Patrick's 2nd back surgery

My issues started in 2016, having a herniated disk (L4/L5) we went in for surgery and having never had this procedure before (or any major surgery for that matter) we were not prepared for the cost - the surgery itself was pretty straight forward but we had never had to navigate the insurance end of a major operation. Only after the surgery did we learn the difference between "in network" and "out of network" and what that translates to the deductibles that were to be paid. 

What ended up happening is we emptied a prior 401k to pay the hospital bills - which were coming in from everywhere. We honestly had no idea where/when these bills were coming from. We even took out personal loans to help supplement what the 401k couldn't. And to top that off we ended up consolidating and attemped debit consolidation to help reduce the windfall.... it didn't work. Due to our inexperience in not only medical billing but now adding in early deductions from 401ks and debit reduction assistance we have spent the last two years paying for a surgery that we have only just now discovered should have been literally a fraction of what we paid.

So you can imagine that going into a second surgery had us a little more than freaked out. I have managed to take things pretty low key over the past few years making sure not to stress my body too much to avoid further damage. At least I thought I had - up until Hurricane Harvey. We were fortunate not to have sustained damage to our home or vehicles so with that in mind I felt obligated to help those who had. I did what I could to again not stress my body with heavy lifting, keeping to only tearing out sheet rock and insulation, letting others haul off the debris. This is the only thing I can think of that would have done that would have set things off.

Over the next few months my pain slowly increased and I figured I was just tender and tired, until about mid February - it felt like someone had taken a ball pined hammer to my hip - I could tell something was wrong but it wasn't the same pain as I experienced before (shooting pain running down my leg - electricity and fire in my calf and crazy nerve pain in my ankle) this pain was different and after going to a chiropractor they agreed that something was not right and we started thinking that it was a Bursitis in the hip. I went to the Dr and had a MRI done and we discovered that I had herniated again in L5/S1.

Not what I wanted to hear - knowing that I was still trying to pay off the last surgery.  I went back to my Dr and asked what kind of financial options we had - cause this really was not in the budget (is it ever?). What we learned was this... we were taken for a ride with our last "experience". The cost wasn't going to be nearly as much as what we had experienced last time - we now have a in-network doctor who will be operating at an approved in-network facility (this is where it bit us last time) and we have a better idea of the overall cost (at least we are lead to believe we do).

All that said we are still not prepared to take on the cost of the surgery. as mentioned we are still paying for the last one. The estimated cost of the upcoming surgery will be in the neighborhood of $8,000.

I know we will get through this one way or another and I know we are not unique to this situation. 

If you are seeing this and do not know me - I understand that some give just to give out of their heart, to you I ask if you only give once a month and have already done so, consider me next time. Thank you and I pray you continue your efforts to help those in need.

If you know me and my family, you know this is not an easy thing for us to do. You know we are not prideful, or above asking for assistance when it is needed, we know there are so many others out there with greater needs than ours. If you know us and contribute I say thank you, but don't let it stop there - bless another as well. Our faith calls us to be shining lights - if not on us, then let it be on another.

Thank you considering us.


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Patrick Bradford 
Alvin, TX
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