Tag Archives: operation

OK we have a date

Mrs. the Poet has a really bad back, but it’s something that can be fixed with an operation. But she also doesn’t like hospitals and she really doesn’t like operations. Even just thinking about them causes her distress, the closer the person is to her the worse the distress gets, so you can imagine what it’s like when the person getting the operation is her.

Well now she has a date for/with a spinal fusion. She is getting three vertebrae turned into one, and then as soon as that heals she is getting physical therapy to strengthen the muscles on either side of the fusion to keep it stable. I think I mentioned at some point her main problem is stenosis compressing her spinal nerves because she has scoliosis from repeated insult to her back. And no, not because I was making fun of her, the other kind of insult, repeated minor injury to her back, in this case her back muscles. As she got injured the injured muscles got tight, making them more susceptible to further injury, which made them tighter and led to a vicious circle that wound up with Mrs. the Poet unable to get to the bus stop, even with a cane, because the scoliosis causes the top and bottom of the stenosis to compress the nerves in her spine causing numbness and paralysis.

And now March 3 2020 that’s going to get fixed so that her legs and feet will work normally, again. That means I have to cook and clean the house, and basically act like I do when she’s not here except I have to take care of her as well. Now what I’m told is she will be eating at the table, or at least capable of that, before she gets out of the hospital. And it might only take 3 days for her to get out of the hospital. All we need to do is get stuff I can fix to feed her with, that we can get a bit at a time so we don’t have to spend the money all at once the end of February.

The pre-op synopsis is that Mrs. the Poet should be walking as normally as she ever will be by the end of March because that’s how little surgical insult there is with this operation. Basically there will be no tendons, ligaments or muscles damaged that will be still allowed to move after the surgery fuses the vertebrae (or vertebras if you insist on anglicized plurals) so the recovery time is essentially just the time needed to heal the incision enough to not bleed every time she moves her back. This is entirely unlike when my hip was repaired 18 years ago because there were 3 major muscles that had to be cut to get the hardware in and then back out 18 months later. As I understand it there will only be one small incision that they work/look through and instead of cutting through muscles they will be spreading apart the muscle fibers to get things out, which has a much better end result than cutting through the muscles.

Anyway, when I know more about it, and Mrs. the Poet approves of me posting it, I’ll tell you more. As for me I find it fascinating in a mechanical sense, because we are all just organic machines moving around and breaking down and either self-repairing or getting repaired. Machines that can repair themselves has been either a dream or a nightmare, depending on how you feel about getting replaced by a machine. But since we are all machines already (Calcium is a metal according to the periodic table, between Potassium and Scandium) just using a different mode of using energy than electricity or steam. We aren’t getting replaced so much as making way for the newest models.

Still not ready to deal with the Feed, so an update on my surgery instead

I got sliced and diced yesterday, but I got so dehydrated waiting for my surgery that I got held up from leaving post-op until I was hydrated enough to pass urine which was about 2 hours and 2 liters of water and IV fluids later. As I wrote, part of the issue was I was restricted from food and fluids from midnight before the operation but did not get into the OR until between 1130 and 1145. The last thing I remember was transferring out of the gurney to the operating table and then getting woozy from the pre-op drugs. Next thing I remember is waking up in post-op from the nurse shaking me gently.

Anyway, getting back to the dehydration, I was denied fluids for 12 hours before the operation so that I wouldn’t throw up during the operation, and I was given very dry O2 during the operation that dried me out even more. After the operation I had about 1500 cc of oral fluids (water and coffee) and 500cc of IV fluids and I managed to get a trickle of urine about 2 hours later.

After I got home I had iced tea and water pretty much solid for another 4 hours, until I was passing urine normally. Then I just hung out with my Peeps.

Mrs. the Poet was able to get a good picture of “Chris Christie” after removal.
I should tell you that this doctor does not have small hands, if anything they are larger than normal.

I was told that there would be a dent left behind when Chris was evicted from my neck, but I was not expecting anything like this dent.

That is a friggin huge dent, especially when you compare the “before” shot.

And a lump that large takes a large incision to remove.

With all that the relief in pain was immediate, from about a 2 or 3 to maybe a 1 on the 0-10 scale. And that was with no post-op pain drugs. I was forced to take 1 Hydrocodone after the operation because maybe I would have some pain after the shock of the operation wore off, or the last of the anaesthesia wore off or something like that, but I haven’t needed anything for pain at all. I feel less pain now than I have in months.

The only thing I regret is I will have to miss the Ride of Silence tonight because I can’t let the incision area get sweaty.

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet