Thank you for taking the time to read our story. My name is Lauren, I am Mike's eldest daughter.
My fondest memories of my dad are from our snowmobiling adventures. Something my dad hasn't been able to do in a long time. You see, he has a "bad back". That's what I tell most people when they find out he stays at home on disability. He hasn't been able to do alot of things in a long time without being in unbearable pain. Like playing baseball or riding on a tube on the back of the boat. He owns NFL seasons tickets and can't even handle to attend half of the games. Those are some things people take for granted for enjoyment. Sure, on occasion you may see him doing these things. But I bet you at night he's not speaking and is curled up on the floor (cause his back doesn't even like his bed), just trying to get comfortable. You see, even though my dad has a "bad back" he still wants to be my dad, and my children's grandfather. He would do anything for us. He'd rather take the pain than not participate in things with us. He doesn't want us to view him as disabled. I love having fun with my dad, but I hate feeling guilty about it at the end of the day, because of how much pain he is in. Please help us change that.
My dad started with a cervical fusion of the C5-6 in 2008. Since then he has developed degenerative disc disease. He also has developed a compression fracture at T6 and has a bulging disc at T7-T8. We've been told surgery is too risky so they will not operate unless he were to lose bodily function below the waist. He has also developed lumbar facet arthropathy, which injections have not worked for. My dad has tried every type of therapy treatment out there, (steroid injections, physical therapy, chiropractic care, aqua therapy, acupuncture, myofacial therapy & massage therapy). He has been discharged from every single one. At the end the doctor always says, "We cannot help you". He was told that all he could do was manage the pain with medication. And in February of this year, he was told that THAT was no longer an option. Long term opiate use was being discontinued and he was weaned off of all of his long-acting pain medication. He is now left in extreme pain 24/7.
He is only 48 and has been disabled since 2010.
But GOOD NEWS has been given. A new treatment option is available through Integrative Pain Management by Dr. Curt Draeger. They offer intensive laser treatment. This will be combined with chiropractic care and hydrotherapy that will help kill the pain recepters. After seeing my dad's latest MRI and xray, Dr. Draeger truly believes he can help my dad by relieving his pain by 65-85%. Dr. Draeger has high hopes for my dad because he is so young. This has been the first time my dad has walked out of a doctor's office truly feeling hopeful. On 5/20/16, my dad is having a surgery to remove hardware in his neck. A screw from a previous surgery has become loose. If it were to fall out completely it could damage his esophagus. This is also something Dr. Draeger strongly encouraged before starting the laser treatment. He will be cleared 6 weeks after surgery to start treatment. The treatment is 20 sessions and is very costly. Unfortunatly, his insurance will not cover any of it.
My family has been through alot in the past couple of years due to other illnesses and complications. They really deserve a break. Please help my dad enjoy the simple things like family vacations and football games.
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