Post-Op and Counting My Blessings

One week post-op and I’m happy to report that the growth is benign and has left the building! I’m recovering, but a terrible patient. More than once I’ve needed to be reminded to take it slow. How humbling. The doctor noted that I will have a little scar on my neck where the incision was and apologized for another circular scar I will have where they had to cauterize a vein to stop the bleeding. I told him that in the grand scheme of things a scar was minimal and I was going to count my blessings. It will take time for my chemistry to recalibrate, so I’m doing my best to be patient for that. Overall, the surgery was a success

Several years ago I was writing in a Border’s bookstore (remember those). I got up for a break and wandered to the New Age shelf as I am prone to and a book literally jumped off the shelf. It was called Your Sixth Sense: Unlocking the Power of Your Intuition by Belleruth Naparstek. I picked it up and flipped through the book. And of course I bought it. Heck when a book jumps off the shelf at you and it’s about intuition you’d be crazy not to. I loved the book!
I loved that book so much I was talking with my friend Chloe about it. Chloe’s face lit up when I said the author’s name. “Belleruth Naparstek,” Chloe repeated with a huge grin on her face. “I know that name. I’ve been listening to her surgery meditations.” Chloe explained that she about to have hip surgery and that Bellleruth had these pre-surgery guided imagery meditations that were extremely calming. After the surgery, Chloe said that she felt the meditations helped her stay calm as she went into surgery and heal faster. I was enrolled!
Since then I’ve recommended Belleruth Naparstek’s “Successful Surgery” CD to friends, family member and clients. I recommended it to my client who had a brain tumor removed in January. I recommended it to my friend who had fibroids and I recommended it my aunt who had surgery on her neck and an ankle replacement. And thank goodness I did, because she was the one who reminded me about the CDs when I was told I was going to need surgery.
I bought the CD online and began listening immediately after it arrived. It was calming. Her form of self-hypnosis with guided imagery helped me to connect with that calm place inside of myself and it helped create a sense of certainty and confidence to deal with the procedure. It also has some wonderful healing affirmations. It really helped me face the experience with positive anticipation.
Moments before they wheeled me into the OR I listened to the three minute demo on my phone. I’m including a link here for you to listen in case you or a friend might need this in the future.
It instantly put me in a relaxed, receptive state. I was calm and at peace. It also helped that I had a very kind and loving team of professionals at Kaiser from the cashier to the anesthesiologist to the nurses. Kindness is everything! TLC IS medicine. They weren’t rushed or rude.
While I am letting go of my disappointment with my primary care physician I’m grateful for the care I’ve since received. I will echo my sentiments of my last e-mail that WE MUST BE ADVOCATES FOR OUR OWN HEALTH. We cannot give away our power. We cannot defer blindly to the profession which seeks to profit from our sickness rather than our health. WE must help ourselves and others whose voices might be ignored or diminished.
Our country would be a stronger, healthier, happier place with a greater respect for human life if we embraced universal health care like our neighbors to the North and like other civilized Western Countries. Our system is antiquated and oppressive. No one should have to pay to live. I think of my friend, Roger, whose brother died in his thirties because he couldn’t afford to go Urgent Care when he was sick. It makes me sick to think about.
After my last post I had Canadian friends and clients contact me and share with me how grateful they are for Canada’s free health care system. They feel proud at how their country has cared for them and their family members. I would like to have that same pride for America. Here’s an article from Health Affairs that shares how our country would benefit if we had Universal Health Care.  I don’t see this as a partisan issue. I see this as an American issue. I see this as a human rights issue.
As a self-employed person, healthcare is a huge expense. I thought I could get away with a Bronze plan last year. Now that I need to meet with an endocrinologist, have monthly lab tests, medication, bone scans, and such I’m going to need to get a better plan. The difference between Kaiser Silver and Gold is $20 a month, but one has a $2500 deductible and one has a $0 deductible.
This is also your public service reminder to renew your coverage before the end of the year and really read the details on those plans. I’m curious to know what you’re paying for healthcare and how you feel about our current system. In 2020 I will likely look outside of Kaiser for other plans.
Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers and for your kindness and love. I felt it and I appreciate it.
So here’s another gift to you!
Monday I’m doing an interview with Practical Shaman, Renee Baribeau, which will have some great tips for conscious living and will be available to you for free as part of the Winter Solstice online I Am Symposium along with 17 other interviews with amazing women. Click here to register.
And here are some great ideas for holiday gifts that will empower and inspire you and your loved ones!
My award-winning, inspirational novel Behind Barbed Eyes available in 

Audiobook on Audible

 
My new spiritual, self-help, book:
It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Self
And as always if you’d like to purchase a coaching session or past life regression for yourself or for a gift please contact me directly at Davina@DavinaKotulski.com.
Happy Holidays!

Something was seriously wrong and now I know what!

I was fully crying as I spoke on the phone with my mom.  My day was ruined. I was beside myself. I’d spent hours on the phone being transferred and belittled by Kaiser operators and admins.

After several years of getting nowhere with my primary care doc about my stomach pain and extreme constipation (you may remember the TMI blog), I spoke with my new Latina gynecologist about my issues and she immediately referred me for a colonoscopy. But now here I was pleading with all the gatekeepers for an appointment with a GI doc before the procedure to discuss my issues. They ran me ragged with “no.”

