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Thread: Very long winded

  1. #1
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    Very long winded

    I was on this site before having my surgery in 2009 and periodically had checked in. I was fused T-8 - Sacrum. Apparently my Kyphosis was more problematic at the time and that is what the surgery was for. Before the surgery I could barely walk feeling my hips for some reason would lock up or make it really difficult to walk unless I stopped for a few minutes. After the surgery I was able to walk without that problem for a few years I guess but it's been about 2 years or so that the same issue is back. Also, after the fusion, my scoliosis or lopsidedness was clearly making some problems for me. I am right handed but I can only use my left hand to take care of personal hygiene. My right arm and hand does not reach that area at all. I had to give a urine for my GP a couple of years ago and had recently had hand surgery. Consequently, I could not give them the sample because one hand didn't reach and the other was in a cast. If you look at me head on it is obvious which shoulder is lower resulting in more reach to that side. Anyway, this past December I had to get a 5 level cervical fusion (posterior) or ran the risk of having no use of the left arm. I woke up one day and it had stopped working. It didn't hurt it just stopped working. I was fused C2-C7 which left me with about a 2-3 inch area that was not fused. I asked him to do the whole thing but he said no. They had me so frightened about losing the ability to use my left arm that I never sought a second opinion which normally I do. After the scale fusion, a 3 level lumbar fusion and a laminectomy in 1987 without a doubt the pain from this last surgery was hands down the worst I have ever had but part of that had to do with the "war on opiates." Anyway the problem is besides my hip area making walking difficult I now cannot hold my head or my back straight and all that makes walking almost a joke. I apologize for this long winded vent but if I don't want to spend the rest of my life in a wheel chair (refuse to use) I will need surgery. None of the doctors I would like to meet with take Medicare so I am not sure what I should do. I am 68 so not a spring chicken but also not a roasted chicken. I just want to be able to walk a block without having to stop first. Oh yeah I have both hips replaced & one new knee and don't ask how many hand surgeries.
    Thank you for allowing me to vent.
    Weasel

  2. #2
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    Not-a-roasted-chicken

    To Not-a-Roasted-Chicken,
    Where do you live? I have not had a problem with doctors not taking Medicare.
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  3. #3
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    Yes Weasel, there are compassionate scoliosis surgeons that take Medicare. Travelling is one of the things we have to be prepared to do and many have done this. E-mailing diagnostics such as X-rays and MRI can help in decision making before travelling. Osteoporosis needs to be addressed from home before travelling. Osteoporosis also changes so one has to stay on top of it and can present difficulties or challenges in scoliosis surgery.
    ================================================== =============================================
    They announced yesterday that Medicare will run out in 2026....I am so tired of hearing this.

    Ronald Reagan made changes to Social Security and Medicare back in 1983 extending retirement ages and so forth. They were saying the system was going broke back then.

    You would think in 36 years they could figure out this problem.....I also think retirement age for certain medical conditions (like us) should be lowered since it takes incredible amounts of effort for us as adult scoliosis patients with big curves to cope while working in pain. (For those not on long term disability) If you have any assets, federal disability is not worth the effort.

    We are not all equal when we suffer from debilitating medical conditions. Why does retirement age have to be the same?

    Sorry, but its not fair.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    They announced yesterday that Medicare will run out in 2026.
    I think that was Social Security. As far as I know, the only problem with Medicare is that Mitch and his friends want to significantly reduce Medicare.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  5. #5
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    Linda, I remember these things because it means I will get one year of Medicare!

    Social Security is good for a while....2035 is the number, so I will be 75 when they start reducing benefits....We have 15 years.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-po...=.224af462c7b0

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  6. #6
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    First, I'm not sure we can trust Mnuchin to tell the truth about the numbers. Second, even if he's right, the article says there will be an 11% shortfall in 2026, so it's unlikely Medicare will actually go away. Hopefully, Congress will fund a Medicare for all or similar plan sometime in the next 4 years.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  7. #7
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    Linda, I agree.... Just trying to express the seriousness of the situation. It's ridiculous that we have to constantly have this hanging over our heads.

    The trust funds should not be going negative in a bull market, (or bear market for that matter).....there needs to be a better balance rather than having an 11% Medicare emergency 6 years from now. Suppose they are wrong or covering up the truth and its 25% or higher. Usually, bad news gets delivered in a softer, easier to digest fashion....

    I guess we will find out. There is no easy answer.

