For the surgery, and it's October 20, at Paranaque Doctor's Hospital, which despite horrific reviews on Google is my Doctor's choice because they have more experienced nurses and a more modern x ray machine than at Unihealth where I was confined two weeks ago and which we prefer because it's brand new and is only 3 kms. away from where we live. To clarify, my Doctor is also going to be my Orthopedic surgeon as well. When I asked him how many he's done, he says he's unsure because he's done it so often already.
Some bad / good news though. Starting with the 'bad', I am having 'Single level laminectomy discectomy with spinal fusion using pedicle screws l4 l5', and not microdiscectomy, which I mistakenly announced earlier. Basically it means screws will be put in place along two vertebrae in my spine, negating the need for my L4 - L5. These screws approximately look like this (not sure at all if its EXACTLY like that, but roughly I suppose)
Here's another image, again I'm not completely sure it's accurate, but I'm basing it on what my doctor told me, got it from here.
and here's yet another.
Costs are 3x to 4x more than the earlier surgery we had thought it would be, so it's in the area of nearly p400k. A lot of it is possibly (not completely sure yet) being covered by my health card and Philhealth, but you can't be too prepared, especially for incidentals as there is going to be a 5 - 7 day hospital stay to recuperate as well.
I can't say enough for having a health card. Whatever initial worry you may have about costs will quickly go away when the time comes you need something done, from simple dental procedure to spinal surgery. People need to shop around for health cards if they haven't already.
I've been googling pedicle screws for a while now and I am reminded of how my surgeon was careful to tell me how he needs to let us know when an agent of the surgical equipment is going to come once payment is due. Apparently there are many incidents of people claiming to represent these would come to the hospital room to claim payment. As payment is in cash there is a lot of fraud going on and everyone needs to be on their toes, from the doctors to the patients and possibly even hospital staff, who can help confirm if its them or not. Why does it need to be in cash though? If there's a way around that (and there are many) I'm sure you can easily beat the fraudsters.
The equipment is apparently ultra expensive and comes in a toolbox, and it looks like this.
That's it for now. Between now and the 20th I just need to keep busy trying to make some money, read and learn new stuff.
So for the 'good' part, I'm super excited to get well as my surgeon is enthusiastic about me being active again once all the pain is gone.
One final and deeply important thing. I cannot say how much I am beyond grateful and indebted to my long suffering wife, who has not decided on separation despite my having pulled both of us into debt so I may go through this, this selfish and self serving thing. For all the world I cannot understand what possible gain she gets from having to stand by and support someone who needs so much attention and care. Needless to say I will never forget how much you are doing for me. I love you so much.