Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pain in the Neck

For those reading this that are just looking for technical content, this post isn't for you.  Nothing to see here.  Move along now.  These are not the droids you are looking for.  Those of you who know me probably know a lot of this already but as this is my blog and not yours, I'm going to talk about it anyway :).

One Saturday morning day about two years ago I woke up in excruciating pain.  It felt as if my right shoulder and arm were on fire.  The pain was worse than anything I've felt before (and I've been injured a lot so that means something).  I spent the weekend laying in bed eating Motrin and Tylenol constantly.  Finally Monday morning the wife convinced me to go to stat care and get it looked at.  Well to shorten this story, after several weeks of incredible pain I ended up being diagnosed with a compressed nerve caused by a herniated disc in my cervical spine (neck).

Then the pain and muscle weakness (did I forget to mention that my right arm was so weak I couldn't open doors with it?) went away.  The orthopedic surgeon I was seeing said I would probably still need surgery one day but for now I was ok.  I got to look at the MRI images of my neck and while most of my spinal disks were perfectly round, one looked like a melted life-saver.  The surgery for this is nasty too since they have to go in through the front of your neck.  Yes, it leaves a big scar right in front. 

So for the last two years I've occasionally had pain in my neck or a twinge in my shoulder/arm but it didn't last long and wasn't too bad.  I ignored it.  About a year ago I was rear-ended on my drive home and had whip-lash fairly bad.  That scared me as the pain was right where I had the disk trouble already.

Also during this time I quit my job and became an independent contractor.  Which means no group insurance.  The first few insurance companies I approached wouldn't cover me at all because of the pre-existing condition.  Finally I found one (UHC) that would cover me but they put in an exclusion saying that they won't cover anything related to my neck, back or spine.  So if I have to go to the doctor, or worse have surgery, then I'm completely screwed.

Which brings us to now.  Friday morning I woke up and all was good until I stretched.  Then it got bad.  I heard/felt a pop and all of a sudden my neck hurt bad.  Real bad.  Not your typical neck pop, hurts for a day kind of pain either.  It's like the disk is gone completely and the vertebra are just crunching against each other.  Ouch.  Didn't get better either.  Went home early.

So now here I am, second day and it's not better, worrying over not having any insurance for it.  I've spent all morning looking up insurance laws and supplemental coverage and well, it's looking like my days of being a contractor are numbered as the only way for me to get covered is to be on a group plan.  So if this isn't better by Monday, I might have to start talking to people about getting on a group plan somehow.  Either that or sell my house and everything in it to pay for the medical bills.  Option one sounds better.


1 comment:

Sarah said...

Wow... that really stinks. Take it esay this weekend. Here's hoping things settle down for you.