Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sunday Stroke Survival: One Surgery Down and One to Go

My T-CAR procedure is done. The gauze was not as heavily spotted with junk (clots and plaque) as it was with my left carotid. But then, my right carotid was only at 80% blocked where the left was 98%. The stents will hold the vessels open for a few more years and lessen my chances of having another stroke (maybe). A normal blood flow feeding my brain with oxygen is always a good thing.  Maybe the renewed blood to my brain will combat the CRAFT (can't remember a friggin' thing) I've been experiencing, but I doubt it. LOL I think it has more to do with my strokes and age. But having a normal blood flow feeding my brain with oxygen can't hurt, right? I figure it took over 60 years for the arteries to get that clogged, so I'll be long dead before I'll need it again.

Up next is another biopsy on the mass in my neck. The scan showed the thyroid was gone, but what's the new mass? That's the big question. Is it more cancer? I'll find out next week. All I know is I'm fed up with cancer and having my throat cut. My Mom had three surgeries for her cancer and the scar tissue was horrendous. This will make the fifth time for me. My surgeon is not relishing the idea. He had a difficult enough time the last time. He spent more time removing the scar tissue than removing the mass. It also takes me longer to heal by weeks. But in a way, I'm thankful this is another form of cancer that is not as aggressive as the first one I had nor killed my Mom. Well, I'm not borrowing trouble (much), I'll wait for the biopsy results.

The bright point is I'll meet my deductible and maximum out of pocket expense for 2021 in January. So any further doctors and treatments are paid in full for the rest of the year with these two procedures. I'm praying for the extra $1,400 stimulus package to offset this medical expenditure, or they'll stand in line for a monthly payout.  I love my Medicare and my BCBS/Anthem supplement through the college. πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“Each year, I experience no medi-gap troubles on prescriptions and my last quarter, my drugs are free. It's a very nice Christmas bonus each year.

Living post stroke and with the medical problems I do have ain't cheap. There's drugs, therapies, doctors, surgeries, laboratory fees, various orthotic devices, and the list goes on and on especially if you're me. I have multiple ( I don't know if this is the right word but...) complications due to my post stroke life like spasticity, tremors, and PBA which adds to the list. I mean six AFOs in almost nine years to the tune of $1500 each plus special shoes yearly because my spasticity alters the way I walk and my balance. And, the maintenance of devices new pads on canes, walker, shower chair, and bedside commode, I had to replace the tires on my wheel chair due to dry rot, resoling my shoes because I wear out the ones on my shoes in six months, and straps and buckles on my AFO because insurances doesn't pay for them and they break. All chip away at spendable cash in my tight budget.

Wohoo! I got a COLA increase this year. It covers the increase in my BCBS coverage THANKS BE TO GOD! I've been luckier than most in this respect. I have a friend who is also receiving survivor benefits, but her supplement are piece mealed between A/B, D &F on separate supplement policies and it leaves her with twice the cost as my one supplement. And, she has a deductible and hits the medi-gap on her prescriptions in December. If she gets an increase in her supplement, she can't pay her power bill and/or groceries for the month. I help her out when I can, but I'm almost in the same boat.  That's the one big plus about growing your own is that we can share if we need to. I'm counting my blessings for my beloved who is still looking after me.

Nothing is impossible.


  1. Hope the mass isn't something you need surgery for. Scary how expensive medical is now.

    1. Alex, they'll have to back in. The biopsy wasn't conclusive.


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