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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Apologies in advance for my wordy post! ;) I have a large central disc herniation at C3/C4 that has flattened my cord and compressed it down to 6 mm. I have very little pain and only a little numbness in my right foot and toes and then I occasionally have burning pain and numbness down my right arm. Also both hands occasionally tingle. I have neck pain on occasion. Otherwise I'm not really in the sort of agonizing pain you would expect for my degree of compression. Even so, the radiologist that I work for and a neurosurgeon both have stressed to me that I am at risk for paralysis if I have an accident or fall awkwardly, etc. I'm sure you've heard this before and I know it does happen. The neurologist also seems to be a bit concerned about some of my reflexes being vigorous. I have positive hoffman's sign, etc.

I have been scheduled for surgery on Wednesday, and have resigned myself to going through with it but here's the rub. I've only been a full timer at my job since April so I don't qualify for fmla and I am still in my pre exisiting condition waiting period. I don't know if this qualifies as pre existing but obviously this did not happen over night. I have congenital fusions in the three vertebrae below the herniation and the herniation is due to hypermobility. That said, I have NEVER been to a doctor for my neck but we all know how good insurance companies are at getting out of things. I'm afraid that when they see the word "congenital" they will play the preexisting card. My family and the neurosurgeon and the radiologist I work with are all urging me to hurry and get the surgery but I am afraid I will lose my job if I do and wind up with no insurance to boot! What a dilemma to be in! I could wait til April and not have any trouble with FMLA or with insurance. I would get to keep my job. But then what happens between now and then if I happen to get in an accident. My radiologist tells me this is potentially life threatening since your diaphragm can be paralysed at the C3/4 level.

My director assures me that she will not give my job away but she is just a cog. There are so many others around her that could hire someone else in my place. There is no end of people waiting in line for a job in these troubling times. So when I should just be worrying about getting this surgery done andn getting better, I have instead to worry about my job and how I will pay for this if my insurance does not!

Any suggestions, stories, would be very much appreciated! Do I really need this surgery so urgently? Could I get by with a neck brace til April? :dizzy:


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