Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Back Surgery Update

It took 12 hours and 24 minutes for my back surgery.

But that's from the time I signed in at the Surgery Center yesterday morning until I climbed in the passenger seat of my truck to come home yesterday evening.  In fact, I could have come home a couple of hours sooner but the surgeon waited until 4:00 to call to let me go.  Then the nurse had to process me out.

I was up walking the halls an hour and a half after returning to my room.  Then a few more times before i left for home. 

I'm not even taking pain meds, and I plan to go out to dinner with the neighbors tonight.  i may even start my treadmill walks later today.  Definitely tomorrow.

Another successful back repair. The only thing left is a visit to the surgeon in two weeks, and doing the walking therapy, and a few 'non-of-this-and-thats' for about four weeks. I think that's pretty darn amazing. 

Oh, and I think it may have fixed the problem.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Back Surgery it is

The Lyrica they tried to stop my leg and foot pain only partially worked when it worked, and often not at all.  Plus, it was treating me to a bunch of its negative and very unpopular side effects. 

So I called to schedule the Plan B alternative, surgery.  The correct term for it is 'Bilateral L5/S1 Lumbar Decompression, or Laminectomy, or for those who don't want to look it up, it's one of the more common back surgeries in America, especially among over weight and couch potatos like me.

Hopefully, it will eliminate the pressure on my nerve bundle that is causing all this pain and lifestyle disruption.

It's scheduled for January 29th.  I should be home the next day.

Then I'm not to lift anything or do anything that might aggrivate the situation for 4 to 6 weeks, including driving or even riding in a car for long distances.  Given that the Salado Eggfest is in six weeks, it will be close but not enough to worry about.

Meanwhile, I will just keep using Lyrica until it's fixed.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Time For Routine Doctor Visits and Maybe Surgery

As always, the new year kicks off another series of doctor visits.  It's one of the joys of growing older. The visits are to make sure I keep growing older.

Most visits are routine just to make sure all the parts are functioning right but the very first visit of the year, January 3rd, was to see if I needed surgical intervention with the on-going nerve problem in my lower legs and feet.  Nerve tests and scans indicated that I do have a problem, and it is most likely due to some sort of pressure against my nerve bundle in my lower back, possibly at L5-S1.

The surgeon, Dr. Cartwright, seems to think surgery can fix it, and will schedule surgery in the near future.  But first, he wants to try Lyrica to see if I can get any relief.  He gave me a few samples to try, saying it may take up to five days before I see any results.

I took one that night and felt a slight improvement that very night.  I actually managed to get some decent sleep without be awakened by the foot pain as I've experienced most nights.  However, I have had a few moments since then when the pain returned, but for shorter periods of time and at less intensity.

I will continue to take the Lyrica for a few more days before assessing its effectiveness.  If it does not improve any more than what I'm experiencing now, I'll probably opt for the surgery.

Meanwhile, I saw my cardiologist for a routine follow-up visit and he says my blood pressure is good (I provided him with a 3-month record of random BP tests at home), as is my lungs and heart.  I was also given an EKG which was good, or he would have said something.  I go back in three months.

Today, I see my ophthalmologist for a routine visit to make sure my cataract and glaucoma remains in check.  With only one good eye, he likes to take no chances that I will lose vision in it, or lose the limited vision (20/400) in my not-so-good eye.

I usually do quite well on reading the eye chart, often with 20/20 in my good eye.  Rarely does it exceed 20/25.  I continue to read and see well enough without glasses to function quite well, but with obvious limitations.  It takes me extra time to see everything.  The amount of extra time is very slight but noticeable.   I'm just happy to be able to see at all.  We'll see how I do today.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Made It To 2013

Okay, so it's 2013.  I've been waiting all day for something really BIG to happen and so far, nothing.

Well, there was that 'Falling off the Cliff' thing in Washington, but it's always like that and will remain so until those idiots figure out that WE THE PEOPLE out weigh their egos and special interest groups, and we sometimes exercise our rights as citizens in the voting booth.

Anyway, so far everything else is going okay.  A little cool outside, but it's winter.  A little boring on TV, but it's New Year's Day.  A BIG turkey on the Egg because we had it and needed to cook it.  Should be done in about an hour.

So Happy New Year everyone.  Let's make the most of it.