Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 12:58 pm

I thought I’d take a moment to fill everyone in on the situation with my back. After two MRIs and an EMG (a test in which someone sticks you with pins and runs electrical current through your body to see how your nerves respond; much like acupuncture, but with a Western-style dependency on computers and maybe just a whiff of Marathon Man sadism thrown in for fun), the verdict is: I have new herniations in my discs at L3/L4 and L4/L5. I also have either a massive herniation at L5/S1, or just as likely, a bunch of scar tissue left over from the surgery I had in 1998. Either way, the effect is twofold: I continue to have serious weakness in my right leg, as I have since shortly after the surgery, and I have new pain and mobility problems stemming from the new herniations. The latter have, over the last couple of months, gotten much better on their own. I can now stand up straight, and walking to the mailbox is no longer a painful ordeal. I’m also finally able to get a decent night’s sleep, which was easily the wort part of all this. I spent two months in a perpetual fog of sleep-deprivation, driving on the sidewalk while arguing the finer points of Talmudic Law with my imaginary friends. That’s how fucked up I was; I actually thought I knew anything about Talmudic Law.

Furthermore, this last Friday I underwent the first in a new round of cortisone shots to help reduce the inflammation and speed up healing. Those are always fun (this is my fourth cortisone treatment in about a two-year period for this sort of condition), but the magic of Versed made the ordeal only slightly painful and nerve-wracking. I’ve never been so fascinated with the floor of a clinic before. 🙂

Once we get back from Pennsylvania in a week or so, I’m going to start some physical therapy that my doctor thinks should help with the overall weakness left over from the surgery. He seems optimistic that we can do a lot to alleviate the situation. I’m psyched about that, while kicking myself for having taken the word of my initial surgeon that this was just a fact of life for me and that I would have to accept it. If this turns out not to be the case, I have nearly twenty years of atrophy to try to make up form a concept that has me just giddy with anticipatory pleasure, lemmetellyou.

Anyways, I just thought I’d post a little something for those who might have been wondering. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled program of rants, bizarre photographs and mildly witty observations, already in progress.

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