A simple referral to talk to the GI doc that was all I was asking for. With a family history of Crohn’s, IBS, and Celiac it seemed like a reasonable request. But I was getting nowhere. They were just going to do the colonoscopy and tell me the results. My primary care doc’s nurse said they’d get back to me. I contacted my gynecologist for a referral.

A week later they got back to me. The gynecologist’s referral had gone through. As I spoke with the GI doc, we discussed my symptoms and my medications. I also mentioned the supplements I was taking. Peri-menopausal for several years now, I take calcium and some other things to address what I thought were other perimenopausal symptoms: brain fog, sleep disturbance, and memory loss. The GI doc ordered some blood work. That afternoon her office called me. They were referring me to an endocrinologist and wanted me to make the appointment ASAP. I did. I was right, something was very wrong.

I sat on the paper covered hospital examination bed across from the handsome bespectacled black doctor whose name was Dr. Thomas. “You have a condition called primary hyperparathyroidism” he said. “You have a tumor, most likely benign, on your parathyroid gland which causes your body to leach calcium from your bones and dump it into your bloodstream. You’ll need surgery ASAP. You’ve most likely this tumor for a while.”

He explained the effect of the growth on my parathyroid and how it explained all of the strange symptoms I had, including the extreme constipation I’d embarrassingly been struggling with for years to no avail. It also explained the severe brain fog, and the memory loss I’d been trying to cope with. For years I’d felt like my brain was broken and was mourning the loss of my memory and my ability to think clearly.  It seemed like my perimenopausal symptoms were on steroids. I felt both relieved and enraged.

I was so mad at my primary care physician for blowing me off. She’d been dismissive and casual with my concerns, handing me a stupid pamphlet on how to deal with hemmroids which is a wonderful side effect of extreme constipation. I looked at Dr. Thomas and calmly said, “I’m a college educated, professional, English speaking, Caucasian American citizen, and I’m not afraid of challenging authority. If I couldn’t get someone to listen to me, I can’t imagine how someone who does not have all those social privileges gets treated by this system and what kind of subpar healthcare they’re getting. This is an epic fail.”  He calmly nodded his head.

I went home and deleted my primary care doc from my online Kaiser file. I went to the pharmacy to pick up the medication Dr. Thomas prescribed that was supposed to lower the calcium levels in my blood. The guy at the pharmacy gasped as he rang me up. “That will be $500,” he said. “For 30 pills?” I said. He tried to run it again and see if it was a mistake. It wasn’t. “That’s $65 of pills a day,” I calculated, incredulous. Turns out the California Covered Kaiser plan I signed up for which included a few a visits to the doctor and was for relatively healthy people sucked. I’ve since paid $2000 for these pills since it’s taken 8 weeks to schedule the surgery which is $20,000 and scheduled for December 6th.

I realize this is a downer of a blog and very personal, so on the positive side…. which is what I’m trying to focus on, is that after I spend $7, 000 out of my pocket the insurance pays the difference. Car insurance is so much easier to understand and with lower deductible.

It feels important to share this with you because:

  • It’s a reminder that you have to be an active advocate for your health and your healthcare. Don’t let the system make you feel like you’re the problem.

Don’t let the system profit at the expense of your well-being. Don’t let them cut costs by cutting back on referrals while they profit from big pharma by pushing their flu shots. I’ve been offered a flu shot at every turn. They even wheeled into the pharmacy and offered me one while I was waiting in line. I’ve since learned that Kaiser docs are discouraged from making referrals. I bless my gynecologist who listened to me, empathized with me, and referred me for a colonoscopy and to the GI doc.

I can’t even imagine what would happen had she not put in the referral to the GI doc. The colonoscopy would have come back normal and I’d still have extreme constipation, continued bone less, memory issues, kidney pain and brain fog, until things got worse. A friend of mine just shared with me that they discovered her daughter had this same condition after she almost died of complications of a kidney stone.

  • Take the time to read and understand your healthcare plan.

I’m not sure if I would have done better paying a higher premium. It may end up being about the same amount of money. But if I had paid a higher premium, I would have a better plan and could have paid the $7,000 over 12 months, instead of needing to pay it all in 2 months, in addition to my monthly premium payments. So make sure you really understand your healthcare plan as you renew it this month.

Bottom line friends, other countries have socialized medicine—free healthcare. I have a client whose relocated to the UK from the USA and is currently enjoying exceptional free healthcare. I’ll figure out how to pay my $7,000 bill, but for some people $7,000 would break them. And furthermore, is it reasonable for an individual to have to pay $10,000 a year for healthcare and for a plan that skimps on referrals? That was a rhetorical question!

On the positive side, which I also want to focus on is my prognosis.  People with my condition have had positive results with surgery. After they cut out the growth, with the exception of some bone density loss, I should go back to “normal.”  And for that, I am most grateful!

Please hold me in your thoughts and prayers on December 6th and know with me an easy and successful surgery and a speedy recovery.

Thank you and remember to follow your inner compass and take back your life!