In 2005, I herniated two discs while working at McDonalds, which resulted in pinched nerves in my legs. I did eventually recover and go back to work as a dedicated employee. That surgery left me with balance issues and a limp if I was on my feet for more than 12 hours. Unbeknownst to me, over the course of the next ten years of long hours on my feet working at McDonalds, the discs degenerated. In January of 2017 I noticed that my limp was coming in as little as three hours on my feet at work. My fiancé insisted that I see a new doctor who examined me and requested I get an x-ray immediately. After reviewing the x-ray, the doctor immediately took me out of work and requested I see an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon requested an MRI. The MRI revealed that one of my discs was totally degenerated. In addition, the spinal bones were pressing upon the nerves going into my legs which resulted in the leg pains and limping. Because the insurance company wanted less invasive procedures be done, the doctor order various tests on the nerves in my legs. The insurance company insisted that I try spinal injections, which were supposed to relieve the pain caused by swelling in the spine, but did nothing for the degeneration. In April 2017, the surgery was scheduled. It was a four-hour procedure which resulted in a spinal fusion. Recovery was expected to be four to six months. The McDonalds that I worked for decided that it would be undue hardship on their business if one of their managers was out for recovery so long and released me from their employment on May 17 2017. By the end of the surgery, I had generated medical bills of over $4500. Just to make the experience more unique, about 4 days out of the hospital I developed an internal infection. My primary care physician attempted to treat the infection with various medications. After twenty days of no success, I tried to make an appointment with a specialist. I was told the only opening was two weeks out. My primary care physician tried another medication. One day before the specialist would see me, my body shut down. After a visit to the ER, I spent the next nine days in the hospital while they tried to treat the problem. Although I have my suspicions about the source of the infection, the doctors all act stumped. My insurance company refused to pay for the medication. The hospital got a company to donate the first 14 doses at about $1000. per dose. I’m at home now. I’m still being treated for the infection. My body has not recovered yet, time will tell. I’m recovering from the spinal surgery and now an infectious disease so I cannot get work. McDonalds released me after over 25 years and as such, to maintain insurance coverage, I had to go the very expensive COBRA route. I have a short-term disability policy which will give me some monies until July, and I’m considering various avenues with the government. I’m trying to pay my monthly insurance premium of $1000. and my current medical bill of $4500, but I’m getting worried. My fiancé is doing her best to support me with housing and food, but her resources are very limited. My family is helping where they can.
If you could find it in your heart to help me, any little bit will help with the current bills.
- Jennifer and Chuck Wilkin
- Sarah Bradham
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