hotel, and food for me and my caregiver. I would only be on the hook for PT at home after the surgery and my follow-up visits with my chosen doctor. I appreciate the company paying the tab for my surgery, which is a great cost. However, I would rather have my chosen doctor. The caveat of the Company plan is that it is at the Mayo Clinic, and my surgeon is the Chief of their Orthopedic department.

Now, the wait begins anew. Murphy: 2 Ed: 0