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Jessica*
29th September 2004, 06:35 AM
As I am just too lazy to retype my thoughts and feelings I might as well just copy and paste from LiveJournal to capture how I truly felt then and there that day..

Stupid me, I'm the reason why the appointment was crap!
If I had listened and rethought the words I was saying, I'd have an appointment with a refered thoracic surgeon by now. But noooo, apparently my surgeon interpretted what I was saying as that 'I am fine and don't want a thoracoplasty'. Jerk! I said I don't care about my physical appearance but it still bothers me when I can't sit back comfortably.

Mum talked to me on the way out of the office, down the elevator, and in the car saying how that's what she thought I was saying too. Why would I all of a sudden change my mind in one appointment? Is she stupid or something? I'm all worked up. Mum told me that THIS was the appointment where everything was going to be sorted, don't ask me why I was thinking about THIS one as the check-up. I guess I didn't think as to why I was seeing Sutherland about my ribs when he said he wouldn't be the one operating on them. I should've gone to bed one hour earlier or something so I could've realised what the hell was actually going on. I'm an idiot!

Mum just called on my phone about 3 minutes ago saying that I have another appointment now that she made for November 9th (i think) to get all the paperwork of it all done and all. Ahh! More waiting.

Story-tell time...
Okey, now that I'm over my disappointed-ness of my appointment on Monday, now I can share what happened later that day. A nice, friendly chat between my parents about money...not! I tried not to listen (I literally turned the TV louder and blocked out their conversation) but they were talking about Money, how much the operation will cost, how selfish each other are, etc. etc.

This is all because my thoracoplasty/costoplasty whichever my new surgeon will do, is considered cosmetic surgery so not all of it will be covered by our Medicare. For those who are unsure, Medicare help cover medical costs for families, and because this operation is classed 'cosmetic' it means it's not a necessary procedure for me to have...it's elective surgery. My parents are expecting a $10,000 bill from this operation, and so am I really and we don't have this money lying around as you'd expect.
Now, my Dad had a quiet conversation with me about how he has some money saved to buy a better boat (which is like a retirement present for him) and that Mum has some money saved to go towards her renovated kitchen. He says he understands that my protruding causes me discomfort in chairs and that he's willing to save up the money for me to fix this.

I feel guilty enough with my $20,000 operation in 2002 (where all but about $1,000 was covered, thank-god!), but now to make my parents sacrifice what they've worked towards just to help me sit back in a chair seems selfish for me. I don't know if I want that burden sitting on my shoulders.

And November 8th is my appointment to finalise this business, I don't want to have to say NO, but I also don't want to say yes. Another thing that makes this difficult is how Mum wants this done by the end of this year, where I'd prefer it to be made for the end of next year with Year 12 (final year of school) out the way, etc.

I don't know what to think just yet.

BlueIce
29th September 2004, 02:43 PM
I can totally understand the money issue. My parents don't work anymore (my mom never did, my dad quit because he got sick) and the bill of my surgery still has to come. I'm afraid of what it'll cost. Normally the biggest part would be covered by our social system, but since I stayed in a one person bedroom the doctors are allowed to ask 150% MORE of the normal price... I don't know how much all this is going to cost but I'm sure it'll be quite a shock when the bill arrives...

ivanleg
29th September 2004, 03:43 PM
Taken from LJ..

Me: Oh dear, sorry to hear about this.
Do you guys have private health insurance? I thought the Aussie government was trying to coerce everybody into taking out private health cover.
I think this sucks - can you get a second opinion from another doctor who'll say it isn't cosmetic surgery? I think your case is borderline and I would argue that you need the surgery for your physical and mental well being.

You: Yeah, well my dad is telling me to emphasise on the amount of pain this causes me so the doc won't classify it as cosmetic. We'll see how it goes *hmf!*

And finally..
Me again:Well I wish you all the best with your acting performance. I'm sure this sort of thing is covered by the NHS in England isn't it? Titch? Sins? Anybody?

sins
29th September 2004, 03:44 PM
Speaking as a parent I would like to ask you not to worry or feel guilty about incurring medical expenses which your parents will have to pay.
It's a credit to you as daughters that you do take this into consideration and care so much.
Your parents brought you into this world and have to take responsibility for any expenses that you bring with you.Kids are expensive and especially when they need medical treatment.
personally speaking I would sell my house if I had to to get the medical treatment that would benefit my children,I would do anything that needed to be done and travel across the world if necessary.
Of course jessica your parents will have to decide what needs to be sacrificed to get you your operation, but the fact that they are going to do this for you is a reflection of how much they want you to have the best that life can offer.By the way get them to have a pop off the insurance company..it's not cosmetic, it should have been done as part of your fusion surgery!!!! and it's essential for your psychological wellbeing ;-)
They want their daughter to have a straight back.They'll pay it's that simple.
A kitchen will date and get damaged over time ....you'll always be their daughter!!
get your thoracoplasty done when you're in your teens, when you're old enough to afford it yourself it'll be too late for it.
Take the opportunity that your parents are giving and you'll thank them for it in later years.
Sins

sins
29th September 2004, 03:51 PM
I agree with Ivan,
Chase up your doctor and a second opinion and make the insurance company see it's not cosmetic.Of course it's painful......and causing you major psychological trauma.having your nose trimmed because it's not perky enough is cosmetic, having four ribs removed because it's caused by a medical condition that leaves you with a hump on your back can't really be considered cosmetic can it?
I bet if you sent a medical letter from your surgeon with a forward bending photo the insurance company might reconsider...
Invest some of the money in acting lessons, but if it doesn't work and your parents have to pay then say thank you and accept it as a generous act from good parents.
Sins

Jessica*
29th September 2004, 05:02 PM
Haha, thanks for the support guys. You sure know how to make things easier for me!

Sarah
29th September 2004, 06:21 PM
I think it would have been covered on the NHS if you were in the UK. I assume it would be covered on the same grounds as the surgery suggested on my scoliosis scar would have been covered. I agree with sins, see if can be covered as not cosmetic but as a result of your condition

titch
29th September 2004, 08:04 PM
It's variable from one place to the next over here. It's like the fact that scoliosis can have nasty effect on the breasts, causing visible assymetry - according to my GP nothing to do with that will be covered because it is classed as cosmetic, but on the other hand they'll cheerfully do a much more major surgery on me, a reduction, as soon as I ask for it :-? I think generally speaking a thoracoplasty would be covered though.

It's got to be worth trying the medical aspect of it - see if you can also play it up along the lines that you think being unable to sit evenly in class is causing you neck problems and that this could turn into serious long term complications. Really hope it works.

DublinPauline
30th September 2004, 12:01 AM
I'm with Sins, your parents won't begrudge you this, they know how important it is for your well being. I reckon you'll make a fortune for them in the longer term anyway when you use your technical wizardry to set up a multimillion dollar company. :-)

I would think that there is a "pain" argument to be made. Lying down comfortably is much more difficult with a rib hump and in my experience this can cause pain the next day. Maybe the fact that the NHS covers it and doesn't seem to classify it as cosmetic sets a precedent that could bolster your case to the insurance company.

Jessica*
30th September 2004, 05:18 AM
Originally posted by Pauline@Sep 29 2004, 10:01 PM
I reckon you'll make a fortune for them in the longer term anyway when you use your technical wizardry to set up a multimillion dollar company. :-)
Ha Pauline, I like that theory as much as I doubt it.

I like everyone's thoughts on the NHS in the UK or whichever, I'll have to research this a bit more in order to convince my surgeon and medicare to classify my next op as, umm, non-cosmetic? :P

jfkimberly
30th September 2004, 09:19 AM
Medically-necessary.