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Angry but Hopeful

TL;DR Kristopher's surgeon is a horrible, presumptuous human being, but I'm glad that Kris'll be better soon.

Today Kris and I met with a surgeon recommended by the ER staff. Kris doesn't have health insurance; so, we had to pay $160 before they would even see him. After we paid the $160, we were repeatedly told that we would have to pay the entire cost of the surgeon upfront, which we already knew from the last time. The surgeon confirmed that Kristopher did have hernia, and that it was going to get worse.

Then he started on about how surgery was expensive, and maybe we should wait. After all, so many people continue to work even with a hernia until their hernia is much bigger that Kris's. Once school starts we could go through the school and maybe get a discount with someone else.

Kris told the surgeon that Kris didn't want to miss any school, because under his GI benefits, he can't miss too many days or he loses them. Plus, Kris waited a year last time. He waited until he was passing out from pain on a near daily basis. We didn't want to wait for this one. Kris asked if there was a medical benefit to waiting.

The doctor explains there is no medical benefit to waiting, and the surgery would be the same. But there isn't a benefit to going ahead either. The downtime is the same. Plus, it is so expensive. Surely, we want to wait until we have health insurance or are in school. The school would get us a discount somewhere else, he was sure. The surgeon explains that he wants what is best for us. He is just helping us think this through. After all, a lot of people wait until it is much bigger. The surgeon tells us that it might be best to wait until we "have our lives together."

Kris explains that he is in daily pain from simple activities like driving and standing up. That pain only get worse at the job where he is on his feet for at least seven hours at a time and is required to lift trays of glasses, which the ER doctor told him was unhealthy for him right now.

The surgeon says that the lifting that the job requires would be "painful, but not dangerous" right now. Again he tells us to consider waiting until school starts.

We tell him as we have already told him that missing the two week recovery time during classes would cost Kristopher his GI benefits and the thousands of dollars that puts towards his schooling. We ask again if there is a medical benefit to waiting.

He says there is not. Plus, he explains, it hardly counts as waiting since Kris's hernia is so small that the surgeon might even say that Kris didn't have one.

We ask if he does have one.

The doctor answers that technically Kris does.

We ask if it will get worse.

It will.

Will Kris need surgery?

Sometime in the next six months, yes.

We ask why the doctor seems to want us to leave then. If he will need it anyway and there is no benefit to waiting, why should Kris be in daily pain? Why should he have to work a job that damages him?

The doctor says that he wasn't trying to send us a way. He was trying to help. He'll gladly operate on Kristopher.

At this point, the doctor starts rattling on. Some is relevant like what to expect in the surgery and recovery. Some is absolutely not like explaining why one of his hernia diagrams is his favorite because the picture has a hole covered by rubber that you can put your finger through to demonstrate the hernia. This lasts forever as he goes on and on about this and that. In one of his stories(and I am not fucking with you), he says that his family used to be on the old military health insurance that almost no one would take and even if they did, his family offered to pay with cash because "they looked at us like we didn't even have health insurance!" He also repeatedly reminded us that many people wait, and that surgery is expensive.

I was so infuriated by this point that I was grinding my teeth and couldn't talk. This person had no idea what our fiances are like since he never asked. Since we didn't have health insurance though, he assumed and wanted us to go somewhere else despite already giving him $160 that we weren't getting back. He wanted us to wait until it would damage Kristopher's academics and his ability to go to school. He wanted Kristopher to suffer needless pain with the band-aid comfort of how others wait and his work wasn't going to kill him.

I hate this man in a way that I haven't hated anyone in a long time.

In better news, Kristopher's surgery date is set. We should find out tomorrow whether worker's comp will cover the cost since the damage was first noticed there. Either way, we're getting him patched up. All of his recovery time will occur before school. I'm ready for Kris to be healthy again. I'm ready for this to be over. I wish we didn't have to go through so much bullshit to get there.