I spoke with the surgeons office and confirmed the date of my surgery – June 8. I call and email my husband and let him know same. I begin to look into other areas (applying for short-term disability, reassigning some of my work to members of my staff, researching insurance coverage and more) when I start to have some dark thoughts.
The surgery will take six to eight hours. There is a 2% morbidity rate. There are the standard risks associated with general anesthesia and oh, yeah, all those risks that come along with spine/disc/etc surgery. My heart races a bit from anxiety and I realize I am just freaking myself out. I assure myself that if something unexpected should happen I have a great husband, a good job, good coverage and I will manage. I have been through a great deal in my life and I have come out the other side. I can handle this too. Even if the worst should happen (that 2% morbidity) my children, well, my sons anyway, are taken care of. I have all my estate planning documents, wishes, etc. documented, approved and shared with the right people. My sons would have their father and other members of my family. My daughter? Well, she is grown and on her own and has no desire for contact. Should I give orders to someone to contact her in a worst case scenario situation, I wonder? Would she want to know?
My heart begins to race again at the thoughts of death and my children. I am struggling to work as I need to. Decide to pop on some headphones, listen to some music and continue my analysis of the search data. I am attempting to produce an aging report and determine how long it takes me to implement simple meta data changes.
As I reach for the headphones in the top drawer of my desk, my work phone rings.
“Good afternoon. This is Suz” I say.
“Is this Suz Bednarz?” the caller asks.
“Yes, it is. How can I help you?” I respond.
“Oh, hi, this is Dr. S’s office. I am his physicians assistant. I am calling to tell you that he wants to schedule a CT scan. He forgot to tell you that when you were in the office last week.” the assistant shares.
“Oh, okay. That is fine. What do I need to do?” I ask.
“Well, first I have to get approval from your insurance company. I will handle that with our office staff. Once I get the approval, we will schedule it for you and give you a date. Is any date or time better than others?” she asks.
“No, not really. My schedule is pretty flexible. I can accommodate early morning, daytime, evening. I prefer to go to [specific radiology location]” I state.
“Okay. Good to know. In addition to the CT scan, I was calling to give you my name and contact details. I will be your primary point of contact before and after the surgery. I will be with you all along the way” she says in a very chipper voice.
“Great. What was your name again?” I ask.
“Amber. My name is Amber.”
I choke on my next breath. The person that will be with me “all along the way” carries the same name my daughter did at birth.