Ignore my last update. I don’t know what I was thinking about “pain management” and the like. My disk was protruding 12mm and crushing my nerve. I decided I didn’t want to “manage” that. I wanted to get rid of it. I got rid of my “pain management” doctor–who was the most useless, indifferent, judgmental, absent-minded doctor I’ve ever seen–and talked to my previous surgeon about removing the entire disk altogether and having hardware put in to elevate and stabilize the vertebrae. He highly recommended it because of the severity of the rupture and the position of the two vertebrae (collapsed on top of each other). He referred me to a new surgeon who specialized in the TLIF surgical procedure:
Click on “transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)” to view the procedure. The video is broken into parts, so as you finish viewing one part, you will have to click “next” to view the following part.
I had the procedure done last Thursday. I’ve been home since Sunday, and I’m improving every single day. The excruciating pain in my left leg is completely gone. The pain I have now is only related to the incision and muscle aches. I expect to be feeling incredibly good by the weekend. My surgeon visited me in the hospital to change my bandage and remarked that in his entire life, he has never seen a disk so ruptured, damaged, and “all over the place” outside of where it belonged. He said he didn’t know how I could stand it. There were days I really didn’t think I could stand it either. My typical reaction to physical pain isn’t crying. It is wincing, making faces, and sucking in air. But this pain had me convulsing and sobbing like nobody’s business. I have never felt so helpless in my life. I needed lots of things, but to get through those long days I most needed a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Not only has Yvonne Schakel turned this website into a thing of beauty and usefulness (something I can’t say it ever was before), but she has been that person I’ve been able to lean on throughout this whole ordeal. She is a treasure. She is also the kind of person who would dread having herself spoken about in such glowing terms, but I just can’t help myself. If I kept my head together in any way, shape, or form, I owe it all to her.
I promise not to give this journal blog a “What ailment do I have today?” theme. But it has been the reason behind so much of the slow response given to the work of many of you last year. I think things will get so much better in the days to come. Thanks for hanging in there with me.