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Hurt, scared, and broke

birdiebbirdie Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Lower Back Pain
Last year I had the axialif spinal fusion on L5-S1. I knew we couldn't afford it but I felt we had no choice. It took my 5 months to feel better. And this summer I felt great. I thought I was cured and was eager to get back to work and start paying down our debt. I was looking for a job all summer but couldn't find one without heavy lifting. Well, thank God for small blessings because a job might have hurt me more. As it is I haven't done anything strenuous and now my back is hurting again. I know I need to call the Doctor and find out what is going on but I am scared that he will say surgery, PT, or other expensive testing that I can not afford. We are barely getting by now and my husband is working as hard as he can. I can not work and do not qualify for any kind of disability because I was a stay at home mom for the last 5 years. What in the world to you do when you can't afford your portion of your healthcare? My husbands insurance doesn't cover much. And after my last surgery I found the hospital was not very helpful as far as making payment arrangements. As a matter of fact I had to pay my deductible before they would discharge me! I just hate feeling like my husband and young daughter will lose everything because of me.


  • Hiya >:D< Welcome to spine health >:D< I am so sorry for your situation. Remember you are not alone here >:D< My heart goes out to you. Is there a hospital that you can go to that can check you out? i do not know what these hospitals are called(missionary hospitals i think) :? . There will be someone along who can advise you better than myself as i am from England! Keep posting to let us know how you are >:D<

    Angie :H
  • If you are in US, and you don't have insurance you can ASK for the Medicaid//medicare rate, which can be as low as 66% of price. My sister is in a similar situation and has been very successful with this price negotiation technique. She has gotten MRI for only $200; I know that is still A LOT of money, but that same MRI for me bills my insurance $2000! Of course, the insurance negotiates that rate and maybe only pays $600... and before I hit my max out of pocket, I would be forking over about $115 in addition, its a broken system...... but there should be some help for you.

    Another thing you may try is many communities have health clinics, state &local funding which provides a sliding scale system for payment of treatment, based on your income.
    I hope you are able to find affordable treatment and that you find relief from your current pain.
    Best of luck,
  • I was going to suggest negotiations.
    I guess I never realized this was an option until I hurt my back. The surgeon I wanted was out of network and I couldn't afford him. He & I agreed to a rate that was the same as my 'in network rate'.

    When I needed the 2nd surgery my insurance was even worse. I ended up switching doctors for other reasons but my surgeon, again, was willing to work with me as long as I was willing to write a hardship letter for him to have on-file on why I needed the price reduction.

    Remember everything is negotiable.

    As for your back pain -> could it just be an inflammation? Don't be too worried too quickly.

    As for a job, thank goodness you didn't take a lifting job. You should look for something like a cash register or even in retail that doesn't require lifting. Good luck
  • Have you been keeping up with your physical therapy exercises? Remember, some things are free!

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