Sunday, July 5, 2020

The plot thickens

Good morning dear Blogger friends. Another week has passed; another week of me laid up with my injured leg elevated and friends helping me.

My neighbor, employer, landlady, friend and one of my Weigh-Less members, took me back to my doctor on Tuesday. The infection had subsided. However, after he scanned the haematoma, his advice was exploratory surgery.

I said, that's fine, please could he do it right there under local anesthetic for me. He said, no; over the years the hospital in the closest large town, Ladysmith, which he and 14 other doctors established 40 years ago and used for the next 20 until democracy in our country, had deteriorated to such an extent, he hasn't performed minor surgery and ofttimes, major operations since the mid-nineties. 

By the time I got to the receptionist, she had booked me in with a surgeon in Pietermaritzburg. The next day. I didn't want to take Ron and John away from the farm another day, so I phoned Jill, my Group Assistant from the rooms and asked if she would take me. She kindly agreed. What would I do without my friends?

The next morning, with a small case packed in case I was admitted immediately, we set off for the city. I saw the doctor, a young Indian with a reputation as a great surgeon. He said he'd have admitted me as soon as Friday but, due to Covid-19 there was a shortage of beds. His receptionist finally managed to find me a bed in Hilton Life on Monday, a private hospital 22km before the city. By now Jill said if Ron and John took me on Monday, she would collect me on Tuesday.

After going walking across the medical center car park, to a small clinic where a nurse in full protective clothing, a mask and a visor, did the Covid test on me. 

Jill and I returned home by 5.30 Wednesday night. She still had to drive home through Winterton to her farm beyond town.  

The next morning I started the procedure of arranging my hospital plan authorization. Initially, the call center officer suggested a 24 hour stay (minimum, else the claim is rejected) which would pay ZAR10,000 / US$590. I already had the doctor's estimate. I phoned the hospital accounts who returned my call ten minutes later with her quote: accommodation and theater ZAR19, 980 / US$1000 ! By now I'd contacted the anesthetist who quoted me R6800! Far more than the amount the plan would pay. 

I never sit down, give up and expire. Being a proactive person, I logged onto my health plan website. Scrolling down I saw a section which said:  accident/trauma. For this they paid out up to R75,000. After tracking down the manager, a Ms Karen Odendaal working from home, as the virus is peaking in our country, I put my case to her. I explained that I wasn't actually ill but had had a fall which caused the trauma of a haematoma. She was wonderful and said she'd change my claim from the original hospital stay to accident/trauma and would authorize ZAR40,000/ US$790 to be paid. 


I received the quote yesterday; it states that if more treatment is necessary, incurring further costs, the hospital is to phone my medical insurance which would cover up the the maximum on the plan. 

As I said in my post last week; I am not a hypochondriac. I kept my illness under wraps for five months last year until I had to have surgery.  I also remember reading Anni's (I'd rather be birding blog) post about how she suffered a heart attack and what we should be aware of. 

Therefore I decided to post about these mundane issues  (sic!) , in the hope that should any vintage woman, living alone like I am, have similar problems with her medical insurance, to look at the benefits again and ensure she is covered accordingly.

My Covid test returned via text message : "Not detected" . The lab covers its butt by using this terminology but at least I have clearance to be admitted to hospital.  Which is a mixed blessing  as hospitals are raging with the virus!

I'm admitted tomorrow, Monday, will have the op in the afternoon and be discharged by 2pm on Tuesday. All things being equal . 

It's ironical. Until mid-2019, I hadn't been in hospital for 35 years. Now I'm in for surgery twice in nine months. 

Be safe out there.

Have a wonderful Sunday! 


  1. Good luck. I hope the surgery goes well. A big hooray for convincing your medical insurance to behave reasonably (which is by no means a given here).

  2. Hi Jo, I'm sorry you have to go for surgery. Though I know it is on your leg I am confused as to exactly what will be done. I'm glad you managed to work things out with your insurance so you can go ahead with a clearer mind. Praying for your speedy recovery.

  3. Thank you for the update Joe! I wondered how you were doing and now I know and prayers going up right now that you will be safe from that virus while in the hospital and that it will be one simple operation and that they find nothing that needs attention and you can be home and safe by tomorrow night

  4. Hello Jo,

    You are correct, we should all be knowledgeable when it comes to our health. It is good to have the hematoma taken care of before any more complications. I am glad you have many friends taking care of you and great health care workers. Sending prayers and well wishes for your surgery and recovery!

  5. Glad you sorted out all the payments phew!! Thoughts are with you. Take care and stay safe, Diane

  6. Hi Jo, wishing you good results and a fast healthy recovery. Sending some positive and healthy thoughts your way.

  7. Will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Best of luck with your surgery

  8. Oh dear this sounds an awfully difficult time for you. So glad you have helpful friends. Don't any of your family live close by? Smart girl double checking your health insurance.

  9. I'm hoping you are home and recovering well. Thank goodness for your persistence. Hugs.


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