We have shared before with you about Donna suffering from debilitating low back pain since last year. She has tried physical therapy, chiropractors and medication, but nothing seems to relieve the pain. For the last five months, she has been staying home since she can only sit, walk or stand for short periods of time. She has always been very active, so this has been really hard for her.
In Costa Rica we have socialized medicine, which is inexpensive – but it has many limitations. One is that the system is very slow and many procedures are not even available. Since last October, she has been seeing an Orthopedic Surgeon with the socialized medicine. He has sent her to do several X-rays and to get an MRI. Last week we met with him and he says that she will eventually need the back surgery, which would place steel plates and screws to stabilize the lower back, which he says we can begin planning for that in August. Since there are many risks to general anesthesia and back surgery, we decided we needed a second opinion. Yesterday we went to Clinica Biblica, one of the leading hospitals in the country, to have Donna seen by a Neurologist there. After reviewing Donnas’ records, X-rays & MRI and giving a brief checkup, he said that he would not recommend the placement of plates and screws in her vertebra since there are other options available which are less invasive. He gave us a very detailed explanation of what is going on in her back, which is the first time we’ve ever heard what the real problem is. And he told us that even if she had the surgery the other surgeon wants to do, – it would do nothing for the pain she’s suffering from. Donna has what’s called “Lumbar Facet Syndrome”. She has two vertebras that have degeneration due to the fact that they are rubbing together because of a herniated disk. In her sacrum there is another small herniation of the disk there. The pain comes from small nerves being pinched between the facets of the vertebra, mostly in the sacrum area. The treatment he is recommending is a Neurolysis, which is similar to laser surgery that uses radio frequency to eliminate the offending nerves. Next they use steroids to reduce the swelling in the bone tissue, thereby relieving the pain. This would be followed by physical therapy to strengthen the back and lead to long-term health. This is an outpatient surgery, which only requires mild sedation and local anesthetic. He says that she should have a 50% improvement within 3 days and full recovery in about a month.
Our problem is that this surgery is not offered under our insurance with the government provided plan, so to have this done we would have to pay for it ourselves, which could be done at any time after we get the money together. The total cost for this surgery is $4500. We don’t own a house and our car is 17 years old, so we don’t have assets to borrow against to get that much money, so we are going to need help. Please pray with us about this need.
We know God can provide as we have seen him do so many times in the past. If God puts it on your heart to help financially, just let us know and we will send the information on how to get the funds to us.
Thank you for letting us share our needs with you,
Yours in Christ,