For those of you in the Southeastern US, Dr. Schubert at UF offers a low-cost MRI scan. I had one of my Cavaliers scanned yesterday (bad news... which I was prepared for and expecting) for $735.00. This included bloodwork, the scan, a consult, and a CD of the images. I was highly impressed from the second I started corresponding with the clinic to make the appointment until the moment we left the facility. Dr. Schubert and his staff were wonderful. In all, it took about 3 hours, which I thought was quick-- I didn't feel rushed at all with the staff, though. There were neuro students in there, as well, so his explanation was very thorough. Apparently, he doesn't always recommend the surgery (titanium mesh) but he did with us. I am leaning towards medical management for a variety of reasons, but still have more research to do.
Just wanted to let you know that this is available much cheaper than most places in the US and it was an impressive experience. Here in Atlanta, this would have cost me around $2,000+.
Rod has the info on his website... www.cavalierhealth.com, or if you contact me I am happy to give you the contact info.
I must say... though I was prepared for this diagnosis and have researched this for quite a long time, it was still very sad and overwhelming to get a definitive SM diagnosis. I am very sorry for people who are newly going through this and have never even heard of the disease. I can't imagine how overwhelming it is for them.