Monday, August 20, 2012

Feeling optimist!

I am definitely feeling more optimist about my jaw situation than I was during my last post. I've had the weekend to process everything and this morning I talked to both my insurance companies, the office in Seattle and my orthodontist about changing my surgeon back to the surgeon (Dr. Bloomquist) in Seattle instead of the inconsiderate butt-head at UCSF. I just went to Google Maps to see the exact distance from my house to my surgeon's office in Seattle and it is 604 miles, 10 hours 54  mins. Definitely not ideal, but doable.

The first people I called where my insurance companies, Blue Shield of CA and Delta Healthy Systems, to make sure that Dr. Bloomquist did indeed submit and got approved to do both jaws and that was a YES!!!! A huge weight off my shoulders. I talked with the surgeon's office in Seattle, they were extremely helpful, understanding and empathetic to my situation which made me feel at ease. I talked to my orthodontist and to my surprise he wasn't surprise by the surgeon's behavior. My orthodontist thought he had told me that he was like that, but I never knew. I did sense that he wasn't completely comfortable with me going to UCSF, but he never said why.

Like I said earlier I am feeling way better about changing my surgeon after all that drama with the UCSF surgeon. I am planning on having a conversation over the phone with Dr. Bloomquist to talk about my surgery more in depth. I did an update video on YouTube about my appointment and will put it below. 

All in all I'm feeling good about where things are. My jaw surgery probably won't be until Mid-January to February, which is ok because I might me be transiting to a new job with my agency and it will give me more time to be comfortable with my job and the families that I'll work with before my surgery and coming back with a split to work. :)


Friday, August 17, 2012

Wasn't expecting that curve ball!

I had my appointment with my surgeon to find out what the treatment plan was, but it didn't go the thought it would and unfortunately more disappointment came today with regards to my surgery. My mom and I left at 6:30 this morning to drive down to SF for my appointment, really excited to find out what the plan was and to know that surgery was that much closer! At my previous appointment I mostly saw the residents/interns and not the surgeon, but to my surprise it was just the surgeon who came to speak to us. That really made me excited, hoping for good news!

As he started to talk about my "situation" he starting to say that they were going to submit for lower jaw surgery to the insurance because he didn't think that they would approve double jaw surgery, saying that they would consider upper jaw surgery cosmetic due to my semi gummy smile and not cover it. What the hell is he talking about! I told him about the previous surgeon requesting a LeFort I and BSSO from the insurance and to my knowledge they approved it and he basically told me to go to the other surgeon. Just like that! Like he could care less, he was actually being really insensitive about the whole situation which I did not appreciate. We drove down 5 hours from this appointment, my mom and I both had to take the day off and we were with him for less than 10 minutes!

His reasoning for not wanting to request the upper jaw & lower jaw was because he didn't want to deal with the insurance since he already knew that they wouldn't cover it. It was a bunch of crap, excuse my language, but this was really unacceptable behavior for a professional such as himself to have. Let me back track a little, when he did tell me the plan of just doing the lower jaw I asked how that would work with my deep bite. If I remember correctly he said something about bring my lower jaw out and then tilting it and that there would be a lot of work for my orthodontist to do before and after the surgery.

I've had my braces on for 15 months already and according to my orthodontist I would be ready for surgery hopefully by Christmas time, but with all this lower jaw stuff it would be a lot longer. I really didn't appreciate the manner in which he deliver the news. Needless to say I was and still am really bummed out from the outcome of this appointment, but what I have learned from reading others blogs is that with jaw surgery you will learn to have patience weather you like it or not.

Time for Plan B. Right after my "appointment" I called the surgeon in Seattle to see if I would still be able to have Dr. Bloomquist do my surgery and luckily they said, "yes". I asked the receptionist about my insurance authorizations and I needed to talk to another lady that has been dealing with my case about it because she was reading conflicting information. The lady is suppose to call me on Monday. I guess there really isn't much I can do about it until then, but this patience thing is really hard. The receptionist said that my surgeon would need to talk to my orthodontist to see when I would be ready for surgery, when that time was closer I would need to get new records taken and get them sent to Seattle. My plan is to call both my insurances first thing Monday morning to see what was exactly authorized and also to call and talk to my orthodontist and see if it's really possible to get me ready for surgery by Christmas time. I would also like to talk to the surgeon more in detail about my possible surgery since the last/only time I talk to him was over a year ago.

I wish I had better news, exciting news or even everything is still in the process news, but I guess this isn't going to be as simply as I thought it would be. We are talking about having surgery in Seattle, which is 12 hours away and possibly in December, not the best time to travel. One step at a time. I'm going to not let myself get so head of myself this go around, but only time will tell. Hopefully I have more news on Monday.    

Friday, August 10, 2012

One step forward, two steps back

I had an appointment with my orthodontist bright and early this morning and it left me more than a little disappointed about the timeline I had set in my mind for my surgery. My orthodontist had never really talked to me about when he projected that I would be ready for surgery, so this morning at my appointment I asked him when he thought that and told me around Christmas time-February!! That was definitely not the answer I was expecting! After he told me that I definitely felt defeated. First I had to switch surgeons, then it took me three months to even get it for an appointment and now it probably won't happen for at least another 5-7 months!

The way that I am paying for my surgery is with insurance and with a new calendar year comes a new deductible, which means more money that I will have to pay out-of-pocket and I can't do that. Currently I have insurance through my work and insurance through my mom. The plan was to have two so that I don't really have to pay very much out-of-pocket from the start. As long as I am able to get my surgery by December 31, 2012 I think it will be ok, but I don't want to risk it being so close to the wire. The earlier the better, just in case there are problems.

Another worry with having my surgery in late December is that many people get their surgeries during that time because of being on a break from school, but also what if my surgery is going to be on vacation? There are so many uncertainties right now and I'm feeling very unsettled by them. There was a good thing that came from my appointment, I should be able to get new pontics made soon. Those are the plastic teeth that I have to maintain the spaces for my upper laterals and fill the gap. They put a power chain from each K-9 to the back molars so that they can get to their final place and then take the impressions to make my new pontics. I guess that can be my silver lining for the day. The also put a power chain on my bottom jaw to close all the gaps and he did say that my bottom jaw is almost there.


I still have my appointment with my oral surgeon in San Francisco NEXT FRIDAY, I'm hoping that he will have good news! At my first appointment I didn't really ask many question because they were just doing a work-up, but now that they have had time to look over my x-rays, molds and come up with a treatment plan/diagnosis I definitely will be getting some more concrete answers about my surgery, at least that. I will also ask them about their availability in December. I'm crossing my fingers for good news! 

I got this from a Dove chocolate that I ate yesterday and the first thing that I thought was, "No..." But then I thought about it and I guess it's true, but for all of us jaw surgery/braces folks we know better. : )