Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Official--The Date is Set

January 12th . . . the day I will get my new foot and ankle. Dr. Weinfeld informed me Monday, while pointing to my x-rays on the wall, that we will NOT have to fuse my ankle (how fortunate for me), but that I will soon be a red flag for the Homeland Security Watch List and a constant nuisance to the TSA once he inserts 4 different bolts and a variety of titanium anchors in my left foot. When I asked if my left foot would now be a completely different size than my right foot, he replied, "well, your foot will definitely be a different shape than the right one, but we can't tell right now if your foot will be an entire size larger . . ."

Great! I love it when the answers are so clear . . . I guess I will just have to put off purchasing any new shoes until Spring.

In the meantime, preparations continue. I decided last week during Open Enrollment to change over my health insurance from United Healthcare to Aetna on January 1; the coverage will be much better and likely leave my out-of-pocket expenses for the surgery at zilch. Luckily, I made the right decision . . . when speaking to the surgical nurse yesterday, she happened to mention to me that Dr. Weinfeld has decided to no longer accept United Healthcare insurance next year! Just a small, minute, completely insignificant detail he failed to tell me!

Deep inside, I am still sorting through all my thoughts and feelings related to the diagnosis, this surgery, and my overall health this year. At lunch with a colleague today, she confided in me that she requested a promotion and was sharply denied one. . . the conversation then shifted to both of us discussing our personal goals and how our careers have evolved over the years. It was the first time I had been able to verbalize how important it is for me to focus on my health this coming year and to just maintain my current position. As the words came out of my mouth, I was sharply surprised at my own present lack of desire to prove myself. . . I am perfectly happy with the status quo and have no expectation to be promoted any time soon. I think that I just have to focus on remembering to take my vitamins and supplements, enjoy the upcoming holidays, work hard to get through physical rehabilitation, and try to look forward to a rewarding vacation next summer.

On another note, according to my rough estimate, I figure that following this surgery, I will have spent approximately 20% of my life on crutches . . . will it ever end?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Can You Spare a Mile or Several Thousand?

Plans for the surgery are coming along--I would say swimmingly, but it's not like this is an event I am excited to be planning. . . I met with HR on Friday to discuss my short term disability options and once again I am amazed at the power of Viacom. Not only do I continue to have job security in this economic crisis, but I will be able to collect 100% of my pay while I am out on medical leave. What other companies can you name in America that still offer 100% of your pay while you're lying on a bed doped up on morphine unable to perform your job duties? (Continue to make every effort to keep Paramount Pictures as an integral part of my exit/return strategy to LA--check!)

I am meeting with my doctors again next week to hopefully set a surgery date and to discuss options for my right foot. My goal is to have a date set before the holidays in the hopes that I can use a confirmed hospital stay and sad puppy dog eyes to tap into that "obligatory holiday season generosity" to get whatever I need for my recovery . . . so, while it's still a little early, here is my first request:

I plan to stay away from the office on bed rest for three weeks. I have three people that have graciously offered to fly to NYC to help me with my recovery. But, here's the catch--I just can't bring myself to ask them to pay for their own tickets to get here (they are already donating their furlough and vacation time after all). I figure I have enough miles to cash in for two tickets, but not enough for a third. So, does anyone have a bank of extra frequent flyer miles they'd be willing to donate to a good cause? If you think you could possibly live without that business class upgrade to Europe next summer, I would really appreciate your sacrifice.

I can offer a heartfelt written thank-you note and a basket full of SpongeBob products as barter!