As of December 6th, Melissa writes:
(These were the original X-rays from April right after surgery)
The Mayo verdict is in, and we NEED your prayers to make a quick, & major decision for a 2nd surgery-possibly in 2 WEEKS!:
#1) "Extremely deformed" lower ribs on BOTH sides- hard turns, or knuckles protruding out and into the abdominal wall, and hitting nerves that sends those sharp horrible pains!! (Nick & I can actually feel and SEE where these low ribs push out!! Oh so I'm not crazy?! I'm not just a big baby? NO! There's finally a reason why it's excruciating to touch! Sometimes I can't even stand a tighter shirt rubbing over my skin! The nerves are so compressed w/slouched sitting (cars are the worst!!).
#2) My lowest of the 3 bars HAS SHIFTED!!! ("Is it something I did wrong?" I asked the Mayo lady. "No, it's how the ribs settled with time." Whew! For a moment i thought it was b/c of housecleaning! LOL!)
- The shifting, or settling of the rib cage, in these 7+ months of adjusting to their forced position - basically resulted in that low bar no longer touching the ribs on one side, and pressing on the other (ah, that explains my often complaint of "they're digging into me!". Hey, I'm not crazy after all! )
- PS - several doctors & radiologists reviewed my MRI, CT, bone scan, x-rays and said they didn't see anything!!! Hence, why I sent my records back to Mayo, and will only trust their input.
THE REMEDY: Surgery #2 - Take out the lowest bar altogether; cut out portions of the low ribs, specifically the deformed/protruding bone; put in a metal plate to hold the lower ribs down and keep them there! (But "will my low ribs be able to expand for a future pregnancy?" I asked worriedly, reminding them i'm turning 38 next week, and time is ticking! She deferred me to the surgeon on that one.)
THE SAD & UNEXPECTED NEWS: Dec 20th is the only opening left of 2013 - keeping the cost of a 2nd surgery way way down b/c we've already met the deductible with the 1st surgery. We'd pay for a month of Cobra vs. starting over with a high deductible in 2014 with ObamaCare.
AND WORSE: there is no guarantee an insurance plan under ObamaCARE will cover an out of state surgery!!! So while insurance speaking, it's less expensive to pay $725 for Cobra, and have much of the surgery paid by our same insurance. BUT outside of insurance, we'd have to come up with airfare costs, & other travel expenses, and pay the few hundred for Jan 2014 premiums...it's adding up to more than we have the means for.
It also means - Christmas in a hospital. In Arizona. Away from our families.
WE HAVE UNTIL MONDAY TO DECIDE!!! If we will take the Dec. 20th date being held for me, or take our chances, and endure the pain longer, and see IF ObamaCare will cover the surgery. It's a BIG "IF" to risk.
PLEASE PRAY - we need clarity. Our hearts are heavy. The $$ needs to make this happen in less than 2 weeks is....not within our means. We know God is bigger. And HE knows the best plan. We pray for the Lord to reveal it to us, to make the decision clear.
It's wonderful that Melissa finally has the answers she needs, so she knows what steps to take next. Can you help Melissa and Nick with their COBRA Insurance payments and premiums, airfare to the hospital in Phoenix, transportation to/from the airport, accommodations, meals, and travel expenses? Your gift is a tremendous blessing to this family. Prayers are much appreciated as well. Thank you for your kindness and generosity!
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