Sunday, April 01, 2007

Brea got a donor heart! I got a new spine!

Brea has been given a gift, a donor heart. She is doing well, you can check up on her at the links in the previous post.
After a very painful 2 weeks I finally got some relief on Thursday. The neurosurgeon did a spinal fusion at L4L5 and L5S1 so thats 3 vertabrae that will no longer have movement in them. I shouldn't have to go through this type of relentless maddening pain again.
When the surgeon got into my spine he found a huge piece of disc wedged into the siatic nerve at L5S1 and when he looked at L4L5 the disc had protruted clean out into the nerve area and was sitting on the nerve and the ganglia. So they took bone/disc out of the spaces in between the vertabrae at both levels. Then they screwed the fusion cages into these spaces between the vertabrae.
Then the surgeon took the pieces of bone they removed and ground it up with a chemical that makes the crushed bone cling together and packed that paste into the cages so that my bone will grow together. I am so glad he used this method because I have heard that if they take bone from your hip that the hip paon is worse than the post-op back pain.
We got to the hospital at 5:30 am and I was up walking around with physical therapy, with the assistance of a walker by 2:00 pm and was home by 8:00pm the same day. Now three days later I am moving around more and the pain from surgery isn't even half of what I was feeling before the operation. I am still having to walk with a walker because my left leg is numb from the nerves being so aggrevated (I have been assured that this is normal and that feeling will gradually return over the next few weeks to months) and weak, still i can see myself not needing a walker to get around the house by Tuesday of this next week. Soon I will be able to start physical therpy. I am already going out with Lori when ever I can to work on the weakness in my left leg. I was told by the surgeon that I will be out for 3-6 mounths and I am going to do what it take to make the 3 month back to work mark if possible. Below you can see my spine with the titanium ally cages are in place. The other big metal pieces on the x-rays are from the retractor used during surgery.
The picture of me laying on the kitchen floor was from a few days before the surgery. Lori was cooking dinner and so I laid in the floor to talk to her.

Here's to a swift recovery.



Anonymous said...

Omg! I just saw the pics of you on the floor and read what it was all about. How horrible for you to have all that surgery and scarey too. I haven't spoken to mom or dad in about 4 months, so I didnt know you were going through all this. Im really sorry. I sent mom a birthday present, but haven't heard back from her yet. They are both drinking, its sad. Dad is by far the worst though, in fact he is the reason I haven't spoken. He gets really rude when he drinks and he owes me a formal apology for some mean stuff he said, but sadly probably doesnt remember. I'm hoping it will be sometime soon. For the time being he just messages Kip about golf and meanial things now and then. I think I will call mom tomorrow and see how she is coping. I miss her, Life is too short to stay angry. I hope you have a speedy recovery and wont need anymore surgery!! Love, Brandie

Glen said...

Brandie I have been hopeing you and Loriann would leave a comment. Our old computer crashed. and I couldent turn it on any more so I dont have anyones E-mail address and I have a new E-mail address myself. If you leave your e-mail address I will right it down and the reject your comment so no one will see it but me.
Love your brother. Glen