Friday, April 8, 2016

A Tale of Two Doctors

Around Halloween I noticed that Mikey had a little red circle on his cheek. It was strange that it was a perfect circle but I figured it was a scratch or maybe an infected pore. Then about a month later it had grown. And it was gross. It was a dome and it had a nasty texture but once again I just waited, thinking it would go away.
But it didn't. So at Adam's 3 year check up, I showed my doctor a picture of it and she referred me to a dermatologist that was really great with kids. And was she ever. She was so energetic she made me tired. But Mikey loved her.
She did a biopsy which was great but also, I just assumed that they would schedule another appointment and I made the mistake of telling Mikey he wouldn't get a shot. That was unfortunate. Especially because Mikey is a massive baby about shots. Like really. Probably almost as big of a baby as I am. ;)  So they did the biopsy (which was gross. I hate blood) and he did not like it. Here's a picture of him right after he got it done.
 They sent it to pathology and they told us it was a benign facial lesion called a spitz nevus. It wasn't anything to worry about but we would probably need to get it excised or else it would just keep growing back and it sometimes can mutate into something worse. (I'm not sure how common that is but still, I don't want that.) So the dermatologist gave us the names of two different plastic surgeons (because since it was on his face, they wanted a plastic surgeon to do it for scarring reasons)  I did some research and they both seemed great but I decided I wanted one of them (for geographical reasons) and then I checked with our insurance and learned that he wasn't covered so instead we went with Dr Jensen.
I called and got an appointment and the doctor looked at it and gave us four options. #1. wait until he is older and can handle local anesthesia, #2. just use a local anesthesia and hope for the best even though he's really young, #3 put him under at the clinic in their surgical centre or #4. go to the hospital.
I didn't want to wait so I vetoed that suggestion without even talking to Jake (my bad) and I didn't want to pay for an OR at the hospital so I went and asked billing and learned the surgical centre took our insurance. They priced  it out and I went home and talked to Jake about it before I scheduled the procedure. We called our insurance and we learned that it would be around $800 out of pocket. We went ahead and scheduled it for March 14 and Jake planned on taking the day off and the receptionist told us that she would call closer to the day with more details.
On March 9, they called us and said that our insurance called and told them that they just restructured their coverage and the surgical centre was no longer covered and they weren't going to honor existing set ups and that we needed to go to the AF hospital. And I was devastated. Like for reals, I cried. I knew that it was going to be crazy expensive so I told the receptionist that I would call her back later with a decision. I called our insurance and they told us it would be between $3000 and $4000. And I was even more devastated. I talked to Jake and we came up with a bunch of different ideas and I kept calling the clinic. Like every day for a week and a half. A few of those days, I called twice. I kept coming up with questions that I needed answered in order to make a good decision.
I felt so dumb calling so much, especially because there is one woman in billing and one woman at reception. They knew it was me. They started to recognize my phone number. It's not my personality to be so pushy but I knew that I needed to be. Every time I called, I gave myself a little pep talk: "This is for Mikey. It's okay to be pushy. Just be polite and it'll be okay. " Also, I would remind myself that after this is all over, I'll most likely never see or talk to these people again.
After many, many calls and the doctor telling us he wouldn't do it with just a local and us deciding we would probably have to just pay the whole thing out of pocket at the surgical centre (which would cost about $1500), the receptionist called one last time and told us the best news ever!!! Dr Jensen talked to his friend, Dan, who is a nurse anesthetist and he said that he would come and do the surgery with Dr Jensen in a procedure room at the plastic surgeons office for $300! They explained that Mikey would be put under but he wouldn't really be asleep, just unaware. It would take about an hour in total and we just had to agree to pay the total cost one week before the surgery (because that is how cosmetic procedures are billed at the clinic)
I cried again.
I was so happy. I might've even jumped up and done a few times. I called Jake and we were thrilled. The clinic scheduled the procedure for April 8th at 8am.

Last night Dan called and told us we needed to be there at 7am to do all the prep and paperwork and he gave us a brief overview of what to expect.
Mikey and I woke up super early to make sure we could get there in time and then once we were there, Dan noticed a text saying that we actually needed to be there are 7:30 not 7. He felt so bad he went and bought me some apple juice. Honestly, I didn't care though. These guys were doing us a big favor so I would've waited 2 hours and it would still be okay.
We got into a room and they took Mikey's stats and got us all ready for the shot of ketamine (I asked just for you Jeff, so I hope you are reading this, brother!) and glyco (which is for mucus or something like that) and Mikey lost it. He had been so brave up until this point. He got a blessing last night from Jake and he had me ask all of his aunts and uncles and grandparents to pray for him and even when Dan told him he was getting a shot he was fine. Until Dan asked to look at his thigh to see if it would be a good location. He started freaking out saying he wasn't brave enough and he didn't want anyone to see his underwear. He climbed off the chair, crawled around on the floor to try and hide from us. And I was no help. I tend to laugh in these kinds of situations. They made fun of me and then said that laughing was probably better than crying. Eventually with me, Dr Jensen and Dan holding him down, he got the shot and he screamed. Full on scream. I couldn't believe how badly he was taking this. After about 15 minutes they moved us into the minor procedure room and Dr Jensen numbed him up and got everything ready. And then they told me I was going to hold him on my lap the entire procedure. (Uhm, I hate blood so I kept my eyes closed as much as possible) Since he wasn't actually asleep, just mostly out of it, they needed me to hold his arms down because even though he couldn't feel anything, it might have bugged him to have people messing with his face.
The procedure took about 20 minutes and they sent us back to the first room for post op instructions and to wake him up.
He did not wake up well. At all. He was totally stoned. He got all nauseous but he didn't have anything to throw up because he hadn't eaten since dinner. He kept yelling that he didn't want to see anymore rainbows. He would start moaning and then tell me he couldn't breathe. He would try to sit up and then get too tired and just let himself fall over and almost fell off the chair a bunch of times. Hopefully he won't ever do drugs because it would seem he doesn't handle his high well. After one final stat check and them telling us that we needed to come back in about a week, they sent us on our way.
Mikey moaned in the car for a few minutes and then slept like a baby (stupid phrase) the whole way home.
So next week we go back to get the path results. We are hoping that he got good margins (which means just about nothing to me) so we won't have to put him back under to get the rest out and that it didn't mutate when it grew back after the biopsy.
Wish us luck. Enjoy a few pictures of this cute little dude.

Last night. He was actually really excited about the procedure.

Right after we put him in the car. He is so cute, even with the grumpy face.

When we got home. He was so exhausted.

They gave him a pez dispenser at the clinic and we told him if he was brave he could have a new Power Ranger toy. We found this one on sale on Amazon. He really wasn't that brave at all haha but Dan said he won't really remember right before the shot so we can just tell him he was brave and maybe it'll remind him that he actually is.

Thanks for reading!