- health issues / healthcare
- August 21st, 2009
I don't intend to use this journal just to gripe and moan, but there have been some developments in recent years -- while I was not writing in here -- and I feel like I should explain them in case I mention them (and I probably will) in the future here.
1) Spondylolisthesis. OK, first of all, remember how I used to complain about my hip hurting and I was always going to chiropractors and stuff? I went to a different orthopedist who, instead of merely x-raying my hip and then telling me I was fine, x-rayed my back and then sent me for a lumbar MRI. I have spondylolisthesis [spondy = spine and listhesis = slippage] and have probably had it to some degree for a long, long time only with no symptoms, and then as you know once I was very pregnant with River the hip pain symptom began.
What this is: I have bone loss and fractures in my L4 and L5 vertebrae, and L5 due to having less mass than normal then slipped forward over S1. This was pinching my disc and inflaming nerve roots. The chronic bursitis in my left hip and leg were (are) from inflammation spreading to nerves and muscles in my lower back and on downward.
It has gotten progressively worse. 2 years ago I was on vacation with my family in Florida, and on the last night my left leg just went out from under me and I couldn't walk on it properly for days. A fresh MRI last summer showed that my L5-S1 disc has been completely squashed to oblivion now.
I can no longer walk farther than 1/2 a block, and some days I have to use a cane.
I was going to have spinal fusion surgery back in February, but in January Matt got laid off the main job he was at and we lost our family's only health insurance. If this sounds familiar...yeah, we went for years with no insurance and a state loophole prevented even our boys from getting Medicare. We had a couple of nice years with healthcare, and now we are back to not having any.
MEANWHILE................... last fall I was diagnosed with asthma and high blood pressure. Now, I think that I have had the asthma my ENTIRE fucking life and doctors have always been misdiagnosing me with bronchitis, upper respiratory infections, or croup. I'm a little pissed off at doctors about this. Once my new g.p. started treating me for asthma...wow!!! I mean, is oxygen underrated or WHAT?!?!? However....without insurance my asthma meds cost $350 per month. So, I just don't buy them. River is on 2 meds now for his ADHD, so I buy those and birth control. I keep an emergency inhaler, and in the summer when it is warm I have few breathing issues, but once it starts turning cold here, ohhhh, I am gonna wish I had asthma meds!
The high BP was to be expected--it is the curse of my mother's family. But I was hoping I could have made it past 40 before that started! I am overweight and out-of-shape due to not getting any exercise for a while there, dealing with my spine problem. Finally, I got a bicycle for cardio, and I love my bike. But it was too late. I have to take Lisinopril for the BP. Which is nice--it works great and is cheap, especially at Sam's Club where we get our meds now. $4 for BP meds. I just wish pharma co.s thought that breathing was as necessary as not stroking out.
So, there you go: I am a mess!
I keep thinking, if we could just get some healthcare coverage, somehow, and I could have the back surgery...once that heals up, I can get my old life back!