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.

2 Responses to “Backstory”

  1. Valerie Says:

    Sounds like you need the bumper sticker I saw once: “If you don’t like the way I drive, get off the sidewalk!” I noted this, by the way, on a car parked halfway up on the sidewalk. Truth in advertising, eh?

    I’m sorry your back is paining you, but I am happy that it looks like you’re making forward progress and looking to make more. Enjoy PA. Are you going to Morimoto’s restaurant while you’re there? If you do, I expect a course by course, dish by dish description together with impressions and photos. Including the bathrooms. You owe that to your faithful readers.

    I’ve been to PA. I spent a month in State College establishing residency and taking 12 grad school credits all at once. (Not really recommended–either the workload or the destination.) State College reminded me a lot of Pullman, down to the religious fervor for football, the creamery (good, but no Ferdinand’s), ag focus, vet school, the rural isolation, the dependency of the local economy on the college itself, and the constant “all Penn State WSU, all the time”/”GO NITTANY LIONS GO COUGS!” theme. I thought of your years in Pullman a lot while I was there, and I missed Evergreen and Olympia too. Strange to be at school, but not have the same school friends to be with. Odd.

    So, get better, get stronger, and have a good time. Prescription from Dr. Val

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Thanks Val; you give great reply. 😀

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