At 4:40 p.m. on Friday, I found out that IEHP overturned their denial for my out-of-network surgery and approved my appeal. Holy shit. I never thought the day would come.

But basking in the joy of my efforts hasn’t been something I’ve been doing. Not yet anyway. I still am not sure how much they are paying for, and I’m not sure when the surgery will be. 

The Gender Confirmation Center does this surgery in two different facilities. One is at St. Francis Memorial Hospital, and the other is at the Vista Surgical Center. Usually, insurance pays for St. Francis. Because I thought I was most likely paying out-of-pocket, I booked it at Vista and set my date for March 24th. Plus, no one can get into St. Francis until after April. 

That means I might have to wait. It seems I probably will have to wait. So even though it was approved, I’m feeling disappointed. It’s the waiting that kills me.

I’m still holding out hope, though. The Gender Confirmation Center has a whole team of insurance people that will try to get the insurance to pay for it at Vista. If so, I can leave all my plans in place. I’ve already booked the hotel, my pre-op and post-op appointments, and all I would have to do is wait 38 days. 

But even 38 days feels like forever, especially when I thought I was initially waiting twelve days from today. If I have to wait until after April, I won’t lie; I’ll be pretty depressed. 

Maybe some people reading this think I should stop my sobbing and just be happy I was approved. Well, too bad. I’ve been waiting too long already, and I’m too old to keep doing it. My hair is completely pulled out. This surgery has been occupying my every waking thought. And healing from it is going to be a long fucking road. 

The warmer it gets in the desert, the worse it will be. I have to keep a tight binder on for months after the surgery. And I have the kind of hot flashes that make being burned at the stake seem like a cakewalk. It’s one of the primary reasons I wanted to do this in the winter.  

Sometime next week, I’ll find out when and where the surgery will take place. At least the mystery of not knowing will end by then. Whatever the outcome, I hope that having a set-in-stone plan will ease my tortured soul. Maybe then I can focus my energy back on my art. 

Art has been a struggle, as usual, I guess. I’ve been doing very little sketching. Maybe some planning, and not any painting. I suppose it will be easier once I put some of these drawings onto the surfaces they belong, but I was waiting until I had at least four, if not five, ready to go–two oils and two watercolors, which are all desert-inspired works.

I don’t have the space cleared off on my table until those drawings are ready. It takes some doing to make a larger drawing from a sketch, and I’ve been lazy as all hell. In reality, they need more prep. Maybe I’ll work on some of those today. And maybe I won’t. 

And that’s the news.

2 thoughts on “Approved!

  1. lindacbugg February 15, 2021 / 10:09 am

    I’m so happy you at least managed to get this far & as someone who knows how fricking hot it gets out here in the summer bummed it all couldn’t have happened in a more convenient time to heal during the cool winter. But YAY for the baby steps!!

  2. Carol Es February 16, 2021 / 4:20 am

    Thanks Linda. Hopefully, I will find out more today…IEHP was closed yesterday, but the doctor’s office was open. They said that I was only really approved for an office visit–not the surgery! So now I don’t know what’s going on. 🙁

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