, I wrote about some of the health issues I've had since descending into semi-employment, the last one of which was the detection of a tiny bit of squamous cell cancer on the left edge of my jaw.
At the time I posted that entry, I had not yet heard back from my dermatologist. Shortly afterward, I got to talk to her. She said that we needed to lop off a bit more skin to make sure we got all of the cancer. Because the location of the cancer is on my face (albeit on the very edge), she refused to do the job herself but referred me to a local plastic surgeon.
(And here I thought I'd never be a candidate for plastic surgery. Woo-hoo!)
The plastic surgeon, a very nice guy probably no older than his late 30s, told me that what was needed was to cut an elliptical swatch around the entire area where the cancer was found. Closing this area with a minimal scar would require a straight-line closure and a stitch or two. Because the area is on the edge of my jaw, he figured that no general anesthesia would be necessary, but he wanted to do the deed in the Surgery Center associated with my area hospital, just in case. I agreed. We set the date for today, November 20.
Yesterday, I received a call from the doctor's office, advising that my crap health insurance would not pay anything for the procedure, and to have it done at the Surgery Center would cost me $5,200. However (the nurse continued), my doctor was advised of the insurance company's refusal, and the ultimate price tag to me, and had volunteered instead to do the procedure in his office. Naturally (since the mere idea of having to hit esrblog
's bank account for $5,200 hurt far worse than the "surgery" ever could), I agreed.
I had the procedure done this morning. It was painless (if a bit odd to lie there while the doctor's needle and thread painlessly pulled at my face, listening to him discuss Thanksgiving plans with his nurse) and quick; I was out of his office driving home in less than an hour. Moreover, all I have to do with the wound is to avoid showering until tomorrow and keep the "steri-strips" placed on it by the nurse from falling off. (I was given spare strips to cover the wound just in case the original ones do fall off before next Wednesday, when I return to get the stitches removed.) Meanwhile, the divot taken off my jaw is going off to the lab, to ascertain whether all of the cancer has been removed.
Best of all, I haven't been charged for the doctor's work yet. I assume that means that the doctor will take a stab (pun intended) at submitting the claim to my crap insurance company, and will charge me only
when they decline. That's okay by me, and it's more okay because the total amount for that charge, judging by the doctor's own shock at the $5,200 figure, is likely to be in the hundreds, not the thousands.
So it looks as though my plague story will have a happy ending, but I won't know that for sure until the divot is tested! Tune in (probably next week) for the (hopefully last) installment!
Crossposted to LiveJournal. Comments either here or there are fine.