Friday, April 13, 2007

Heading back to SC

Well, my work is done here in Ohio. I got to spend LOTS of time with the grandchildren, saw tons of snow, ate out, met with my thoracic surgeon and finally got my Cleveland Clinic bill corrected.

I've been struggling with getting charges removed from my personal account at the Cleveland Clinic for nearly a year. In June of 06, I took part in an experimental study for the Spiration company. My pulmonologists installed intrabronchial valves in both upper lobes to try to collapse my upper lungs. The valves made breathing worse and had to be removed in Aug. 06. Because I was in a study, all charges were to be paid by the valve company. To make a long story short, I had a bill of over $27,000.00 that I couldn't get amended.

Finally, I met with Joan in patient services and she was able to resolve the problems. I now owe in the hundreds...not the thousands.

This is a picture of the valve. I had 3 put in the right lung and 4 put in the left lung. The plastic looking balloon prevents air from entering the lung. The metal spokes at the top hold the valve in the bronchi to prevent it from slipping. It was a great idea and has had success in some patients, unfortunately, not me. I'm not sure if the company is still accepting patients for their study, but I would recommend insertion of the valves to anyone with my disease. It's certainly worth a try...the alternative and my next step is lung volume reduction surgery.

I'm so looking forward to getting back home and back into pulmonary rehab at St. Francis Hospital in Greenville SC.