For the past 8-9 years I have been dealing with sciatica and for years longer than that I have had issues with my back from previous incidents. When I was 17 I was readying myself for the Army after high school and developed some rather severe issues with my back that resulted in surgery after 6 months of experimental and terribly painful trial-and-error modalities that were straight out of the Spanish Inquisition. Early on in my twenties I was tackled at work resulting in a ruptured disc. After about 6 months of physical therapy I actually felt normal again but the damage had been done and set the tone for a life long battle with issues with the health of my back. A few years later while in my mid-twenties I worked at the Albertson’s Distribution center lifting up to and including 50 lbs. packages repeatedly 8 hours a day for 7 months before leaving that place for what would be one of the best decisions of my life; going back to school actually taking action and directing it instead of aimlessly going from one job to another.
After some rather painful issues last year that culminated in an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) that showed the severity of damage done to the nerves in my back I had some to change some things and make some decisions. Basically I have or at the time I was told it was 6 bulging discs that were the culprits in causing all the issues I had been experiencing. I guess now the prognosis is that I have at least 1 and possibly 2 herniated discs that are the real culprits for all my issues which include at times massive pain, ice-cold sensations down the back of my leg, numbness in my toes, awkward balance, the ability not to lift off of my right foot properly and stenosis. Also, I thought my grumpy mood was also attributed to this but was told that I have always been a grump and that these issues were in fact NOT responsible for my channeling Clint Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino. Damn, I thought I had an excuse but I guess I will have to figure something else to take the fall for my grump-i-tudedness.
Fast forward to the present (a year later and another MRI for good measure) and I have recently been experiencing some tell-tale signs of my nerves being irritated once again that are causing pain and tingling on the left-side of my back and foot, loss of strength in my right leg, not being able to sleep at night for more than an hour or 2 at a time have me seeing my neurosurgeon again. After seeing the results of the latest MRI and my additional symptoms he has recommended surgery. I saw this coming and feel like this is actually overdo but I had some hoops to run through before my surgeon would buy off on any surgical procedure. Once surgery was mentioned we sought a second opinion. Not happy with the second surgeon we have seen a third neurosurgeon and tomorrow (Monday) will be seeing a fourth. Not like we are expecting a different answer to come out of seeing so many surgeons but rather I want to feel good about who I am seeing as well as not reading any reviews of my surgeon ruining anyone’s life or anything like that from a surgery they performed on them. So the search continues.
Because this is surgery that requires anesthesia to put me under, there is a chance, albeit a small one, that I wont wake up. Also because this is dealing with the nerves in my back there are some risks with damaging them further causing permanent irreversible damage that could cause any manner of problems. This is why my wife and I want to feel good about who will be operating on me; feeling good about the process and the people doing the work will put me in a better frame of mind and be more at peace with the whole process and allow me to embrace recovery better. I truly believe this.
After the surgery my wife will be working from home so that she can help me for the first couple weeks while I am healing up and becoming more ambulatory. During this time I will be writing when I can and describing the process and what is going through my head. This is something likely to happen in the next week or so.
I know that there are only a couple of people who read this blog but if you could please think good thoughts for me during this time I would greatly appreciate it.
Peace be with you!
More to come…