James’ Back Surgery

I’m happy to say, we have finally found a solution to my back issues!! For any of you that know me personally, you know how bad my back can get, and that this has been an ongoing battle for nearly two decades. Today is day 46 of my most recent episode (12/21) and I met with the surgeon at the Laser Spine Institute in Scottsdale, AZ Monday morning. He told me that I am a perfect canidiate for surgery. I have two herniated discs and a bone spur pressing on the nerves for my legs. Also, he told me I have degenerative disc disease, lateral stenosis and spinal stenosis, plus a few other things that aren’t actually causing problems. He wants to go in and shave the discs back away from the nerves and file down the bone spur. Yippee right!? Let me just start by telling you a little bit about the issues I am currently having and maybe the surgery won’t sound so bad. First off, I work at a car dealership, so I sit, stand, walk, bend and twist all day. That being said, I am not able to stand up straight and am currently walking  at a snails pace. So work has been impossible. I have been using a cane to help me walk and even just getting up to use the bathroom can be excruciating. I have to sit to shower. Sitting to shower sounds relaxing right? Not so much actually, it sucks. We have a single stall shower and I can’t twist, so it’s really interesting trying to get to the shelves for soap and shampoo. Usually by the time I get dried off and brush my teeth, I have to go sit on the bed because my legs are shaking from the pain. Sitting is pretty uncomfortable as is standing and laying down all the time gets REALLY old, and uncomfortable after so long. So the prospect of having some relief is huge. I will be scheduling my appointment today but there is a little snag in the road. My insurance has approved coverage for $10k of the bill but because they are an “out of network provider” it leaves me with a $13,600 out of pocket total. That covers all aspects of the medical care at the Surgery Center, but that is it. The other expenses will come from the 5 day process the week of surgery. I live in Tucson and the center is in Scottsdale, about two hours away. So I am faced with either driving back and forth for the first two days or getting a room at a hotel. I mentioned the first two days because the remaining three days, it is required that I stay in Scottsdale. Either way, It’s going to be costly, and I’m sure I’m forgetting something. I am truly excited at the opportunity to have this surgery, but just can’t see how I will make it work financially. I am not normally one to ask for help like this, but with me not able to work and Kristopher working his butt off to keep the bills paid and then Sheri trying to make things work at the house, this is something I just can’t  do without a little extra help. I appreciate anything you can do to contribute and appreciate you taking the time to read my story.

Love to you all!!
James

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Organizer

James Castetter 
Organizer
Tucson, AZ
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