This is a Weekly Coffee Share update.
Our group is hosted by the ever-gracious; Eclectic Ally.
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Uhh. Was I dreaming? Don’t want to wake up. Something hurts. Strange voices nearby. Just a few more minutes…
Motion. How? Motion and a pattern, with a distant squeak, like a damaged shopping cart.
Eyes heavy. Don’t want to see. Let me wake up slowly.
This is not my bed. Where am …?
Swallow – ow! What happened? Throat sore; dry with something loose and tickling half way down. Don’t think I can speak. Throat broken.
Shift my leg – ow! Hips and butt are a stiff block of dull pain. Don’t move.
Whoa – sharp turn – still moving. I felt that. Gotta see – ah – am in a corridor. I’m still in the hospital and – the surgery, must be done. Felt fast. Anesthesiologist was just joking. How long was I out?
Lower back aches. Expected. Where’s the nerve pain? Maybe – wrapped in the pain from surgery? And pain meds, I must have some already. Should I feel anything?
“Mr. Wilson, we’re about to hit a small bump, but everything is alright. We’re almost to your room.”
Who are you? A bump – no. They hurt the worst – bumps and sneezes – stabbing my whole spine and legs. Don’t tense up. Only makes it worse.
[THUMP – THUMP]
That was it? It didn’t hurt; not in the least. “Hi Karen, I have Mr. Wilson for 282. You’re back on day shift again. Good for you.”
Okay, what can I really feel? Surgery cratered my lower back, but that pain is different and I – I can’t feel the pinched nerve. I should be able to feel both, but the pinch – is gone.
“Okay, Mr. Wilson. We’re at your room. You’re safe and did very well with the procedure. I’ll be leaving you in Karen’s care.”
Swallow – going to have to talk now.
“Hello, Mr. Wilson. I’ll bet your throat is bone dry. Can I help you with a few sips of ice water?”
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Greetings! I’m very glad to see everyone today because I have great news. My back surgery was a huge success! The only downside is that I’m not allowed to lift anything heavier that 5 pounds, bend, twist, reach or stretch for several weeks to make sure I don’t tear out any of the surgeon’s work, so tea and coffee and munchies options are pretty limited today.
Here’s the short version of how the operation went:
- I checked in as directed around 11 Monday morning and reported my pain as being 7 of 10.
- I was being prepped by noon and was being rolled into the operating theater by 1300 pm.
- Moments later, I was out cold while a very clever spine surgeon did some much needed clean up of my L4 & L5.
- I woke up around 1500 pm as I was being wheeled to my room and as soon as I could think straight enough, I did quick pain inventory – looking for a certain type of pain. I knew the surgeon had to cut into the base of my spine so there would surely be a new pain for that but I looking for a specific distinctive sciatic pinch pain that I was so weary of.
- I couldn’t find it – any of it… How cool is that? After 18 months of pain, it was completely gone!
- A very nice physical therapy guy helped me walk down the corridor around 1800 pm. Yes, I was walking with no sciatic pain less that 4 hours after my surgery. I was asked about my overall pain level and reported a 3, then 2 and even a 1 once.
- The nursing team took great care of me through the evening, making me as comfortable as possible. Mean nurses only exist in mythology you know…
- I was released to the care of my two youngest kiddos before noon time the next morning.
- Beginning to end, I was on the hospital property for all of about 24 hours.
- The surgical incision and that line of staples hurt plenty, but will quickly heal.
So, today you find me as I expect to be for the next 6-12 weeks; that is moving slowly, healing and hopefully writing and enjoying the company of family and friends – but almost no work. Even my boss is being very supportive.
In other fun – I’m supposed to get up frequently and walk some to keep things from stiffening up, so I was headed to the backyard and stopped before opening the door because a strange cat was out in the yard. “What is he doing?” I thought as I adjusted my glasses to see more clearly. He was hunched in a wicked looking arched back pose looking straight down and not moving. “Ah – you’re hunting. Good then. Try and catch one of the gophers that are tearing up our yard.”
I stood there and watched without much hope, but then faster than I could discern he darted a paw into the hole and drug out the captured rodent. “Wow!” I called my daughter over to see if she recognized the cat, but no joy. He casually carried the squirming gopher over to sit beneath a bench where he quickly killed and began to eat his catch. “Whoa – Welcome to our backyard fast food chain bud.” The cat was good enough to keep his back to us as he finished the critter and then jumped up onto a small rock retaining wall to nap underneath the rosemary. “Such a civilized feral gato,” I thought. “… and such is life on the edge of where suburbia meets agriculture.
I also have a proud-parent announcement to share today. My oldest son, Connor, has released his second self-published album of his own acoustic guitar music. His style is light jazz and both his albums have no voice so it’s just him and his guitar. When my father was dying of cancer, he would often ask Connor to be with him and play for him. Dad had a particular song that he loved. When dad finally passed, Connor shared that same song; “Remembrance”, at his funeral. According to some typical parent – kid dynamic, I had to wait for his second album for my favorite song, “Lucy”. Nice to know where I stand. If you would like to sample any of the songs from either album, use this link, and click on the album cover photo to go back and forth. If you’re fond of being the first of your group to discover new artists, Connor may be your next great find.
Finally, my medical leave is fully approved and, I’m going to try and get some writing done since, theoretically, I have nothing else to do. What I’ve experienced so far is lots of time talking with callers who, as kind friends and family, were asking for the latest news of how the surgery went.
I know that several of you have your own medical challenges that remain in flight. I Pray you soon experience the same minor miracle that I just had. How is it going with you?
Okay. I’m gently lifting myself out of this chair to refresh my tea. Can I get you anything while I’m up? It would have to weigh less than 5 lbs. but I am otherwise slowly at your service. Thanks for stopping by.