fighting insurance and the doctors office to get OATS done
It has been quite a while since I have posted on here due the old saying "If you don't have anything nice to say...don't say anything at all." I have fighting with the insurance and the doctors office since March to get this thing done. FINALLY...I think everything is in line for OATS on Friday (8/14). This has been schedule and rescheduled 5 times since May...let's hope this goes this time. So......any last words of preparation for me? I think I have everything ready (and have had since May!!!), but now the reality is making me feel sick!! It's funny how you can fight for something to happen and then when you get the green light, it's like "Oh SH@#"!!!! To those who are new since I was last on here...long story short...I am having OATS done via cadaver bone to replace a 20mm+ medial lesion on the talar dome. Drilling done a few years back didn't work...so here we are. I work in a school, so my plan was to get this done in order to recover during my summer break.....plans never seem to go right. So, now I get to come back to work 3 weeks post op to 400+ elementary kids running around me on crutches! Anyone want to trade me places?? lol It is very good to read positive things from people that weren't doing do well earlier in the year.
Last edited by Administrator; 12-02-2009 at 07:16 AM.
Dawn - Congrats!! i fought for it for months too so i know just what you feel! And now when you have the surgery...there will be an even greater appreciation for it - and you will want to fight to make it work!! Which means....being patient, doing what the doc says to do, and work on your physical therapy!! I am 4 months post oats surgery and I feel AMAZING! that is a bold thing to say...but i seriously have not felt this good in 3 YEARS! (3 years, 3 surgeries on my bum left ankle) I have been walking officially out of the boot for just 2 weeks now...yeah, im slow, have a bit of a cankle, wear tennis shoes to the office, and can't walk that far yet...but NO limp !! I think what helped a lot was walking in the pool. Once i got the OK to start weight bearing in the boot...i hit the pool...almost everyday and walked - althought the water was a bit higher than waist deep..you're allowing more movement in the ankle and you're preparing for the real test...walking on land! ha. Anways, if you have pool access... i think its a good idea. And when you get to the point when you are getting off those crutches...and all you want is to get rid of them..its A LOT harder than you think. It took me a good 3 weeks to officially let them go! Same thing goes for getting out of the boot. Good luck on the surgery and take it slooowwww. Let us know how it goes!
Dawn, that's great news! Best wishes on your surgery and your recovery! You will soon be on your way to healing....I second what bumankle says. The pool is great! I walked in it as soon as I was given the ok just about every day. I got rid of my limp at about four months post op. Except for when I'm sitting for a long time and try to suddenly walk, then I limp for about five seconds or so, til it warms up
Anyway, maybe you should get some bright crutches so all the kids at school will see you in the halls!
Let us know how it goes
Congrats Dawn! I am glad that you are finally able to have your surgery. I however am not doing as well as the others who are at the same stage of recovery as me about 5 months. I am still having alot of pain at the ocd site and can't walk normal at all. I was dillagentaly doing my PT and last wednesday something happened (not sure what) excruciating pain. I didn't go to PT for the rest of the week hoping it would get better, it got worse. So bad in fact I was literaly sick. I saw my OS on Tuesday, he decided to give me a cortizone shot and said if it helps it's bad cuz that means surgery was not a total sucess, but it also means the hardware is not the problem. So it definetly helped I can walk normal with minimal pain but my rom is worse, weird. So in 2 weeks he will decide what else we may have to do in the near future. He is talking in the next 1-2 months. I really want to go as long as the cortizone holds out then decide. At this point if there isn't alot of pain, I sure don't want to cause anymore by having another surgery so soon. It all seems so fast from one surgery to another but I think it may be due to my case is workmans comp. and they are always in a hurry to close your case. Well sorry I didn't really have anything good to say and I wish I was doing as well as the rest of you. I really am glad you are all doing well!Heidi
Dawn! Yey! I'm glad you have everything approved. Good luck!
Heidi, It took me about 8 mos before my OATS site felt good enough that I said it was a success. At 5 mos I was declaring it a major failure. I just had another surgery 10 mos post -op for reasons OTHER than the OATS and the OATS site looked pretty good. Some fraying, but pretty good. My dr. told me that I had to plateau before he'd consider surgery. I did that and he still waited a few more months. But in that time I felt improvement at my OATS site even if the rest of the ankle went downhill.
If they offer you the nerve block, take it. That's the best advice I can give you. How long will you be in the hospital?
My OATS is better, but my ankle was not and thus the reason for the surgery 2 weeks ago. I also have an OCD that is not doing well at all. But the OATS was a success. Good luck tomorrow. Even with all the problems, the OATS surgery was so worth it to get rid of that pain.
Thanks Kris. My OS has already talked about the nerve block. He seems to think I MAY be able to do this with just the 23 hour observation. But, he did say that at that point it would be up to me whether I stay or go home. He said he would not have a problem keeping me if I was still in pain. So, we'll see. I'm just afraid that with the block and all the GOOD meds in the hospital that I will feel like going home after the one night stay and then get home and be in total pain without the IV meds. So, I have no idea what to expect, I just don't want to go home and then end up back at the ER with c/o pain. I guess it will just have to play out however it's gonna play out!!!
