Oct. 21 (Tuesday) – I wasn’t thinking much when I went to visit Dr. J as I was fully expecting to be operated by Dr. L but the fact that I still have yet to receive the surgery date from his office gave me a great deal of concern. It was unsettling to not receive a callback as I wanted to be operated that week Friday the latest. The good thing about Dr. J was that he was very close to where I lived in Pasadena. I really just wanted a 2nd opinion even though my mind was set to go through surgery no later than this week.
It took no more than 10 min from my house which was very convenient. Parking was a different story. There is paid parking garage and the doctor’s office didn’t validate. There were street parking available but limited. With just one foot, it wasn’t the most ideal situation. After waiting about 45 min. (which I later found out to be unusual), I was led in after filling in the typical medical history forms. This visit is a bit different as I had my wife accompanying me and I had a digital copy of the MRI.
Dr. J. came in and after cordial exchanges, we went right into my injury and jokes about how he has seen several basketball related Achilles ruptures from men in their mid-30’s to 40’s. He came off as very knowledgeable and went into detailed about how he does the surgery and how he makes an incision on the edge of the ankle and not right over the Achilles. He believe that it sped up healing as it is less irritated. The more he explained the more my interest piqued as to having Dr. J. perform my surgery.
Then he said two things that pushed me to spurn my choice for surgery. First, he was in network for my insurance. It is an unfortunate reality that we need to make medical decisions based on our medical insurance. I do realize that I am very fortunate that I do have the choice of going to the doctor of my choosing but Dr. L would’ve been out of network. He did indicate that he would charge me in network price but how much out of pocket I would need to pay is unknown. However, Dr. J’s assistant did their homework and they were in network which would mean my deductible would be $3,000. If I do with Dr. L., although in network price, my deductible would be a whopping $10,000. Secondly, Dr. J. said he could fit me for surgery for Thursday! Yes, the DAY AFTER TOMORROW! I was so excited, I turned to my wife on her thoughts and she left it up to me to decide and would support me. They tentatively said 1pm which would conflict with our sons getting off school but we could manage. We gave them the go ahead to schedule us in with the surgery center.
It was still late morning so my wife and I went to lunch at nearby cafe in Pasadena. We sat down and let the information sink in. In 48 hours I would finally go through surgery and I can be on my way to recovery. I didn’t realize how nervous I was about getting surgery done in the recommended 2 weeks time frame. I mean, I am sure it would’ve been fine had it gone 3 weeks but I would’ve really been fidgety if I had to go through another weekend to wait for surgery. During brunch, I got a phone call from the surgery center. The surgery was scheduled for 7:30am and I had to be at the surgery center by 5:30am.
“Say that again?”, I responded.
This completely threw us off as we already made arrangements for our sons to get picked up. Now, not only do we need to worry about dropping them off school but the night before! We probably had to leave the house by 4:45am to make it to the surgery center. Thank God for our in laws and brother in law.
One last thing I had to do was to pick up my prescription. With only two days advance, I HAD to pick up my prescription medication for the pain post surgery. I was given a pre-operation packet which outlined everything that I had to do prior to surgery including the cessation of any pain medication which may thin my blood a week in advance. Oh well. I went to the CVS I frequent and they didn’t have one of the pain meds I needed. I anxiously went to another 24 hour CVS which they had both meds in stock.
Everything was set.