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The Big File All issues not easily categorized in the above forums are here. Comments on general health, diet, "getting comfortable," and more are here.


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  #1  
Old 08-18-2009, 01:09 PM
Abbe Abbe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 61
Red face After Years of fighting It's happening!

Hello all, Sorry I haven't been here in a long while but I had almost given up when I had appealed over and over again and had written a book to present to the insurance company with all my appeals. Long story short. My husband left the job where we had great insurance and we used up our COBRA. I applied everywhere and was turned down from everyone. I found out about California Major Risk Insurance and applied. I was put on a waiting list for months. Then I was finally added and given the choice of Blue Cross Blue Shield (Anthem) or Kaiser. I had already done battle with BCBS and chose Kaiser.

So after going through Kaiser's doctors and starting with a primary physician the being referred to an physical doctor in their system and then going for another MRI and then going to 2 spinal specialists and then going to their pain specialists for facet joint injections (Which did not help) I finally am set up to have possibly 2 disc replacements (Prodisc) done. I could end up with a hybrid fusion at L4-L5 and ADR at L3-L4 Yikes! Sept. 18th is the date and Sept. 9th is the Pre-Op day. I am so nervous- Excited! I can hardly believe it. When Dr. Fribourg (who used to work with Dr. Delamarter) told me he would try and do 2 level prodisc I almost cried. I couldn't believe that I didn't have to battle insurance! I have spoken to 2 of his patients he has done disc replacement with and they were very positive. I can hardly believe it!

I am taking iron before I donate my own blood they told me to take 3 iron pills a day before I donate is that excessive? What else can I do to get ready and make my recovery better?
Open to any and all suggestions.
__________________
Water ski accident 86'
Chiropractic& PT Pain meds
Discectomy Laminectomy
L5 S1 Partially sacralized
97' epidural injections
L3 L4 ruptured and torn
L4 L5 Almost no disk height left along with osteophytes
Left leg pain and tingling going down back of leg into heel & foot
3 appeals with BCBS no success Lost insurance.
Kaiser Permanente
L3-L4, L4-L5 Prodisc 9/18/09
C5-6 & C6-7 ruptured and looking at hybrid surgery fusion & Prestige ADR
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2009, 01:43 AM
2cool4U 2cool4U is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 141
Default Blood donation

Good luck with your surgery and congratulations. I don't have any advice, but reading your post left me with a question for other forum members.

Is donating blood common before ADR? I declined this option, since I had read several articles indicating that blood-loss was typically minimal. I am aware that catastrophic blood loss, while rare, can occur with any surgery. I'm not aware of any risks of pre-op donation, so I'm fairly certain it can't hurt, and this is not meant as criticism of choosing to do so.

I'm just curious how many others donated blood in case of a need during surgery. Chime in, please. Thanks.

Tim
__________________
L5-S1 rupture 11/04, left leg pain for 2 wks
Regular exercise/pain-free until 2007
L5-S1 degen. disease w/constant pain since 6/07
PT, ESI, SI jt injections, 3-level nerve root inj. x 2
Massage, heat, ice, TENS, etc
L5-S1 Charite Jan. 19th, 2009, very happy w/decision
New back pain in upper back though.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2009, 12:04 AM
2cool4U 2cool4U is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 141
Default No one?

Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller?

-tc-
__________________
L5-S1 rupture 11/04, left leg pain for 2 wks
Regular exercise/pain-free until 2007
L5-S1 degen. disease w/constant pain since 6/07
PT, ESI, SI jt injections, 3-level nerve root inj. x 2
Massage, heat, ice, TENS, etc
L5-S1 Charite Jan. 19th, 2009, very happy w/decision
New back pain in upper back though.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2009, 09:02 PM
Harrison's Avatar
Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,877
Post Blood Donation

Just my own observations here: the need for patient-supplied blood donations has decreased significantly over the years -- here are some of the contributing factors:

- While the spinal access procedures have been refined (more highly trained vascular docs for anterior procedures), blood loss has been minimized substantially. Hint: READ your OR surgical reports; most reports will (or should) describe the blood loss in ml during your procedure. I think mine was 4-5 ml, but I am straining my neuron (singular) to recall the reports I read five years ago.

- The general acceptance & use of blood filtration equipment is widespread, so your own blood can be recirculated and used. This way, the patient does not have to receive transfusions. Look up cell salvage or cell saver technologies for more info.

