(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.
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.