Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Preparing to go Home

By the time I return to my home June 22 this month, I will have been gone almost a month. Strange to say, with all I was told before this surgery May 24, I was not prepared emotionally for the effects of the procedure.

The surgery is considered a spinal decompression. My spine between cervical vertebra four and six had become compressed to where its diameter is just a small portion of what it was. It never occurred to me that my symptoms were so precise that a neurologist could successfully determine the points of distress even without looking at an MRI.

When I visited a neurologist last September he spent an enormous amount of time asking me questions, examining the function in my arms and legs, detailing my strengths and weaknesses. He also had a resident physician present who peered through my file, and took copious notes. They ordered blood tests and another MRI before rendering a diagnosis.

The quality of my care has been spectacular if it were not for all the waiting. Every referral means more waiting for appointments. The waiting between referrals was often two months or more. The last referral sent me to see a neurosurgeon who explained to me the nature of my situation. After over two months, and two rescheduled surgery dates, I was finally placed on a table, and cut open.

Despite all I had been told, I was not prepared for the immediate results. I was in a hospital room after one day's recovery. I noted that I could not lift my head from the pillow, and could not move my legs. The man who performed the surgery assured me I had no new symptoms, and was shocked that I did not feel ready to go home.

Today, June 15, I pulled myself into a sitting position unassisted for the first time since May23. I am staying hopeful. They are shooting botox injections in my legs to stop spasms so I can move about more safely. Maybe this will all be okay...

Note: when they were preparing to order me a wheelchair I was noting what
an ugly model they had for their products... Then I realized the pctures were of