    Looking at global taxation rates throughout the world, we do get off cheap. Some of the European countries run up over 50% tax rates.
    https://www.investopedia.com/financi...est-taxes.aspx

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  8. #8
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    Polling consistently indicates that the happiest countries in the world are the ones with the very secure social safety nets of medical and retirement support. That is only possible with a high tax rate.

    While that is probably the main reason for the high happiness level, other reasons have been suggested for these countries always polling among the happiest. The happiest countries are in northern Europe which is also very secular. Psychologists have commented that moving past religion also contributes to happiness though certainly many other people get happiness for their religion. For some, being religious is actually a comfort and these people tend to live slightly longer likely due to the placebo effect. This subject is obviously very complex.

    It's all brain chemistry. The rest is commentary.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Suppose they are wrong or covering up the truth and its 25% or higher. Usually, bad news gets delivered in a softer, easier to digest fashion....
    But, they're trying to convince us that Social Security and Medicare are bad, and should be abolished.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  10. #10
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    Real quick. Its hard for me to respond in the morning when I am trading.

    Social Security Administration
    https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/...v70n3p111.html

    In blowing through this complex report, they use the word "exhaustion" in regards to various trust funds which is quite alarming....Exhaustion is NOT acceptable.

    It seems that they are going to have to raise taxes.....Its going to be better if they do this now. Doing nothing is also not acceptable, its a setup for disaster.

    I cant overstate how important it is to save money. When you have nothing, you have no options at all. None.

    If one has scoliosis, start saving now and plan ahead. It changed my career, and I quit jobs over substandard medical insurance, not pay.

    Its easier to save money, than it is to earn it. When its gone, its gone. (Advice from my father who went through the great depression of 1929) The Social Security trust funds would not have happened if it weren't for the Great Depression. Lets not repeat this history.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Real quick. Its hard for me to respond in the morning when I am trading.

    Social Security Administration
    https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/...v70n3p111.html

    In blowing through this complex report, they use the word "exhaustion" in regards to various trust funds which is quite alarming....Exhaustion is NOT acceptable.

    It seems that they are going to have to raise taxes.....Its going to be better if they do this now. Doing nothing is also not acceptable, its a setup for disaster.

    I cant overstate how important it is to save money. When you have nothing, you have no options at all. None.

    If one has scoliosis, start saving now and plan ahead. It changed my career, and I quit jobs over substandard medical insurance, not pay.

    Its easier to save money, than it is to earn it. When its gone, its gone. (Advice from my father who went through the great depression of 1929) The Social Security trust funds would not have happened if it weren't for the Great Depression. Lets not repeat this history.

    Ed
    I don't have the patience to read the article. Does it mention anything about the trillions of $ borrowed by the government, in an effort to balance the budget? Since that money belongs to citizens, the government has no choice but to eventually pay it back.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  12. #12
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    I don't blame you... It explains a whole set of examples, and states that it is not well understood.... And how public debt plays a part, I don't understand why the trust funds and medicare which "we pay" into, are intertwined. You would think it would be completely separate, but it looks as if they do have their hands in the cookie jar for various reasons.....with IOU's (Just like in the movie Dumb and Dumber)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GSXbgfKFWg

    If birth rates have lowered, and the boomers are all set to retire, they should have taxed higher (a fluctuating tax) through the years to cover through the low GDP periods. Right now, the coffers should be full since they are taking in huge amounts of tariff dollars. (mainly in steel tariff's) This money goes into the general coffer, so it would seem that everything should be fine. If they borrowed in the past, there shouldn't be any problems replacing any funds that belong to Medicare or Social Security...

    The inflows and outflows of Medicare are extremely complex issues. When they state that the system could be exhausted at any point, it makes one wonder about what is happening and is quite disturbing. Its also funny how this subject seems to be shunned during election time.

    I have ideas on a complete revamp, but its radical due to the discipline and change. People would freak out.

    I would start with medical school debt. It needs to be abolished.

    The first question that needs to be asked is why a band aid costs $1000? We need inflation control and caps need to be set on medical devices, prescriptions, medical fees, hospital fees, etc. Expenditure control.

    Sharon mentioned Northern Europe. I wonder how they handle their medical expenditures? Inflows through higher taxes is one part of the problem, but do they set medical costs in stone? Does scoliosis surgery have a set fee in Finland? Why do hospital fees vary so much depending on which country you are in?

