Having surgery requires a lot of paperwork. What happened to electronic medical records? I keep answering the same questions over and over. Maybe it is a test to see if I get the answers right. To test this theory, I change my weight a few ponds every time someone asks me. Not enough to take me back to my 20’s, but a pound here and there. So far, none of the doctor’s scales match, so why should I stick to one number?
I’m handed a “pre-op folder” which I’m told to read over, keep with me at all times and be sure to bring with me to the hospital. I see that they are assigning some homework. Fill out more forms (of course); have my primary care doctor fill out some forms; call the hospital to speak to a registrar; and notify my insurance.
Paperwork — no problem. I’m the Queen of Paperwork.
Speak to a registrar — I think this translates to “Give the hospital your insurance information.” No problem. I have this in the bag. I call the very nice lady and respond to a few insurance questions. She asks me if I know where to go on the day of surgery. I tell her I have no idea. She asks if I have my folder. Of course I do. She instructs me to turn it over and look on the back. There is a giant map on the back with detailed instructions on where to park and where to go. I feel stupid. Who would have thought to look on the back? Then she says, “It looks like I have everything except the type of procedure you will be having.” I swallow. I can say this. “A mastectomy,” I reply. “Oh,” she says, “I’m sorry.” This is a great reply. It really is. I mean, what else can a person say. She was very nice and wishes me a speedy recovery. I’m with you sister!
Notify your insurance — this turns out to be interesting. Basically the same questions are asked and I roll my eyes at my housekeeper as she passes by and she laughs. Then we get to the question that I know is coming and I’m ready for it. “What type of procedure are you having?” I respond, “A mastectomy.” It doesn’t get easier, but at least I’m ready for it. Then she asks, “And what is that for?” Seriously? I repeat her question and pause . . . “Breast Cancer” I reply. My house keeper is running for my desk and grabs a note pad and writes, “Tell her you are having a sex change operation!” I’m laughing so hard at this point that I have to mute the phone. Where are these great lines when I need them?