Hello Keith and welcome,
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Now, I don't have too much to add b/c the ladies above have done a great job with their advice. I know how you feel, being an active person and having trouble accepting that there is something happening that is out of your control. I was training for a marathon when my symptoms started to become to an unavoidable level, yet I denied it and kept on pushing myself and I am very sure that is what caused my symptoms to snowball very quickly. I have the left sided issues too...and even though I was limping on my left leg, I still went for a run that day...wasn't a wise choice. 5 days later, my gait was completely compromised and I was in shock at how quickly I deteriorated. Unfortunately, I didn't have a dx to work with and no one else seemed to know either, it took me six months to find out I had Chiari and it that time a lot of damage was done. So what I am saying is that it is a fine line b/w waiting and waiting too long. By the sound of you symptoms, there is progression and you need to see someone knowledgeable.
I am wondering if the "specialist" you saw was a neurologist (NL) or a neurosurgeon (NS)? There is a vast difference between the two as far as how much help you will get. I would get all your scans, reports together and do some research to find a good NS near you. We have a link here of some that our members have used and liked, but again, you need to research to find the right one for you.
I can't help you with insurance advice b/c I'm in Canada and our health care system is different but it sounds like there are some here that can.
Good luck...please keep us posted!