    10 years ago in Mexico, inpatient fees ran around $100 per day. My insurance company paid $75,000 per day 10 years ago, and my hospital went bankrupt.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    If birth rates have lowered, and the boomers are all set to retire, they should have taxed higher (a fluctuating tax) through the years to cover through the low GDP periods. Right now, the coffers should be full since they are taking in huge amounts of tariff dollars. (mainly in steel tariff's) This money goes into the general coffer, so it would seem that everything should be fine. If they borrowed in the past, there shouldn't be any problems replacing any funds that belong to Medicare or Social Security...
    First it is important to point out those tariff dollars are coming from US citizens who pay the higher price. The cost of washing machines to US citizens has gone up about $1.5 billion a year due to Trump's tariffs. Second I am not sure the tariff money is enough to cover the shortfall of people drawing more than they put in due to living longer. That issue is separate adn apart from the boomers retiring en masse. Even without that retirement pulse, they still had the average person drawing more than they put in. Hopefully investment profits would have covered that.

    The inflows and outflows of Medicare are extremely complex issues. When they state that the system could be exhausted at any point, it makes one wonder about what is happening and is quite disturbing. Its also funny how this subject seems to be shunned during election time.
    Politicians are bought. The Citizens United decision is going to be the downfall of the US.

    I would start with medical school debt. It needs to be abolished.
    Germany and I think other European countries have free undergrad education even for foreign students. I am not sure about free grad school. Doctors have some reasonable expectation of paying back their loans in a reasonable amount of time. Sociology majors who don't go on to grad school... not so much. Science grad students generally are paid to get their grad degree in the form of RAs and TAs. Other grads students have to pay. The Federal Govt supports STEM as it should. It is the only hope going forward.

    The first question that needs to be asked is why a band aid costs $1000? We need inflation control and caps need to be set on medical devices, prescriptions, medical fees, hospital fees, etc. Expenditure control.
    Those costs exist because Congress won't do anything because they are bought.

    Sharon mentioned Northern Europe. I wonder how they handle their medical expenditures? Inflows through higher taxes is one part of the problem, but do they set medical costs in stone? Does scoliosis surgery have a set fee in Finland? Why do hospital fees vary so much depending on which country you are in?
    Socialized medicine as in Medicare is rife with waste, fraud and abuse. If they could get that out perhaps there would be enough. Socialized medicine as it is practiced in Europe and Canada is a double-edged sword... look what happens when pediatric orthopedic surgeons are rationed to the point where children are paralyzed as we learned on this forum several years ago. I lived in Calgary, AB from 2003-2006. That was before my girls developed scoliosis. If my girls had scoliosis then and I was told I would have to wait more than a few months for fusion, I would have been on a plane back to the states in less than a New York minute. Canadians can go to the states but they don't have insurance to use there. So socialized medicine can keep down costs but when rationed doctors are doing trauma all the time, there is no time for scoliosis fusions.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 04-29-2019 at 06:21 PM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  14. #14
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    Sharon

    Right now I have a lot to say, but don't know what to say. I hope this makes some sense. Ha ha

    I will pitch some statements, some questions and ideas, but trying awfully hard not to rant on the forum especially when we cant do much about things.

    We are in agreement.....and really glad you did your reply because its the truth.

    It looks like they are going to wait until after 2020 to do something with healthcare. You can bet we can count on "healthy" heath care premium increases next year....

    International health policies are interesting options....the thing is, you have to be careful how you set up your policy and where you get sick.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    International health policies are interesting options....the thing is, you have to be careful how you set up your policy and where you get sick.

    Ed

    We were corporate ex-pats. We had insurance in Canada as part of the comp package. We had Social Insurance numbers and cards but we also had private insurance. I assume we kept our US-based insurance during that time but I don't know that. I am just thinking this through that there is NFW anyone would take an ex-pat assignment if they COULDN'T come back to the states and get procedures covered. If that was the case not my husband would have had to ask for a transfer back to the States so that our kids could get surgery in real time.

    ETA: I asked my husband... we had International health insurance in addition to access to the Canadian system. I assume international includes the US but I don't know that. It has to be the case because sometimes the family does not accompany the ex-pat. My husband lived in the DR for 10 months standing up a factory campus and building out a very large building manufacturing building. We stayed back in the States and we still had health insurance. The issue never came up. Looking back, if we ever do another ex-pat assignment, I am going to make sure I can go back any time I want and be covered.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 04-29-2019 at 06:33 PM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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