Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Waiting, waiting, waiting

I took Tanner to the doctor yesterday morning and they did a full lab workup (since he hasn't had treatment or labwork since January 21st).  Dr. Albritton said that her insurance department misunderstood her instructions regarding Tanner's needed scans and they thought she only wanted them scheduled, they didn't understand that they needed to be pre-certified.  This means that they hadn't done anything in regards to trying to get Medicaid to cover the requested tests.

She said she hopes they can get everything taken care of this week so that the scans can all be performed early next week.  I guess we'll see...

She also talked to us about the option of moving to Arkansas so that Tanner can have smoother continuity of care for his Multiple Myeloma.  She said that she understood Dr. B's asking us to consider the move since Tanner's healthcare for the next 3-5 years is of paramount importance - but that she also understands that if we go we would lose our support system. 

When I think about packing up and moving to another state, I think of who all we would be leaving behind and I wonder how we would do on our own in Arkansas... 

Tanner has lost touch with many of his friends since he's gotten sick and graduated High School and most of my immediate family have passed away.

I have my friends, Donna and Sandy, who have been there with me through it all for over 35 years now, I have my cousin Kirk, I have Tanner's grandparents Jane and Jerry, I have my friends that I work with, and Tanner has his brother, dad and step-mom...  They all comprise our core support group.  I don't know what we would have done without any of them this last year and a half.  If we move away, could we make it on our own in a new state?  Would I be able to make new friends, especially considering what an introvert I am?  Am I being selfish even considering my ability to make friends when my baby's health, and very life, could be on the line?

There are just so many things to consider - though Tanner did tell Dr. Albritton that he is completely open and ready to move away and start over in Arkansas (or even just on the other side of town) and she said that maybe this is what we both need.  A new start in a new place.  She asked me if Dr. Barlogie had said they could help me get a job and I told her that his assistant did actually email and say that they have a lot of contacts and that they felt they could work things out for me and Tanner both.  Another essential thing to find out is if any new employment would pay enough for me to be able to support myself and Tanner.  Starting over would not be an easy thing to do on my own...

I told her that I wanted to make an informed decision.  I asked her if she knows what doctors are available in the Metroplex area that have MM experience and she said that there are several at Baylor and Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas that would have extensive experience.

She said, and I agree, that at this point we just need to get Tanner's scans all pre-certified and perfomed, send them to Dr. Barlogie and Dr. Nicholas, and get Tanner back to Little Rock as soon as possible so that we can get their recommendations for what is next in regards to his medical care at this point.

She said that she would be more than happy to continue Tanner's treatment, whatever that will entail, once she finds out from Dr. Barlogie what that treatment needs to be.  Being able to continue Dr. Barlogie's plan of treatment would buy us some time to get Tanner started on his next phase and then we can start checking out doctors here locally so that I can make an educated decision about if we should stay here to continue Tanner's care, or move on to Arkansas.

In regards to Tanner's broken leg and the possibility of surgery.  I told her the nurse in Dr. Nicholas' office didn't talk like having surgery in Arkansas was going to be much of an option.  The nurse had said that in order for Tanner to have surgery at UAMS many people would have to be on Texas Medicaid (anesthesiologists, pathologists, etc...) and that the best thing to do will probably be to have treatment for the broken bone in Texas.  Dr. Albritton said that she would just like to get his recommendation since he's the one who has been overseeing the care regarding the broken tibia all this time and then, if surgery is in fact his recommendation, we can get him to an Orthopedic Surgeon who has MM experience.  Even if that means we need to go to MD Anderson to have it done.

So....  at this point everything is still pretty much up in the air and we are just waiting to see what all the scans show, if and when they are approved and can be performed.

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live...


  1. Angie: You might check with the Bone Marrow Transplant Center at UT-Southwestern in Dallas. Dr. Anderson is a Multiple Myeloma Specialist and is my husband's doctor.


  2. Thank you so much Sarah! I will do that!!