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Foxaroo arthroscopy [Oct. 21st, 2008|07:53 pm]
OK. Here are all the details as best I can recall (I stupidly left the paperwork at the office after a really bad day at work)

As mentioned in the previous post, one of my shoulder tendons has an 8mm tear and is partly dislodged(?) from the shoulder socket. An operation is the only way to correct this, the alternative being to live like this the rest of my life. The Orthopaedic surgeon used very neutral words while describing the operation, but his non-verbal communication seemed to be driving me against the idea of surgery. Nonetheless, near the end of the consultation he gauged the strength in my arms (arms plural) by having me try to resist them being pushed downward, and while my right arm endured the strain my left arm shot straight down. My left shoulder has virtually no strength whatsoever.

If I'd needed that arm to save my life I'd have been dead.

I'm investigating the all the costs. My medical insurance (the safety net for both unicorns AND foxaroos) will cover the scheduled fee (doctor and assistant) which is around AUD$3,000. Excluded are the AUD$50 per night hospital stay charge (I should only need to be there 1 night), and the arm sling will cost AUD$175 (I learned the latter only after pushing the receptionist for details).

Still on my list to phone are the anaesthetist and the hospital to check on cost of the operating theatre. I didn't get a chance today to phone them because the day job was so busy.

Depending on the availability of the hospital, I'm aiming to have this done in early February and then to spend 3 weeks with my grandmother (about the only member of my family I trust). This means that for 3 weeks I will be COMPLETELY away from the internet. Only people with my mobile phone number will be able to contact me. Following that I'll still have my arm in a sling for a further 3 weeks, and the total healing time will be 6 months.

dhlawrence said:"Ouch. Hope it doesn't drain your reserve funds too much :(",
That's what I'm trying to avoid, by investigating all these sneaky charges. I've identified AUD$225 so far, and still searching.

deckardcanine said:"I thought of asking for a reminder of how it happened, but you'd probably rather not say, and perhaps I'd rather not know.",

No it's ok, I'm not shy about it.

In March this year severe calcification developed in that shoulder which led to tendonitis(http://scottrell001.livejournal.com/16372.html), to the point where I had very limited movement in the shoulder. Then gradually the pain eased, although since then it's had a dull ache which has come and gone. The doctors were asking me if I'd had any injuries that would have caused this, but I believed that there hadn't been any.

Then more recently I remembered something. Back in early 2003 (long before I knew of the existence of ANY of you :P ) I was travelling to work on a bus, which it turns out was being driven by a total cretin. He/she drove too fast, and put the brakes on much too sharply arriving at the bus stop. I was using that arm to support myself and it was nearly ripped out of its socket. I went to the doctor (different doctor back then) and was advised to rub the affected shoulder with some of that sports injury anti-inflammatory cream. The pain went away in a matter of days and I'd completely forgotten about it until all the recent trouble. When I described the incident to the orthopaedic surgeon he agreed that it's consistent with the type of injury revealed by the MRI.

If I ever meet that bus driver I'll be showing him or her what I can do with my good arm! :X

That's all the details I have for the moment. I'll post when there's more news, such as having a confirmed booking for the operation.

If anyone wants to talk me out of it they're welcome to try, because I don't feel comfortable about EITHER decision. Something doesn't feel right, which usually means I'm overlooking something.

[User Picture]From: sleepyjohn00
2008-10-21 01:00 pm (UTC)
You may want to see if you can get the doctors to confirm that the bus driver was the probable cause of your injury, and file a claim to get the bus company to pay for your medical care. That's why they have insurance.
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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2008-10-21 09:16 pm (UTC)
Just picturing you making the right decision. Many factors to consider... hope everything comes out for the best.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-10-22 01:45 am (UTC)
Thanks Old Wolf.

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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-10-23 11:27 am (UTC)
Ok, I've booked the operation for the 6th February, and I'm arranging for the time off from work now.

And I stupidly left all the paperwork at the office - AGAIN!

The gist of it is that the operaiton will cost just over AUD$1,000 from my own pocket. This doesn't please me, but I need to have my arm repaired.

I'll post full details tomorrow, if I'm alert enough to remember to bring all the details home. Sheesh! My absent mindedness.
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[User Picture]From: carlfoxmarten
2008-10-30 02:50 am (UTC)
That bus driver almost sounds like some of the drivers we have to get to class on the mountain, though these ones only throw the brakes on kind of hard instead of throwing everybody around on the corners...

I highly recommend SJ's suggestion as they'll probably want to settle out of court quickly on that, and maybe even leave you a little left over for anything else that might happen to be indirectly affected.
Especially for all the grief it's caused you!
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-10-30 03:59 am (UTC)
It was a government bus, so far from there being an incentive for them to settle out of court quickly they're far more likely to drag the process out for several years.

Besides, the injury happened in 2003 and I don't have the slightest evidence to match the present condition of my shoulder to something that happened back then at a day and time that I can't remember. It didn't seem anything serious when the incident occured, until March this year when the calcification developed, and it's taken X-rays, ultrasound and now an MRI to fully determine the cause of the problem.

And finally I don't have money to splash on a lawyer.
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