Get A Second Opinion

Get A Second Opinion

by Monica Radtke

To Begin With

I get emotional when I write these blogs knowing each of you reading may be feeling what I am saying, as well as trying to understand why I say what I say.  I want to save you from some of what was, for me, frustrating grief. Today we are going to talk about getting a second opinion as well as the prior authorization mess.

cartoon presenterMy lifelong goal has always been to a professional motivational speaker.  Thirty plus years later I never imagined knowing my true calling, to be a patient advocate.

I want to become a patient advocate for people who are questioning their healthcare choices.  I hate to think there are situations with people who don’t have the knowledge and resources I do.  They are put in a position to continue feeling bad or are injured.  Knowing who to call, what to do, when to be persistent, where to go, everything matters.

There is no science to it, but I’d like to think there are things to make it easier.  Writing a book would be about 1,500 pages and may even be a series of books depending on different situations.

I have put myself in position to start a business as a professional, motivational speaker.  I have many experiences to share and want to motivate people by educating them to the health field as a patient, caregiver, and everyone in general.  After all, everyone will be a patient and or caregiver at some point in their lives.

If ANYTHING ever resonates with you in what I say, PLEASE read this:
Everyone deserves quality healthcare.  Understanding all of one’s choices lets people be a part of their care.  Ask all of your questions!  There are NO dumb questions. Remember, this is YOUR LIFE!  Blood, bone, breath!  No one can do this for you.  People can help you, but ultimately YOU decide. 

Read On

human spineI want to share my frustration. It was difficult to get a Prior Authorization on a, PLIF (back to the surgeon who did surgery in October of 2012).

I had the surgery April 19th, and I am recovering. The frustration is behind me. Most people I talked to about this found it hard to believe that I was looking forward to having surgery. I can almost say I am FINALLY happy.

After the better part of a year of increasing pain, it is gratifying to know that the one option left to me might work.  I remember the second opinion surgeon I am now dealing with say, ‘you will not like me for the first four to six weeks after surgery’.  THAT scared me, but since this is my only option, I felt compelled to continue the process and get the treatment I need.  

I have degenerative disc disease; the pain isn’t going to go away nor the dysfunction of my back over time.  Without it, the clicking noise in my low back that I also feel is not only painfully getting worse but scaring me knowing the degenerative disc disease will continue.

Get A Second Opinion

doctorI know people say ‘always get a second opinion’, but I never had to question a doctor before this, and after jokingly making a comment to the first surgeon of not having the ALIF before summer at a visit in January of this year, I got what I call ‘the look of death’.  His look pushed me over the edge. This surgeon didn’t care about me, nor did he want to help me get better.  

Three Prior Authorization denials are NOT good luck. That is why I decided to get a second opinion.  I am 1,000% glad I did.  Compassion is a hard thing to find in a surgeon. I took the initiative of saying enough is enough, I can hope for a much better outcome.   I have questioned the system, and I want the world to know.

Next Blog – Fighting The System


Monica, Chronically Awesome Forever Fibromyalgia



If you are interested in writing about Fibromyalgia, or any Chronically Awesome condition, email us at and tell us about yourself. We are looking for stories about how you live with your condition in a Chronically Awesome way so that newly diagnosed patients can understand what life can really be like with their new diagnosis.

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