I am 29 years old, my husband and I have 2 beautiful little girls and we recently relocated to NC from a small town in PA. I am a nurse and I just started working at a lovely little nursing center close to home.
I'll try to keep this as "to the point"as possible, so here goes. I had been having some pain about 3 weeks ago to my left lower back and some urinary problems, so being I am still on the probationary period at my new job and do not qualify for insurance yet, I had to use the ER. They ended up telling me what I thought was a Urinary Tract Infection was probably something else. The Dr at the ER ordered a ultrasound and in my left kidney there was a cluster of kidney stones as well as one in my ureter (the tube that goes from your kidney to your bladder). He ordered my an antibiotic and some Flomax in hopes the stones would come out on their own without any difficulty but I still say they didn't come out. :( I left the ER worrying about how I am ever going to pay the bill just for that visit. Not only that but the Dr. told me I needed to follow-up with a urologist and he said "I know women are tough especially nurses and as soon as you start feeling better, you won't go but you need to take care of this because it could hurt you in the long run".
So against my better judgement and lack of funds I called and made an appointment. The lady on the other end of the phone said, "Ok your appointment is at 11am, be here by 10:30 and it will be $185 at check-in and about another $20 when you leave." My heart dropped. I told her "I only have $40 left to live off of for the next 9 days." She put me on hold after I told her I wouldn't be able to make the appoinment and I went into panic mode thinking about what the ER Dr had said. When she came back on the line she told me they would see me and arrange payment later. It made me feel better but as someone whom is always worried about money anyway, I was even more worried at this point.
About 5 days later, I went to my scheduled appointment, the Dr ordered me to be on Flomax for another week and he also scheduled a CT scan. My symptoms improved and I thought about cancelling the CT but something made me think I needed to go no matter the price. I went last Thursday March 28th and had the scan done. Then this past Wednesday I went for a follow-up with the urologist. I was honestly expecting to go in and have him tell me when I did get insurance from work that I would need to have some kidney stones blasted. The Dr came in the room and told me to follow him. He sat down at a computer in their workstation and pulled my CT up on the screen. Long story short, he explained I have a condition called XGP (xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis). Which is basically my left kidney is not functioning and is currently just acting as a source of infection and a source of kidney stones resulting in pain.
To have a Dr tell you that you need to have your kidney removed at 29 years old has still put me in a state of shock. Not only that but then discussing financial options with him now that I have a "pre-existing conditon" which until January 2014 with Obamacare going into effect then will not get me far right now. I was also informed that even if he is able to perform the removal laparscopically, I will need at least a month off of work. We struggled when I didn't work for a week when we first moved down here. All I can think about is how will I support my family and what if something were to happen to me? My little girls with no mommy? It's a terrible thought but also in reality a possibility.
So, I as well as the urologist believe I should have this surgery as soon as possible in order to cut my chances of something happening related to the kidney problem. My plan is to ask the hospital for assistance and the urologist said he would take payments, but I also have to arrange something with anesthesia as well as the bills from my initial ER visit. Then there is the month off of work without a paycheck.
So, I am asking friends and family to pass this on and even if you can't help out financially, I appreciate your thoughts and prayers just as much!
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