I've had four spine surgeries and was working up until the end of May of this year. I was insured with United Healthcare and unfortunately no doctor took this insurance. Finally when I found someone that would at a major university hospital, I was told I would first have to start over with an internist at the university and work my way up to get to a neurosurgeon there. Mind you, I had suffered a spinal cord injury in 2005 from a rear-end collision, which required a 4th surgery so I wouldn't go paralyzed and have not been able to even have a follow-up from that surgery to this day. They took my car insurance for the surgery, but refused to do a follow-up saying that they had to use my insurance from work but didn't take that insurance. So i finally get to a point where I FINALLY can see someone after seeing a neurologist that says I need further surgery and recommended me to a neurosurgeon there, but unfortunately while I'm on an intermittent FMLA at work, I was *let go*. I was given a month of severence and insurance, but unfortunately they couldn't get me in right away until the insurance was exhausted, but I kept the appointment anyways. I went to Social Security to reinstate my previous disability, as my condition is deteriorating drastically (weakening in limbs, losing more feeling, no feeling in lower torso into legs, tremendous pain, severe stenosis in cervical spine and lumbar spine, bowel/bladder incontinence/restriction, etc). I am currently on a provisional benefits, pending my reinstatement of benefits, which I'm told will be granted. I was also given a letter back in June that stated I would be receiving Part B insurance starting in July. (My appt was scheduled for Aug 5) However, when I received my Medicare card, it only showed Part A insurance. I was told by Medicare that it was a mistake and that they would send out another card and not to worry, but it would take another 4 wks. In the meantime, they were to send me a letter to show the doctor that I had insurance. The end of July came and nothing. Called again and they tell me I don't have Part B, but shows that monies were taken out for it for 6 mths. Unfortunately because of their mess-ups I had to cancel my long-awaited appointment. Now it's the end of Aug and I STILL have not had confirmation. I even called Social Security Operations and was told the same story, would send me a letter and send another card. NOTHING! Meanwhile I have had several calls from different universities about my case and trying to set up an appointment for me (because I am told I will go paralyzed once again if left), but I don't answer the phone because I still don't have the insurance! It feels hopeless. I don't get any call-backs and noone at SS will help me. They don't even care that I will go paralyzed! What does someone like myself DO when this has to do with the government?! I am a single mother that needs to be here for her kids! I was previously on disability for my major problems, but decided to go back to school and get a degree (drove 2 hrs each way every day to do so and graduated cum laude) so I could work once again and did so (8 yrs more) and stuck it out through all the pain and even after the spinal cord injury because I thought I was doing the right thing! Now I cannot work because my condition is so bad and still cannot get to the doctors. I have been dealing with this mostly all my life. I'm sick and TIRED of the discrimination from my spinal problems. I'm at a point where I am close to just giving up and have thought of ending it, but then my kids would have noone. What does someone like myself DO to get help with my predictament? No doctor will take me without insurance, yet SUPPOSEDLY I have insurance, but because of a technicality, I don't have it according to their system?! Has anyone else experienced this?
1981-Harrington/Luque instrumentation T9-L5 for 30 degree thoracolumbar curve. Dr. Shufflebarger
1990-Revision surgery-Broken hardware/flatback deformity/pseudoarthrosis-Cotrel Dubousett instrumentation with extension into sacrum. (never done correctly) Dr. Shufflebarger
1995-Revision surgery-Severe flatback deformity/kyphosis-Moss Miami instrumentation (T5-sacrum) with titanium cages (back/front/back procedure), thoracoplasty, total reconstruction with osteotomies. (surgeon did surgery while coming down with chicken pox and developed encephalitis with brain damage, etc during 14 hr surgery) Dr. Shufflebarger
2005-Car accident-spinal cord injury/myelopathy from top of rods/hooks at T5. Surgery to remove hardware, with exception of cages. Permanent damage. Dr. Campbell
2008-5th surgery pending for severe stenosis in cervical spine, as well as lumbar spine because of prior surgeries.