TIA and More

Below is a cut and paste of my most recent e-mail newsletter to friends and colleagues; it contains plenty of current updates on my medical condition.


Through a process of elimination after numerous tests and scans and X-Rays and MRIs,  both my doctor, the terrific Mika Scott, and my capable neurosurgeon, Dr. Gregory Lekovich of House Neurology Associates, agree that the event on January 31 was indeed a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack or, in layman’s terms, a mini-stroke). I have surgery at St. Vincent’s Medical Center on January 20 for vertebral artery stenosis and will be kept for at least one day for observation.
Dr. Lekovich wants someone who represents my interests present at the hospital during surgery and he doesn’t want me going home alone. I spoke to Lela and we both agree that she is the best person for this task since she still has durable power of attorney for me and she can clean my house so I return home to a spotless home to reduce the risk of post-surgical infection. The question (and the problem) is how to get her down here; she wants to arrive on Monday, the 17th. We’ve decided it’s perhaps easier if we just focus at first on getting her here from her new home in Northern California. She will be taking the bus; that fare is $87 flat (no tax) and she’ll need cab fare from Union Station unless someone is willing to pick her up. Some of you have contributed lately, I know, but if anyone can assist in getting my legal guardian down here, in any amount, you can Paypal me you can Paypal Lela direct at yam.buzzard@gmail.com. Thank you in advance.
In the interim, the hospital bills are flowing in and even though I only pay 30 percent, they’re large. My share of the LAFD paramedics billing is $238 (The total bill was $5,500). I have no idea how the hospital coverage is going to work. I’m already enrolled in Medicare’s “Extra Help” program and my rates cannot get any lower — trust me, I’ve tried. I do not qualify for Medicaid or MediCal because my SSD benefits are considered excess income (even though it’s not income but that’s government red tape for you). I will speak with an MSW (medical social worker) at the hospital; I had one in Vegas and they’re trained at identifying programs a patient qualifies for (such as getting my gas turned back on and help with ParaTransit and groceries or meal deliveries.
Incidentally, the scans also revealed that I have an enlarged pancreas and prostate so I need to have a PSA test; and a small cyst was detected on my liver that the tech said it benign but Mika wants to have it scanned every few months to “keep an eye on it”. Mika is also concerned about my depression, which began in February 2013 and deepened after the stroke. She prescribed me Ativan for anxiety and today referred me to a psycho-therapist. I told her I prefer talk therapy over psycho pharmacology. Maybe I’ll be able to chase some demons away and discover a few that may be hidden; my previous doctor believed I have suppressed a traumatic event(s), perhaps from my childhood, that is driving my depressions.
Sorry I don’t have any better news. Thank you for your help and concern.
RJ  {Postscript: I also ran out of food and sundries money today. I had $53.00 in medications to buy and two co-pays for doctors after rent, plus partial payments to DWP and TWC for my internet so I am now officially tapped out and cannot help with Lela’s transportation fund, let alone feed both of us when she arrives.]

About Rodger Jacobs


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