Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Broken but probably fixable

As I reported last night the FDA has finally approved the ProDisc artificial disc replacement for use in the US to treat Degenerative Disc Disease.

"What does this mean?" you may ask. It means that I am one step closer to being fixed, and that means being able to walk without pain in my back, hips and legs and being able to stand up straight and support my upper body weight without the use of a cane and even walk without panting for air and becoming exhausted. This all sounds like the golden strains of some heavenly music to my ears.

Not to be a wet blanket or anything, but let's not start turning cartwheels just yet (those of you who can, that is). This is the all important first step in the process that will culminate in me having surgery and fully recovering. Here comes the but ... it is the first step. I'm not the first person on a very, very long waiting list to have this operation, and we're not sure our insurance will pay for it.

That second step is a doozy, as they say, and could be the deal breaker here. When I talked to Dr. Balderston last winter, he told me that Aetna "has paid for it" in the past (during clinical trials), so let's keep our fingers and toes and eyes and legs and anything else you have that's crossable twisted up like a pretzel, so I can be fixed. For sure.


Blogger stureyk said...

I´m crossing for you !

One thing I have learned to value better when reading your blog is to be happy with the life and health I have although it´s not perfect.

My daughter is going to have a hiking tour next weekend together with her man on the peace of Iceland that is going to be sinked in water this autumn :( -- I sure would like to take that trip but my legs don't allow me so I will have a 4wd trip instead and likely I´m going to sleep in the car on top of a mountain if I´m able to climb it on my car.

Wish you all the luck - your friend Sturla

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Paul aka MacRonin47 said...

Glad to near the news. Remember, the longest journey begins with the first step. And this has things heading in the right direction. I'll cross my fingers and toes. Heck if I still had the long hair I'd try braiding it. Think of all those crossed hairs :-)

Paul aka MacRonin47

1:59 PM  
Blogger Gavan said...

Sounds like a great beginning and I'm getting Ollie involved in this crossing of external body parts too.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Paulette said...

Hang in there before you know it you will be counting backwards and waking up to your new life. I am glad I found you and would like to add you to my Powered by Prodisc blog so I can come back and see how you’re progressing.

12:09 AM  
Blogger HeroXJimmy said...

Ingrid, this is fantastic news! Yes, it is just the first step... but it is a step in the right direction. I will try crossing Hero's ears on your behalf.. I think she will tolerate it! As for insurance.. since you are doing SSDI have you considered Medicaid? I am on Medicaid and while it is perhaps not the best program in the world, they cover everything... and I mean everything. It might be because I am HIV and all, I am not sure, but it sure beats most insurance programs and god forbid the HMO's. Anyway, yay... you saw my pictures back in NYC. I am actually not back yet, it will be a few more days... settled in by Sept. 8th... but I have had to come in for some random appointments concerning Medicaid and SSI. I have no idea how you get around the city! I lack sight in my left eye and hearing in my right ear, and Lord you should see me bumbling around those streets! All I do is walk around saying.. "oh, I'm sorry, excuse me.. oh, sorry... " etc... I do not know how you do it with your walker! Well, we will call you when we arrive in NY full time. Hero and I have to bring you vegetables as promised, and I still need to get my sticker on your pal there. And we MUST meet Tony! I think Hero has the hugest crush on him. Did I tell you that when I pull his pics from Flickr up that she barks at the screen? It is really cute!

I wish you a great day, Ingrid.. and this is really great news.

Oh, one side note... in that article one thing really pissed me off in a way. They mention that to be "eligible" for this you must have had at least 6 months of traditional therapy... meaning exercise and such... Why does it always seem that one must suffer first, like "pay" for it and such... oh I don't know. Well, we will call you soon!

Hero and Jimmy

5:07 AM  
Blogger zen said...

everything i have is crossed, Ingrid!!! It WILL happen!

1:04 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

congrats--i know this is only a small part of the battle, but it is also hopeful

9:57 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Gah! I swore I posted a comment but I can't find it! Oh,well! Anyway, good luck in getting it done and pester the insurance company!

5:38 AM  

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