Random Ramblings: Neurology appointment secured

I want this dog

I, unfortunately, had to cancel my appointment the other day with a neurologist because I couldn’t find a ride. That was quite the debacle. The problem is, I can’t just take a taxi, as I can only sit in an SUV. That because I can’t squat down into a low car. I need to essentially just slide over. I can’t take the bus, because the step up is too high, and, if you are not from San Francisco, you can’t imagine how Kamikaze the drivers are here. I had a friend offer to drive me, that, again, he drives a mini cooper. Not going to work. My car is also in a parking garage a few blocks away, which just adds to the issue.

However, I was able to secure a different neurologist for Tuesday to hash out why it is I am having numbness and tingling when I lay down, if, as the MRI reads, is not coming from my spine. Which, seems, highly unlikely.

We shall see!

Primary Doctor Appointment – Yup, I’m Worse

After about 5.5 weeks of continued, ongoing, non-improving back pain with new numbness and tingling, I went to see my primary care physician, JD. After explaining my symptoms to him, he decided to do a test. He pricked the sides of my legs to see if I was having any diminished sensation. Well, sadly, I was. He said that it was consistent with an increase in the amount of herniation at my disc site. I’m totally not happy about that. All of this increased pain from going to see a doctor so that maybe I could get better, and instead, I am worse off.

So uncool.


Therefore, my doctor is sending me to get another MRI. This time it is at a different campus, and the MRI machine is not as good. Oh, well. I have no idea how I am going to make it through the MRI with this worsening back pain. Honestly? It’s going to be terrible.


The other shitty thing is that it’s late in the day – 5:10pm. I don’t know how I am going to make it all the way through the day, trying to mitigate as much pain as possible, then drive there. Jeez, by the time I get there, I’m already going to be done.


Since the MRI is so late, I won’t have any results until probably Monday, probably late day at that as well, considering that any emergencies over the weekend will take priority.


Unfortunately, now we are talking surgery. Not that I am opposed to surgery, not at all. The only issue is, it will probably only fix the numbness and tingling. That’s why I was never a candidate before, because I didn’t have numbness and tingling.


I don’t even know what to think anymore.


The other awful thing was that when I asked my doctor how this impacted my long term health of my back, he said “you were going to always have problems before this, and now, yeah, you will always have problems.”


I don’t even know what that means.


I hate the idea that I’m always going to be in some type of pain. How has this happened? I mean, I know, but, how so bad?

Phone consultation with California Stem Cell Treatment Center

I had my phone consultation on 5/1/14. The secretary called, connected me to a doctor. I’m not even sure what his actual specialty was. He talked to me for a few minutes about what my condition entailed. I then asked him if he worked with discs before. He said yes. I asked him what percentage of people were helped by the procedure. He said he didn’t know the stats right off the top of his head.


Right there. That’s a red flag. All of my doctors, and all of the doctors I’ve ever known over the years can tell me what their “numbers” are. Secondly, this is even more impressive that this person doesn’t know the numbers as he is essentially making a sales call. Third, this “Treatment Center” only opened in 2010. I feel like he should have some current numbers.


They wanted to let me know that I would either have to bring my MRI, or they would do some specialized MRI there – an MRI I have never heard of, which isn’t saying much, as my specialty was never radiology, but having had worked in spinal surgery, and having had two on my lumbar area and one on my thoracic spine, I’d probably have heard of it.


I asked who would do the procedure, they said an interventional radiologist. Hmm. Okay. They said they would pull my cells by doing abdominal liposuction. They then said they would give my cells to I.R., which is fine — but here is the part I’m totally not cool with. He said they would inject the remaining stem cells into my i.v. and that the cells would go to where they needed to from there.




Sketchville if you ask me.


He asked if I had anymore questions, I said no. I was transferred back to the receptionist and she immediately asked for $250 to process my fee to have their team look at my MRI.


I said I’d have to think about it.


I’m not so sure about this place.


Check out my main blog at http://www.madelinefresco.com. I have three novels for sale there and, when it is football season, blog about football, but manly the Packers. Draft is coming up!

Allsup consultation for 3rd review by social security

Today was my scheduled phone call with my Allsup representative today. This call was done to complete my paperwork to be sent in for my third appeal with Social Security.


It went fairly okay. It took about an hour. I honestly think it would have took less time if I had done it myself. The good news though, was that I could lay down while she asked me all of the questions. It was pretty straightforward. In a way, kind of annoying. It was everything that I had already done. It’s been two years now. They have all this paperwork. They asked me what meds I was on, when I got hurt, when I stopped working –all stuff that they already have.


Some good questions they asked was how the back pain effected my. Was I able to concentrate as well as before? How does it effect my mood? Am I quicker to snapping with people? Of course! Just yesterday my Direct TV went out and I had to call support to get it fixed. The whole time my internal clock was ticking about how much time I had left before I would be completely spent. I had to cut the phone call short, and then I got short with my husband. :-(


The good information I got was that it would take about 11-18 months to even get a hearing! Wow! If my MetLife runs out in November that could be a serious problem of no income. That would be 6 months without income at the least! It does show I really, really have to get MetLife to stand behind me in this.

The other interesting thing is that it might not even go to court. The judge could look at my case and approve it right away. The important thing I learned is that they can’t deny me without a court hearing. So that’s good.

The weird thing is I won’t hear until a decision has been made or just before the hearing. So, it’s kind of up in the air. It’s out of my hands now, which is good.


More updates to come.



Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com