By the time you read this, I’ll be…
I’ll be in my fucking bed.
In my fucking room.
In my fucking house.
Laying next to my fucking husband who took off work to be with me not in this fucking house, but in the fucking hospital, getting my fucking surgeries.
I’m angry. I’m so angry I haven’t spoken actual words with my mouth since 6pm because I’m afraid of what will come out of me.
At 3pm yesterday, I received a call from the surgery scheduler at my gynecologist’s office informing me that my insurance had just called, and 18 hours before I am scheduled to have a hysterectomy, they’ve decided they don’t approve it, and will not cover it.
Even though this has been scheduled for months.
Even though I’ve already been making payments for my portion of this surgery per the print-out from them of what percentage would and would not be covered.
Even though I’ve laid out a week’s worth of school uniforms, prepacked lunches, arranged carpool rides for my kids to all their activities, bought weeks worth of easy dinners for Andy, and gotten all of my work obligations covered.
No. My insurance has decided, 18 hours before my hysterectomy, that I should be put under anesthesia for a urethral sling and an ablation. And if the ablation didn’t work out- which it won’t, because my enlarged ovaries have literal masses in them and an ablation would only potentially deal with heavy bleeding- then I would need to go back under in a few months for a hysterectomy.
Within an hour of the phone call, I was huddled in an exam room with my gynecologist and her office surgery scheduler, all of us silent and furious.
We had decisions to make about my body, and we had an hour to do it. Should I just do the ablation and tick the box off? Should I rearrange my life for two surgeries in a matter of months, even though the sling would later complicate my future hysterectomy? Should we fight the denial?
One thing we never asked ourselves, though?
How does this happen?
Because we all knew.
We all fucking knew.
But Andy didn’t, not really.
He sat there confused about how an insurance company could demand that his wife burn the inside of her uterus out first, and then circle back around for the actual helpful surgery she and her doctor have been working toward since July.
“I just don’t understand how this happens?” He kept saying, shaking his head and crossing his arms over his co-pay free vasectomy’ed body.
I can’t quite describe the feeling of having medical choice stripped away from you and your physician of 13 years, and if I took nothing else away from yesterday, it’s that I saw, first hand, my doctor scream and fight for me.
We decided to appeal. My doctor will be speaking with a peer at the insurance company to review all my records, and is confident they will change their mind. Surgery is a big, expensive deal, and doing it twice to tick a box isn’t something we want to do, nor is it something I should have to do. We hope to have it sorted out in a few weeks.
I drove home in tears, and went through the drive-through at McDonalds, breaking the day-long fast I’d been required to do pre-surgery, and I must have looked as horrific as I felt, because the woman at the window handing me my food, threw a bunch of cookies in, and squeezed my hand handing the bag over.
I keep trying to figure out, even now as I write this at 3am, why I am feeling such sadness and ache. Am I angry because this is unfair? Am I throwing a fit because my plan was changed, and I’m powerless to do anything about it?
I think the biggest thing, that isn’t considered or counted enough, is the emotional work I’ve been doing to come to terms with losing my uterus and ovary. It’s exciting and fun to think my periods will be a thing of the past, but the actual distraught loss of things that have had such a large part of my life, it’s been a really long process. I had only just gotten to a place of peace, and it just feels so… it doesn’t feel as if it matters right now.
I want to thank everyone who has been so amazing, sharing their stories and support since I wrote about this journey a few days ago. I am taking the day to myself, but will be back being a woman fighting for her body in America’s healthcare industry tomorrow.
But today, I am not okay. I am furious.