Dear friends, were circumstances other than what they are, you would not be receiving this announcement. But present conditions are that I have urgent need of a medical services related to a recently diagnosed case of Tachycardia, a condition I appear to have inherited from my mother.
I first went to the hospital on Friday January 31 after experiencing three days of incessant and extreme anxiety. As a bipolar patient I am familiar with anxiety. But I had never experienced anything at this level and that lasted for so long. What finally made me go to the hospital was after remembering that my Apple Watch monitors and records health data. I think for the first time I opened the app on my phone and saw this. I did not at the time know what Heart Rate Variability meant, but the spike in that photo corresponded to the day I began experiencing these symptoms.
While in the emergency room at San Paulo Hospital, Hua Hin, Thailand, I noticed another indicator that caused me concern.
The attending physician took note but explained that the variability there is curious, none of the spikes were above 100, so he was not overly concerned. But I was given a heart monitor to wear 24/7. Subsequent readings of the data have indicated a more significant problem than originally believed. I don't have the tape from their monitor but here is what my watch has recorded over the last month.
Having been prescribed the beta blocker Betalol (Propranolol) we had hoped to see stabilization. However, my visit on Sunday for the reading of the heart monitor, revealed I had a cardiac event Saturday evening when my resting heart rate hit 142. The doctors are concerned at the rate at which my condition appears to be worsening and have ordered a surgical procedure known as catheter ablation, something my mother has had two of. And they want to perform it now. For several reasons. Mainly they are concerned at the rate at which my symptoms are escalating. Second, the procedure, while generally very effective, can require long periods under general anaesthesia, which will likely require several days to recover from. This is spring break so doing it now will give me time to ok for classes next week.
My problem is this. The first three ER visits to the hospital were subsequently declared by my insurance company that the condition treated was "stress related." Our insurance policy at Webster offers no coverage whatsoever for any mental or behavioral health conditions. (As a result, my bipolar medications cost me nearly $900/month - about 40% of my monthly Thai lecturer salary). Having three ER visits ruled uncovered left me with a bill of 29,000 THB ($928). THe surgeons have ordered the procedure, and even scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday 11 March) under the impression that it can no longer be argued that this is a stress-related disorder. And while the hospital administrators accept that proposition, and will authorize the procedure without a need to prepay, they will not allow the procedure until I pay the outstanding bill of $927. They actually are convinced the appeal to the insurance company regarding their "stress" ruling will go in my favor, and thus I will be reimbursed, these things seem to take an extraordinarily long time to process.
My friends, it is but another embarrassment that I come to you for your help. I hope to pay the bill in full, and then should the insurance appeal go in my favor, gleefully reimburse any donation I might receive. I'm not sending this to many, probably out of pride, but I send it to you. And I do so with this understanding. A decision to not contribute needs no explanation from you. I know who you are and what kind of person you have shown yourself to me during these past unbelievably traumatic years. (The good news is that several recent positive developments make my re-entering the job market to find a position closer to Rowan, or barring that, a position that will pay a salary and offer medical care that would make what i am forced to do now again unthinkable.)
I thank you friends for all your past support and expressions of friendship and fidelity.