Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Great Breakdown

How does this go? 2 steps forward 1 leap back?

We spoke with Julie the finance officer and she emailed this breakdown of cost. Our insurance covers 50% making us responsible for 50% co-insurance. 

"We will collect a 50% co-insurance deposit up front when your cycle starts. Please keep in mind that this is only an estimate of cost for the treatment based off your benefits.
The estimated cost of this treatment will be as follows (excluding medications):

IVF Deposit   $3700 co-ins                                      
surgery center for egg retrieval       $435.50 co-ins                                   
surgery center for embryo transfer  $583.50 co-ins                                      
ICSI (single sperm injection to create embryo)  $1200.00                                                            
AHA embryo assisted hatching       $550.00                                                
Total  $6,469.00 co-ins deposit  Due at time medication is started or first appointment

The anesthesia will be billed  to insurance first.  
Medications are billed and paid to the pharmacy directly.
Additional cost that you may want to consider is Embryo Freezing, $700 (not covered) and includes one year of storage. Storage fee every year after would be $695."

OK great so how do we start the finance process?

"Financing is only available to those who don't use their insurance, we suggest you check with your bank for a personal loan."

We were really counting on the financing option, we just don't have 10k hanging around to drop here.  If we did I'd have remodeled my bathroom already!

We went to our bank, no dice.  I called the credit union through my work.  It looks promising, however like all loans and credit cards they are going to look at our debt as a whole and we are also trying to refinance the house in our names.

There's basically a whole lot of nothing we can do until February, after our taxes are done.  At least we have some numbers to work with though.

Friday, December 13, 2013



It took me a while to wrap my brain around what happened and figure out how to write this post.
Dr. Potter felt very optimistic that he would save/repair the left side.  He did tell us that there's always a chance that they will find a surprise when they got inside.  My gut told me they were going to have to take both but my heart was stuck on the hope that it would be repaired and I'd have a shot some day at doing this the "normal" way.

When I heard the hospital staff talking outside my room, I thought well this sucks. I knew it.
After I'd fully come out of anesthesia I asked my recovery nurse to make sure I wasn't hearing things.
The nurse confirmed yes and then my loving husband told me the rest.

Dr. Potter met with him while I was sleeping.  When they opened me up the left side was considerably more damaged than the scan had shown.  They preformed another HSG to see where the dye would flood to double check the results.  The left end was completely sealed no dye could pass and it was extremely enlarged, to the point it was translucent.  The right side was able to have some dye go through but it was beyond repair, also being enlarged and blown out.  Imagine blowing up a balloon to the point where you could see though it and its almost about to pop.  If it had been left in there would be a serious risk of ectopic pregnancy and losing it anyway.  My uterus and ovaries look great though.

So this is the hard part, there is no more hope for one day thinking I'm late I might be pregnant or let's try to have another baby.  It will always have to be clinical, calculated, frustrating and Stinking Expensive.  My brain tells me "you couldn't get pregnant with your tubes anyway."  But my heart screams "this isn't fair, I don't want to pay for a child, I just want to be normal."

It took about 4 days to sink in.  There was the Ugly Cry, I sobbed in the dark and my husband rubbed my back and repeated "I understand".


When we left the hospital it was 3:30.  I slept the whole way home, was put in bed and woke up at 6:30.  Hubby had gone to pick up my meds and left my mom to babysit.  I requested tortilla soup and she delivered.  Funny how mom's are; she made sure I had my robe and slippers, pillows and a step stool to reach my high bed.

There were flowers, magazines and cards.  Lunch and Dinners brought.  Hot cocoa and RUM. Yes, my friends know me well.

My sister made me this amazing basket, it was so beautiful and pink.  I was genuinely touched and started sobbing.  Like uncontrollably. What can I say? It was a rough week.

I had two incisions in my belly button, one right above my pelvic bone and one directly over my right ovary.  They taped me up from here to kingdom come!  Like my entire stomach.  I was told to leave them on until my post op (a FULL week) and to sleep sitting up.  My anesthesiologist told me that they were going to blow up my abdomen with gas and it usually ends up trapped in the shoulders.  He was not kidding.  I had so much pain in my right shoulder it felt like someone was trying to rip my arm off.  What do you do when you cant move your tummy?  You use other parts like your back and arms to maneuver yourself.  Well every time I would move my arm it would shift that bubble and blind me with pain.  At some points I literally screamed.  It was way worse than the actual incisions!
They were just sore and itchy.  My bandages didn't last 9 days, by day 5 I was dying to take them off and let my skin breath.  Hubby used to be a EMT, he got me waterproof bandages and got me all set up so I could take a decent shower (which was Amazing).

When I had my post op Dec 10, Dr. Potter confirmed what happened in surgery and showed me the pictures.  He looked at my incisions, all were healing well but one.  Apparently my body was rejecting the stitches and pushing them back through my skin!  Frankin-stitches. He had to get his tweezers and pull it out!  It didn't hurt but it did freak me out.

He then gave me the A OK to proceed with IVF.  We met with Janet to get our list of meds and made a appointment with the financial person Julie.  We also had both our blood drawn for genetic screening, we will not be screening our embryos.  More big decisions ahead.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Salpingectomy....Farewell Fallopian tubes

The Surgery

Monday morning we made our way over to Hoag Memorial.  It was like walking into a hotel, marbled floors, elevator music and a swanky reception desk that let me know they were waiting for me upstairs.  Should have known better when they valeted our car. 

The wait wasn't to long before I was taken back to my tiny room, more like a stall to change into my stylish gown.  Everyone was nice and accommodating, with every passing nurse I got a new bracelet and recited the spelling of my name and birth date for accuracy.  My favorite was the no blood bracelet, the others were name tags and allergies, I even got a orange band to identify which side they were removing from!

After a while they let Hubby come back and keep me company.  We used the wifi and watched some Dr Who. Then I shut it off thinking "what if they put me out and I dream about something terrible and can't wake myself up?"  I was also extremely afraid of waking up during surgery and how badly a IV would hurt.  My mother in law suggested I ask for a IV nurse and anti anxiety meds.  

Well I struck out on the nurse but my anesthesiologist was fantastic! He insisted on doing the IV himself, talked to me through the whole thing and I have to say the worse part was the shot to numb my hand. He totally hooked me up on the anti anxiety and the next thing I knew I was waving good bye and lights out. 
Literally lights out, I had to remove my contacts (legally blind without them) it was blurry going into the hallway and I remember looking down at my hand that was burning like a hot poker and looking up at the lights whisking by. 

The next thing I know I'm touching my face and I hear a voice telling me to put my hand down and then physically pushing it down.  I still don't know what I was touching, maybe a oxygen mask? The next voice I heard was a man asking me what my pain level was, I mumbled 4 and he said it's ok your still sleepy I'll ask you in a little bit.  ...sleeping..... Moaning, it bad? 7.....pain's dark and noisy and there's a man next to me yelling.  I remember blinking hard and asking if I was supposed to be waking up (trying so hard to wake up) or if I could go back to sleep.....sleeping....asking to use the bathroom "your still a little sleepy to be walking do you want a bed pan?" I'll hold it....more voices and something that sounds like "No, it was a double salpingectomy."

Even in a stooper I know what that means, they took both tubes.