Meet Inge: How a Second Opinion Gave Her a Voice in the Healthcare System

Hearing and sharing our members’ healthcare stories is a distinct honor. Their personal experiences perfectly illustrate the complexities of navigating the system and the many variables that impact outcomes—whether it’s geographic location or the specific medical condition they face. And while the journey is different for everyone, there’s one thread that remains consistent: expert medical guidance makes all the difference, and at the end of the day, we all just want to feel better and live our best lives.

About three years ago, Inge started experiencing blind spots in her right eye. She also began to feel numbness and tingling on the right side of her face that would run down to her fingertips. 

“I was slowly watching my quality of life deteriorate,” said Inge.

Her doctor examined her x-rays and then told Inge that he was honestly surprised she wasn’t paralyzed. One of the cervical discs in her back was protruding so much that it had actually pushed her spinal cord over. She needed to have surgery immediately. However, Inge also needed to get a second opinion before she could have surgery.

Spine surgery is very invasive and deciding to have surgery can be life-changing. Many insurance companies require expert second opinions before they authorize serious medical procedures like spine surgery. 

Inge reached out to Grand Rounds, a free benefit offered through her husband Cole’s work at Costco. Her care team matched her with an expert orthopedic spine surgeon who confirmed that Inge needed the surgery. 

After the second opinion, Inge’s care team jumped into lightning speed, advocating for her surgery with the insurance company and tackling all of the details to arrange the surgery. 

“When I got my expert opinion, I felt relief. It was just total relief that finally I felt like I had a voice. Grand Rounds gave me a voice. Right after surgery, I could lift my arms over my head and scratch my back. It felt like freedom. Five weeks post-op feels like freedom,” said Inge.

Inge is doing much better after her spine surgery and is expected to make a full recovery. 

Meet Inge and learn more about her story below: