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Hi ho Hi ho its off to MRI I go ....

MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Well,

The big result of my visit with my orthopedic surgeon today was .... Lets get an MRI. So Friday morning I get to have my 20 zillionth MRI to see what might be causing my increasing pain and radiculopathy. I did learn something new and strange - that I am actually considered a 3 level .... not a 4 level as I had thought for the past several years.

Silly me!

My surgeon did mention something about my original surgery that I found very interesting .... that the neurosurgeon who did my initial ACDF "used that wrong sized plate" - maybe thats why I blew the disc above, never fused, and had my cadaver spacer impact into the vertabrae. Funny these little things that are revealed over time.

Now im off to rob a bank so that I can pay for the MRI, as I am without insurance.

Oh life is fun!


D
Spine-Health Moderator
Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
My Story  - Click below
http://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/44804/pain/neck-pain-cervical/long-and-winding-road
I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
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Comments

  • How much does an MRI cost? Don't have to pay for that here so have no idea. Hopefully it will reveal just what is wrong so you can get some relief.
  • Dave, there's an idea--go rob a bank and then get the government to pay for ALL of your medical care. Of course you will be behind bars and you won't be able to enjoy your neck once it is fixed. Shame on you! You can't go rob a bank and you know it!

    I'm glad to hear that you have a doctor who at least wants to try to help you. Is it possible to have a different set of radiologist people reading the report? It seems that I get a much more detailed report if it is read by someone who has not seen my neck before.

    Beaver, my lastest mri was $2,300. Some places will offer a discount if you pay cash. Being without insurance is a difficult place for Dave to be. Dave, any word on your SSDI claim? You are a prime example of one who needs Medicare.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I'm sure there are differences in price because of what they are looking at, but I just received a bill for the copay on my daughters MRI of her ear and sinuses and the insurance paid $200.

    Ask if they will give you the insurance price.
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
    That I spent 5 years as a healthcare clinician Paramedic/PA, another 10 years managing group and solo physician practices, 3 years Director level at 2 hospital billing departments, and the past 15 years in the Billing - EHR software business training doctors and nurses to "embrace" the new wiss bang technology. And yet here I sit todaay without health insurance after serving the patient and physician community for 30+ years. Look for me on a clock tower or on an episoide of americas most wanted in a theatere near you soon!! (Just kidding)
    This too shall pass (Like a frikin Kidney Stone) but this too shall pass. Sold some of my old coins to have the $ to pay for the MRI ... heck who needs any assests anyways?? Todays consult $150.00 .... MRI Friday .... negotiated down to $500.00 ... That will make well over 1,300.00 that I will spend for my healthcare this month.

    Got love it !!

    Keep the faith!


    D
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/44804/pain/neck-pain-cervical/long-and-winding-road
    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
  • Dave,

    I am glad your going to get the MRI and lets hope it has answers as to why your in so much pain. Funny how when you said you were a three level and i counted the levels in your pic it sure is three levels.

    AS far as health care i have one of those nice high risk policies. So my rate per month is almost $700 couple it with my $2,500 deductible and then the 20% out of pocket till the first 25,000 is lots of dough. So my total out of pocket cost is about 15,900 per year. Who says they need a savings account. But at those rates I am not far behind you on the no insurance club. So sense I have no met everything for the year need to get everything in I can. If the markets would pick up could pull my 401K with no penalty attached. But don't see that happening October is approaching fast.
  • Cindy,

    You know it's sad, but a few years ago a woman down here (S. Florida) had cancer, no health insurance. She decided to hold up a bank with an antique gun (doesn't matter here...a guns a gun), so she would be convicted, sent to prison and get HEALTH care for her cancer! They figured it out a few months into her incarceration, but realized why she did it. She got the treatment, went into remission and released. Sad huh?

    It's scary what the system forces some people to do to get NEEDED treatment! Sigh....