Good luck tomorrow Dawn. I am glad you were finally able to sort out all the mess and get this done.
I know the anxiety you are probably feeling right about now, but just think ... at this time tomorrow you'll be on your way to healing!
I was in the hospital for 3 nights for my OATS and I have a good tolerance for pain but HOLY MOLEY this was like nothing I could have ever imagined so if you need to stay my recommendation would be to stay. I (for some reason I still don't understand) wasn't able to get the nerve block (something about my nerve being 'very deep' and they couldn't get it) so that may be a big difference but I had an epidural in my back for 3 days and still needed morphine injections every 3 hours and Percocet by mouth every 3 hours and I was still in pain. I would say the first 3 days were the worst painwise for me .. once I went home I had to take Percocet every 4 hours and I'd say at about day 12 for me the pain was manageable with just Tylenol. My recommendation would be to stay ahead of the pain .. once it gets ahead of you it will take longer to relieve (oh, and get some stool softeners .. pain meds are quite ... well .. binding)
I hope your experience is better than mine and you'll be posting that everything was a 'piece of cake' for you .. I'll be jealous but happy for you
I was nervous but (I know it's sick) excited my surgery day just to at least try something for an improved ankle. I was very blessed to have minimal pain after surgery so I hope that you won't suffer too much. But the anethesia threw me for a loop so it was good to stay in the hospital. If you're having a cadaver bone grafted the I highly recommend getting a Roller-Aid knee scooter and forgeting crutches. It will really help you at school when your ready to go back.
Liz and Bumankle - sounds like you guys are doing great! I know how exciting it is to feel such relief from the stabbing pains. Liz - until about month 7 I would be driving in my car or sitting at work and then get up and have to take about 10 slow, stiff, limps before my ankle would loosen up and let me walk. That will go away soon.
OK, I'm 18 months out from OATS and yesterday I hiked about 2-3 miles in the woods. Then we worked for about 4 hours in these rocky streams and then hiked the same miles to get out. Not one pain in my ankle - it's really amazing. At one point we bailed off the trail down this really steep, rocky slope about 500 feet to the river and I thought, if my OS could see me now he would be estatic - yet a little freaked out. But I wear my ankle brace during such escapades to avoid any repeat tragedies. I do now have an irrational fear of jumping even 4 inches from a log to the ground. I guess it's a healthy fear after all we've been through .....
I second or 3rd the stay in the hospital. I stayed 3 nights, went home a few hours and was back again another 4 days. (long story) but usually I do great and have no pain with surgery. But the OATS, like Kim said, was a whole different ball park. The nerve block was great and it lasts 2-3 days, but even with that it was still rough the first couple of days. Plus, I was under for 5 hrs with my surgery and the anesthesia does throw you for a loop as Abby said. So I wasn't even ready to pee on my own for 36 hrs or so. I had no interest in getting out of that bed until that time.
And that says a lot because this time around I was driving and back to my regular schedule 24 hrs after surgery. But not with the OATS. No way. So if they can keep you, go for it.
Good luck Dawn. I didn't stay in hospital. I had nerve block, went home that day w/Percocet/antibiotic & stayed at parent's house w/leg elevated 24/7 for 6 weeks. I remember pain, but it was more when I went to put leg down b/c all blood had gone up leg. I could only keep leg down for a few seconds before PAIN set in. I did have after effects of anesthesia (dry mouth, no appetite, & everything tasted like cardboard for 4 days), but that got better. My advice: RICE: Rest, Ice, Elevate - your doc. will thank you for it.
Thanks to you all!! This is finally over with. OATS was done on Friday. It took just over 5 hours. I did have a block, he blocked my femoral nerve and my sciatic nerve. Doc said he wrote for me to stay for the 23 hours but that if I felt like it I could leave earlier. I was not in much pain at all!! My pain meds alternated between 2 Percocet 10mg and 2 mg of Dilaudid (IV), I basically got one or the other every 2 hours. I figured out what time my blocks were going to wear off and stayed until they were gone to make sure that the pain meds were going to be enough before saying I felt like going home. They started surgery at noon on Friday and I went home around 4:30 on Saturday. I made sure to time it so that I had just gotten a dose of Dilaudid before attempting the ride home. My schedule for home is 2 Percocet 10mg every five hours. He said to take them whether I need them or not, so up until now, I am still not having very much pain at all. I did yesterday once, but that was b/c I was 20 min late taking the meds. DUH!!!! lol The anesthesia made me sick, but that's all gone now. I just still don't have an appetite....but that's okay. I can't sleep for more than an hour at a time, and I'm not sure why. (Hence, the reason I am posting on here at 3am.) I should be sleeping like a baby...every 5 hours I am taking 2 Percocet, 1 Phenergan and 1 Benadryl (for the itching). Go figure!! I will go to see the Doc again on Thursday. I can't wait to see the x-rays. He showed my Husband while I was in recover, apparently I have 6 screws and a plate. I am anxious to have him look at it and tell me everything is still doing okay. Again, thanks for all the thoughts and prayers and words of encouragement.