How Great is Our God in HEBREW,

Saturday, February 6, 2016


Yesterday I was scheduled to see an ankle specialist in Monroe, NY.  His office had assured me that they took my insurance.  A question arose about whether or not Empire Blue Cross would pay for another set of Xrays after a set had just been taken the day before.  So (fortuitously, it turned out) I called Empire to ask them this question.  When the Blue Cross employee looked into it, it turned out that the doctor was not covered by Blue Cross and an appointment with him would have cost me BIG BUCKS.  (and the X-Rays would be another $1000). So I canceled my appointment and as my dad was already on the road to come and drive me, I decided merely to go to Middletown and pick up the ankle braces the ortho doc had ordered the day before.

The braces are a nightmare to put on and take off, and because of my spinal fusions and hip replacements, it is almost impossible for me to reach my feet.  So I got them having no idea how I was going to get them off and on.  Then my dad and I went to do some errands and eat lunch.  I discovered two things while wearing the braces yesterday:
1) I am able to walk much better than I had anticipated because I thought I would have to be flat footing it.  But, no, the ball of my foot still could bend, therefore walking was only minimally impeded by the braces (or fusion surgery).
2) My pain problems were not solved by the braces.  Just the fact that my ankles were supporting my body weight, on their destroyed joints, and still hurt like heck gave me reason for concern.

So this raises a question for me to ask the ortho doctor.  Do they actually  remove the damaged joint? or do they merely immobilize it?  If it is simply immobilization, the surgery may not be effective at managing my pain.

Initially, I thought I would take the advice of my Rheum, and wait several months to see whether the Cimzia I've been  injecting, will be beneficial to my ankles and thus enable me to postpone the ankle surgery.  However upon reflection, I am inclined to go ahead and have the surgery (assuming it will truly eradicate pain) because why live with it, when you can remove it?  And if I postpone the surgery, who knows whether I will have insurance coverage when I finally do get around to the fusion?  However, my rheum made another good point.  I am still taking the loading dose of the Cimzia.  I am not fully up to speed with it.  And if I stopped it now to have surgery, I would have to start from scratch when resuming the med.  So, because that is true, I am inclined to wait at least until I'm on the full dose of Cimzia.  (which is in about 2 weeks).

So there. Now you know as much as I do.

Mentally, emotionally, how am I doing?  I'm doing what I have to do.  But I am heartily tired of being in pain every time I stand up.  I'm eager to do something to reduce it or---better yet---eliminate it.
I'm thanking God that he has been active in every step of this journey.  He saved me yesterday from a huge MD bill.  He gave us a safe, trouble free journey to NY despite a mini snow storm early in the AM. and he comforted  my heart the day before yesterday when I was first told of the necessity of surgery.  And I know that he will be a breath away through all the terrain I have yet to cover.
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