Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Weather and Health;
Proposed Surgery

We're in the midst of a cold spell which should surprise no one. Last year we had minus 13 degrees on January 3rd when I got frostbite. This year it's not quite as cold with the lows only in the low single digits but still on the upper side of zero. That might change tonight or tomorrow night before the temperatures start to swing upward again. And by upward I mean towards--but not above--32 degrees. At least, we've only got occasional snow flurries/squalls that don't amount to much. Today, for instance we got an inch or less of fine powder.


Terry's still battling the sinus infection that's been causing her to cough up a lung every couple of hours. The doctor swears it's not the flu--or pneumonia--and has prescribed an antibiotic as well as an inhaler to battle the bud and phlem.

I've still got an occasional cough from a similar infection, but I've made far more progress than Terry has.


I did go see the surgeon about my back today. (Terry stayed home afraid that if she started coughing at the hospital they might want to keep her.) I got to the hospital over in Sayre about half an hour before my appointment. I checked in and settle down in the waiting area on 3 Blue when my name was called and I was reminded I was supposed to go to radiology on 2 Purple for some lumbar x-rays. "Shouldn't take long. Just let us know when you get back."

Well, they must have been having an after Christmas sale on x-rays as the walk-in radiology lab was swamped with folks. I had to wait for over an hour for my name to be called, but just 10 minutes later I was back upstairs at 3 Blue to see the surgeon. It was only forty-five minutes past my original appointment time. *sigh*

The Doc punched up the x-rays as well as the MRI they had done a few months ago. We reviewed the pinched nature of the spinal cord in the L3, L4, and L5 vertebrae. He pointed out how badly the L4 vertebra was out of position (1.8 cm when I was standing straight and 0.9 cm when I was bent forward. Those pictures went a long way to explaining why my back hurts so badly when I've been standing for any length of time.

As a solution, he recommended using pins and rods to realign and fuse those three vertebrae and a little scraping of the nerve channel and grinding away of bone protrusions. Depending upon what he finds when he's in there, he may have to expend the rods to L2. I'd be in the hospital for 3-4 days and then have 6-8 weeks of recovery at home with physical therapy.

We set a date of January 22 for the surgery and then he sent me off to do the usual pre-admissions stuff: EKG, blood tests, chest x-rays. (The EKG was good as was the blood pressure (140/72) and pulse rate (48).) Blood was drawn painlessly and vials filled for the lab to test. Chest x-rays were done at a different radiology lab on the 3rd floor and took all of 10 minutes.With any luck, the blood and chest x-rays will not reveal anything that might cause the physicians to put things on hold.

I finally got out of the hospital a little after 1:30 PM.


Rev. Paul said...

Buddy, you're just a fun machine!

I hope everything goes well for you.

joated said...

Well, Paul, I try to set an example for those who need one. For example, if they think their health sucks, they can always read about my aches, pains and surgeries.

At least all my soft parts are doing okay. Although some might wonder about that grey stuff between my ears.

Tina Marie the Willow Witch said...

Geeze Louise...Sending you healing wishes and a speedy recovery!

joated said...

Thanks, Tina. Perhaps a little Witchy magic?