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • *HUGZ* Hopefully things will start moving forward for you! Please let us know what this doctor finds, and too how the MRI goes. You're good people my friend, somehow it will all turn out. Remember, "Good things DO happen to GOOD people!!! Support *HUG* to ya darlin!!! :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
    was that the well known multi-billion dollar pharmacutical company that I was hopeful would provide one of my most expensive pain meds .... denied me because of too much household income ... even know My wife and I are legally divorced ... they look at the "total household income" Public Aid does the same thing. So once again ... I've been poooched by the system. Funny how we can spend 110 million dollars to establish a primary care network in Iraq - but we can't seem to be able to provide any medical assistance for a nice white semi-educated disabled male .... right here in the heartland of america. Are they any clock towers near by?? (Just kidding)!!

    D
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/44804/pain/neck-pain-cervical/long-and-winding-road
    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Has your state started a high risk pool for insurance for people that cannot get insurance at a decent rate because of their conditions? Ohio started theirs this month. I just read in the paper that a woman with lupus and spine issues pays 239.00 per month for medical and prescriptions. The only criteria to be elig. are pre-excisting conditions and have had no medical coverage for 6 months. It is with a very reputable insurance company. Maybe it is something you should look into
    Susan
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
    Im checking into it!

    D
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/44804/pain/neck-pain-cervical/long-and-winding-road
    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
  • That is the program I am insured through. But to get in it you had to have insurance for the past 6 months with no gaps in coverage and been denied by the carriers or your rate was 130% of the standard rate. But funny how the same insurance company available here runs it and was going to insure me at $400 but denied me based on my spine now charges me $697 per month.

    Dave, does your wife live in the house with you, If she is not living in the house they should only be allowed to count the income in the house. While I get it she is not paying your bills to many people have pulled that scam on the government and now they take the entire house income.
  • I too am in the high risk pool for medical insurance. It costs me $325ish per month but is a major medical plan only. No prescription coverage, no dental, vision, etc. I have a $3,000 deductible before it will pay anything. Then it goes to 60/40 until I have paid $5,000 total out of pocket, and then it will go to 100%. Mine is through Blue Cross.

    Some would say why have this kind of insurance? We spineys know that it doesn't take long to accumulate $5,000 worth of bills and then the rest is paid.

    Interesting thing about this is that my family had a similar Blue Cross policy before they re-rated me and kicked me to the high risk pool. Previously we were paying $700 for the family with a $5,000 deductible, $10,000 total out of pocket. The rate for me is actually better with this high risk pool than our individual policy was.

    I hate paying for insurance, but can't be without it. Dave, I'm so sorry for the frustrations you have. How long before the Obama-care stuff kicks in? Will it be something that will help you?
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Dave, I was just kidding with you regarding the "Shame on you" line. I hope I didn't offend you. Reading it again tonight I can see how someone would misunderstand what I am saying. Please accept my apology if I offended you.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
    in the same house .... but its out of financial nessacity as opposed to some sort of scam. And Cindy no need to appologize cause you are right .... shame on me for thinking as saying such flippin comments. But even an animal caught in a trap will chew its own foot off to get free.

    Its like a game of limbo ..... how low must I go before anyone (Private Agencies, SSD, State, County, Federal, Township) will be able to provide assistance. I have talked with a number on people that are in similar situations and it not going to be a very merry X-Mas ... as many may be in homeless shelters.

    And then there are others I know who are "triple dipping" Collecting social security retirement, collecting unemployment, and doing contract work.
    Whats wrong with THAT picture.

    The good news ... Spent the $400 for patches yesterday - and this was the first morning in months that I woke up with a minimal pain level .... Almost makes waking up a pleasure instead of a burden. Well off to MRI land .... I'll have fun this weekend playing junior radiologist as I will have the images on disk ... but won't see the surgeon or get the official report till next Thursday.

    Thank you all for your suppport! .... the reduction in pain has calmed me down considerably.

    Warmest regards to all,



    D
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
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    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
  • I walked in and they asked me how I was going to pay the $178 co-pay! No warning, just "pay up" or we don't do it....So we wrote them a check and "what are you going to do"?

