The Silence of Our Friends

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm No Longer In Deep Doo Doo!

YIPPEE! HURRAY! YAHOOOOOOOO! Thank you so much for your help everyone. I get to keep it! The fundraiser was a success and I only have to come up with just under $100 to pay for it, we can manage that. *whew* Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

People who read my blog know that I have some sort of chronic ailment. I have 3 herniated discs and a bone spur which cause me pain most of the time, but usually it's manageable. When it first happened and I was in pain all the time I actually contemplated suicide, I didn't think I could live in pain like this all the time, but that was back in 2000 and my sons were still young and needed me, that's what convinced me to hold on. As time goes on you get "used to it", it sounds funny thinking that someone can get used to being in pain all the time, but you do. Even though the pain is sometimes worse than it was back then, I never think about suicide now, because I got used to it and find ways to manage my life around it.

While I was in Wisconsin my doctor became very concerned because my left arm was losing it's reflexes. You know how the doctor might test your knee with one of those little rubber mallets and it jumps? There are areas in the arm that can be tested like that, and mine didn't jump. The weird part is that my legs when tested jumped like crazy, almost kicking straight out. The doctor said that is a very bad sign, because when you lose the reflexes in one part of your body the other parts overcompensate. Anyway he wanted me to get bone graft fusions done on the two worst discs, I had already been to see one surgeon who was willing to do the surgery and was scheduled to see a second surgeon for a second opinion when my husband got the transfer to New Hampshire. There is no way I could have the surgery without him there to help me recover, so I put it on hold until I could get to NH.

When I went to see a surgeon here, he looked at my MRI's and questioned me about my pain, and refused to do the surgery. He said it wouldn't help since the worst of my pain was in the right side of my neck/back but everything that would be repaired would only fix the problems on my left side. Not only that but when he tested my reflexes in my left arm they were weak but they were back and my leg reflexes were normal. Instead he recommended I see a physiatrist. My physiatrist has been trying out a little bit of everything, I have 6 different prescriptions, plus I go to physical therapy three times a week, I've had trigger point injections, and I have a tens unit and the latest is a home traction unit.

The home traction unit is the problem here. I just got a bill from my insurance company and I found out we have a $500 deductible. I don't have frigging $500! I need this traction unit, when I do have pain or numbness on my left side it relieves it IMMEDIATELY. I have been so much better with my arm since going to physical therapy and using the home traction unit that my arm only rarely goes numb and probably only has pain a couple times a month, compared to every day when I started. Not only that, but I'm not sure if I can send it back. I don't want to send it back since I need it, but I don't have frigging $500!

I'm embarrassed and ashamed to be asking my readers to help me again so soon after I begged for funds for WAM! but I don't know what else to do. I'm especially embarrassed since I never did send personal thank yous to everyone who helped with the first fundraiser, I had been offline for nearly 3 weeks because of a flare up and still haven't caught up with everything online. Anyway, if you can help, with any amount no matter how small, it would be greatly appreciated. I'm pretty desperate here. has alot more information about cervical spine herniations and injuries. Check out the video on the right, the reason I have three herniations is due to degenerative disc disease and that is what the video is about. The discs affected in my case are C4 through C7.

5 comment(s):

Donna, do NOT be ashamed--this is the nature of medical bills, that they come at awful times and twist your stomach in knots, etc. (for your health!), in our no-universal-health-care-having country. I'm dodging phone calls from the billing department of a local hospital myself right now. You've done nothing to be ashamed of.

My paycheck should EFT to my bank sometime after midnight Mountain. I'll paypal you then (I know, promises promises, but I don't think you want any of the overdraft that's in there now, lol).

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/11/2008 8:05 PM  

I know it's not much but I hope it helps.

You are in my thoughts...and thank you for being brave enough to ask for help. I think we need to learn how to do this, not just financially but generally! Take care.

By Anonymous deviousdiva, at 5/12/2008 6:24 AM  

saw the link on feministe, dont have any money to give, but a bit of well meaning advice re: the possibility of the bone graft fusions. if you again end up at the point of needing them, do not do it! my mother had a bone graft fusion and the bone over time disintegrated, leaving her where she started, with lots of pain and herniated discs. from what i understand from talking to her, they now have synthetic pieces to use in place of bone, and the synthetics hold up over time.

anyway, good luck with all your health issues, as someone with chronic physical and mental health issues i kno all too well what it feels like to be in need without the money to take care of that need.

By Anonymous jessilikewhoa, at 5/13/2008 2:26 AM  

jessilikewhoa, Thank you for the advice and good thoughts. I was not looking forward to the surgery and was relieved when this surgeon said he wouldn't do it. I have heard the same thing about bone graft fusions, although I have a sister who had it done after a car wreck and her's has been completely successful. She is pain-free and as active as when she was a teen. I am waiting for FDA approval of the disc replacements. They have them approved for back surgery but not the ones for neck surgery yet. I will feel alot more comfortable with those being used to replace the damaged discs rather than just fusing them together.

Ilyka and DD thank you so much for your help. I GET TO KEEP IT! YAY! If it didn't work all that well I'd just make them take it back, but for once I have something that works and I wanted to keep it, and you helped me do that. Thank you again.

By Blogger Donna, at 5/16/2008 6:51 PM  

awesome news. and what Ilyka said: health care costs are insane and strike terror into the heart of damn near everyone in this country.

By Blogger belledame222, at 5/19/2008 12:27 AM  

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