25 June 2008

still the proud owner of a pair of tonsils

After spending last night psyching myself for my surgery, I woke up today all pepped up for my tonsillectomy. However, a chain of unexpected events unfolded which eventually ended up with me postponing the operation.

A couple of hours before I was due in the hospital, my doctor's nurse called me. Apparently, my doctor wanted to use his own set of tools for the surgery, so I needed to pay PhP27,000 for the rental of his equiment because my health insurance would not cover it.

I know, I know. It's bad to scrimp when it comes to your health, and I honestly would have paid the cash up front -- but the thing is, last week, when I talked to my doctor about the costs of the surgery and verified with Philamcare that it would be covered, my doctor failed to mention anything about preferring to use his own equipment.

And he was asking me to cough up PhP27,000 on the day I'm supposed to be admitted to the hospital? I thought it was kind of fishy.

I asked the nurse what exactly this equipment was, and her answer was, "Naku, di ko rin po alam yun e, basta pinapasabi lang ni doc kailangan yun daw ang gamitin."

"Well, can I talk to doc so I can get the name?"

"May laryngitis po siya ngayon e, hindi siya makakausap."

Great. So apart for billing me for some mystery equipment, my doctor is also planning to operate on me while he has laryngitis.

Hell, no.

A couple of phone calls later, Philamcare informed me that tonsillectomies are normally fully covered, unless my doctor really insists on using his own equipment. (Kudos to the excellent customer service of Philamcare for giving me honest advice about my situation!) In fairness to my doctor, he really was using some high-tech machine that the hospital did not have, which I personally would also have preferred to use. However, it looks like St. Luke's also has the same machine and is only charging just a fraction of what my doctor was charging me.

Since my surgery was elective, I decided to postpone my operation until I had more time to think about it.

Maybe this was also the sign from God that I had been too hasty about having a tonsillectomy. (I've gone to 5 doctors so far, all of whom have had different opinions about what was causing my symptoms. This was doctor #5 and I was pretty tired of going to doctors at that point, so I just decided to go ahead with the tonsillectomy if that would solve the problem.)

The whole experience did leave a sour tase in my mouth, though, so I'm probably back on the market for a new ENT again.

And yes, I am still the proud owner of a pair of tonsils!

24 June 2008

tonsillectomy thursday

They'll be taking out my tonsils on Thursday.

When the doctor proposed a tonsillectomy to get rid of my jelly-bean-shaped tonsil, I wasn't too concerned. After all, Jessica Wakefield had it in Sweet Valley Kids and she was able to eat ice cream right after!

I made the mistake of researching about adult tonsillectomies on the internet, though, and now I'm absolutely terrified. Apparently, having a tonsillectomy when you're an adult is waaaaaay more painful than having one as a child -- something to do about your tonsils being more welded to the rest of your body when you're older.

Reading first hand accounts of those who've had tonsillectomies freaked me out further:
  • "I thought I would be okay since I've already given birth twice, but this was worse than childbirth!"
  • "It hurts. All that you will read is true. It hurts like absolute hell. And…it is going to hurt like hell for a couple of weeks. Swallowing anything is a true challenge. It feels as if you swallowed a jar of tacks, nails and shards of glass. This does not abate."
  • And the best one: "You will want to die."

I am seriously, seriously terrified. This is my first surgery, so I don't even know how well my body will react to the anesthesia, bleeding, and the other stuff they do to you during surgery. I pray I'm not one of those 5 out of 100 people who get complications from tonsillectomies.

Tomorrow, I'll be admitted into the hospital for pre-op. It's my last chance to back-out. Do I live with my constant hairball-in-the-throat feeling, or should I go through with the surgery?

Please pray for me.