Monday, August 4, 2008

Update: Sinuses, ENT, CT and me....

Update to Is it AI or just electrolytes? Or thyroid? Or an infection? :

My ENT scoped my sinuses last week, at least those front ones everyone can see. Since I've recently had way too many antibiotics and still am having major headaches with facial pain with bouts of AI, he decided to send me for a CT scan instead of more antibiotics.

Normally, that would be no big deal, but with Cushing's I've developed a slight phobia about enclosed machines with a "bore". (Yeah, especially those loud ones with the initials MRI stuck on them.) Not to mention I'm a "hard stick". Thankfully, I knew the CT wouldn't be the torture of an MRI.

In order to get the CT done, my ENT's office had to call my insurance to get a pre-authorization code. Supposedly they were going to pass it on to the facility (in the same network of practices) who did my CT scan. are getting ahead of the story, but I bet you know what happened there....

My appointment was at 7:45 this morning. With early morning traffic, it takes me about 30" to get there, so I left at 6:45 anticipating the sign-in procedure, etc. The traffic was actually a lot less than I anticipated, which means I managed to arrive by 7:10. With my trusty jacket and book in tow, and making sure my insurance card was in my wallet, I headed into the building. NOT! It was locked!

Ok, is there another door? (No signs, no nothing.)

Do I have the wrong place? (It's what my appointment card says.)

Hmmmm....ah...I see someone!

"Excuse me, sir, but where is the entrance to imaging?"

The nice gentleman, who turned out to be a security guard, said, "You are standing at it."

I'm sure my look said it all. He sheepishly and quickly said, "I'm not allowed to let you in before 7:30."

I'm sure my look said it all, again. I learned them well from my mother and had practiced them for years on my own daughters. (Love you, Mother!)

He assured me he would be back, and sure 'nuff, left me there standing outside that door! Pretty soon there was a line of folks, which really made me feel a bit more secure. They seemed to already know the doors didn't open 'til 7:30. Why didn't I know that?

The nice man magically appeared at 7:30 on-the-dot to let us in, and I headed to the registration desk as fast as my short, round legs would take me. Hey, I learned that from my mother, too! Plop! I was in that chair waiting her with my insurance card, appointment card, and information sheet all ready for the lady behind the glass. She was courteous, moving right along when everything came to a standstill.

"We don't have your pre-auth."

Yeah, she got one of those looks. "My doctor's office was supposed to make sure you had it." They use the same gosh-darn computer system. How hard could it be? (Rhetorical, ok? I know...I know...)

"Well, I have to go all the way out and get it and go all the way back in again..."

Another look. (What's taking you so it already)

"...or we will have to reschedule."

WHAT?? No way. There is more going on in my life than CT scans.

"Please look it up for me. I'd appreciate it." Why did I have to ask? Ok...I asked. She did it. Uh, let me rephrase that. We waited while the computer "searched" and did it. Eventually. After we looked at each other, the walls, the floor, the ceiling, each other again, she the front of the monitor, me the back of it, and I was too sleepy to make small talk. Finally! She got it. I was done. I got my forms, paid my co-pay, and turned to leave.

"Do you know where to..."

I was gone. Off. Out-the-gate. I knew.

At the "finish line" I handed the nice lady in "imaging" my forms I'd parlayed so hard for and she asked me to have a seat after asking me my birthdate a few times. Ok, so it was early. She was just on her first cup of coffee and she was interrupted by about 5 people in the midst of all that. I'd have done worse, myself. I think she must be the one who keeps everyone where they are supposed to be, because I heard her voice everytime anything got done.

I didn't have to sit very long, actually, before I was escorted to "the room". I measure time by the number of pages in a book I've read, and I'd read about ten pages. Not long.

The tech asked me if I'd ever had any sinus procedures. I asked her if transsphenoidal surgery to remove a pituitary tumor counted.

"That counts." Scribble, scribble, scribble..... "Have a seat on the table until I finish warming up the scanner and write all this down. When did you have your surgery?"

"December 2006."

I can't remember everything that was said, but I do know she was curious and asked some questions. She wanted to know if sinus infections were a concern due to the surgery. The short answer is "yes". I hope there is not going to be a long answer. She winced when I described the surgery (at her request).

She asked me to lie on the table on my stomach and put my head in a cradle of sorts. No problem. I was just starting to get a bit nervous when she said, "This will be over quickly." That's what they all say.

What, no contrast? Yippee!!!!, click, click....

"You are done."

What, done? Already? I didn't have time to get nervous. All that for a 5" procedure?
"What time is it?"


I almost felt like I'd not gotten my money's worth. ;)

(Note: The CT scanner was a newer one which took multiple slices during one rotation. It really was quiet and quick.)

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it awesome when it goes smoothly!
    So what were the results?

    I would totally go for a CT than an MRI. They take way to stinkin long, especially when they use contrast....I can't lay flat on my back that long..ouchie!



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