Melissa's Medical Journey

Hi my name is Melissa Lundquist. Normally I am not the type of person to reach out for help but I am currently dealing with a unique medical case that happened in the middle of a calendar year for my health insurance that is causing a hardship to get medical bills paid to receive the treatment that is necessary to get better. 
Currently, I use an HSA account through my workplace because originally when I signed up I was unaware of my medical issue.

Here is my story:
Back in May I was waking up every morning with a headache behind my right eye. I originally thought nothing of it thinking I had a sinus infection or possibly just getting migraines again.  With a bit of a push from my husband I finally went into the primary care doctor who with the ophthalmologist urgently sent me in for an MRI scan where they found a mass that was the size of a dime behind my eye. I was notified about 2 hours after my MRI of how urgent this matter was and at that point they immediately put me on a high dose Prednisone steroid treatment to treat what they thought was either a thyroid issue or pseudo tumor. Unfortunately, after a week to week and a half later it was noticed the treatment wasn't working and they sent me back in for another urgent MRI where they found that the mass behind my eye had quadrupled in size in a matter of weeks. They also sent me for an urgent CT scan that week where luckily, they did not find any bone damage occurring. I went in for a biopsy on Thursday, July 20th at Banner Desert where they were planning on either removing the tumor or just taking a biopsy of it for Lymphoma.  Before I could even get admitted to Banner Desert I had to pay $1700 up front which wiped my HSA empty and then some.

Thursday, July 20th: Good news was they are almost sure it's not lymphoma but it will still have to be looked at through a biopsy to be positive. Bad news is it's some sort of mass that has a huge amount of blood vessels entangled around it. The doctor said that I lost 1 liter of blood within 15/20 minutes of starting the procedure just trying to get to the mass so the doctor stopped the procedure in fear of fatal risks and to get more scans of the brain and eye to make sure the bleeding was not coming from the brain. I was admitted to ICU and awaiting an angiogram procedure for further testing.

Friday, July 21st: Continued stay in ICU. My eye surgeon is now consulting a neurosurgeon to come up with the best plan of action to remove the tumor.  Had my angiogram procedure done where they didn't find any concerns or areas where this specific specialist could help with the next procedure. 

Saturday, July 22nd: Finally, got to leave the ICU that afternoon and return home. I still have a long road ahead of me and my face currently looks a bit scary but I'm not letting that get me down. Next steps are to meet with the neurosurgeon and eye surgeon this week.  As soon as the swelling goes down my eye and neurosurgeon will be doing a combo surgery to remove the tumor. They will not go back in the original way because it's just too dangerous. I also now have nerve damage on the right side of my face from above my eye brow to the middle of my head. We are hopeful that slowly the nerves will regain feeling within a year.

Because of all of the tests, scans, procedures, and surgerys my medical bills are begining to reach a point that I can no longer easily afford. These funds will be used to pay the bills that have built up along with the ones to come from the stay in ICU and the hospital stay/procedure to come. This is an urgent situation because currently I cannot work either job while I am home recuperating. Who knew a simple headache could turn to this! All in all I am staying very positive and strong. I'll eventually get back to my everyday activities and back on the paintball field.

Anything helps even just a simple share! :)


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Melissa Danielle Lundquist 
Mesa, AZ
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