Thursday, December 23, 2004

12.23.2004 - Dealing With Bureaucracy

We had some problems with the referral to Stanford. The usual bureaucratic stuff. I wasn't going to settle for anything less than referral to Stanford.

I had been feeling more anxiety recently and can't attribute it to any one thing. I am frustrated about the brain tumor, being out of work and getting paid for doing nothing, being frustrated about how slow things are progressing with regard to consultations, treatment, and getting this whole thing taken care of.

My primary care physician is now working diligently on the Stanford referral. Interestingly enough, they were unsuccessful. I asked for the contact information for Blue Shield and then called the appropriate person directly. I received nearly instant authorization to consult with a neurosurgeon at Stanford for a second opinion as to my situation. I then called that neurosurgeon's office at Stanford and arranged for a consultation and it was all arranged.

I went to Stanford, met with the neurosurgeon (who was also a professor of neurosurgery) and consulted with him about my situation. I described my symptoms, my history, and showed him the MRI films that I had brought with me. He believed that he knew exactly what kind of tumor I had and believed it to be a low grade tumor based on all the information I presented. He believed that all the sweating and anxiety incidents were auras. Auras are pre-seizure activity that are cues to indicate that a seizure may occur.

The neurosurgeon did not favor radiation and felt that he could surgically resect the vast majority of the tumor. He didn't see any point in performing a separate biopsy, since the tumor tissue obviously needed to be resected and they could biopsy it all they wanted after they removed as much as they could. He didn't think that I would experience much of a deficit as a result of the surgery.

As a result of the surgery, I may lose some peripheral vision on my left side. He thought I may be out of work for a month or so and then could return to a desk job for a few months and then go back to a full-duty assignment.

The bureaucratic process was breaking down in my favor now. Authorizations were underway and surgery was tentatively scheduled for January 2005.

On 12.02.2004, I had some more unusual anxiety, but brushed it off. It went away after about 30 seconds or so. On 12.04.2004, I was laying down on the couch watching a movie and felt pretty tired. I had some more anxiety and sweat a bit and then just fell asleep.

On 12.23.2004, my neurologist cleared me to return to full-duty, but work thought I should probably stay modified duty until the surgery with all that was going on.

1 comment:

Sav said...

Thank you for your blog. It means a lot to someone who has also just been diagnosed - the 'association' and 'information' websites are ok to an extent, but seeing someone go through these same feelings (with regards to bureaucracy, surgeons, auras, time off work, etc...) is so valuable that I don't know the words. Thank you for all of this.