- In the past several years, even the FDA has admitted the fact that the blood supplies are not screened for many other nasties – like Babesia and other pathogenic microbes. This preventable tragedy was learned after dozens of confirmed infections were caused by transfusions (using the “public” blood supply). This was documented in the US as well as the UK. I posted on this topic on this board and will dig up the reference topics if I can find some time. A bit of a digression here: it's odd that the donor can be chronically ill and still donate blood. See the Red Cross guidelines.

The recommendation for taking iron pills seems unusual to me. Are you anemic? Whatever the case, you may want to carefully review your blood tests with a hematologist before surgery anyway…have you asked your PCP these questions? Will he/she refer you to a hematologist?
__________________
"Harrison" - info (at) adrsupport.org
Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
Reborn June 25th, 2004, L5-S1 ADR Charite in Boston
Founder & moderator of ADRSupport - 2004
Founder Arthroplasty Patient Foundation a 501(c)(3) - 2006
Creator & producer, Why Am I Still Sick? - 2012
Donate www.arthropatient.org/about/donate
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2009, 07:49 PM
kimmers kimmers is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 554
Default

On my surgery, Cell Saver was used and I donated one unit of blood. The blood was not used.
Plan is to donate one unit again. (I think I have done this five-six times, I have lost count
__________________
hurt back lifting, herniated disc at L4/L5. DDD
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2009, 04:56 PM
ZorroSF ZorroSF is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 303
Default

I am very surprised kaiser is picking up disc replacements. I know they are better today than they were in the 80's and 90's, but I was shocked to read the approval. Congrats! I too know what a pain in the backside it is to fight insurance companies. I gave up because I needed to focus on rehab post op. I sure hope everything goes well for you.

BTW what is California Major Risk Insurance? I checked out the site; http://www.mrmib.ca.gov

Is it Medi-CAL? what does it have to do with Kaiser?
__________________
***********************
1/2006 DDD L5/S1

Prodisc St. Mary's 12/2006 not diagnosed properly pre-op and now have DDD L4/L5, facet calcification L5-S1/L4-L5, mild scoliosis and left knee pain. DDD: C3 through C6
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2009, 10:44 AM
Abbe Abbe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 61
Red face As Far As I Know

California Major Risk Insurance Program is a program for people who have been denied insurance from any insurance company. I was denied by Atnea and Kaiser. So, basically you have to have been insured continuously for the previous year I believe. We had Corbra and it was running out when I found out about the program and applied. I was accepted but was put on a waiting list for months. When my number came up I had the choice of BCBS or Kaiser. Plus since I had been insured the pre existing condition was waived. Thank Goodness!

I was the one who asked the doctor if I should donate my own blood. So, I got the written orders from Kaiser to take the iron (3 per day week ahead of the donation date) I am not anemic. I am doing this donation 9 days before surgery. The whole day I have pre-op appointments with at least 3 doctors it seems. Any suggestions as to what I should ask them? Spine doctor, anesthesiologist, a general doctor to clear me for surgery.
__________________
Water ski accident 86'
Chiropractic& PT Pain meds
Discectomy Laminectomy
L5 S1 Partially sacralized
97' epidural injections
L3 L4 ruptured and torn
L4 L5 Almost no disk height left along with osteophytes
Left leg pain and tingling going down back of leg into heel & foot
3 appeals with BCBS no success Lost insurance.
Kaiser Permanente
L3-L4, L4-L5 Prodisc 9/18/09
C5-6 & C6-7 ruptured and looking at hybrid surgery fusion & Prestige ADR
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2009, 12:14 PM
Abbe Abbe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 61
Default

The link you wrote was for a different program. Here is a link that describes the California Major Risk Program. Not sure what is going to happen to this program because of the mess California is in financially. http://www.mrmib.ca.gov/mrmib/MRMIPBRO.pdf

I did go to the link you put up and towards the very bottom is information about California Major Risk. It is not Medi-cal. But it is administered somehow by Anthem Blue Cross. Because that is who I send my payments to. It is not cheap but it is the only option I had and was lucky enough to get into the program.
__________________
Water ski accident 86'
Chiropractic& PT Pain meds
Discectomy Laminectomy
L5 S1 Partially sacralized
97' epidural injections
L3 L4 ruptured and torn
L4 L5 Almost no disk height left along with osteophytes
Left leg pain and tingling going down back of leg into heel & foot
3 appeals with BCBS no success Lost insurance.
Kaiser Permanente
L3-L4, L4-L5 Prodisc 9/18/09
C5-6 & C6-7 ruptured and looking at hybrid surgery fusion & Prestige ADR
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