So, we have been asked more than once about what do you do when you need a hospital for surgery when on the road? Well, that is kind of simple, you find one! In this case Brenda needed to have back surgery, spinal fusion due to a degenerative disk at L1 that was just getting worse, and we had a choice to make, do we find a doctor and hospital where we were, or could it wait? Well, thankfully, we could wait. (Though it did mean that Brenda would be in some pain for some time.)
Why wait? Simple…Family. Seeing we were heading back to the Rochester, NY, which is where we are from, we would have family and friends around if needed. It is always good to have a support group if you can. We also wanted to go to Strong Memorial Hospital where we would be able to work with Dr. Robert Molinari who is one of the top surgeons in this field having done many studies and papers on the procedure as well as working with our military with back injuries.
So here I sit at Strong Hospital with Brenda currently in surgery. What am I going writing this? Again, simple. I need to not just sit here wondering and waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the phone to ring. Time surely does seem to move slower when you wait on something like this.
So back to what to do on the road. Well, if you have the choice, you surly can do what we did and move your coach where you may have family or friends for support. If you can’t, then you just need to make the best of it and be sure to notify the RV park you may be at in case you may need to stay longer. You will also find that RV’ers are great people, and they are, and you may find yourself with support you did not expect. This is what happened to us when I needed surgery, two in fact, for kidney stones. Because this came out of nowhere, we had no choice but to stay and get things handled. The KOA we were at was just great and not only extended our stay, but also asked the RV’er that was due to come into our spot if they would mind being on another site so we did not need to move the coach. We then later found ourselves being told not to cook dinner a few nights in a row as others pitched in to help. We did not know any of these people. And to think, this was over a kidney stone. (Then again, I did live with a stent in me for over a week with the 6mm stone still in me…boy that was some week.) So campgrounds can be very helpful and RV’ers, as we have said before, are just great people.
But anyway. You also need to be sure you have insurance that will cover you wherever you may be. This is very important to check into as not all insurance allows for “out of the area” coverage and not all hospitals take all insurance. So having an insurance that is well known and can be used across the country is very important if you choose to travel. So be sure to check your coverages before you start out or you just could find yourself in a bind. BTW…Their is also a service called SkyMed that will not only transport you to where you want to go for hospital service, but also transport your RV and even your pets. It may just be the piece of mind you need.
Brenda was all good when I left her, she was ready to get this over with and hopefully live again without pain all the time. I hated seeing her like that. She did not let on, she hid it well, but it was killing me knowing she was living with pain for over a year. (We needed to try all other treatments on pain relief for her back before we went with surgery as that is always a last resort.) So knowing this was coming, we made plan before we arrived back into Rochester. We had all the appointments set up, we got things done and out of the way that we needed to, and was able to get the surgery set to go. Knowing where you will be going greatly helps to be able to set things up, so again, if something can wait, at least you can make plans. So keep that in mind.
So I sit and wait. Thinking. Hoping. Loving. For my wonderful wife who has taken such care of me over and over again now is going through something that I know she waited, but also is scared of. You see, Brenda has never been in the hospital for herself before. (Ok, she had he tonsils out at 10.) So, saying she is a little nervous would be an understatement. I however, well, ok, I will admit it, am a wreck. However I can only say this…DO NOT WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEOS ON OPERATIONS! Brenda looked it up and we watched what she was going to have done. She thought is was fascinating. I however just seen what they would be doing to her and that was a mistake for me.
As I write this I am wondering if she will be mad at me for posting this. (Especially with a photo) But then again, I am sure she would know this was my way of trying to cope. Trying to keep my mind busy. Trying to make the time just go a little faster. I hope you found this information useful, even if it was self-serving therapy.
Love you babe. Please be ok.
UPDATE: Doctor came down and talked with me at about 10:45 and said it was textbook. Which is really good seeing he wrote part of it. All went very well and he gives her 90% chance of full recovery. She will be in pain for some time, but that will be from the sugary and not the pinched nerve and rubbing bone. So…Now I wait to be able to see her. (Time is so relative to us mere mortals. It can seem so or fast but it really never changes.)
Side Note: The waiting room receptionist came up to me after the doctor stopped by and said “You must be special.” I asked why she would say that. She replied. “Dr. Robert Molinari does not come down to talk to family directly that I have seen. So, Who are you? Are you someone I should have heard of?” I just smiled and said “No, not me, my wife.” and left it at that. (I actually think it may be due to either she has never seen him or our work with Seg4Vets seeing he also does work for our wounded warriors.)