Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Back Hurts - Part 2 (Surgery #1)


SURGERY #1
 (an unpleasant picture further down)

What? What’s going on? Catch up on the story, here’s The Background.




So the plan was for the doctor to make an incision in my lower back (through muscle) and to take out the "bad part" of my disc and leave the rest. He said over time that scar tissue would fill in the void left by the bad/ruptured part of the disc and this new part-disc-part-scar tissue component would work well as a replacement for a normal disc. 





The rest of the story after the jump.




Unfortunately for both of us it wasn't until he opened me up that he knew the real extent of the damage and mess inside. The ruptured disc, which had apparently been that way for years, had made quite a mess. Scar tissue had formed all around the nerves in my spine. He also saw I suffered from spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal column narrows which causes the nerves and spinal cord to become compressed. As a result of all of this he had to take out more of my disc than he originally planned and also widened the opening to help create more room for everything.





Now, if you will forgive my colloquialism, this surgery sucked ass. It took months to recover just to a point where I could comfortably sit, stand, walk, use the bathroom, bathe, etc. The surgical site was a mess. The incision was disgusting (as you can see below). It hurt. 


Did the doctor hand the scalpel over to a drunk Michael J. Fox? 


At all of my follow up visits the doctor said the same thing. The scar tissue inside will fill in the void, my pain will go away, my nerves will heal on their own, I will be 100% better in 4 months. 4 months later I was told it would be 6 months. 6 months later I was told it would be a year. I saw where it was going. I finished out college having to walk around with a cane, which in turn made almost everyone refer to me as House. This always bothered me. My style has been, for years, blazers with a t-shirt, jeans and casual shoes (usually Saucony or Converse). Now because I had a cane I was a House impersonator? Assholes. 

Before I graduated I went back to my last visit with this doctor and told him my plans on moving to a bigger city to find a job and to be with my girlfriend. He almost became frightened with this and made a very, very big deal in telling me not to go to any "big city" doctors because they only want my money and will operate without any consideration whatsoever (unlike him thinking it over in less than 10 minutes and scheduling it 3 days later). He again reiterated I needed to give it lots of time (about a year and a half to two years this time) before I started to feel a difference. He insisted I stay on heavy painkillers and muscle relaxers and take it easy, and again to stay away from other doctors. I told him to fuck off (in my head) and walked out with a prescription for Soma and Vicodin. 

I must note here that this was the last time I saw this doctor, as he died about a year later from cancer. And that's too bad. Because he could have gotten a bit more out of me and my insurance company. 

The story continues with Part 3

20 comments:

  1. Wow, that doctor.. I am curious to know what he did to you that he does not want any other doctors to see.

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  2. Ohjeez, I hope you get better soon! That sounds like a rather invasive surgery...

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  3. And I just read the rest of it, and see now that you're not getting better at all. Nevermind my first comment.

    I'm sure you've already sought the advice of other physicians, but it sounds like you've been had by the formerly-living doctor - his expertise only got him so far, and I hope you've found another physician who actually knows what's going on with you.

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  4. When it comes to your post, GTL can also stand for "Great Thoughts at Length"... keep it up!

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  5. i feel sad for you! Also that hackjob doc had it coming!

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  6. fuuuuuuuuck. What MESS. Sorry to hear about your medical woes man. I read the backstory and am eagerly awaiting the next post.

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  7. Damn, that's nasty. Also, in light of your problem, all colloquialisms shall be forgiven.

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  8. oo that is gross man.
    hope you recover nicely.

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  9. You've made some interesting points... I also have some points (actually bubbles) on Enhanced by MS Paint :)

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  10. I have never heard of the idea of scar tissue filling in for bone as your previous doc seemed to suggest. He sounded a little clueless if you ask me.

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  11. Sounds awful, hope you get better.

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  12. I have to agree with you here. Check out my other TS blog, Swift Fanatics!

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  13. This is really well written and engaging so far. I can't wait to read more.

    I get called House a lot, too, but that's just because I'm a dick. :/

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  14. sounds tough. best of luck to you

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