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Pre-Op Appointment and Insurance

Monday was my 2nd visit to UNC Chapel Hill. Everyone down there was highly anticipating that night’s Basketball game (not something I was following). For more info please visit home insurance companies .

Sunday afternoon Don and I drove down and went to the house of my older cousin and his wife. My older cousins and I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to be close, and Doug asked me if I’m taller than before… kind of funny when you’re 29. We decided that we must spend a lot of time sitting down when we see each other.

We had a lovely evening with them just talking and catching up. It was the first time Don had met either of them and the first time I had met Doug’s wife. I hope they will come visit us some time. 3.5-4 hours isn’t that far. If not, I’ll be back down there a lot over the next year it seems.

Monday was my “pre-op” appointment. We discovered that UNC’s parking garage is 6 or 7 stories tall but there WAS room at the top. Now that we know that we will just proceed up and up and up until we find spaces. Not finding a single space for 4 floors was a bit worrisome.

I was almost 10 minutes late getting to the waiting room for my appointment but ended up waiting an hour and a half or so to see the surgeon anyway. He strikes me as a very friendly man who likes to answer questions as best as he can. The first time I saw him he was only 45 minutes behind and probably spent 15 minutes with me, even drawing some pictures to answer one of my questions. This time, being an hour and a half behind schedule, he was quite hurried and I really had to fire my questions one after the next to keep him from deciding we were done. I think if I were to do these appointments again I would talk more to the resident doctor who did my paperwork.

Questions I did ask: What is the schedule like, will I have to stay overnight and when do I come back and when is activation? He said most people can leave once they are keeping liquids down, no need to stay. I’ll return after a week for follow-up and then activation will be just a few days after that. I thought that was very fast but have heard of other people doing the same lately. I asked if it would be possible to have the checkup and activation on the same day to save a trip down (4 hours each way) and he said I should just get used to making lots of trips because I was going to need to for a while. I asked if there was a chance I could switch my care to UVA and he said not during the first year. That’s fine. I was thinking that my reason for choosing UNC was more for the surgery and not so much for the audiologists, but that’s okay. It gives me an excuse to try to switch to a compressed work schedule. I’m going to discuss that with my supervisor next week.

I asked him if the “M” electrode was the “Medium” electrode that Med-El discusses in their literature. He said yes, and that they plan to insert it to 20 mm. This isn’t a “short electrode” CI at all. The Normal Med-El electrode is 30 mm, but that is very long for CIs and they have not saved anyone’s residual hearing with that electrode. He feels that 20 mm will give me plenty of coverage even if I lose my residual hearing, which is always a possibility. I asked him what factors affect saving residual hearing, the type of electrode, the flexibility, the surgery technique, he just said that they aren’t sure so they try everything. I asked what the advantages of the 30 mm Med-El electrode are and he said that they aren’t sure, but that everything seems to work well. I guess it’s like the 3 brands – they all work well and it’s just next to impossible to compare them because everyone is different. One important thing that he did say is that if he is “In Network” for my insurance then the anesthesiologist will be as well. So that’s good.

That was about it. I forgot to ask about whether they will glue or stitch the incision but it sounded like I won’t have to have stitches removed. I also forgot to ask about the meningitis vaccine, but the FDA page doesn’t mention adults, and I’m pretty sure I had to have it to go to college (1997).

After that rushed visit (5 minutes maybe) I headed over to the main hospital for PreCare. There a nurse made sure I was in the system for that day, gave me pamphlets about pre-procedure instructions. No food after midnight, only clear liquids until 2 hours before. The antiseptic soap to use. They will call us the afternoon before to tell us when and where to report the next day. Another nurse drew 3 vials of blood (yuck) and that was it.

We went a bit south of town to visit some friends who were kind enough to feed us and gave me herbs to plant!

All in all it was a most social visit 🙂 I am looking forward to visiting people there often.

In related news, I just logged into my health motor trade insurance account and it lists my pre-approvals. BCBS told me that I didn’t need pre-approval but UNC required it. It’s very nice that everything is in network even though it’s out of state. That saves me $1500 (out of pocket).



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5 replies on “Pre-Op Appointment and Insurance”

  1. Share

    Ace says:

    To answer your question, the advantage of the 30mm electrode is to give more low frequency CI hearing. But in your case, youd definately hear low frequencies way better with HAs than CI. Even I would. My audiologist could get me down as good as 10db aided at 250Hz, something no CI is likley to achieve. I do not yet know if I should get a 20mm or 30mm electrode when/if I decide on CI. I do have 75db HL at 250Hz but I hear great with HAs.

    Anyway I have some new posts on my blog, id be honored if you read those and comment. 🙂

    Ace’s last blog post: This woman hears worse in some aspects with CI over HA.

  2. Share

    Candy says:

    Just wondering, BCBS that you have, is it a private company plan or a federal governement plan? I understand not all BCBS covers C.I., is that correct?

  3. Share

    Sara says:

    Wow, good questions, those are very vital to the surgery. Tell me how your compressed schedule will turn out.

    As much as I’d love to encourage your decision, I really just realized how horrible of an incision this will be. “Once you can keep down the fluids,” “glue,” “stitches,” those are all words I HATE! How can you stand the thought of your person being cut in on. Owie owie owie! You have a stomach a steel! I’m about to throw up just thinking about it, and thinking about my wisdom teeth removal. Ick! Surgery is disgusting.

    I really hope there will be no complications with your surgery. Please take lots of care. 🙂 Don’t get too queasy, ’cause I know I am.

    So.. what kind of herbs did you get? Basil? thyme? My favorite is mint… but that’s more than an herb. Right now I’m growing some mint and some veggies. I can’t wait to transplant them and have them have a nice cozy home in my new apartment. <3<3

  4. Share

    no kidding! same surgery date… you’re right, we are twins! best of luck… I’ll keep checking back.

  5. Share

    Mog says:

    Hi there, when is your surgery? I cant seem to find the date on your blog but all the best for that.

    I am having a MedEl CI sometime at the end of May/June, no date yet. Its a opus 2 processor with a soft flex electrode. As I’m in Canada we don’t get a choice of implant, but I did chose bordeaux red as the colour. I mean to stand out.

    Am enjoying reading your blog, its very informative, thanks

    Mog’s last blog post: ceramic soup

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