Sunday, December 26, 2021

Spine Surgery


I haven’t spoken much about my spine surgery on October 4 and was waiting for its successful conclusion to write and reflect on it. Since the hoped for happy ending hasn’t come yet, I thought I’d share a bit about it now.
The October 4th surgery had two parts. One was a laminectomy which removed bone to alleviate compression of the nerves in the lower spine. That seems to have worked as planned. Part two was a spinal fusion to better align the lumbar vertebrae. An X-ray six weeks later showed that a screw had moved and a follow-up cat scan showed that my spine was, to use the doctor’s words, “structurally unsound.” Not what one wants to hear.
A second surgery, more extensive than the first and with the assistance of a robot, is scheduled for January 10. It will involve titanium rods and fusing more vertebrae. I go into this knowing that I made it through once before and also knowing that it sucks. I often thought of my father’s response when asked by doctors and nurses how he was feeling: “Like shit.”
I try to experience each moment for what it is rather than think ahead to rewards that may come in the future. So while I am not happy with this new turn of events, I am not disappointed. The surgery story will just be longer. I am happy that I will be recovering as the light grows and the days lengthen.

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