    The second one was strange, MRI's around most areas run 24/7 due to costs to install and maintain. So #2 was at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning! Well, I found out that they don't have but one receptionist in those weird hours! She is part time and not allowed to handle the cash or checks! And they never billed us for the co-pay either, bungled the bill somehow.

    Oh, I had requested Valium during the second MRI and they had to get a Nurse to come over from the ED to give it to me! For what they charge for MRI's, they had the receptionist and ONE tech working. I asked the tech what they did if they needed help, simple she said they either pulled an orderly from one of the floors or the ED.
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
    would indicate that I have another disc that has herniated and is indenting the thecal sac. There also appears to be an osteophyte or bone fragment that is indenting the thecal sac at the same level posteriorly.

    Good thing I'm just a Jr Radiologist (in my own mind) and that I maybe (probably-hopefully am) completely wrong. But the findings on the images would correlate with my symptoms.

    Its gonna be a long wait till next Thursday when I see the surgeon for the "official" results.

    I think im in pre-shock - all cyber "Hugz" are requested and appreciated,


    D


    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/44804/pain/neck-pain-cervical/long-and-winding-road
    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
  • There ya go Dave!!!

    Love to give you support ***HHUUGGZZZ*** :) For sure let us know what the status is. At a minimum, hopefully you will know for sure where all this dang pain came from! *HUGZ* :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Dave,

    I will give you a cyber hugs. But i think you kind of knew it was happening, just didn't want to believe it is all. But you know I have learned staying in denial only causes me worse issues than not. I tried to stay in denial about the rest of my spine, and that may come back to bite me in the long run. But I gave it h@ll trying. But here's hoping the films show what the surgeon needs to see. By the way don't forget to get those films admitted into evidence on your SSDI claim. Take care and try and relax till Thursday and be sure to let me know what they say. I am glad you at least have some pain relief for now. Take care.
  • I know you didn't bargain for the pain and problems you are encountering, but don't overlook the fact that you have someone else sharing your spine with you....whooooo!
    If all you get out of the surgery is not what you expected, at least you have the solace to know that you are ENLIGHTENED! LOL,lol, whooooo!
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
    They removed the cavaver donated bone when the revised my neck ... the second surgery front and back was done with my own hippie bone - Groovy Man !!

    D
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/44804/pain/neck-pain-cervical/long-and-winding-road
    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
  • howdy dave,
    hope you stay calm till next thur when perhaps you will ge some answers and a plan..
    and i'm close enough by and so is alex so no need for cardboard box...we can enjoy the lovely chgo winter together...
    It truely is horrid after all those yrs working with docs and such someone can't reach out and help you..get the test for you thru there office of something..
    its just ridiculous the price you had to pay for those patches...its so frusterating ...and well can you have your doc office call that company..
    most drug reps will help out the docs..
    but not us who need it....just horrible we live in great city/state yet the health care for ppl is apauling..
    I worked at a hmo center for many yrs and was a joke and very sad the way the docs didn't care for patients, i got into alot of trouble for speaking up for patients,,,i only kept the job cause i got free medical for my kids and me...
    keep trying that patch company maybe some new person will see you trying over n over and give in....
    hugs to you and keep up sence of humor...see ya in chat soon..
    mary
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
    duplicate ... oops!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/44804/pain/neck-pain-cervical/long-and-winding-road
    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
    Well I met with my surgeon to review my MRI results this morning and my junior radiologist reading was pretty much right. Here are the highlights:

    At C2-3 there is minimal central disc protrusion without stenosis

    C3-4 There is a mild degenerative retrolisthesis. Mild to moderate central canal stenosis with minimal cord flattening due to posterior disc osteophyte complex and posterior ligament thickening. Relatively mild bilateral foraminal narrowing due to small uncinate spurs. (Cord is being compressed from the front and the back at this level)

    At fused segments, there is no recurrent stenosis (Whoo hoo!)

