Nikki's Spine Surgery

I have a had a series of unfortunate events that had led to this moment. Never in a million years did I think I would be asking for help, talk about humbling.

I had a skiing accident in Dec 2016 that did some good damage to my right hand, mainly my thumb, the pain was so severe through my entire arm that I wasn't able to work for awhile.  If I did work I could tolerate a couple of hours and then would cry myself to sleep from the excruciate pain. I started having severe pain in both arms soon after and at one point couldn't even drive because I couldn't lift my arms long enough to do so. The nerve pain in both of my arms feels like open wounds on a daily basis. I can't sit for long because the pain of that is crazy. I have missed so many life events over the last 6 months and if I did attend it was tough. I have tried everything from PT, OT, Eastern medicine, acupunture, etc. I also have atrophy in my right hand since I am still unable to use it well.

I have been to many doctors for all of this and the conclusion is I need ACDF fusion surgery. The reason being is I have a disc pushing through my thecal sac (the protective fluid around the spinal cord) into my spinal cord, there are also multiple bone spurs. I also have a minor spinal cord injury that is causing numbness in my hands as well. The surgery consists of removing the disc and spurs then replacing disc with a cadaver disc, then putting a metal plate on 2 vertebraes to ensure sucess of new disc. My surgery is scheduled for next Monday, July 3rd.

This morning I received a call from the surgeon's office that they just received news that my insurance will not cover the surgery due to a clause in our policy about disc and joint replacement. The surgery is deemed medically necessary and I need to have to get my life back and get back to work. Now it is an out of pocket surgery. The joys of being self employed with crappy insurance.

The reason I have come to this point is since all of this has happened we had to make some major changes at work where both my husband and I are employed. As you know, when you are self employed, if you're not working, you're not making money. We have poured our hearts and savings into a business we launched in 2016 and we have had to put on hold due to all of this. The financial strain has been devastating and to get this news today is beyond words. I know God has a bigger plan for me but man oh man this moment in time is a new low.

Thank you for reading my story, I appreciate it.


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Nikki Schwendeman Orton 
Sarasota, FL
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