The NurflugelBlog is a place where I can vent my spleen about pretty much anything that crosses my mind. Politics, religion, those annoying little indignities we all have to put up with - I have plenty to say about them.

Location: United States

Saturday, August 11, 2007

One of those days... continued

So, what are the other alternatives to fusion and laminaplasty? The Interne to the rescue

In Germany, they've done a ton of work with ADR. Stenum clinic seems to get a lot of PR, but there are several surgeons with really good reputations who routinely do multi-level ADRs. Dr. Rudi Bertagnoli in particular stands out - he's very active in the spinal community, and seems to have a good track record. He has a fellowship with Yale medical school - if Yale sends surgeons to train with him, that makes me feel pretty good about him.

The bad part of this? No insurance! This is totally not covered - all out of my own pocket. And, we're talking ~$40,000 here. If I hadn't just shelled out $20,000 for replacing all my windows this month, and another $5,000 for dealing with two fallen fir trees in last December's wind storm, I'd be happier.

But, really, this is my health we're talking about - and money shouldn't enter into it. Fortunately, due to skyrocketing real estate prices, I've got a ton of equity in my house, so I can raise the money in a couple of weeks if needed.

So the plan of action is several fold:
  • First, I shot an email to my neurosurgeon with a bunch of follow-up questions.
  • I've also set up an appointment for a second opinion with another surgeon at the OHSU Spine Clinic. Different hospital (they do ADR there), perhaps different opinions.
  • I've also sent my MRIs and medical history off to Dr. Bertagnoli's office. Got an email back saying they're on holiday until August 15th.
I keep vacillating back and forth. While the laminaplasty originally sounded good, I'd like something that actually fixes things. Right now I'm leaning about 90% towards Dr. Bertagnoli, if he'll accept me. I've already talked with several patients of his, who've given me positive feedback. Checked airline reservations (between $900-1300 round trip), car rentals, international driving permits, etc, etc. Talked to my credit union about a home equity loan. Now I just have to wait to hear back from local neurosurgeon #1, local neurosurgeon #2, and the German neurosurgeon. If I needed to, I could get to Germany with two weeks notice.



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