The ALIF, Medicare, Bi-Polar, SSD Quandry

This was written and published in 2011. Blasphemous Rumors was dormant from mid 2011 until January 2014. Looking back it hasn’t been a swell three years on the health front. Wonder who I pissed off in a previous life?

I need an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion. An ALIF to all you neurologists out there.

Been through epidurals, physical therapy and everything else. Nothing has offered true relief. I consulted with my neurosurgeon who told me that this surgery can give me back the ability to ski more than one run, do more than 3 loads of laundry a day, and go back to where my body was a year ago.

Overall the diagnosis is degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. It’s actually not that uncommon. One of the discs is far worse than the other. I’m rotten to the core.
The problem is continual pain and inability to do a damned thing that’s physical without painful repercussions. It’s maddening.

Got two opinions and this procedure has great results. A general surgeon cuts a hole in your side, then the neurosurgeon goes in and inserts a cool little box with screws, that is then grafted to the spine.

It replaces the area where the disc has blown out all of it’s fluid. No more nerves being squeezed and back/leg pain.

When I finally decided to go ahead and schedule the surgery for March 31st –which took several months on my part weighing the pros and cons- there was a barrier. Medicare.

There is no way, even with Medicare, that I can fiscally rationalize having this procedure done. Out of pocket costs, just to set foot in the hospital without any kind of procedure, begin at $3,000.00 [The total out of pocket costs eventually totaled over $10,000.00. A portion of this was written off by the hospital and various physicians. A scary portion remains unpaid. An even scarier portion has been paid. Go me.]

Am awaiting the total estimate from the neurosurgeon. Being a professional whack-job doesn’t pay well.
A college education and three successful careers have really come in handy.

This is consuming me and there doesn’t seem to be any help available. Have looked online, tried to call the Social Security office (ha!) and the Medicare offices (double ha!).

Here’s an appeal for information. If you know of any services available, people to contact or want to send me a quarter (to call someone who gives a shit) then please let me know.

Life in the clouds. The beautiful wispy constantly moving and inspirational clouds. Not this dark ominous cloud of helplessness, anxiety and damnable physical pain.

It’s ~miss b

Addendum: I did have the surgery end of March 2011 and it was successful! A few days in the hospital, some recuperation, oxy then advil and I was back on the slopes. Until now buahahaha


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