Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snowy Drive to the U

The University of Utah is a marvelous hospital, as is Primary Children's that lies just below it.  They are both perched on the rolling foothills above Salt Lake City, and I spent years in and out of the both of them for cancer treatment when I was a kid.

Primary's hasn't changed much.  It has been spruced up and has some lovely fountains out front, and a garden area, but I can still enter that hospital and know exactly where I am and where I'm going.  I have me bearings there.
But the U of U hospital has changed drastically! There is only one hallway that I recognize there.  That is it.  The various clinics have been revamped, the entire facade of the building torn up and rebuilt.  I walk in those doors and feel like an outsider, whereas I used to enter the rotunda and there were the elevators on your left (where a stranger taught me to appreciate my freckles), the glass waterfall next to the waiting area that I used to run my fingers through, and my favorite doctor's office down the hall and on the right, where they always had a jar of candy out for me.
It used to look like this...
Now it looks like this...

Quite a face lift, eh?

We went back up there yesterday to see a new specialist about my broken jaw.
He is a marvelous doctor and we were all very happy with him and the time he spent talking with us.
As far as my broken jaw goes, the options are:

A. Put a plate on it that will bridge the fracture. This would be a permanent solution.
B. Wire my jaw shut for 6 weeks and put me in a hyperberic chamber.
C. Cut my face open from the outside and do some serious surgery that may involve more bone marrow grafts and such.

Obviously Option A is the best solution.  Yes, it would be painful and a hard recovery (I'd be wired shut for a bit afterward, but all of my options involve immobilizing the jaw so it can heal), but ti would be permanent and really secure that fragile bone.
However... we have to find a metal plate I am NOT allergic to.  I am allergic to 3 metals that are common in alloys, and as there are not a lot of different plate options out there, I am crossing my fingers so hard the circulation is cut off.  And PRAYING that they have a plate that will work, that doesn't have any allergens in it.

We are also hoping that we can get the insurance to cover this awesome doctor, as he is outside of my coverage.  He works out of the Huntsman Cancer Center, and they'll cover anything if it is cancer related, so it is a matter of convincing them that getting my broken jaw fixed is all tied to me having had cancer as a kid...which is true; if I hadn't have had cancer, I would have a regular jaw bone right now.
Plus I was treated at the U for it originally, and the U of U hospital is generally just badass.
Not to mention the new Huntsman Cancer Center.

Driving up there yesterday, the snow flakes were flying and Foothill Drive wasn't paved.  We were 20 minutes late (even though we left early!).  Neither Eli nor myself had been to the new Huntsman Cancer Center and when we pulled up, we gave the car to the valet and ran inside and our jaws dropped.
It is an absolutely GORGEOUS green glass building full of rich, dark red wood.
It has a soaring ceiling and the entire foyer is a semicircle with a giant staircase.

This is the ceiling of the foyer!

We went to my doctor's clinic and the waiting room was like the conservatory of an American baron.
It had a bunch of miniature handmade ships in glass cases, plush sofas and armchairs to curl up in, and tables full of puzzles for us to work on.  I wished I had a fat book and a day to spend in that waiting room!  And they had free tea, hot chocolate, and coffee with all the fixings set up at a side bar, just begging you to concoct a warm drink for yourself.

The receptionist was really nice and they had me fill out a purple form about my mental state, because they care about the emotional side of things, and not just the physical.
As a PTSD sufferer (from hospital trauma), this took me by surprise and delighted me!
They escorted us back to the examination room, which was a small world in itself.  Comfy chairs, fancy tools, 3 different TV screens, and incredibly spacious.
A social worker came in and talked to me about what I had filled out on the purple form (about my anxiety/fears/PTSD) and explained the programs they have for patients through the center, that include therapy, meditations, group talks, and more.  And they are all free (unless you do a full-on scheduled weekly therapy session).  AMAZING.
And so encouraging! I think they should institute this, and the purple form, at every hospital.
Then the doctors came in, 2 of which were intern types (teaching hospital!) and my main doctor, and his R.N.  They were gracious and thorough and encouraging.
And that is why this doctor, and Huntsman are my #1 choice for my procedures.
Plus, this guy has a Plan B, and a Plan C !! I need more doctors like him in my life.

We are waiting for him to call the plate manufacturers about the metal content, so I'm kind of on edge, murmuring under my breath "please let them have a plate I'm not allergic to!"
and drinking Ensure and coffee and tea like nobody's business. This whole liquid diet thing SUCKS.  And Ensure is disgusting.
Oh, and I can't even properly complain about it because the doctor told me to restrict talking as much as possible to prevent surgical complications.  Looks like my fingers will get their exercise scribbling and typing these upcoming weeks!

It is still snowing.

No comments:

Post a Comment