    At C7-T1 There is minimal disc degeneration. Foraminal narrowing is very mild on the right side with no significant foraminal narrowing on the left. (Funny no mention of facet arthropathy as in last years CAT scan – Read by same radiologist also).

    Action plan … None … no insurance. Continue medication therapy. Hope that the stenosis at C3-C4 doesn’t progress too rapidly. Hopefully these findings of new current pathology will help push my SSD case along faster. Hopefully they will find active cervical stenosis and degenerative changes more exciting then a 2.5 year old fix.

    At least now I know that the pain is “not in my head” its in my neck, my arm, my hand, etc, and there are documented reasons for it.

    Time is my friend …. And my enemy….. tic tic tic

    Thank you all for your support,


    D
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/44804/pain/neck-pain-cervical/long-and-winding-road
    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
  • Dave,

    Well the news isn't good. But sometimes knowing we are not going nuts and it is not some mental issues kind of helps. But sucks knowing you have other issues to deal with eventually. Did the surgeon say it is fixable when you get insurance or what they would do? Dave i sure hope this helps your SSDI claim and this nightmare can soon be over enough that you can get proper medical attention and get it addressed. If you need to chit chat, catch up with me latter, or pm me. Take care for now my friend.
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
    I think he was relieved to know that I didn't have insurance and that we weren't going to (nor did we) discuss what the next steps or potential repairs would be, The Degenerative Retrolisthesis - Posterior Osteophyte Complex and the Posterior Ligament thickening as well as the Mild bilateral Foraminal Narrowing due to Uncinate Spurs all at C3-4 would be beasts to get to - would all need to be done with a posterial approach. Hard to believe there are SO many things that have gone to heck in a handbag at this level. Can you say adjacent joint disease?? I can, and it hurts!! Thanks for your concerns and offers of chatting .... I will take you up on that!! And yes ... its good to know that there is a reason for all of this pain, I do believe that the chronic pain and the other issues I have going on have made me nuts - cashews I believe. ... and how did all this chocolate get on my keyboard??

    I guess chose the wrong decade to give up drinking!

    Hoping everyones meds are doing what they can!


    D
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/44804/pain/neck-pain-cervical/long-and-winding-road
    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
  • After reading this entire thread, the second to last line got me.. ready to chat?

    How did all this happen to you? I could really use some advice and help understanding what is going on with me..
    I'm really confused by some of these tests and readings.

    thanks
  • I guess your post is a good example of "bitter sweet?" On the one hand you now know what is most likely the pain generator, yet the other side of it, you can't do anything physically about it presently? Grrr.... Always here for ya Dave!! *HUGZ*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • too bad jr radiologist doesn't get paid a salary is all I have to say! No, JK...One more thing...please take it easy and I pray you do not progress.
  • Hope your condition doesn't progress. It's great you're getting so much relief with your patches but are they ever expensive if you have to pay for them! I hope you're able to use the receipts at income tax time as a deduction.
    I can't wait to try the Fentanyl patch but have to wait until after my 6th ESI Oct. 7th to see if I still have pain to still need them.
    Take easy. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,617
    Charry ... good luck with the patches ... Even the Oxycontin can cause a bit of up and down in the pain control - I was on them for 1.5 years and do prefer the patches with Oxycodone for break through. And yes ... The meds, Dr visits, Mri, - at least the ones I can pay for go in a stack for income tax time .... The stack is unfortunately overshadowed by the stack of bills I can't pay. Lots of rocks .... lots of hard places. It will be another interesting
    year.

    THGirl ... This is a progressive disease .... I hope it doesn't ,ove to fast also! Thank you for your prayers.

    Angie ... Late effect of multiple Car accidents .... last major one was 17 years ago ... I have read some of your other posts .... you have a lot on you plate ... best advice is to catch us in chat in the evening ... it will lift your spirits!

    And yes I'll put my old picture back up .... the one thats there now is showing the stenosis from the front and back at C3 - Fun you can have with necks !!

    Warmest regards to all,


    D
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/44804/pain/neck-pain-cervical/long-and-winding-road
    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
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